Monday, 9 July 2012

No. 22 Porstmouth, Virginia

Hi from Clare,                                                                        Saturday 7th July 2012

We are currently sailing to New York and expect to arrive early tomorrow morning.

Norfolk from our dock and the High Street Landing
We stayed four nights in the centre of Portsmouth Virginia tied up to a free dock in High Street Landing. As you can see by the photo Eye Candy, Innamorata and Flying Cloud were in an ideal location within easy walking distance to shops and restaurants. In addition our little dock was on the ferry route to the nearby city of Norfolk across the waterway.

 40 PLUS
Portsmouth was experiencing a heat wave with temperatures in the low forties each day. We did manage to do some sight seeing but the streets and shops were noticeably empty. The local radio station was advising people to stay indoors, drink plenty of water and restrict outdoor activities to early morning and evening.

We visited Norfolk and Andrew, Merryl and Walt (Flying Cloud) went to the Maritime Museum and toured the Battleship Wisconsin which served in WW11, the Korean War and the first Gulf War (Desert Storm). Unfortunately the ship wasn't air conditioned and so the hours spent there were very hot and sticky. I spent the time with Carol and Steve (Innamorata) in the air conditioned comfort of Norfolk's shopping centre; a much better idea. We didn't buy anything but it was still good to have a look around.

Iowa Battleship USS Wisconsin and Pizza night in the poolhouse

All six of us were invited to Bob and Cassy McBride's home for a swim in their pool and pizza for dinner. Bob owns Mile Marker"0" Marine Supplies and I mentioned in my last newsletter that we had a established the habit of calling into his shop (located near our boat) for an air con break.

Cruisers in the pool in 40 Celcius
So at a prescribed hour Cassy arrived in her car to help ferry us all back to their home. We had a wonderful time swimming in the pool and enjoying the air conditioned comfort of the pool house. We offered to pay for the very yummy Pizza's but Bob said "Nobody pays when they're guests in my home." Bob offered wine, beer and made fantastic Margarita's with plenty of ice. Bob and Cassy use the double story pool house for entertaining. The ground floor has plenty of tables and comfortable couches and chairs. We were also invited the use of the attached bathroom. We washed our hair and enjoyed a full shower without having to worry about limited water supply; it was heaven.

The upstairs room of the pool house is almost completely covered by two model train sets. Under the train sets are numerous model train rolling stock atill in their original boxes. It is a bit like Santa's workshop and Bob said that over the years it has been a source of enjoyment for many a child both young and old.

Andrew and Bob driving the trains

The following evening we were again all invited to Bob and Cassy's home to join them and their friends to celebrate the 4th July. Bob cooked a traditional hamburger and hot dog BBQ for twelve people. The cruisers brought salads; the friends brought pre dinner eats. The tables were weighed down with an abundance of delicious food and once again the bar was flowing. Bob said "Anything you can see here to eat or drink, you can have!"

Once again we swam, showered and I took Cassy up on her offer and washed and dried my laundry, which saved me hours of work. Bob and Cassy also offered to take us to the supermarket and alcohol shop for supplies.

Margaret and her Mother with Bob and Cassie in the background

Just on dark all twelve of us went around to a friend's waterfront apartment for a dress circle view of the fireworks. We were made extremely welcome by the owner Margaret who offered desserts, home made ice cream and cocktails. The firework display was wonderful but more so the southern hospitality to a friend's new friends is something we will never forget.

The following morning we left Portsmouth. Before our departure we called into Mile Marker "0" Marine Supplies to thank Bob and say our final farewell.
Our visit wouldn't have been complete without one of Bob's big bear hugs for both Andrew and me. He said "keep in touch, let us know how you are getting on and we would love to see you again"

Such lovely generous people and what a humbling experience. We were told by our Aussie cruising friends Annie and Liam (Gone with the Wind) that the American hospitality was next to none. However we were not prepared for the extent of the generosity. We have never been made to feel so welcome; all we can do is appreciate it and vow to pass it forward.

New York, New York and visiting with Matthew (Andrew's son) and his wife Mim - Woo Hoo!!

Love Candy xx

At 1:52 AM9/07/2012 (utc) our position was 40°41.79'N 074°03.89'W

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