July 25th, 2021

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A busy weekend in Hampton Roads.

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

The propane tank ran empty this morning while brewing my espresso. But Russ Grimm came to the rescue. We met here at Saint Mary Queen of the Seas on July 4th, as reported in my previous blog. He drove me, after 9.30 mass, to fill my 1.4 gallon-tank, $4.90, this will be good for another three months.

Russ also has made me the best informed Dutch-American on the early American history of the area, Chesapeake and Hampton Roads. The cradle of the United States of America. Did you know that the first Thanksgiving took place here with the Indians before what you have been told by the Plymouth Rock imposters?

Wednesday evening Susan Kovacs, with our mutual Cape Charles friends gave me a (another…) send off. I discovered, here in Hampton, that I had left my Nikon camera in Kay’s car. She and Laila brought the camera to Norfolk and Russ and his wife Doreen offered to drive me to Norfolk and we ended up joining them at a superb Middle Eastern restaurant for lunch. The best I have had since my first introduction in Damascus in 1975.

Wednesday’s Send-Off


Saturday lunch with Russ, Doreen and Laila







I brought up that I had heard that Hampton had a good Maritime Museum. But when I was here the last time, my Google search did not turn up any mention of it. I was told that it is in Newport News and my friends took me there. This is probably one of the best maritime museums I have ever visited. And Holland is known for them. A must see, worth a transatlantic sail or flight, for the $1.00 entrance fee. The discoverers, fabulous model displays, ancient navigation instruments, the maritime part of the wars of independence, revolution, the 1812 war, Hispano-American, the world wars and Vietnam. A big section on competitive sport sailing, including the Oracle American Cup display. I could have spent a week there. Relics and full-scale models of famous battle ships, like Iron Side.

The Amsterdam flag flying from the forward mast in the Maritime Museum








Before the museum visit, my friends gave me a tour of the backwaters of the James River. Ever heard of the settlement called Rescue? I had a glimpse of it on the banks of the Pagan River the tributary to the James River, I sailed up to Smithfield in July of last year. A community of watermen in isolation and only accessible by water until recent times.

Nearby is the, smaller than the one room school building, St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Carrollton.

The mini St.Augustine Church in Carrollton




My main mission for coming to the Mill Creek at Fort Monroe, was to have my first visit, on Friday, to the VA (Veteran Administration) Medical Facility. Turned out to be a very worthwhile asset that I had not been aware off. I met my assigned primary doctor and received a pneumonia and tetanus shot. I was very impressed with the facility and the service. Next, I plan to get set up with private practitioners, medical, dental, vision, etc. nearer to where I happen to be floating. I found the best bicycle repair shop in Buckroe Beach. The young man replaced my brake and derailleur cables, while I had lunch across the street. A recent storm dumped the folding bike in the salt water next to the boat. The bike shop charged me a whopping $20.00.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the museum of Fort Monroe. The Fort’s construction was started  in 1819 and completed in 1834, in the aftermath of the War of 1812 during which the British Navy sailed up the Chesapeake and burnt down the city of Hampton on June 25, 1813, and proceeded up the Chesapeake for more targets, the White House one of the most humiliating and the raid on Baltimore. The fort was also a Union stronghold close to the battle lines with the Confederates in the Civil War.  It also became the very first asylum for slaves that escaped from their Southern slave owners.

I plan to set off tomorrow morning into the Atlantic. The forecast is for very weak wind on late Tuesday and Wednesday and I might have to duck into an anchorage to sit this out.

I will try to be post these blogs more regularly, now that I am on the move again. You know how you can follow my progress, on the right upper corner Garmin In Reach link