Armada….Virginia style.


For those of you who are good at “Where’s Waldo?”, here’s the challenge. Can you tell me how many ships are anchored out here in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay? I apologize for the photograph, but to get them all in I had to go very wide view. If you enlarge twice on the picture and then scroll left to right, it makes counting somewhat easier. Hint: look for the white conning towers. Answer below.

I took this cellphone picture today while I was walking the dogs on the beach. On any given day, there could be anywhere from zero to a several tankers and cargo ships waiting to dock and load at the Port of Norfolk, Virginia. And just beyond these ships, from the beach one can see observe ships steaming further north on their way in to or out from the Port of Baltimore.

It’s a busy place with an extreme amount of tonnage transiting through the bay on a regular basis. Of course, one of the major players in this nautical drama is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.  An engineering marvel, this project was finished in the mid-60’s to eliminate lengthy ferry rides from the Virginia eastern shore to the Hampton Roads area. The two tunnels to allow unimpeded traffic were constructed for southern and northern bound shipping. As Hampton Roads is home port to the country’s largest number of U. S. naval combatant ships, it was imperative that they not be easily bottled up by sabotaging or bombing a bridge.

Anyway, if you guessed 10, you are in good company. Most people would say that. But if you look closely to the right in the distance, you will see the S. S. Waldo entering the mouth of the bay to assume it’s anchorage position. So the correct answer is eleven.