Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Portsmouth to Get L-O-V-E Statue in June

By Johanna Somers,  The Virginian Pilot
March 23, 2016
The city is scheduled to get its very own L-O-V-E statue in June, thanks to the community organization Support Portsmouth Public Art.
The L-O-V-E art, seen in many forms throughout Virginia, is designed to show that “love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation,” according to the state’s tourism website.

“Hopefully, it will create a joyful place for families and visitors to congregate and snap photos of Portsmouth’s waterfront,” said Barbara Vincent, the organization’s secretary.
The 5½-foot-tall, 16-foot-wide statue will be made of aluminum, steel and concrete, among other materials, she said. The statue includes the sun, a wave and a sailboat, a rendering of the statue shows. Local artist Orlen Stauffer designed it; he and local artist Irving Wolff will build it, she said.
The statue will be built next to the Crawford Bay seawall and near the marina on Crawford Bay, Vincent said.
The organization got a city-funded grant of nearly $6,000 and a $1,500 grant from the state . The organization anticipates spending a total of $10,000. The remaining funding will come from private donors.
Support Portsmouth Public Art also had the I’ve Been Kissed statue outside the Children’s Museum of Virginia built, along with some murals in downtown .

Friday, April 4, 2014

Olde Towne FirstEvents Features Opening Reception, Free Music & Much More!

Thank goodness spring has finally arrived and has luck has it, good weather for this weekend’s Olde Towne Portsmouth FirstEvents. Held the first full weekend of each month, Olde Towne Portsmouth's business community and the City of Portsmouth Museums offers free concerts, events and activities including the Olde towne Antiques to Flea Market, free museum admissions, an exhibit opening and a lot more. Here’s a listing of some of the events available to you during April’s Olde Towne Portsmouth FirstEvents weekend!

Friday, April 4
Concert In the Courtyard - Free Music Series
5PM - 8 PM

Celtibillies & Good Foot Dance
Enjoy music in the courtyard from the Celtibillies & Good Foot Dance. Presented by the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center and PortsEvents. Admission is free as part of our First Weekend programming series. Corner of High & Court St. , 393-8543
Friday, April 4
Changing Appalachia: Custom to Cutting Edge
Opening Reception: 5PM – 8 PM
Drawing from an abundance of natural resources from the Appalachian region, artists and artisans adapt the heritage of mountain culture by assimilating new ideas and innovating on the old to create dynamic craft and visual art.  The exhibit offers maps, photos of the region, paintings, glass, textiles, ceramics and baskets to showcase the diversity of the region.
Admission is free as part of our First Weekend programming series.

Olde Towne Antiques to Flea Mark
Saturday, April 5
Olde Towne Antiques to Flea Market
10AM - 2 PM
Held inside the Middle Street Garage, corner of London and Middle Street.
Great finds of all kinds! The Olde Towne Portsmouth Antiques to Flea Market is this Saturday. Antiques to Flea Market Visit the Olde Towne Portsmouth Antiques to Flea Market the first Saturday of each month and hunt through the eclectic collection of unique and antique wares. With over 70 dealers and vendors exhibiting, you will discover a great selection of antique and estate furniture, architectural antiques, china, silverware, art and prints, sporting gear, musical instruments, books and ephemera, hand-made crafts and toys, as well as decorative accessories and flea market items of all types and one-of-a-kind items priced to sell. Free Admission & Free Parking.

Don't forget that Olde Towne has some of the best antique shops, art galleries and specialty stores anywhere in Coastal Virginia and beyond. Great shops and nurseries for your spring gardening too! Top it off with a delicious meal in one of Olde Towne's chef-owned and run restaurants. Make a day or a complete weekend of it and discover what Olde Towne has to offer!

