Finally the weather has seemed to turn the corner; the hurricane season has lost its steam and this means that AfterMath and crew are no longer bound to finding hurricane holes. Since leaving York River Yacht Haven we have been busy exploring ports that we have missed in the past. It’s nice to feel free of storms again, and to be on the move.
Hampton Town Docks with the Air and Space Museum in the backgroundJust a part of Tom’s vegetable garden for the boaters.The Apollo 12 space capsule inside the Air and Space Museum.More of the displays in the museum.John got to sit in the cockpit of an airliner.It’s almost Halloween and the carousel seems to be a bit haunted!
The view from our bow at night.
On October 7th, we left our dock and headed for Hampton, VA. Hampton is a favorite for a lot of boaters. The docks are right downtown and are surrounded by interesting sights: it is the home of Hampton College, and there is a pretty waterfront, an air and space museum, an IMAX theater, an antique carousel, and a new brewery. All are within a short walk of the marina. One of the fun facts about the marina is that the dock master, Tom, grows a vegetable garden in pots right outside the office. Boaters are encouraged to pick some vegetables for their own use. It’s a nice touch, especially when fresh veggies are a little hard to come by at docks. Of course, John could not pass up the air and space museum, and, although I always expect to be bored in this type of venue, I was fascinated too. We also saw a wonderful IMAX movie entitled Dream Big while we were there. It took us two nights in Hampton to be able to enjoy all there was to see and do.
Mermaids abound in Norfolk, VA. Here is one with AfterMath in the background.The battleship, Wisconsin, docked and on display in NorfolkAll these long walks make a guy thirsty!Sights at the marinaThe ferry between Norfolk and PortsmouthWalking around Portsmouth, VAThere are a lot of LOVE signs around Virginia. Remember their slogan, “Virginia is for lovers”.
After leaving Hampton we traveled the short trip to Norfolk, VA. Norfolk is always fun to travel, as the river is busy with all sorts of boat traffic: barges, tugs, sport craft, sailing schooners, trawlers, Navy ships, and luxury yachts. Our original plan was to just stay for one night, but Jeff’s friend, Ken Flowers, a VP for Moran, a tug boat company, was able to come and visit with us the following morning and we decided to take an extra day to enjoy his company and to explore Norfolk. Another adventure while docked in Norfolk was to board the paddlewheel ferry that transports visitors to nearby Portsmouth, VA.
There is something fascinating about the cranes around Norfolk. They are so colorful and so huge.Following Allegro under the bridge.Entering the lock. This lock dropped us only about 8 inches. We were so surprised when it opened again to let us out.Boats waiting for a bridge to open while heading south along the ICW As small as the river is in Coinjock, sometimes huge barges pass through.
Bright and early on October 11th, we left Norfolk, accompanied by a very nice couple we met there, Basil and Martina on Allegro, and made our way, finally, back to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Although the weather was a bit dreary, it felt so good to be back on that familiar waterway with its calm waters and scenic views. As we traveled to our last stop in Virginia, the Atlantic Yacht Basin, it became pretty apparent that the snowbirds are now flocking south. The next morning we left for Coinjock, NC; the marina there was jam packed with transient boats and we were only inches away from those in front of and behind us. Everyone was in good spirits, though; we met three other couples heading south and we all had dinner together in the marina’s restaurant. Because the weather was windy and rainy, and the next day we needed to cross the sometimes-uncomfortable Albemarle Sound, we stayed an extra night in Coinjock and enjoyed a relaxing day aboard.
Historic homes in Bath, NCThe lovely park with the free dock in Bath
October 15th we departed from the ICW to head up the Pamlico River to Bath, the oldest town in North Carolina. A main port in the mid 1700’s, and once the residence of the famous pirate, Blackbeard, it now is home to a few hundred residents. There is a free dock there as is often the case in North Carolina towns, but, sadly, it was a little small for AfterMath. We anchored, though, and took the dinghy to walk around the very small historic district there.
Our next stop was another 12 miles farther up the Pamlico River, in Washington, NC, but, as we haven’t left there yet, I will leave that story to the next post in a couple of days. Meanwhile, we have been enjoying picture perfect weather for the past week, warm sunny days, cool and comfortable nights. We love being back on the ICW and we love the fact that we are heading south toward the warmth and our goal of endless summer. Everywhere we go now we meet new people, we enjoy the difference in each states’ uniqueness, and we treasure our life on AfterMath.