Friday, August 7, 2009

Let's go up the James River to Richmond, VA.

Well, as I said before, "our schedule is we have no schedule, and we are sticking to it". We decided to take a little side trip after leaving Norfolk and explore the James River. What a beautiful river with tons of history. After passing the Navy Ghost Fleet (a few dozen WWII ships anchored in the James river) our first Anchorage was the Chickahominy River just off the James. The Chickahominy is one of those gems that you find when you get off the main waterway and go exploring. We arrived early in the afternoon so I had time to try my hand at crab fishing. I tied chicken legs to two lines off the back of the boat, mixed a drink, and waited for the crabs to bite. To my surprise, I was so busy I didn't even have time to drink my drink. After about two hours I had enough for dinner and then some. Stephanie steamed them in Old Bay and we were crackin' and adippin'. I had a blast catching them and they were sooo goooood! The next day we put the family cars in the water and went exploring up the Chickahominy. We traveled about twelve miles up the Chickahominy and it was beautiful. On the way back we found a little restaurant that had great burgers and cold beer. After filling the family car with fuel we headed back to the boats. Doug picked up his sister Dale late in the afternoon, (the one who lent us the car in Norfolk, and would be joining us for the second half of the trip up the James River.) That evening we were also visited by Steen and Trudy on Shenanigans and their friends Norman and Betsy, on a 36 Monk, who were stopping in the same anchorage we were in for the night. You never know when or where you are going to meet up with cruising friends again. What a pleasant surprise. We had Doug, Tammy, and Dale over for the last of the dolphin from the Exumas on the grill and corn on the cob. Made us all wish we were back in the Islands. After dinner Steen, Trudy, Norman, and Betsy joined us for after dinner drinks and Oreo pie that Tammy made. We introduced them to the way we share pie in the Islands. Everyone gets a fork and you pass the pie around. A little weird, but loads of fun. After a later than normal night we weighed anchor at 08:00 and headed for Richmond, VA.
September Song (a little side trip) out

Cassie's not having much luck finding fish to chase

Godiva forever chasing the ball

Fresh crab for dinner. YUM!
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Speaking of beautiful scenery.

These steps are so long down to the boat that you would need to stop for lunch half way down

It's always amazing what you will find on an unplanned side trip

Exploring in Half Note
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Views along the river

If you blow this one up you will see Doug opening a can of coke. NOT!

Cassie and Godiva enjoying the ride

Neat home along the Chickahominy River
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The little black boat on the plotter is us winding our way up the James River
Gorgeous views along the river

Cypress trees growing in the water in shallow areas
Our second leg on our trip up the James River to Richmond, VA. was more gorgeous than the first. The river winds through beautiful cypress tree lined shores with eagles and osprey constantly flying over head. As you wind up the river you also wind your way through tons of history and many plantations that are still owned by the same families since they were built in the 1700's. We also passed the area where the last battle was fought in the Civil War.

Almost too big for the camera lens

Another plantation along the James River

One more heavy rain and it will be waterside

Plantations along the James River
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Exploring Portsmouth, VA

Yesterday we crossed the Elizabeth River by ferry (they wouldn't let me drive) from Norfolk to Portsmouth and did the walking tour of the historic district. (After all that food this last weekend we needed the exercise) Portsmouth is a beautiful old city with tons of history. It is home to the oldest naval shipyard located on the largest and deepest natural harbor in America, home of the first ferry service in America in 1636, the first dry-dock in America in 1833, the first Navy battleship, the Texas, launched in 1892, and the first aircraft carrier, the Langley, in 1922. There is alot more history here than a person can imagine and take in in a day, but we gave it our best shot.
Today was beach and boogy day at Virginia Beach. It was a perfect day for swimming, sticking our feet in the sand, soaking up some rays, and BOOGY BOARDING!!!! It's always great to be a kid again. Forget about my 60th birthday the 16th of this month, it ain't happenin'. After our beach day we headed to Wall Mart to pick-up some chicken legs and a net. What's that for you say? Well, we are going to fish for blue crabs while anchoring out as we travel the Chesapeake, home of the best blue crab in the nation. Tomorrow it's put the pointy end North and start our first leg in the Chesapeake. Look-out blue crab, here we come.

September Song (the crab slayer) out (Time for the Captain - Morgan, that is!)

The first dry dock in the US occurred in Portsmouth in 1833. I don't think they ever imagined a ship this large in dry dock back then. The equipment look like toys next to it.

The beautiful historic streets and homes of Portsmouth, VA.

The view of Norfolk across the Elizabeth River from Portsmouth
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Virginia Beach

Doug and Tammy catching a wave
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Monday, August 3, 2009

And the beat goes on

The festival was great, the food was delicious, and the music was awesome. Now that we are all festivaled out, it's time to do a little exploring outside the city. While we have Doug's sister's car we are going exploring today, and then Tuesday hit Virginia Beach and hunt for the BIG ONE on my Slick Lizard Performance 41 boogy board. Kids will be kids! Besides, we need to work off some of those calories we accumulated over the weekend at the festival. beignets x 2, 3 lbs. of mud bugs, kettle corn, gator tail, crawfish etouffe, shrimp etouffe, bourbon chicken, not to mention the beer and hurricanes. "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" Hey! A boy has to eat to have the energy to ride his Slick Lizard Performance 41 boogy board.

September Song (sew my mouth shut for a couple of days) out

Mud bugs (craw fish) The best I have had since New Orleans

Love those little guys

Nice Boogaloo hat lady
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Can't pass these up. Beignets, YUM! Couldn't pass them up two days in a row

Great seats and a good looking group

The music was great all weekend long. This group has won four Grammys

The group Little Feet
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