Lunch with Rick & Pam (M/V Tourist) and Bob & Sharon (M/V Big Run) turned out to be quite an adventure. Big Run and Broulee hiked the 1.6 miles to Doziers Marina where Tourist has been hanging out for the last month. After a couple of cold Kaliks and catching up on what everyone has been doing this summer, we loaded ourselves into the "loaner car" from their marina, and headed out in search of lunch.
1996 Roadmaster Limited Edition - hey it's wheels. No complaints from us.
Road trip in the wagon - Dad (aka Rick), Pops (aka Rick - riding shot gun) and little Sally Sue (aka Pam, in the middle). Windows rolled down , well -the ones that worked anyway, felt very much like a family sunday drive, in the old days. Bob, Sharon and Deb in the backseat (and as always, lucky me, seniority gets you a window).
Always intimidating, cruising past all the big warships in Norfolk Harbor.
Welcome sight after three months away.
U.S.S. Wisconsin - downtown Norfolk.
Our "intentions" were to stay at the town docks in Portsmouth, VA for a night or two with Big Run. They have been here before and were excited about showing us the town. When approaching the town docks we saw that signs had been posted, indicating no overnight dockage. Big Run started to turn around, as did we. Then someone started hailing us from the docks telling us it was ok to stay overnight and then seconds later another voice came on from the neighboring marina telling us - "no it was not". Rick decided to check the situation out so Broulee tied up at the dock. I sat patiently waiting on the boat, Rick returned and said "the cops are coming" and I'm like, WHAT? Turns out the store owner (who said we could dock overnight) and the marina harbormaster (who said we couldn't) were going at it, verbally and pretty close to physically, inside the store, and each of them threatening to call the police. Then a police officer shows up and comes right down to our boat and says "I am only letting you stay overnight if you will allow me to come onboard to see it. " We nervously laughed, and then invited him on board - turns out he just happened to be passing by and saw our Kadey-Krogen and wanted to see the inside quarters (he is close to purchasing a boat and had some questions about cruising) - he had no clue there was a fight going on inside the store. He told us we were welcome to stay, offered us his cell phone number, told us to call if any problems at all, and told us to enjoy the town.
And that's what we did.
Bob & Sharon invited us to join them for dinner at one of their favorite restaurants in town, which just happened to be German food, which we love. The restaurant is called "The Bier Garden" and the food was some of the best German food we have experienced stateside.
Friday morning, we made the decision to head towards Atlantic Yacht Basin and tie to the town dock which is just after the lock and just before the bridge, because we are not expected in the marina until Sept. 1st. After our morning walk, Rick started the generator so we could cool the boat down before heading out - not good. Appears something was sucked into the system and was clogging the thru-hull to the generator. After troubleshooting for and hour and not solving the problem we decided to head to the town dock with the possibility of freeing the object blocking the thru-hull as we were underway. Arriving at the dock, we tried the generator again, no go. So short of hauling the boat, Rick decided to get the snorkel gear out and see if he could free the foreign object.
Armed with pokey thing and scrapey thing.
He had asked around if there are alligators to be concerned about - no to alligators, but water moccasins might be a problem - oh that's nice.
The culprit - a black garbage bag - sucked into the thru-hull. It took some major arm wrestling, but managed to pull it out.
Arriving at Atlantic Yacht Basin , the dock master arrived bearing gifts - looks like Christmas in August - It's our new AIS system and several other needed parts - project details to follow.
Hooking up to the computer requires emptying the cabinet and literally crawling inside. We need another project like we need a hole in the head.
This trip has been amazing, but looking forward to fall in Minnesota and hugging the grandkids.
As we take our boating break - I am reminded of my favorite thoughts.
The cruising life is not all gin and tonics on the aftdeck but it is a huge amount of fun. It is one of the last great freedoms, where you are entirely in an adventure of your own making. You need to be prepared, you can't avoid all the problems, but you can have the where-withal to fix most of them. Partners view the lifestyle in very different lights; be understanding and compassionate to each others needs.
Remember - Cruisers do not have plans, they have intentions.
"All is well that ends well."