Bank of America MuseumsR on Us
Saturday, April 5th  9 AM - 5 PM
Sunday, April  6th  11 AM - 5 PM
The Children's Museum of Virginia is proud to participate in the Museums on Us® program sponsored by Bank of America, which provides cardholders FREE access to some of the nation's finest arts, cultural and educational institutions during the first full weekend of every month. For details, visit

Family Fun and Activities at The Children’s Museum of Virginia:
221 High Street
Saturday, April 5
Noon - 4 PM

Nano Day at the Children's Museum
Participate in experiments check out interactive demonstrations and meet the scientists who bring this cutting-edge technology to our everyday life.  Your eyes will be Huge after seeing these activities about this small-scale science!  Co-hosted by Norfolk State University. Included with museum admission. Free for members.

Treehouses - Look Who's Living In Trees!
On display NOW – May 17 at the Children’s Museum of Virginia
Spend some time hanging out in the trees. Immerse yourself in an indoor tree house and explore first hand who lives in trees. This traveling exhibit is on loan from Sciencenter- Ithaca, New York and was developed by EEC! The Environmental Exhibit Collaborative. Included with admission. Free for members.
Saturday, April 5
2 PM at The Commodore Theatre
421 High Street

The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Presents STORIES & SONGS: Appalachian Ballads and Ballad Books
Book-signing and Presentation with Sharyn McCrumb, Katie Hoffman, and Jack Hinshelwood
In coordination with PACC’s Changing Appalachia exhibit, the Commodore Theatre will host award-winning Southern writer, Sharyn McCrumb, who is best known for her Appalachian Ballad novels including many New York Times Best-Sellers such as The Ballad of Frankie Silver, She Walks These Hills, The Ballad of Tom Dooley, and St. Dale, winner of a Library of Virginia Award. McCrumb will be joined by Katie Hoffman and Jack Hinshelwood for a discussion on ballads and ballad books. To make reservations or for more information, please visit the Gallery Shop at 420 High Street or call 757-393-8543.

Crackerjacks and Grand Slams
10 AM - 5 PM
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum and Lightship Portsmouth Museum
2 High Street on the Portsmouth, Virginia Waterfront
Come and discover the history of baseball in Portsmouth!  Did you know Portsmouth had its own Cubs team?  Who were the “Truckers” and how did they get that name?  Come on “in-ning” and enjoy crafts and activities celebrating a true American pastime.  Admission is free as part of our First Weekend programming series.

First Sunday Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch
Enjoy liesure Sunday dining in one of Olde Towne's exceptional restaurants. Olde Towne Portsmouth has become well-known for it's selection of outstanding dining establishments.  Call your favorite Olde Towne Restaurant today for details!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

For Winter Boat Shoppers, It's Still a Buyer's Market

BoatUS predicts boat dealers are in the dealing mood this winter boat show season.
NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304

With the winter boat shows kicking off across America, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says buyers are still in the driver's seat when it comes to buying a boat. And if your qualifications add up - including having good credit - getting a boat loan should not be difficult.
"If you have been holding back for the past few years, now may be the time to pull the trigger," said BoatUS Vice President of Finance, Charm Addington. "Boat loan rates are still low. While there isn't the same level of pre-owned boat inventory as there was at this time last year, there are still plenty of used boats for sale. For those looking at a new boat purchase, manufacturers have increased production and will need to move inventory. We think dealers will be interested in making some deals this winter boat season, and combined with continued low interest rates, the winter boat buying season bodes well for buyers."
To get a boat loan, Addington said boat lenders usually require two years of federal tax returns, a paycheck stub and can also require proof of liquid assets - funds that can be easily converted into cash - for the down payment. The heady days of "no documentation" loans are largely a thing of the past.
Here's some other boat loan tips from BoatUS:

  • Unlike getting a home loan, getting a boat loan doesn't require a "pre-approval." However, before you head to the boat show some boat lenders will offer pre-approvals that include rate offers - just ensure the rate is verified, in writing, and not a teaser rate.
  • Depending on the buyer's credit score and down payment, some banks may be able to offer a rate that's lower than what is initially offered, so be sure to ask your lender.
  • Unlike most lenders, BoatUS Boat Loans posts current loan rates available at "The rate and terms on our website are what we can offer boat buyers today," said Addington. "We hope that gives peace of mind knowing the costs up front.

