We took a last trip to Norfolk on the ferry with Alan from Snow White. Norfolk has mermaids all over the city as their symbol. They’re each different and reminded us of the dinosaurs in Pittsburgh. If the mermaids were decorated to elicit various local themes or characters it was lost on us but they’re fun to come across anyway.
Alan decided it was time to move on, so on the morning of his planned departure we invited him for coffee and fresh muffins. He had already stowed his dinghy so Jack headed over to pick him up and I put the muffins on the oven. As I stood in the doorway appreciating the morning, I heard an odd birdcall, a loud and insistent whistle. Funny, I thought, I don’t recognize that call. Sounds like a really big bird. I looked up hoping to see the bird and then I heard “Marce!” It was Jack whistling and calling and I raced around the sunshades to see what the problem was. He pointed to the other side of the boat and I looked up. Holy cow there’s an aircraft carrier! As many giant ships as we’ve seen come through this port, none has been as enormous as this one. It blotted out the city of Norfolk as it passed.
We looked it up. It’s the George H. W. Bush, the last of the Nimitz class carriers. We couldn’t find out why it was coming into the shipyard, but we assume upgrades or repairs.
We got tired of waiting for our autopilot ram so we moved over to Virginia Beach for a change a scene and to be better positioned for an ocean passage. All along the way we passed more and more ships, both navy and merchant.
We crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel on our way to the Atlantic Ocean. This is the third time I’ve sailed across these tunnels. I only traveled the route by car once, and that was shortly after it opened in the 60s when we took a family vacation somewhere that included what was at the time an engineering marvel. I remember my dad being so excited about it. I was probably throwing up in the backseat. Wikipedia tells me this is one of only eight bridge-tunnel systems in the world.