Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wildlife! and more......

We're at Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth VA.  It's 100+ degrees today and we were attracted by the advertised pool.  What a crummy pool!  No shade... a few plastic chairs, but not even a table with an umbrella...and it's in a basin with tall walls around it, so no chance for a breeze to penetrate --- not going there.

Today we saw a bald eagle - that's the first one sighted on this trip up north and it's always a thrill to see them.  Two days ago we traveled from Dowry Creek Marina (which has a lovely pool that they were adding very cold well water to while we were swimming - very refreshing) to the Alligator River Marina (which has nothing but a gas station near it).  Much of that trip is on the Pungo River-Alligator River Canal (which no longer has any alligators).  It's 20 miles of staying in the middle of the canal to avoid the tree trunk snags on either side.  There's nothing to do, but look for wildlife.  Vicki was quite motivated to do so by the promise of a double chocolate ice cream cone for every unusual wildlife sighting.  Unfortunately, Norm can no longer be motivated in that way because Vicki awarded him a double chocolate scoop for life when he saw a bear while we were hiking in the Shenandoah Valley.  (Well, we weren't hiking at the time, we were driving to the trailhead in Peg and Mike Wilson's car.)  But I digress.  

Vicki has been awarded two double chocolate scoops for spotting a fox on the shore and a bear swimming acros the canal.  The fox was just sauntering through the trees along the shore.  The bear first appeared as "something" swimming across the canal -  we could see ears poking up and a small v-shaped wake.  We grabbed the binoculars and could only tell it was a bear when it emerged from the water.  So, so cool!

As we cruised to Intracoastal Waterway mile marker "0", we passed through the Portsmouth Naval Boat Yards that line the waterway.  Look at this new warship being built.  Cooooool!!  Don't forget, you can click on the picture to get a better view.