Norfolk, Virginia, to Annapolis, Maryland, USA

1st - 12th June 2006


On arrival in Norfolk, we discovered we had a stowaway aboard!   A small, bright green tree frog had taken up residence on Anju's dinghy davits, later deciding he preferred the mizzen mast.    He'd come aboard when we were tied alongside the waterfront park at Great Bridge the night before.   In any case we didn't have to wonder for long what to do about him, as he soon left the boat, presumably to check out the sights of the big city! 

Our Ocean Cruising Club Port Captains in Norfolk, Gary and Greta, again offered their generous hospitality and use of a dock at the condo complex where they live.   As always we'd only planned to stay a couple of days, but a combination of serious partying and a persistent north wind, hampering our progress any further north, kept us snuggled up on our comfy dock in Norfolk for about ten days in the end.


As usual Gary and Greta patiently ferried us around on shopping trips and other errands.   On one such trip when Gary drove Phil to West Marine for "a few small bits and pieces", they were spotted returning a couple of hours with two very large boxes.   It turned out that Phil had managed to get a very good deal on a couple of inflatable kayaks, an item which had been on our wish list for quite some time, so we naturally had to take them for a brief spin around the neighbouring waters of Norfolk.   Inexperienced kayakers, as we are, we were pleased to be able to make it there and back again without making too many unnecessary circles on the way!

He's almost grasped the concept!

We slowly worked our way up the party scale during our stay, beginning with dinner with Gary and Greta, followed a couple of days later with drinks and dinner aboard Anju for them and Jim and Joanne, other OCC friends who live nearby.    On another day we were visited by George and Nancy of Trumpeter and Wolfgang and Gemma of Ru'ah, quite an OCC reunion. 


Entertaining Port Officers Gary and Greta  and Jim and Joanne aboard Anju.



The climax of our party season in Norfolk came with Norfolk's Harborfest, when we were also joined by old friends Dean and Nancy of Pegasus and Ralph and Jeanette of Sandpiper, who were anchored nearby.   We sat aboard Pegasus to enjoy the Parade of Sail on the first day of the festival.   Whilst waiting for the boats to make their way up the Elizabeth River, we were kept entertained by the chaos in the anchorage, as it became more and more crowded with less and less experienced anchorers!   Finally Dean and Nancy decided it was safer to retreat to a marina in the interests of protecting their topsides.

Aboard Pegasus with Nancy, Dean, Ralph and Jeanette.

Scenes from Norfolk's 2006 Harborfest


The following day we strolled around the waterfront park, taking in the Harborfest, its visiting tall ships and boat building competition, before returning to Anju to prepare a curry dinner for Gary and Greta, Dean and Nancy to enjoy prior to that evening's amazing firework display, the conclusion of the festival.

Before leaving Norfolk we also managed to take in a spot of culture.   Greta had advised us when to visit the Chrysler Museum for maximum cultural enjoyment (i.e. the day when it was free!) and we were very impressed by their extensive glass collection.

Finally we had to drag ourselves away from Party Central, mostly due to the forecasting of a seemingly rare southerly wind.    Of course, the southerly wind was only expected to arrive in the evening and last overnight but we just had to seize the opportunity despite the fact we'd have to travel up the Chesapeake Bay overnight.   In preparation, we moved Anju from Gary and Greta's dock to an anchorage at Mill Creek at the mouth of the Elizabeth River, whilst the tide was in our favour.    We were settled there by lunchtime, planning a large lunch and long siesta in anticipation of our overnight passage.   However, this was not to be.   As soon as we had we got our hook down, the cell phone began to ring.   It was our friends Jim and Joanne, who'd spotted our boat anchored there as they drove to spend time aboard their boat Heather at the marina right next to our temporary stopping off spot.   Next thing we found ourselves enjoying a long lunch with them and their friends in the marina.    We just made it back to Anju in time to haul our anchor for our overnighter!

The overnight trip was uneventful but by dawn we were enduring headwinds and miserable drizzle and the tide was against us, so we decided to put into Solomons Island until things improved.    By the time we'd taken a short nap and revived ourselves again at lunchtime, we found the sun was shining, the tide had turned and the wind had died, so we made another thirty miles or so that afternoon, spending the night anchored in the Rhode River, just south of Annapolis, ready to head up the Severn River the following day.

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