Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Saturday, October 25, 2003
One of the charter captains who came in last night said he would be leaving before dawn today, and he hoped he wouldn't disturb us too much when he gassed up in the morning.  Since we were parked at the gas dock and since we have a long way to go, we decided to get up early.  These boats travel much faster than we do.  As one captain put it, "I don't worry about those low spots...we'll be leaving on a high tide and we're on a plane."  The sky was just barely pink as we cast off the lines to follow one of the head boats out.  The sun climbed above the horizon and two more boats passed us on the channel out to the inlet.  A sport fisherman zipped by as we went out the inlet, and the sun brought on a beautiful morning.  We crashed through some waves, but the tide was still coming in.  Randy Lewis from the marina had predicted a "nice day or two" for traveling.  Kay decided that he was talking in charter captain terms, not hers.  As the day progressed, the sun disappeared behind clouds, and the waves increased.  A storm cloud passed out to sea, but we had no rain.  Kay stowed more objects as the southerly winds brought the waves broadside.  When the TV broke loose from its tie-down and landed on the couch, she decided that today was a two happy pill day. 

Luckily Kay had made breakfast while the seas were still "calm" because when Pearce came down from the bridge looking for food, all she would offer him was a piece of fruit and a drink of water.  She claimed that she had to keep one hand on the table to keep it from tipping over and the other hand on the counter to keep her from tipping over.  We finally headed west toward the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel, and Kay served Pearce lunch as Kibon passed over the Thimble Shoal Tunnel at 3 pm.  We came into the Hampton River and anchored just past the first bridge.  We had a light supper and went to bed early.

Sunday, October 26, 2003
A good rain during the night washed much of the salt off of Kibon.  We had a leisurely breakfast and headed toward the public dock where we could stay free for up to four hours if we brought back a receipt from a restaurant or store.  Since it was Sunday, most everything was closed, but we enjoyed walking around the historic part of town.  We found an art gallery open, the Blue Skies Gallery that showed a great variety of artists.  Kay was impressed with one artist who used stained glass as frames for prints and included an element from the print as a feature in the frame.  Pearce liked an artist whose paintings were reminiscent of Picasso.  The oils were muddy and too detailed, but the acrylics were quick and airy and lighthearted.

We headed toward the recommended "Marker 20" for a Hampton Eggs Benedict with crab meat.  The regulars were at the bar enjoying a variety of beers and the football game.  Pearce was ready to try a house beer when Kay noticed the $3 Bloody Mary special, so we ordered two.  They came in tall 16 ounce glasses!  By the time we finished brunch we were so stuffed that we needed to walk again.  We wandered over  to the Air and Space Museum, but decided we weren't up to anything intellectual.  We sat and watched some children and parents enjoy the Carousel, and walked along the waterfront.  We met a couple from Annapolis who have belonged to AGLCA for a number of years and are hoping to do the Loop someday.  We came back to Kibon and decided to stay at their dock for the night because Pearce wanted to leave by bicycle early in the morning to go to the VA Hospital for his chemo shot.  We read the Sunday paper,  watched TV, and had a tuna salad for supper.

Monday, October 27, 2003
Pearce took off at 6:45 (with the return to regular time it is now light at that hour) and rode his bicycle across the bridge to the hospital. Or rather pushed it up one side then coasted the rest of the way. Hampton University is just over the bridge and, even at that early hour, athletes were out doing wind sprints... ahhhh youth! Just beyond the campus is The Hampton VA Hospital which is much smaller than either Northport or West Palm Beach, but infinitely faster. In less than two hours Triage Nurse Diane McQueen and ER Nurse Rosemary Graham overcame mountains of bureaucratic paperwork, transferring files from afar and showed how top professionals should do it! Thanks ladies. It's a pleasure knowing you.  

We had difficulty yesterday when we connected to shore power.  Today, when Pearce tried to trace the problem, he discovered that only one side of the reverse Y that connects the power lines to the boat was working.  He thought about rebuilding it, but because it is in an area exposed to weather and foot traffic, he decided to replace the whole thing.  West Marine had one in stock so we called a taxi and went over to Newport News.  Pearce tried to convince them to take his wounded veteran discount, but the salesman just shook his head.  Pearce plugged everything together and now both sides of Kibon have electricity.  That's pretty expensive ice to cool our drinks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Rain is predicted for later in the day so we rev up the bicycles and head for the super market  about one-and-a-half miles away. Along the way is a street called Victoria... and it's filled with breathtaking Victorian homes. Not modern copies, but the real things built during that belle epoch just before the turn of the century... the previous one, that is. Here are a couple of samples picked at random, but the whole street is saturated with this kind of architecture. What a wonderful age it was when they built homes like these!  We saw a lot of damage from Isabel.  The water had flooded the streets, and many trees had been felled in the wind.  Crews were out cleaning up the debris, and several houses were having their roofs repaired.  We passed by Sunset Creek and saw the destroyed docks at one of the marinas we had contacted for slip space.  They are totally out of commission.  On the way back we went down to the docks where the fishing boats were unloading, and Pearce took some photos for inspiration when he has time for painting.  We had lunch on board and then headed back into town to the bank and the stationary store.  It began to rain again, so we retreated to the dry comfort of Kibon to warm up with a cup of tea and some good books.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
We've used up our free day, so we're heading up the James River today toward Smithtown.  But first Kay was still looking for some fresh fish.  We followed the vague directions of someone we met yesterday, but we were unable to find the market.  We did find St. John's Church, established in 1610 and is the oldest Episcopal Parish in continuous existence in America.  The church on Queen's Way is the fourth building and is a beautiful brick structure in the form of a Roman cross built in 1728.  When we signed the guest register, we noted that Jane and Howard Burdick had attended services two weeks ago!

We returned to the boat, cast off, and headed up the James River.  The wind was out of the west which made the river a bit choppy, but it calmed down as we passed under the Newport New Bridge.  The drawbridge was up and a freighter under tow was going through.  We went under a lower part in a different channel.  We entered the channel to the Pagan River and followed it up to the Gatling Pointe Yacht Club where friends Joyce and Rex Williams belong.  Their docks survived, but the pier out to them was destroyed.  The dockmaster came out by canoe to welcome us and left a canoe so we could get in and out of the club.  Kay declared that canoes were good when the weather and water were warm, and she was dressed in a bathing suit.  Pearce put the dinghy in the water and zipped over to the place in the marsh where the dockmaster had disappeared.  He came back to report that it was only a little wet and squishy.  We decided to stay securely tied up at the pier for the night and forgo trying to land anywhere. 

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