Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies went to Virginia
and enjoyed a cruise on the
Hampton Harbor past U.S. Naval Ships
and featuring Historic Fort Wool
August 10, 2014
Miss Hampton II sign

The two RV Gypsies arrived a few minutes early for their cruise, which is something they always do.

Miss Hampton II Harbor Cruises
700 Settlers Landing Road
Hampton, Virginia

Karen Duquette ready for the Hampton Harbor Cruise
Lee Duquette ready for the Hampton Harbor Cruise
Hampton Harbor Cruise boat
panorama of boats

The two RV Gypsies relaxed while they learned the legends and history behind the world's largest natural harbor; the magnificent Chesapeake Bay.

Lee Duquette
Karen Duiquette
the two RV Gypsies
Karen Duquette

Below: Captain Chris was not very friendly when Karen Duquette asked if she could take his picture. He did agree, but didn't smile. The two RV Gypsies usually find boat captains happy to pose with or for them.

Captain Chris
a big barge

While sitting in the bow of the boat, Karen Duquette took pictures.

the boat's anchor and Cheeapeake Bay
the boat's anchor and Cheeapeake Bay

The boat cruised past mighty warships at the Norfolk Naval Base, while the captain gave an in-depth narrative of each and every ship..

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is the eighth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, named after the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.

ship #75
Navy Police boat
naval ship
Naval warships
Naval warships

history bookUSS Cole (DDG-67) is an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer homeported in Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Cole is named in honor of Marine Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, a machine-gunner killed in action on Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945, during World War II. Cole is one of 62 authorized Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, and one of 21 members of the Flight I-class that utilized the 5"/54 caliber gun mounts found on the earliest of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The ship was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding and was delivered to the Navy on 11 March 1996.

On 12 October 2000, Cole was the target of attack carried out by Al-Qaeda in the Yemeni port of Aden; 17 sailors were killed, 39 were injured, and the ship was heavily damaged. On 29 November 2003, Cole deployed for her first overseas deployment after the bombing and subsequently returned to her home port of Norfolk, Virginia, on 27 May 2004 without incident.


history bookThe U.S. Warship #81 - USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) is a $1 billion Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. She is the 31st destroyer of an originally planned 62-ship class. The Churchill is named after British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Her home port is in Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. She is a component of Carrier Strike Group Ten.

#81 and a hospital ship

history bookUSNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is the third United States Navy ship to bear the name Comfort, and the second Mercy-class hospital ship to join the U.S. Navy's fleet. The USNS prefix identifies the Comfort as a non-commissioned ship owned by the U.S. Navy and crewed by civilians from the Military Sealift Command (MSC). In accordance with the Geneva Conventions, USNS Comfort and her crew do not carry any offensive weapons. Firing upon the Comfort would be considered a war crime as the ship only carries weapons for self-defense.

Like her sister ship USNS Mercy, Comfort was built as a San Clemente-class oil tanker in 1976 by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company. Her original name was SS Rose City and she was launched from San Diego, California.

Her career as an oil tanker ended when she was delivered to the U.S. Navy on December 1, 1987. As a hospital ship, Comfort's duties include providing emergency, on-site care for U.S. combatant forces deployed in war or other operations. Operated by the Military Sealift Command, Comfort provides rapid, flexible, and mobile medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps Air/Ground Task Forces deployed ashore, Army and Air Force units deployed ashore, and naval amphibious task forces and battle forces afloat. Secondarily, she provides mobile surgical hospital service for use by appropriate U.S. government agencies in disaster or humanitarian relief or limited humanitarian care incident to these missions or peacetime military operations. Comfort is more advanced than a field hospital but less capable than a traditional hospital on land.

After a quarter-century in Baltimore, Maryland, USNS Comfort changed her home port to Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia in March 2013. The move placed the ship closer to supplies, much of which come from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and to medical crew. Savings to the U.S. Navy are estimated at $2 million per year.

Karen Duquette and the Naval Hospital Ship Comfort

history bookSS Cape May (T-AKR-5063) is a steam powered heavy lift ship and one of two operated by Military Sealift Command. She is one of the 48 Rapid Response Force ships in Military Sealift Command's Sealift Program Office; originally built for commercial use with the Lykes Brothers cargo lines in 1972. In 1986 she was purchased for use in various tasks for the US military in heavy transport of goods in various theaters of action. She is currently in ready reserve status ready to be called upon for any large cargo work needed.

Cape May

history bookUSNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13) is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship of the United States Navy, named in honor of World War II veteran and civil rights activist Medgar Evers. The Navy announced the naming on 9, October 2009. National Steel and Shipbuilding Company started construction on 15 April 2010, and laid her keel on 26 October 2010 in San Diego.

Medgar Evers was launched on 29 October 2011, and christened on 12 November. Military Sealift Command accepted delivery of Medgar Evers on 24 April 2012.

