Portsmouth-Norfolk VA

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Daybreak over Willoughby Bay Spit, VA

Departing at daybreak, we carefully navigated the Naval Exit Channel out of Willoughby Bay into the the Elizabeth River toward Norfolk and Portsmouth Virginia. This passage we always find a bit stressful and challenging as you are dealing with Navy ships, tugs with barges, and 1,000 foot long container ships, all working the same narrow channel. We only had 9 miles to go today, but it seemed like 20 miles due to the all the ship traffic. Welcome to the AM rush hour in a busy seaport harbor! Radeen had the helm and I managed the navigation as we pushed on to Portsmouth, where we moved into the South Ferry Basin and docked right up against the city streets. This is such a fantastic spot with a friendly coffee shop only steps from our boat!

Our buddy boat, IP460 Cutter Loose in the AM sun

We rode the commuter ferry over to Watersides in Norfolk where we enjoyed seeing the Tidewater Community College and had lunch at a Cuban restaurant. Back in Portsmouth, we walked the old town and historic districts. The evening was capped off with our favorite dinner movie theater, the Commodore Dinner Theater. This beautiful 1945 movie theater has been converted to a restaurant where you may order sandwiches and salads along with wine or beer and then turn your comfortable chairs to enjoy the latest run movies. We saw “Footloose” – fun!

Tomorrow we will make the 0930 Gilmerton Bridge opening. giving us access to the Great Dismal Swamp and locks. Thank you Portsmouth for the use of the ferry terminals, we greatly appreciate this town’s hospitality.

Photos of the day….

Again, we had the honor of traveling next to PANGAEA the world explorer
We dodged container ships in the morning light
This one was actually a USA flagged ship from Philadelphia, a first…

Of course it was followed by a container ship from Singapore
Look at the scale of these ships. That is 13 tractor trailer boxes across!
There it is R36, Intracoastal waterway mile marker #1
The trip starts here, only 1,100 miles to the Florida Keys!
Two IPs docked right in the city of Portsmouth VA and walked the town
This is the South Ferry Basin in Portsmouth, VA
Norfolk…..Mermaids on Parade….these sculptures are everywhere
over 100 in the town!
Island Spirit docked in Portsmouth, VA

Overall, another wonderful day as we revisited these two great waterfront towns, Norfolk and Portsmouth, our official starting point for the ICW run south. Now, we can enter the SWAMP and we hope it is not a “dismal” day….more on that next…

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