Portsmouth, Virginia @ Tidewater Marina

October 24, 2020

Our first marina since Liberty Landing in New Jersey back 6 weeks ago.  We are both psyched to fill the water tanks, get a pump out, and have easy access to land.  We were really conserving our water to see how long we could comfortably go between fill ups, and the answer was just over 3 weeks.  With water in the slip, it was nice to be able to let the water run in the shower, and not do military style.  But you get so used to being careful, to felt absolutely wrong to let water just flow down the drain. 

The marina seems a bit run down.  There is one area where the docks are collapsing into the water and unusable, which made me look carefully at all the docks, but it seems our dock will last for the duration of our stay.

We love being able to just set the bikes on the dock and go, either for errands or exploring.  We did a nice provisioning run, picked up mail at the post office (absentee ballots got here in time, phew), and explored the town.  The weather has been changing.  It’s not the steady, sparkling days of last summer anymore.  It’s still warm (high 60s – low 70s) but over cast with a high propensity for rain.  When it rains we tuck in and watch Netflix.  Really enjoying the Queen’s Gambit right now. 

We might be a bit museumed out right now, because they have a bunch here and across the river in Norfolk, but we’ve just biked around and looked at the sights.  Lots of historic homes and signage indicating what historic things happened where, so it’s like a living museum anyway. 

Today, Wednesday, we made a plan to go to the zoo over on the Norfolk side.  It was overcast again, but a nice ferry ride across, and then 3 miles on the bikes to the zoo.  However, plans changed before we even left the waterfront.  Jeff’s bicycle got a flat tire!  Boo.  There was a bike shop 0.3 miles away.  YAY!  They were “slammed” and had no time to help us.  Boo!  But they had this can of weird foam that you were supposed to just spray in the tire and it would magically plug the leak.  YAY!  It worked for about 5 minutes, then flat again.  BOO!  We were hungry and highly rated restaurant was just two blocks away.  YAY.

Jeff was feeling pretty frustrated, but the chowder and lobster roll were so good; he couldn’t help but cheer up.  Looming down the way from the restaurant, we saw the huge WWII era Battleship Wisconsin, so we walked the bikes over to look at her.  She’s attached to what looked like a great museum, but as I said, we just weren’t feeling it.  How could go inside during our first couple hours of sun since our Saturday arrival? 

All the ups and downs of the flat tire situation ended on a happy note.  Just in case, at the bike shop we had also bought a tradition patch kit.  Jeff was able to pretty easily remove the tire and patch the inner tube, and so far it’s holding.  The whole experience did really call to our attention how much we love the bikes.  We need them for easy provisioning, and they greatly expand the range of what we can see and do.  Three miles to the zoo is a fun 15 minute bike ride, or an annoying hour long slog by foot.

Tomorrow, Thursday, the remnants of Hurricane Zeta are expected to blow through, with 40 knot winds.  Although we had wanted to head around Cape Hatteras on Saturday, it looks like our next good weather window won’t arrive until Tuesday.  We will see.