USNS Medgar Evers


two barges
a barge

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) is a 23-mile fixed link crossing at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. It connects the Delmarva Peninsula with Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

history bookThe Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel originally combined 12 miles of trestle, two 1-mile-long tunnels, four artificial islands, four high-level bridges, approximately 2 miles of causeway, and 5.5 miles of approach roads crossing the Chesapeake Bay and preserving traffic on the Thimble Shoals and Chesapeake shipping channels. It replaced vehicle ferry services which operated from South Hampton Roads and from the Virginia Peninsula from the 1930s until completion of the CBBT in 1964. The system remains one of only ten bridge tunnel systems in the world, three of which are located in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Since it opened, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel has been crossed by more than 100 million vehicles. The CBBT complex carries U.S. Route 13, the main north / south highway on Virginia's Eastern Shore, and, as part of the East Coast's long-standing Ocean Highway, provides the only direct link between the Eastern Shore and South Hampton Roads regions, as well as an alternate route to link the Northeast and points in between with Norfolk and the Carolinas. The CBBT saves motorists 95 miles and many hours on a trip between Virginia Beach/Norfolk and points north and east of the Delaware Valley without going through the traffic congestion in the Baltimore / Washington Metropolitan Area. The $15 toll is partially offset by some savings of tolls in Maryland and Delaware on I-95.

Financed by toll revenue bonds, the CBBT was opened on April 15, 1964. It was officially named the Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge Tunnel in August 1987 after one of the civic leaders who had long worked for its development and operation. However, it continues to be best known as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. From 1995 to 1999, at a cost of almost $200 million, the capacity of the above-water portion was increased to four lanes. An upgrade of the two-lane tunnels was proposed but has not been carried out.

The CBBT was built by and is operated by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia governed by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission. The CBBT's costs are recovered through toll collections. In 2002, a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) study commissioned by the Virginia General Assembly concluded that "given the inability of the state to fund future capital requirements of the CBBT, the District and Commission should be retained to operate and maintain the CBBT as a toll facility in perpetuity."

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel building
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

This was once a hotel,
now it is a retirement building

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse
retirement building

Approaching Fort Wool map of Virginia showing location of Fort Wool

Fort Wool
Fort Wool

history bookFort Wool was a seacoast fortification located in the mouth of Hampton Roads approximately one mile south of Fort Monroe. The island fortress was designed by Brigadier General of engineers Simon Bernard, an expatriated Frenchman who had served under Napoleon as his chief engineer. Fort Wool was one of more than 40 forts started after the War of 1812 when the British boldly sailed up the Chesapeake Bay to burn the Capital. Started upon a shoal of ballast stones that were dumped as sailing ships entered Hampton's harbor, the fort was to have three tiers of casemates and a parapet mounting a total of 232 muzzle-loading cannons, although it never reached this size.

Originally named Castle Calhoun for the Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, Fort Wool was built to maintain a crossfire with Fort Monroe, located directly across the channel, thereby protecting the entrance to the harbor.

In 1902, all of the original fort except 8 casemates, was demolished and new fortifications were constructed. The new armament mounted on five batteries of two to four guns remained in place for decades, although modifications were made from time to time. Only six of the original three-inch guns remained in 1942, when two were sent to Fisherman Island (Virginia). A modern battery of two new long-range six-inch guns was constructed on top of one of the old Endicott period batteries during World War II. The outmoded fort was finally abandoned by the military in 1953.

Fort Wool
Fort Wool
Lee Duquette at Fort Qool
Fort Wool Historic Site informative sign
USA flag at Fort Wool
Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
Lee Duquette and Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
Karen Duquette and Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
Battery Ferdinand Claiborne building at Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
Fort Wool - National Register of Historic Places
Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
USA flag at Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
USA flag at Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
viewing window at Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
viewing window at Fort Wool Historic Site  sign
Fort Wool
cannon at Fort Wool
Fort Wool
Fort Wool sign
Menu for the two RV Gypsies in Virginia
August 6-17, 2014
You may visit these 17 sections in any order you choose.

US Marine Corp emplemNational Museum of the Marine Corps - several visits

Snowflex tubing

The cities of Lynchburg and Madison Heights

A bike ride on the Riverwalk

The Singing Tower in Luray

downtown Hampton

Gloucester Point Beach Park

Shenandoah National Park

Luray Caverns - a flashback

Enchanted Dragon Mirror Maze

Skyline Caverns in Front Royal

U.S. Navy emblemHampton Harbor Cruise, Naval Ships and Fort Wool

pizzaAngela's Italian Restaurant

August 2014.

Chesapeake Bay RV Resort - TT

Lynchburg TT Campground

Prince William Forest RV in Dumfries

check it outlook below

go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAFTER you have viewed all seventeen (17) sections above, please continue on to the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Maryland.