Harbour Master

By Nicolas Bocskai

The Norfolk Southern coal train is departing Lambert's Point in downtown Norfolk. The sound of the empty coal cars moving along the tracks has a clanging rhythm, bumping on the tracks as it moves at about 35 miles a hour. Soon the train

heads out of the region toward Suffolk and beyond. The train is heading toward the

coal rich industrial state of West Virginia to pick up a load of coal. The engineer sounds his whistle as he approaches the trestle bridge in Norfolk City

heading over the Elizabeth River into the City of Chesapeake. As the train begins its journey over the bridge, the locomotive sounds its whistle again as the 116 car train crosses the bridge. It is 5:30 A.M. in the morning just before sunrise in the heat of this summer morning.

The nostalgic feeling is present once again in the homes of U.S. Chesapeake Federal Pilot navigators. They awoke with the clear sound of the train whistle and clanging railroad track movement in the distance. The region was quiet and sleepy still, at this early twilight hour.

The task of the Chesapeake Federal Pilots is to navigate U.S. military warships into the Hampton Roads natural harbour at the Norfolk Naval Base (N.O.B.) in southeastern Virginia. The Chesapeake Pilots also navigate all military ocean-going vessels heading in and out of the Virginia coastal rivers along the bay.

The lighthouses along the Chesapeake are situated at strategic points of interest and safety at the mouth of the river entrances. One of the main rivers along the Chesapeake Bay is the James River, which feeds into Hampton Roads Harbour. At this point in time, there are numerous lighthouses established in the region for pilot navigation in the night hours around the area. Further north is the York River, where the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot is based just beyond the river's Coleman Bridge. The Rappahanock River, at New Point Comfort, is the third major river north in the bay. Finally, Point Lookout light shines forth each night at the mouth of the Potomac River from the north side of the river in the state of Maryland.

There is a place I know where the sun shines bright and the air is clear… where everyone comes for a little solitude with God. He led me to this place of stillness and quietness, a restful spot for the soul. It is a hillside at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach City of Parks and Recreation with a basin lake. Here the seagulls flock to the hillside park for a bite of food to fight for.

In the distance along the sloping hill a young man sits, surrounded by the gulls. He gently passes bread, maybe their only meal today, to them as they gather together for whatever may come.

Further down by the lake on level terrain, young kids are playing sandlot basketball games, which can last forever and give a good workout. The game is over whenever a team reaches 15 points… (playing by 1 point per basket) but you must win by 2 baskets. By this, a game can last 30 minutes or more, depending how good the players are.

It is the beginning of the autumn season soon, for the sun has a fall sun slant to it. The weather is still warm although. As the sun shines overhead, it feels like paradise here on planet Earth. As I am contemplating these feelings, a visiting seagull crimps up closely to me as I sit on the hillside. “Sorry, old friend!” I speak to him, for I have no food with me to share. And soon another gull comes, landing closely to me. He begins to squawk and thustle his outer layer of feathers in the warm windy breeze. They are quite curious about me and begin hunger squawking again as they lift themselves into the sky and breeze just as a kite would. Yes, this is a scene that I will long remember for the future, for I am at peace with the world finally. All good things will come my way that which God wishes me to have. All are temporal, for the time being, but necessary for me until eternal matters confront me. God Bless the Earth and its' people for the Lord Jesus is coming!

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