Our blog "Mile Marker "0" AICW features stories about boating, traveling the intra-coastal waterway and information throughout the year for boaters visiting historic Olde Towne Portsmouth,Virginia. Planning to travel the Atlantic intra-coastal waterway? Then be sure to bookmark us and visit our Facebook page too! Happy boating!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Portsmouth Virginia offers great sightseeing, seafood and a view into U.S. naval history

Anchor in front of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.

Virtual Cruise of the East Coast: Portsmouth, Virginia

 Re-posted in part from the article written by George Sass Sr. / Published: October 1, 2013 Yachting Magazine. Photos added for story enhancement.

Our next leg takes us 50 miles south to Portsmouth, Virginia, where we plan to stay a couple of days to re-provision, see the sights and visit family in Virginia Beach. The marinas in the area are spread out between Hampton and Newport News on the north side of the Hampton Roads waterways, and Norfolk and Portsmouth on the south. Virginia Beach, southeast of Norfolk, also has a number of marinas accessible from the Atlantic Ocean by navigating the sometimes-tricky Rudee Inlet.

As we make our approach to Portsmouth, we pass Naval Station Norfolk on Sewell’s Point, where we get a glimpse of a couple of aircraft carriers and guided-missile destroyers in port. Naturally, we give this area a wide berth, staying closer to the west side of the deep channel. This impressive facility supports up to 75 ships serving in the Atlantic and Indian oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea.

Mile marker "0" AICW is located between Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia.  Photo by Allen Graves.

Over the years, we've found the Portsmouth area to be the most accommodating for us when traveling up and down the ICW. It’s close to mile zero of the ICW, and its renovated waterfront provides an attractive expanse of public green space and walking paths. An added bonus is that it’s just across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk’s Nauticus marine museum and science center, the tour-able battleship USS Wisconsin and the Waterside Festival Marketplace. We choose the Tidewater Yacht Marina for its comfortable amenities and convenient location to Portsmouth’s Olde Towne section.

After getting settled in at the marina, we walk to North Landing Park, one of the landings for the ferry to Norfolk’s Waterside. Following the waterfront for a couple of blocks, we come to High Street Park, another ferry landing where we find a number of cruising boats tied to the bulkhead for free. There’s no electricity or water, and while there are signs posted that say overnight docking is not allowed, we’re told that a couple of these snowbirds have been here for a day or two without being hassled by city officials.

On the corner of High and Water streets is the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Covering 250 years of maritime history, the museum offers a look back at how America’s oldest and largest naval shipyard came to be so influential during Colonial days, the Civil War and especially recent times. Nearby, the U.S. lightship Portsmouth, built in 1915, is on display. We continue our walk along the city’s Path of History and discover a pavilion displaying the immense Fresnel lens from Hog Island Light, which began its service in 1896. At 10 feet high and weighing 1,500 pounds, it’s one of the largest and brightest lenses of its kind.

Riverfront pavilion displaying the immense Fresnel lens from Hog Island Light. Photo by Joe Elder.

Walking west on High Street toward Olde Towne, we pass the Children’s Museum of Virginia, which we've heard is the perfect place to stop when cruising with kids. Fun train rides and the new Bubble Room are designed to keep the little ones entertained for hours. For us, though, it’s happy hour, so we stop at the recently reopened Gosport Tavern on High Street for an early dinner of good old-fashioned fish ’n’ chips.

The Gosport Tavern located at 702 High Street, Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA  Photo by Joe Elder.

Here is a link to the complete article online from Yachting Magazine website.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Olde Towne Antiques to Flea Market

The popular "Antiques to Flea Market’ is held the first Saturday of each month, in Olde Towne Portsmouth. Browse through an eclectic collection of unique and antique wares. With over 60 dealers and vendors exhibiting, bargain hunters and serious collectors will discover a great selection of antique and estate furniture, architectural antiques, china, silverware, art and prints, sporting gear, musical instruments, books and ephemera. There are even hand-made crafts and toys, as well as decorative accessories and flea market items of all types and one-of-a-kind items priced to sell. Held inside the Middle Street garage located on the corner of Middle and London.

