Monday, July 07, 2014

July 25, 2012 ::: USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH passing Ocean Marine and SONATA

With a strong USCG presence, helos overhead, local law enforcement boats, and armed men aboard . . . the carrier CV77 came past Ocean Marine and SONATA. The carrier is so big that I tell the story that when I first see the carrier on the way to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, I put on a pot of coffee. It perks, I drink it slowly, and by the time the coffee is gone the carrier has passed. A beautiful sight. America can be strong any time and any where it must.

June 1-6, 2012 ::: Up the bay with Leighton and Joyce Croom for a stop at Tidewater Inn

Just before Operation Sail we took a trip up the bay with company. We always enjoy a trip to and a stay at the Tides Inn. It was good to have Leighton and Joyce with us for the trip. Rhonda took Bonnie and Leighton fishing . . . they were successful. Bonnie cleaned up the fish, dropped them into the pan, and we had a terrific dinner of fresh fish, fried cornbread and the trimmings.

June 12, 2012 ::: Operation Sail, OPSAIL 2012, 200 year celebration Norfolk Harbor


For the pass in review portion of OPERATION SAIL 2012 we took SONATA to Hospital Point, just near Bouy 36. There we were in the center of the event and all the passing ships came just past us. This photo was sent to us by Scott, believe it was captured by the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
The Coast Guard vessel EAGLE passing just beside SONATA.
This sailing vessel, from Peru, passed with their sailors on the yardarms.
After watching the passing ships and the fireworks of the evening we visited the BOUNTY which was docked pierside, pier A, at Ocean Marine.

May 12-19, 2012 ::: Taylor's High School Graduation

Travel over from Virginia Beach to Knoxville, Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, for Taylor's High School Graduation. Family parties at Brandi and Jonathan's with presents for Taylor to open and enjoy.
The actual graduation ceremony took place at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville . . . Bonnie was excited.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

May 5 - 7, 2012 . . . final leg to Ocean Marine; Homeport; Loop #2 Complete


Eagles on the Alligator River.



A quiet, peaceful, crossing on the Albermarble Sound.




Thunderstorms after arrival in Elizabeth City after securing SONATA to the Jennette Brothers Dock, where we were invited to go to town to eat at a local dinery, however, Jennette Brothers locked access, in and out, to their docks and we could not leave. We ordered delivery pizza that the delivery person slid under the fence.







Upbound on the Pastquatank River; one of the most beautiful scenes of the entire loop.



Into the Dismal Swamp Canal.




The South Mills Lock.





At first there were a total of three loopers at the Visitor's Center, then we were joined by a sail boat.



Mary and John aboard MARY FRANCIS IV



Carl and Glenda from GOLDLEAF



And our sailors, Silvia and Dirk from S/V LISON LIFE; they were the real loopers . . . they had just completed a round-the-world trip. What great stories they have.



On the 7th SONATA departed for homeport, Ocean Marine in Portsmouth.



We passed into Virginia.



On the port and starboard sides of SONATA the canal walls were covered with honeysuckle vine.





Our last lock of this adventure, the Deep Creek Lock.



Lockmaster Robert.



Lock gates open, we are on our way, the final leg of this journey.



The Gilmerton Bridge and rail road bridge #7.



The "Old-Virginia" rail road bridge with the under-construction Jordan Bridge in the background.




Jordan Bridge in construction.


Homeport, Ocean Marine, just a few days short of a year later.




The informal greeting committee, Harvey, Dick, Brenda, and Scott.



SECOND LOOP completed today, May 7, 2012; . . . . . SONATA is at Ocean Marine, Portsmouth, Virginia; planning the next adventure.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 27 - May 4, 2012 . . . Georgetown to Belhaven; stops in Myrtle Beach, Joyner, Swansboro, and Oriental


Only a few remain on the waterways; and old-fashioned cable-pull-across-the-water- ferry. Before we leave South Carolina and enter into North Carolina on the way to Georgetown for an overnight.





One night at Georgetown, the 27th, then two, the 28th and 29th, at Myrtle Beach. Departing Myrtle Beach we encountered the DOTTIE J out of Chesapeake, Virginia, southbound, and passed her port-to-port in the "rock pile" channel at Myrtle Beach. Good to see and talk with "home" equipment.



Next, a disabled boat by the swing bridge at Myrtle Beach being assisted by Tow BoatUS.




In the Cape Fear River we passed a sea-bound container carrier out of the Port of Wilmington.



An overnight at Joyner Marina, 30 May.




Passed the Camp Lejune target grounds without having to stop.



Then an overnight at Casper's Marina in Swansboro along with a looper on board a Grand Banks 42, SUN GYPSY.



Bridge repairs required a slow pass on the way into Moorehead City; then we had another frightful experience:



As SONATA, traveling north of Morehead City on the way to Oriental, approached Day Markers 34 and 35, a Hatteras Yacht was southbound at full throttle. The channels are like an up-side-down "Y" with the left leg, where SONATA was located and going North, the Hatteras on the long single leg of the "Y" southbound, and no vessels on the right hand side of the "Y". Unable to know which way the Hatteras was intending to proceed, i.e., down the right hand side to Beaufort, or the left hand side to Morehead City; a call was made on Channel 16 from SONATA to the southbound vessel. No response. A second call was made on Channel 13. No response, and the vessels drew closer. We were going to meet at the intersection of the "Y" and for SONATA to continue North we might cross the southbound vessel's bow . . . one whistle was sounded . . . no response. Southbound vessel continues at full speed . . . five whistles sounded and the southbound vessel slowed just in front of SONATA's bow. A call is made again on Channel 16, no response. The Hatteras proceeds south and a few minutes later, having reversed its course, approached SONATA'S stern slowing only feet from the swim-platform, then speeds past. Oh, to have a cannon!

The Hatteras, now known as KNOT AGAIN, speeds off and goes to Jarret Boat Works . . . only to return again and duplicate the full speed power run at SONATA. Radio, whistles, and finally the hailer were used to communicate but all without response from KNOT AGAIN. Would love to have a CANNON!!


We proceeded on to Oriental for two restful days:





Then Belhaven:




Rebecca and Murphy, Bonnie's tennis friends from Virginia Beach, met us for coctails and dinner.



Sunrise upon departure from Belhaven for Elizabeth City.