Sailing with Ships

An exciting day of the month on the water saw a parade of ships pass by. First, a Navy hover craft zoomed up the York River on an exercise. Next, a Moran tug lumbered upriver from Norfolk en route to the Naval Weapons Station. Then, off in the distance six miles away, another Moran tug led a Navy warship from York Channel into the York River.

The Navy ship was the USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile cruiser whose motto is “First to Conquer.” It rounded the mark and headed close to the southern coast before centering up in the river to pass the Coleman Bridge. We could see sailors standing on the bow. As the ship reached the bridge, a second hovercraft came zooming in from behind. Its captain wisely slowed to let the warship proceed ahead first.

Sailing with ShipsOur crew of six was impressed by the ship, and equally impressed to see two giant spans swing sideways instead of upward. The Gravely proceeded a few hundred yards and docked with its bow still headed northwest. It will turn around to head out later in the week when the munitions are loaded or unloaded. You can’t tell which exercise is going on unless you’re dockside.

The tugs came back downriver, and so did one of the hovercraft. We exchanged directions on marine radio to ensure safe passage.

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Sailing with Ships

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