LAT: N 36° 50.3'
LON: W 76° 17.8'
50s, mostly cloudy, winds NW 5-10 kts
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A Night Out On the Town
840 - An easy out of a quiet as ever Deltaville.
1101 - East of Mobjack Bay.
1300 - Off of Plumtree Point (where the sugar fairies live).
1400 - Going over a highway tunnel into Hampton Roads. We can see the highway above ground where it looks like it stops short and the cars disappear.
1506 - We drift beside many a Navy vessel feeling small and out of place.
1545 - During our second try we find an open dock by a visitors center at North Landing in Portsmouth. We have a nice view of Norfolk across the water.
Arggg me maties, I once built an aircraft carrier twice as big at that one thar, from only the driftwood I found on me deserted island.
From One to One Hundred In One Day
The Bier Garden Quenches Our Thirst For Beer Diversity, and a Movie
The Pillsbury Dough Boy - Guest Editor
Deltaville was just as quiet this morning as it was yesterday afternoon. We took off into the smooth waters to navigate the shoals. On our way out we looked up into a leafless tree to see a Bald Eagle gracing us with his presence.
It was another day of easy cruising until we got closer to Norfolk. There were many boats out and they were all headed in the same direction. The space in between the boats kept getting smaller and smaller. It was fun for awhile to think of everyone all going to the same place until they got a bit too close for comfort. Hannah was driving, and maybe it was a bit of the Boston driver in her, but she did not appreciate either the fishing boats driving right for Slowly and at the last moment taking her stern, or the other trawlers cutting in front of her. Though she handled the driving well it was hard for her to get over how people can tailgate in boats when they have so much open water to use and so much less control of the vessel.
Approaching Norfolk we could see the Navy ships from far away. At first they looked like just one humongous boat, but as we got closer we realized that it was actually many humongous boats. The channel into town offered us a floating tour of the immense power of America's Armed Naval Forces.
The tour was a long one as there were many vessels to be seen. Even when we finally got to Norfolk it was obviously a town built on these sturdy ships. We turned right, into Portsmouth. We got a little confused about which turn off to take but once we figured it out we found our spot to have ample free docking space (no other boats but the Norfolk ferry), a view of Norfolk, and access to both the Renaissance Hotel bathrooms as well as the historic district of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth's historic district was buried treasure for these two pirates. Stretching over about 20 blocks, the area featured our first taste of Southern charm where facades features columns and many tasteful porches and balconies. Though densely packed and three stories high (giving a true city feel), they were full of character, diverse, and inviting.
Our two favorite pieces of booty were the Commodore Theater and the Bier Garden. The Bier Garden, which you can read more about in the Grub Report, is the kind of place you could visit weekly (perhaps daily) and never grow tired of. [Famous muffled giggle! -Ed.] The Commodore theater is an incredible experience. Entering the theater one can only help but feel, "This theater cares about me and it wants me to feel happy." It is an unmatched level of comfort. The main floor is a large area of tables each circled with chairs worthy of any living room. Each table is adorned with an attractive dim lamp and a telephone. Lift the receiver, and it calls the kitchen. Anything from a pitcher of beer, to snacks, or a full meal will be promptly brought to your table. The viewing experience is top notch with a huge bright screen, and booming THX sound. To top it all off, the tickets are $6! The only movie showing was "Love Actually," which we liked actually. It is a british romance comedy starring many familiar faces (including *gasp* Hugh Grant) acting in a heap of little love plots (aaaaawww).
After the movie, feeling full and content, we skipped home to the boat. Portsmouth joins the ranks of livable cities. There is a variety of restaurants and entertainment with a 75 cent ferry ride to Norfolk for access to big city needs. As far as we saw and heard from locals, the city has momentum. Improvements are apparent, and young folk might even be able to afford a piece of Portsmouth. We give Portsmouth four and half propellers and it is at the top of our list of places to revisit and better evaluate.
Encountering many boats in Hampton Roads (by Norfolk) we took a moment to review the right of way rules for boats in crossing situations. First off, there is a list of vessel types which automatically have the right of way. At the bottom of the list, bellow sail boats and fishing boats for example, are pleasure boats under power. In crossing situations between boats of equal right, if a boat is approaching on your port bow (you would see its RED light at night), it has the right way. If a boat is off your starboard bow (where you would see its GREEN light at night), you have the right of way. The result of having it this way creates the nice effect of green light means go, red light means stop. As we learned in New York, we try our best to stay out of everyone's way, but now we know who to secretly shake our fists at.
Animal of the Day
Our nation's bird, the Bald Eagle is quite a sight to see. It is a rewarding feeling not just because it is an eye catcher but because they are relatively uncommon on the east coast. The mature Bald Eagle is unmistakable because of it's white head and tail, it's bright yellow bill and it's complete massiveness. Immature birds are harder to identify being mostly all brown for about 5 years. To make it even easier for the bird watcher they also like hanging out in the tallest trees, on the branch that sticks out the most. They eat mostly fish and an occasional evil doer.
We had our first dinner out in awhile at the Bier Garden. A German place, we had Landjager (a spicy beef jerky salami), and two orders of Bauernwurst with spazle, cucumber salad and green bean salad. Delish! To get all the meat down we tried two of their long list of beers: Germany's Schneider Aventinus (a very good thick dark amber wheat beer) and England's Young's Double Chocolate Stout (a awesome very smooth slightly chocolatey not bitter stout).
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