We departed sunny Florida on the afternoon of Thursday April 29th with additional crew: our great friends and Tara Golf & Country Club neighbors: Shannon Bailey Barnes (TN cousin), Bob and Jane O’Tain. Our midday direct flight from Clearwater St. Petersburg PIE airport to Norfolk was quick and easy. We rented a truck for a day to aid in logistics of provisioning and take us to local restaurants. Living the Dream was already out of covered storage where she had been for ~7 months. The fine folks at the Atlantic Yacht Basin had taken good care of her over the winter, completed their de-winterizing commissioning and repositioned her to an outdoor basin prior to our arrival.
Once we had settled onboard the crew headed out to Vino’s for a fine local Italian meal.
Friday April 30th was ‘boating cleaning day’, the crew was hard at work all day getting our vessel in ship shape condition for the future voyages up the Chesapeake.
At the end of the day the crew rewarded themselves with an excellent dinner at the Court House Café (known for their Prime Rib). On the short walk to the café, we watched The Great Bridge open for a sailing vessel.
Saturday, May 1st we cast off our lines and proceeded to join the growing line of boats assembled at The Great Bridge awaiting the opening and subsequent ‘Great Bridge Lock’ opening.
……… After successfully clearing the lock we proceed down the Elizabeth River toward Norfolk. This portion of river is highly industrialized with several highway and train bridges, one of which we had to wait for ~45 minutes to open to give us access as it was only 7’ above the water level. We had to run 1 engine due to an overheating issue that later repaired itself. Saw lots of Navy ships, downtown Norfolk and crossed the James River before arriving downtown Hampton for Beer tasting, Pub Crawl, Kentucky Derby at the biker bar.
Sunday, May 2nd was Captain Larry’s Birthday!!! We began the celebration with an early cruise toward Yorktown sailing the windy waters of the lower Chesapeake. We saw several boats as well as a large warship. After Arriving at York River Yacht Haven, and rinsing down the boat, we had a nice lunch at the restaurant there, York River Oyster Company for a “Shell of a Good Time.”
Monday, May 3rd the extra crew had to depart for their return to Florida. Larry drove them to Richmond at noon then returned to spend the afternoon w/Mary planning for the next several days of cruising.
Tuesday, May 4th we headed out for Windmill Point Marina on the Rappahannock River. The day was less windy than previous days and excellent for boating. Upon arrival we found the entry to the marina to be very shallow (~3 ft according to our depth finder) but we didn’t notice any bumps.
May 5th we went to the Tides Inn in Irvington, VA — this resort location has so much to do including courtesy kayaks, paddleboards, bocce ball, pickle ball, tennis, par 3 (chip and putt) golf course, and bikes!
We stayed at Tides Inn Marina 2 days. The first day we borrowed the rental bikes and rode 5.5 miles into town to go to the only Mexican restaurant for margaritas in honor of Cinco de Mayo. On the way back we stopped by Jim Dan Dee Seafood – Crab King and got shrimp, crab cakes, scallops and Salmon for our freezer.