15 November: Deltaville to Norfolk was a quick and easy day. We left the Deltaville Marina around 8:30am with a whole parade of other sailors, some of whom we’d met last night in the marina lounge. We took the lead down the Chesapeake, and rounded the entrance into Norfolk mid-afternoon.
Sailing into Norfolk is wild! So many enormous Navy ships at docks as far as the eye can see. Aircraft carriers, destroyers, hospital ships – and everything a distinctive gunmetal gray. You almost feel like you’re getting too close, as if trespassing on a military base, which in a way, we were. I can’t imagine anyone on land getting that close to those ships.
Otherwise, the trip to Norfolk was largely uneventful. We tied up to the free dockage at North Landing in Portsmouth, VA, just across the water from Norfolk. Ferry boats zoomed in and out, waking the poor Abby B. all evening. Several other cruisers were at North Landing as well, including Ishtar and Allegro, two solo gentlemen who we’d heard talking on the radio over the past few days. Allegro is a beautiful new boat who’s decks get scrubbed everyday, and Ishtar is an older replica boat of Joshua Slocum’s sloop (the first man to sail singlehandedly around the world, 1895-1898).
The town of Portsmouth is another sad/dying community. Clearly built during the financial boom, it was almost completely empty on a Saturday night. Lots of closed shops, etc.