Top Rack Marina, Chesapeake, VA to Hampton Public Piers, Hampton, VA — May 18, 2014

01-Top-Rack-Marina-Offices-Deli-Amber-Lantern-Restaurant

01-Top-Rack-Marina-Offices-Deli-Amber-Lantern-Restaurant

02-Looking-South-On-The-ICW-Toward-Norfolk-8-Miles-Away

02-Looking-South-On-The-ICW-Toward-Norfolk-8-Miles-Away

03-Looking-Up-The-ICW-Toward-Coinjock

03-Looking-Up-The-ICW-Toward-Coinjock

04-The-New-Bridge-To-Replace-The-Bascule-Bridge-Was-Under-Construction-Last-Year

04-The-New-Bridge-To-Replace-The-Bascule-Bridge-Was-Under-Construction-Last-Year

05-Top-Rack-Is-Primarily-A-Rack-Storage-Operation-With-Power-At-8-Slips

05-Top-Rack-Is-Primarily-A-Rack-Storage-Operation-With-Power-At-8-Slips

06-Approaching-The-Port-Of-Norfolk

06-Approaching-The-Port-Of-Norfolk

07-Approaching-The-Port-Of-Norfolk

07-Approaching-The-Port-Of-Norfolk

08-Downtown-Norfolk-Ahead-With-Navy-Aircraft-Carrier-In-Dry-Dock-On-Right

08-Downtown-Norfolk-Ahead-With-Navy-Aircraft-Carrier-In-Dry-Dock-On-Right

09-Aircraft-Carrier-In-Dry-Dock

09-Aircraft-Carrier-In-Dry-Dock

10-Downtown-Norfolk-With-Naval-Museum-Where-We-Stayed-Last-Year-Just-Right-Of-The-Burgee

10-Downtown-Norfolk-With-Naval-Museum-Where-We-Stayed-Last-Year-Just-Right-Of-The-Burgee

11-Downtown-Norfolk-With-Waterside-Marina-In-Foreground

11-Downtown-Norfolk-With-Waterside-Marina-In-Foreground

12-Naval-Museum-Nauticus-Downtown-Norfolk

12-Naval-Museum-Nauticus-Downtown-Norfolk

13-Hampton-VA-Public-Piers

13-Hampton-VA-Public-Piers

14-Hampton-VA-Public-Piers

14-Hampton-VA-Public-Piers

15-Hampton-Virginia-Air-Space-Center-With-Curved-Roof

15-Hampton-Virginia-Air-Space-Center-With-Curved-Roof

16-You-Need-To-Know-Where-The-Boat-Will-Swing-And-The-Depth-Before-Low-Tide

16-You-Need-To-Know-Where-The-Boat-Will-Swing-And-The-Depth-Before-Low-Tide

17-Old-Hampton-Shopping-District-Early-Morning-Walk

17-Old-Hampton-Shopping-District-Early-Morning-Walk

18-Old-Hampton-Shopping-District-Early-Morning-Walk

18-Old-Hampton-Shopping-District-Early-Morning-Walk

19-Old-Hampton-Shopping-District-Early-Morning-Walk

19-Old-Hampton-Shopping-District-Early-Morning-Walk

We planned on cruising from Top Rack to Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore today.  They had a problem at Top Rack with the fuel dock when we arrived.  The computer had crashed and they could not pump fuel.  We were at the dock this morning at 8:00 when they opened.  We departed at 8:20, great service.

The sky was about half clouds and the temps were in the 60’s but as the sun came up it warmed some.  The wind was light at Top Rack and they were calling for 10 to 15 mph out of the north on the Chesapeake Bay.

Early Sunday the traffic was light and the tide did not bother us.  We passed the Port of Norfolk on the South side of town.  There were also a number of dry dock areas where Navy Ships were being retrofitted.  Some of the ship was covered with tarps and I assumed that they were cleaning and painting those areas.

The Downtown Norfolk area looked nice from the water.  Not much activity in the morning.  We did see a couple of large tugs but they were not moving any barges.  The only low bridges were 4 or 5 railroad bridges and those are normally up unless there is a scheduled train.

South of Norfolk is a large are on the Eastern shore that houses a large number of Naval Ships that are also being retrofitted.  These did not appear to be in dry dock. This section of the River is fairly straight and heads due north and runs right up to the Chesapeake Bay. It is probably 8 to 10 miles long.  The water was getting pretty rough and the wind seemed stronger than 15 mph so we decided to go to Hampton VA in lieu of Cape Charles.  We had not been to Hampton Last Summer.

Active Captain is great because I was able to call up the app on my IPhone and decide that we would stay at the Hampton Public Piers.  I called and made a reservation and that is all it took. This was actually the plan B I had in mind in case the wind was to much.

The Hampton Public Piers are all the way in on the river and that would cut down on traffic  on the river and the wake we would see on the boat.  The marina does have a Ferry Boat that takes passengers on tours of the Norfolk area and it also has a large fishing boat where they can take out dozens and dozens of fishermen at one time.

The marina is right in the downtown area and associated with the adjacent Crown Plaza Hotel.  If we had wanted to we could have used their pool or sauna.  The Virginia Air and Space Center  was just a short walk away and they also had Imax movies.  The Downtown district was pretty neat and had lots of shops, bars and restaurants.

The only bad thing was that on our first walk, Candy and I were attacked by a bird.  It wasn’t a barn swallow but it did some dive bombing at me and did touch the back of my shirt a couple of times.  This also happened the second time we went out even though we put a variation into the route.  We stayed away from that park area the rest of the stay.  On the morning we left we were coming back from our downtown walk and had another bird problem.  This was about 6 blocks from where the first problem was so I am assuming it was a different bird. Oh Well!!

This was a good stop that we enjoyed.

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