Today we traveled from rural Coinjock NC to urban Norfolk, VA, naval center of the USA. As we left Coinjock, an eagle led us, rising on thermals and floating free.
Soon we entered the Currituck Sound and followed the channel through the sound for at least 10 miles before entering the Albemarle-Chesapeake Canal leading to Norfolk. We encountered many bridges and locked through the Great Bridge Lock.
Soon after we crossed the border from North Carolina to Virginia, we learned the meaning of “no wake zone” in Virginia. After passing a bridge under repair at idle, we were stopped and I was cited for violating a no wake zone. When I protested (gently) that I WAS at idle, the Marine Police officer told me I should have taken one of R&R’s engines out of gear to slow down even more. Rhonda tells me I have a heavy hand on the throttles – I’m sure that’s not true!
As we approached Norfolk, we entered an industrial area with barge and freighter traffic, and soon passed by the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval station. Robust floating gates and security gunboats made it clear we should keep our distance from the warships.
We wound our way (slowly!) through the naval yard area into downtown Norfolk to the marina in Portsmouth – just across the river from Norfolk – where R&R will stay while we are in Michigan.
Downtown Norfolk is busy and vibrant, with a visible naval and boating presence. Tomorrow we plan to take a ferry (runs every 15 minutes) across the river to visit Norfolk’s Waterside area, the Nauticus maritime museum, and Battleship Wisconsin.
R&R needs window tinting and scheduled engine room service, so we are arranging for that work to be done while we are away.