The Olde Towne Antiques to Flea Market is held
the first Saturday of each month in Portsmouth, Virginia
The Olde Towne Antiques to Flea Market opens at 10 am til 2 pm. Come early for best selections! or call 757-339-1876. Sponsored by the Olde Towne Business Association. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

4th Annual Elizabeth River Nautical Yard Sale & Flea Market

4th Annual Elizabeth River
Yard Sale & Flea Market
Saturday, May 18, 2013
9am to 5pm

Ocean Marine Parking Lot on Wavy Street in Portsmouth
Individual Vendor Space: $10.00
Bring your own tables or tents.

Call (757)321-7432 for more information and to reserve your space!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Anchor Alarm Surprises and GPS

Notice that the point where the anchor position is set in the alarm is the position of the GPS and not the position of the bow/anchor.

Written by Karen Siegel
Castine, Maine

It should be simple. Pick the spot to anchor; come to a stop; drop the anchor and set the anchor alarm. Then pull back until the anchor sets. Now if you pull away further from the anchor set point than the distance

you specified, alarms should go off, right?
Well, not exactly. The mathematics are surprisingly a lot more complex. We know. It seems easy and obvious. We've been involved in many debates until the pencil and paper come out and then, "oh yeah" is heard.

Here's the missing magical point. You've got to notice that the point where the anchor position is set in the alarm is the position of the GPS and not the position of the bow/anchor. That one small point ends up
bringing a whole bunch of trigonometry into the calculation. When the boat swings 180 degrees, the error created by that offset equals twice the distance from the bow to the GPS.

Let's take an example for a typical 42' sailboat with a GPS on the stern rail. This is the worst case problem but is very typical and demonstrates what happens very well.

So we're anchoring in 10' of water with a bow that's 5' off the water's surface. A good scope for a night without much weather expected would be 5:1. This means 75' of rode will be let out and pulled back to set hard (we call that power setting). The anchor alarm is set at 125', way more than the 75 put out. And since we power set the anchor, we couldn't possibly move 50', right?

At 3 am, because these things always happen at 3 am, the anchor alarm goes off. You're 127' back. You remember that you way over added to the 75' and start planning what you're going to do in the total black of night with the moderate wind that's now blowing.

What really happened is that the tide changed at 1 am. During the next 2 hours you slowly swung around moving back. Not realizing this new math for anchor alarms you didn't realize that the GPS displacement caused 84' of position error in the anchor alarm. Your alarm went off after moving back only 52'. In reality, your anchor alarm should watch you move back another 32' without your anchor moving 1 inch on the sea floor. The anchor alarm should have probably been set at about 75 + 84 + 10 + 10 = 179 feet. The two 10's are for GPS accuracy error and slop since the anchor doesn't set immediately. Can you imagine setting an anchor alarm at almost 200' with only 75' of rode out? And yet, that's the right number.

We haven't found an anchor alarm that compensates for this GPS positional error. It's one of the reasons we wrote DragQueen (available for free in the Apple app store and Google Play). Since the anchor alarm is on a phone, the GPS position is the phone itself. When deploying the anchor, we stand with the iPhone at the bow to eliminate one half the GPS position error. There's still another position error based on where the GPS is located while we sleep at night (25' back in our stateroom).

Remember too that this positional error happens at all angles. Swing about 90 degrees to the side and the error is about 1 times the GPS displacement distance. Even that can be significant.

Given a heading/fluxgate sensor and a few configuration settings, 100% of this GPS positional error could be eliminated. How come not a single marine electronics manufacturer has done it?

If you're still saying, "wait a second - there's not a 2x error in the position" - check out this graphic proof of what happens. We'll wait to hear the "oh yeah":

Happy anchoring!