Deltaville to Norfolk

While we rested in Deltaville overnight we met a bunch of very nice people. One of the boats was another beautiful Krogen, Aquila. And 2 other trawlers named "Whichaway" and Toucan". We all appear to be going to Waterside Marina in Norfolk. Sounds like fun!

Today is yet again chilly but with much less wind. We are told to expect calmer seas and an easier ride into Norfolk. Here is how we started the day..... These were the coolest clouds in the distance.

The day is spent mostly on the open water so it is very dull to watch early on. Certainly not much to take pictures of. The view ahead is darker and possibly stormy. We do see some rain to the east of us off in the distance. We remain dry, though.

Coming into Norfolk, the lanscape changes dramatically as we expected it would. It really is like nowhere else we've ever seen! Can you guess there is a Navy "presence" here? ya think?

We have been watching a warship coming in behind us. They're kind of hard to miss! Though they do not appear on AIS or do any chatting on the radio, we know they are there. We see a fire boat zip by... (cool!)

And a coast guard helicopter zoom above....

And tugs going out as well.....

As we continue on toward Waterside Marina, we can't help but gawk at a GIANT cruise ship as we go by. It is NCL Norwegain Dawn and it is just HUGE! This is as close as I could get.

Once docked in at Waterside Marina, we find other large ships as well. 2 of the friends we have been travelling with today are all tucked in. And we make the aquaintance of the tall ship "American Rover" which runs day cruises along the Elizabeth River between Norfiolk and Hampton Roads. She is a 135 foot 3-masted schooner - and she is really beautiful.

Around 6:30 in the evening, when it was all nice and quiet, all of a sudden I look out to find a virtual foating city moving by! Egads! It's the Norwegian Dawn coming this way. Cool! Then to my amazment, it stops right along the marina face dock where the "American Rover" is tied up and then, no kidding!, it starts to spin around to the opposite direction. I ran outide and took all in. It was absolutely amazing to watch!

A few years ago, we had the pleasure of watching some of the cruise ships perform these spins in the bay just off Key West. Only there it is a relatively wide open body of water with lots of room. This skinny Elizabeth River that runs past Norfolk is far from wide and spacious. The bow of this ship (I swear!) must have slipped over and past the "American Rover" and the rest of the dock by only feet. It was absolutely unbelievable! Here are some pictures I took as it was performing this spin. See how unbelievably close she is???? (also, see the "American Rover" in front?)

Really..I thought I'd seen it all. The next morning, however, brought even more surprises! For one thing, the SUN came out! HALELUJAH! It had been so long we were afraid it was gone forever. Then... sometime late morning, when we were inside doing "stuff", all  of a sudden we heard singing. It was strange singing and it was getting louder. It was that cadence type of stuff you hear from military gatherings. Lo and Behold! We go out to find the most incredibly GIANT GIANT GIANT tall ship pulling into the marina right behind us. HOLY CROW! Here is a picture of just part of it. I could not take it all in one shot! And I didn't even get the bow because there were things blocking my shot.

The story is this.... she is the "KNM Statsraad Lehmkuhl". She is a 3 masted (tall ship) training vessel for the Royal Norwegian Navy. She is 98 meters long - that's approximately 321 feet! I told you she is GIANT! Apparently, all new Navy personnel must make a transatlantic voyage aboard her as part of the standard "training". She visits in Norfolk this time every year on this voyage. Do we have great timing ot what?

For more information on the Lehmkuhl check out this wiki link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statsraad_Lehmkuhl