August 27, 2019 Virginia Beach, VA (day 3)


It was a cloudy morning and very humid.  There was a lot of moisture in the air with the humidity and the fog.  Temps were in the 70's.  Bob cooked us eggs for breakfast this morning.  What a treat!  He had some ARC business to take care of and some phone calls to make before would could leave for our visit to Portsmouth.  We left at 11:00 and took the downtown tunnel under the Elizabeth River.

It's kind of mind-boggling to think that we were traveling under the river and it kind of freaked me out if I thought about it for too long…so I didn't.

We came out of the tunnel in downtown Portsmouth. Portsmouth is located at MM zero on the Intracoastal Waterway–the midway point between Miami and Maine. It is located on the world's largest and deepest natural harbor.

We drove down towards the waterfront to check out the ships and some of the places we've been to before with our boat.  

We parked at one end of the waterfront and walked to the other end. On one end was the Ocean Yacht Marina where we had stayed in our boat in 2011 on our return trip from Chesapeake Bay.   We could remember everything about it.

 We continued walking along the waterfront remembering events and the sites from our last visit here. We could see Waterside in Norfolk across the river.  It is where we landed when we took the ferry boat across the river from Portsmouth to Norfolk. We did spend some time in Norfolk the last time we were here.

The ferry boat was operating today taking passengers to Hampton Roads.

We passed this Fresnel lens which is preserved in this glass enclosure for people to view, but it didn't say where it came from or what size it was.  That would have been interesting to know and we couldn't remember.  

We discovered the marina that we stayed at when we were on our way north to Chesapeake in our boat.  I wouldn't call it a marina, but you could tie up at the pier and spend up to 36 hours there, which we did. 

The docks were in disrepair and being worked on by the city.  There was a sailboat tied up at the dock on the other side from Rhode Island. 

 Across the river in the shipyard, we could see all kinds of work being done on ships of all kinds and sizes.  Portsmouth is home to the oldest naval shipyard.

The tugboats were gathered across the river waiting for an assignment to guide a ship in or out of the harbor.

Bob remembered this "light ship" which was used as a floating lighthouse many years ago.  It would be anchored offshore to mark the channel and guide ships safely into port.  The light was on the top of the mast.

As we walked farther along, we were surprised by an empty cargo ship from Panama that was coming down the river guided by tugboats.

We stood and watched it as it passed by.  It was amazing to see it that close.

It started to mist, but we couldn't tell if it was rain or the moisture from the fog rolling in.  We went as far as we could go on the waterfront, so we started to walk back to the truck, but not before we made one last stop at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Unfortunately, they weren't open on Tuesdays. 

The lady at the Visitor Center suggested this restaurant for a beer and a view of the boats at the marina, so we took the short drive there and checked it out. We loved the name–Fish and Slips!

It was a great suggestion!  It was on the second floor, so we sat by the windows which overlooked the marina and the Elizabeth River.

Bob got his "boat fix" while we enjoyed a beverage and an order of calamari.  It was not very busy during their lunch hour, so we were able to take our time and enjoy the view.  

As we walked back to the truck, we enjoyed looking at all the large boats from the pier and seeing where they were from.

It started to mist again on our drive back through the tunnel to the campground.  You can see from this picture how the tunnel goes down and then rises up again as you get ready to exit.

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching some movies.  Tomorrow the weather forecast is for some sunshine which I could use right now.  We have had a couple of very dreary days.  We want to take a walk along the boardwalk down at the beach.  We had a later dinner and took our walk.  It continued to mist a little, but Auggie didn't mind.  The campground is very quiet right now, with more campers leaving today.  We enjoyed walking around the waterfront and reminiscing about our time in Portsmouth years ago.  Portsmouth holds good memories for us.  


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