Sunday, August 26, 2007

Visiting San Diego

We paid a visit to Home-Sweet-Home in San Diego. It was great to see everyone but it sure was hot!

The house has been well cared for by our daughters. Way to go Meghan and Dana.

The family pet turtles were happy to see us.........they like broccoli

We spent a few days playing in the yard. Everything is blooming and colorful.

Meghan and Dana threw dad a birthday party with an Island theme ofcourseAnd the Captain got to spin a few tall tales to a captive audienceWe even setup a ring toss game, just like the islands.Steve got an offical Farewell Party from the Fire Department. Thanks to John and Amy Gonzales for hosting a great evening at their beautiful home. John makes the best pizza in his authentic Italian Pizza oven and the cake was great. Grazie John!
Steve got to visit with his friends
The rest of our trip was all about family and friends
Dinner with best friends

Steve's Dad took us out for a boat ride in Long Beach

We cruised around the canals of Long Beach in a 20 ft. electric boat. What fun.

And we got to see a new member of the family. Hannah with big sister Madison. Anne's sister Lisa is a "Super Mormor" (Mormor is Danish for Mother's Mother) Got it?

It was hard to leave after having so much fun. We are now back in Deltaville, VA. We are still working on some deck painting and canvas work. We'll be here for a bit longer.
Steve and Anne

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Visiting the Confederacy

We arrived in Norfolk, Virginia at the end of July. The area is full of history and we stayed for a few days to see some of the sights. The water front is teeming with activity and our marina was front and center to all the action. The three masted schooner was a popular tourist attraction. We waved to all the people twice a day.

You could catch a ride on the ferry from Norfolk to Portsmouth. $1 each way . Both Norfolk and Portsmouth are in the process of restoring their downtown areas. There are cobbled streets, graceful old homes, restored brownstone houses, military memorabilia and much more. The Coast Guard is always on patrol in the harbor and fun to watch.

Norfolk is all about the US Navy. You can watch large battleships come and go. You can watch them maneuver with tug boat assistance, just don't get too close. The rule is you cannot get within 1000 feet of a naval vessel. The problem is they motor very fast and if you try to cross their bow within 1000 feet you get a reprimand. Yes, we know!

When we finally got away from the Navy ships we went north to Deltaville, Virginia. We had heard from several people that Deltaville was a very nice area and there were lots of boat services for reasonable prices. We were looking to make some boat enhancements and Deltaville sounded like our kind of town.

Now that we are in Deltaville we rent a car on the weekends and do some sightseeing. One of our favorite places is The Mariners Museum in Newport News. This is where the USS Monitor lives after being excavated from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

The USS Monitor was a Union War Ship made from iron. Prior to the Monitor, navy ships were made of wood and easy to sink with cannon balls. The Confederacy had also built an iron ship. The Monitor hada rotating gun turret, a new and lethal tool to naval battle. The Monitor and The Virginian met in battle in Norfolk. Neither ship sank and the battle was a draw. Even today, nobody can claim a victory. Sadly enough both ships sank shortly after the war. The Virginian was sold for scrap but The Monitor was not located until the late 1900's. Once found it could not be raised until the 1990's. The gun turret was found under the ships deck, upside down and looked something like this recreation.

Once lifted from the ocean floor, it was placed in a tank with a solution to halt corrosion and begin the long process of restoration.
The Monitor has been recreated inside and out. You can walk on the decks and imagine what it would be like to be deck hand during the heat and humidity of the Virginia summers.

In the bottom picture, the gun turret is on the left and the pilot house is on the bow. The small pilot house was used by the ships captain and his pilots. It was a simple box with small slits cut into the sides. The captain would have to look through the slits, decide to fire on the enemy, leave the pilot house and run back to the gun turret to give orders to the gun crew. Too bad they didn't have cell phones.

The museum also has a great collection of interesting boats. This classic was one of our favorites.

The Cuban escape boat was also amazing. The couple that built this boat took 70 hours to get to the Florida Keys where they were picked up by the US Coast Guard. The motor came from their lawn mower.

Back on the boat we are enjoying the scenery. The Crepe Myrtle is in bloom and comes in many beautiful colors.

We have met lots of nice people at the marina. Few live on their boats and several visit on the weekends. Most visit via car but this one guy comes on Friday afternoon on his helicopter.

And then there is always the weather for entertainment.

We are headed to San Diego on the 18th.

Captain and Crew

S/V Fine Line