Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Leaving Maryland to Hampton, VA

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 Island Hopper left port at 8:35 AM. Weather today is sunny, winds North 10 - 15. Seas 1 - 2. Today's cruise to Hampton, VA is 103 miles, approximately 6 hours. Hampton, VA is 5 miles north of Newport News and 16 miles northwest of Norfolk.
Founded in 1610, Hampton is the oldest continuously existing English speaking settlement in the United States. It also holds the country's first aviation research facility, NASA Langley Research Center. The center was headquarters for the first manned space program in the United States: astronauts for the Mercury and Apollo missions trained here.
Hampton was one of Virginia's major colonial cities. In 1718 the pirate William Tech ( better known as Blackbeard) was killed by Virginia sailors in a battle off North Carolina. As a warning to other pirates, the sailors brought his head back and mounted it on a pole at the entrance to the Hampton River (now Blackbeard Point, a residential area). The city has been partially destroyed three times: by the British during the Revolution and again during the War of 1812, then by the Confederates preempting Union invaders during the Civil War. Since the mid - 1990's Hampton has been undergoing a face-lift. It hosts many summer concerts and family festivals.
The crew walked through the town, which is very depressed. Many shops are closed and there are only a handful of restaurants. The crew decided to have inner at the restaurant at the city pier, Latitude 32. The dinner and service were very good.

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