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Navigating Norfolk

Posted by astatim on June 10, 2007

USS Norfolk and Capitan Miranda photo by M Maples

Here she comes… the Picton Castle, navigating through the Chesapeake Bay and into the Norfolk, VA harbor.  The morning started with a Pilot boat pulling up along side us to drop off about 20 new shipmates.  Well, not permanent shipmates, just the lucky chosen few that would join us for the Parade of Sail into Norfolk.  We had a brief speech from the Captain and we were under way. 

 The  Parade of Sail was amazing.  The Picton Castle was accompanied by the Taragini, Gorge Fock, Prince William, Bluenose II, Pride of Baltimore II, Urania, and Virginia (just to name a few) all with sails set pridefully, in the parade into Norfolk.  As much of a spectacular sight as the Tall Ships were, the U.S. Navy also accompanied us with aircraft carriers and submarines!!!  Out of nowhere, a long, black,  tubular shape stelathily emerged out of the water along side us.  It was the USS Norfolk submarine!!!  As Navy Police boats cleared the way for the sub, Navy personnel stood at attention on the sub’s deck.  All of a sudden, my attention was drawn to the fighter jets that screamed by above. Man was it exciting!  There was so much going on, cannons sounding from the different tall ships, submarines, police boat sirens, fighter jets, helicopters, photos by the press, the public passing by on private boats and yachts, oh my gosh!   The last exciting sight as we came into harbor was the naval aircraft carrier which gave the parade of ships a twenty-one gun salute.  Impressive!  The Picton Castle crew was busy bracing the yards square in our own salute. 

As we finally made our way into the dock slip, the crowd gave us a warm, hospitable welcome.  Captain Dan Moreland did a fine job docking the Picton Castle, he made it seem hassel free.  In fact, the tug boats which had to help some of the other tall ships, never touched the Picton Castle.  Norfolk is going to be a huge event.  There is so much going on here and so much to do.  I am very excited to be a part of this and after the grand entrance, I feel like a celebrity being a part of the Picton Castle Crew. 

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