The last night in Norfolk a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Norfolk was arranged. I managed to luck into free tickets, but nobody on my team was interested in going, so I gave my extra ticket to Letha. After a comedy in errors she managed to board the boat just before it headed out to sea. The entertainment for the evening included singing waitstaff who are quite talented and a DJ who plays all of the music that people of a certain age like to hear when they are in the mood to party. I spent all of my time after dinner out on the deck taking photographs of the bay.
The views of the harbor and the bay were gorgeous. Looking out through the picture windows as we headed out to see made the vista seem like big screen televisions. I was pleased to realize that I have not developed sea sickness as I have gotten older. I never had it as a child, but it has been a long time since I have been out on the ocean. It felt good to be back on Chesapeake Bay.
The harbor was beautiful from any angle, so I had a lot of fun taking photographs of the journey. We used to fish in Chesapeake Bay when I was a child, so the smells and feel of the ocean breeze felt familiar and soothing. The air was about the same temperature as my skin making the wind feel like a caress. The sunset was in purple hues as I remembered from so many years ago. In Texas the sun sets in red, orange, and pink, but in Virginia the sunsets seem to be in violet, lilac, and indigo and a hundred other shades of purple and blue.
Norfolk was preparing for Harbor Fest just as I was preparing to return to Texas. I am sorry that I will miss the festivities, maybe I will plan to return for that festival someday. I got to see several tall ships as they came into port for the weekend event, and all along the harbor there were US Navy ships of all kinds. I was amazed at how well they blended with the water and the setting sun, in spite of their hulking mechanical mass. They were quite beautiful, like Monet had painted them into the scene in calming pastels.
As we disembarked from the Spirit of Norfolk for our walk back to the hotel, I noticed a tall ship moored nearby, he Captain Miranda, from Uruguay. I chatted a bit with some of the sailors on the ship and was amazed at how well they spoke English. I Googled the ship and found that it is a research vessel that was originally built in 1930 and has had several incarnations over the last 80 years, but currently serves as a training boat for naval officers and an ambassador to the world for Uruguay. A stunning ship with a worthy mission.