Cruising my 1995 Catalina 42 MK II sailboat with my cat XO, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the open ocean world cruising life.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Yup, you should not go there
For Memorial Day I tried to visit Yorktown, VA. Well, the traffic was terrible but I finally got there. It was swamped with tourists. There was nowhere to park so I decided it was a trip I would take another day. On the way back to Little Creek I stopped at Fort Monroe at Old Point Comfort. The marina at Fort Monroe has been used for years by boaters coming up the Elizabeth River or heading down to the Intracoastal Waterway. I have never been there so I decided I would do the shore side evaluation of the facility. It is quite well protected as a place for fuel and a pump out. There are no other facilities near as it is still in the middle of the fort. (BTW the marina is now public.)
While there I discovered that Fort Monroe has a history from the Civil War. It was here that slaves trying to escape the South could find sanctuary and freedom. Quite a history.
A major problem for the Hampton Roads area is the size of the entrance channel. Consider that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is 20 miles long and crosses the entrance to the Roads. We didn't have guns that could fire 10 miles much less 20. So the only way to blockade the channel was with a combination of ships and shore emplacements to prevent enemy ships from having access to the Chesapeake Bay (and thus the Potomac River and Washington DC.) Also important was the entrance of the Elizabeth River with access to Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Yorktown. Hence the shore batteries at Fort Monore.