August 26, 2019 Virginia Beach, VA (day 2)


We had a lazy morning and took some time to check email and make a few phone calls.  Around noon, we took a drive to the shore to check out the beach.  It was cloudy and windy today, with winds blowing at 25-35 mph, creating waves of 6-7 feet.  We got a look at the waves at Rudee Inlet and caught sight of a few surfers and even a paddle boarder trying to get past the bar across the inlet.  

We decided we would return another day and walk along the boardwalk on Atlantic Avenue when the wind wasn't so strong. Tomorrow sounds like it will be better.  From there we drove along Atlantic Avenue amazed at the lack of traffic and people. There didn't seem to be many people around, but the weather could also have something to do with it. 

We drove all the way to the end of Atlantic Avenue where we knew we would find the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse within the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek–Fort Story. The new Cape Henry Lighthouse would also be there for viewing.  The lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington, completed in 1792, and operated until 1881.

To view the lighthouses, we had to the enter military base and present our photo ID.  They kept our ID until we returned from visiting the lighthouse.  We had to park in the parking lot and then go through another security check by getting "wanded" before getting on the shuttle which took us to the lighthouse. 

I had climbed up into the old lighthouse when we were here in 2012 and the newer working lighthouse did not allow tours. We walked to the base of the newer lighthouse and from there we could see the old lighthouse as well. The Cape Henry Lighthouse marked the southern entrance to Chesapeake Bay. The location has long been important for the large amount of ocean-going shipping traffic for the harbors, its rivers, and shipping headed to ports on the bay. A second black and white lighthouse was built and completed in 1881 a short distance away after concern arose about the stability of the first. Both towers of the light station were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970. 

From the lighthouse, we walked to Cape Henry Memorial Park which contained the cross that marked the place where the English colonists first landed at Cape Henry in April 26, 1607.  Those colonists established the first English settlement at Jamestown in May 13, 1607.  

We also walked up the boardwalk path to an observation deck where we could see the beach.  

There were a few people enjoying the beach on this blustery day. 

The waves were big and crashing into the shore and the break walls along the shore.

Amazingly, there was a Navy support/supply ship cruising by us.  I believe that is the closest I've actually gotten to a moving ship. It didn't show any signs of being affected by the wind and waves in the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

Off in the distance, we could barely see another ship and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. 

If it had been a clearer day, we would have been able to see it better.  Once we stepped away from the shore, we weren't able to feel the affects of the wind.  We walked back to the shuttle stop and it wasn't long before the shuttle arrived to take us back to our truck.  Once we got back, we picked up our ID's and headed off of the base.  We drove back along Atlantic Avenue to General Booth Boulevard.  The road would take us to the marinas along Rudee Inlet.  We wanted to look at all the sportfishing boats at the Fishing Center that were docked there.

There were so many of them and most of them were at the dock.  The winds had something to do with that.  The boat with the pink hull was owned by a woman captain.

We decided to stop in at Big Sam's for a beer and a bite to eat.  

We sat by the windows to get a better look at all the boats and ordered She Crab Soup.  It was delicious!

We went back to the campground after making our last stop for groceries on this trip.  The skies clouded up  and we got a little bit of rain later in the afternoon.  Bob cooked his delicious rum, maple-glazed salmon for dinner and Auggie got his walk before anymore rain arrived.  The temp never got much over 70 degrees today, so tonight we'll have great sleeping weather.  


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