Drivers along the Colonial Parkway and the York River can’t help but notice an unusual ship docked for months at the US Navy base Cheatham Annex. From afar, the blue hull and white deck resemble a cruise ship, but up close one can see multiple radars and other intel equipment on deck. This is the FS Marjata. Other similarly named ships belong to Norway for gathering military intelligence. The Cheatham pier used to moor the USS Zeus, an all-white cable-laying ship that could deploy 9,000 miles of cable on a single ocean cruise.
Check out the video below to see a Navy warship transit the Coleman Bridge on the way to the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station.
Harmless Rescue Dog
Carrie and Kevin Smith of Greenfield, Indiana, got to talking about their rot chow dog while sailing on the York River with another couple.
“She was a rescue dog, a mix of rottweiler and chow. We made the mistake of telling our insurance company her breed and they dropped us because they consider both dangerous. She had been abused but was nice to everyone, except certain men. She couldn’t go on a boat because she would just jump off into the water.
“We got to spoiling her with cheeseburgers from McDonald’s. It got so that she could recognize the golden arches as we drove by and would whine for a cheeseburger. She was just cutest thing. Her front legs gave out, so we rigged a toy lawnmower so she could move around. When she was dying, we took her to McDonald’s for her last meal and someone offered to buy the cheeseburger for us, out of kindness.”
I was recounting the Battle of Yorktown to Cynthia and Kris Meyer of Raleigh while sailing the York River close to Redoubt 10. I explained how the bayonet training for the attack was perfected by the Baron Von Steuben. He passed as a fake Prussian general who nonetheless served as a great leader. He reconstituted the US Army after Valley Forge into a more disciplined force through the use of drill and repetition.
“That’s great,” Kris said. “They got real leadership from someone who wasn’t a genuine general. I served as a maintenance non-com in the Air Force, and I resented the hot-shot pilots. They could fly the planes with their college degrees, but it took us high school graduates to fix them. We used to say, ‘Enjoy your hole in the sky, Fly Boys, but we’ll be the ones to fix the hole in the plane.’”
Let’s Find Out, What’s that Ship
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