Tuesday, May 12, 2015

York Town


Of all the times that we have been up and down this coast we have never stopped in at York Town on the York River, which is the site of the definitive battle of the American revolution. Now, that we have been there, I would recommend it to any boater passing through the area. The city has built a strong, series of floating docks into the river and you can tie to them for an amazing $5.00 for 4 hours or stay overnight for a bit more. Right across the river is Sara creek which has plenty of room to anchor in and the marina there allows you to land a dinghy in for a nominal fee where you can use the facilities. Also, this bridge was erected in 10 days! Every span was prebuilt barged up the river and set into place in under 2 weeks.
the bridge just up stream from the marina
York Town, was the last major east coast battle with the British during the revolutionary war. General Cornwallis became surrounded by Gen. Washington's forces and had to surrendered his army of 7000+ men to the Americans. There is a nice museum at the site of the battlefield and many different types of cannons located about the battlefield.

Mortars ready to fire on Yorktown 

A museum guide walks you through the battle field and gives you a true sense of what took place during the 3 week siege at York Town.

York Town itself is very touristy and many of the original houses in the old section have been well preserved. The main street still look as they did back in 1750...only with cars instead of horses. It was a pleasant day of walking through history for the two of us. http://www.nps.gov/york/index.htm

Upon news of the defeat of Cornwallis, the continental Congress voted to erect a great monument in York Town… then, it only took them another 100 years to actually fund it! But what a monument it's 98 feet tall and made of Connecticut granite topped with a statue named “liberty”. I was impressed.

 excellent stone work on the statues
The "Liberty" statue has a lighting rod on her helmet because the original statue was destroyed by lightning!
Well the trip is almost done and in two days we will be in Reedville. The Goose is staying there for a while until we return with Grand kids for a cruise up to Maine a little later in the summer.






Monday, May 11, 2015

Fort Monroe

We left Norfolk and traveled all of 5 miles across the mouth of the James river to the Old Point Comfort harbor where Fort Monroe is located. Fort Monroe is a pre-civil war fort that guards the entrance to the James river and the vital navel ports of Norfolk and Portsmouth. It is the largest stone fort ever built in the USA and encloses about 63 acres and has a moat!


The fort use to be an active army military command but now is open to the public. They have a very good museum built into the walls of the fort and many displays from the past. A very interesting stop if your into military history.  

view from the top of the fort

I didn't try to pick one up

This thing is huge!

Right across the mouth of the James is yet another fort, Fort Wool. This companion fort was built up on a shoal in the middle of the James and at one time was referred to as “Fort Rip-Rap” since an artificial island was created there by dumping stone into the water until they had an island big enough to build a fort on. It was used for over 100 years (until the end of WWII). The interesting thing about Fort Wool is even though it's the property of the national parks system and can only be accessed by boat, it is unstaffed and you can wander around at will to see the ruins.

They never finished Fort Wool (the rip-rap-island was sinking under the weight of the stone building)
Even though it wasn't finished it was still an impressive ruin to wander thru.
Both forts were great to see and made an excellent stop on the way north. Now, if we hadn’t picked up a crab pot in the process it would have been even better… Boy is that water cold!









Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dismal Swamp

Once out of Ocracoke we had a good sail up the Pamlico Sound… that is until the wind quit. For the next 3 days we turned into a motor boat, a wet motor boat. We took the outside passage between Roanoke Island and the outer capes of NC. And anchored in a wide spot in the channel beside of Roanoke Island. Then it became cold and as we motored up to Elizabeth City the rain started in and continued for two days. Elizabeth City was nice but wet.
Dismal Swamp
The dismal swamp was cold and (you guessed) wet. We did manage to pick up a souvenir from the swamp when Ralph hit a tree and a bit of it got stuck in the rigging. After a cold windy night at anchor the morning dawned with sunshine and warm weather. It was a short motoring trip into Norfolk and to a free dock on the Portsmouth side of the river. Norfolk is a major navy yard and we saw many, many navy ships there
Nuclear aircraft carrier at the dock

All of the museums in Portsmouth were free that day… what luck!
A quick ferry ride across the river to Norfolk and we toured the battle ship Wisconsin. They have opened  up much more of the interior of the ship and it was an excellent tour.

Next,  north to York Town.






Saturday, May 2, 2015

On the way



After about 6 months of work, cleaning and rebuilding the Goose is finally a sailboat again. We had her short-hauled to clean the barnacles off and then we were off, headed north to Ocracoke NC on the outer banks.
Ocracoke is part of the outer banks of NC (think of cape hatters) and it has a perfect harbor to drop anchor in. the place is a tourist haven and can only be reached by ferry or private boat so it’s an interesting place to visit. We went ashore and stretched our legs a bit with a walk to the lighthouse and a jaunt around town. Seeing as we got in a bit late in the day the only shopping we did was to buy some ice-cream.