At mile marker 5.7 is the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge with a seven foot vertical clearance. This bridge needs to be opened but we found out that it was under repair so was closed between 0900 and 1300 hrs. We needed to get there before 0900 or wait until the afternoon. We were at mile marker 12.4 so we needed to make the 0700 opening of the Great Bridge Bridge as it opens only on the hour. Following this we needed to get through the Great Bridge Lock which was timed with the Great Bridge Bridge openings. We left the dock at 0625 in order to make sure we got all of this done without fail.
The waterfront of this entire estuary, beginning before we arrived in Norfolk and extending for miles afterward, is lined with Naval ship services. What a huge operation. Part of it is a security zone in which we were supposed to stay on the red side of the channel and were likely to be contacted by vhf radio and questioned. We stayed on the red (western) side and no contact was made.
When we reached the more open water of Hampton Roads and nearing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay the wind was blowing 15-20 mph from the NE and we had rough seas. We were glad it was only going to be about five miles across the bay till we reached the channel leading into Hampton River and Sunset Creek where we were going to moor at Sunset Boating Center.
Once we were tied up we called Dave and Maxine Scheevel to let them know we had arrived. Dave and Maxine are long term friends who had lived in Washington and with whom we had been part of a male trio for several years in the late 70’s. We were going to leave the boat for a couple of nights and go visit them in their home in Williamsburg, VA.
Upon their arrival they toured the boat and then we were off on a land adventure. We stopped at a mall and did a little shopping before heading to PF Changs for lunch. After a little more shopping we headed to Williamsburg and Fords Colony where our friends lived.
We toured their beautiful house (Scheevel Shack!)and then spent the evening catching up and enjoying their company and hospitality.