The MINIs on a Ferry Run, November 12, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night... Well, at least the day was forecast to be dark and stormy. What wacky weather for a bunch of MINIs to gather for fellowship, charity, and to set a new record! Nevertheless, with all the aplomb and fiasco we've come to expect, Hampton Roads MINIs from all the cities in the region, and even from Richmond, thundered off, despite the bluster. Once again, the event was organized by Jason and Andy and executed with precision. Two main groups left from Virginia Beach and Hampton to converge on Jamestown and the ferry landing.

The Virginia Beach crew assembles at 8:30am. Note that it is still dry.

The Virginia Beach group traveled nearly 360 degrees of the I-64 inner circle "Eastbound" through Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Portsmouth, gathering cars along the way.

South of Greenbrier. Lookout ahead: Police cleanup a multi-car crash.

The event timing was tight enough that several groups were able to synchronize with us at an entrance ramp and simply merge into the main Southside group as it thundered by on the circle route. The ride afforded us the unique experience of riding through lovely leaf showers as the trees of the southside gave up their leaves for winter. What an amazing experience!

Approaching the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge-Tunnel.

A reverse angle. Right after this picture was taken, the heavens began to open up.

Decending into the tunnel...

...and climbing back out.

By the time we rejoined I-64 Westbound in Hampton, the group was nearly forty-one strong. Next it was off onto the Colonial Parkway. By now the rain was coming down fiercely.

Here we make our way down the beautiful Colonial Parkway, dodging pools.

With the trees dropping their leaves, a swing into the leaf piles in the middle of the road was like jumping into a pile as a child.

At the Jamestown Settlement Parking lot.

At the end of the Colonial Parkway, the Hampton, Southside, and Richmond groups converged on the Jamestown Settlement Visitors Center. We enjoyed the facilities for a coffee break, cleared the leaves from our grilles, got out of the weather, and got a last-minute briefing.

Andy briefs the troops. Image courtesy of Fool68.

Once briefed and rested, it was time to taxi over to the pier approach road to get pre-positioned to take the ferry pier.

A great, if very wet, photo moment.

Once the 11:30am ferry loaded, the Hampton Roads MINIs were able to take the ferry pier.

Photo by Misbehave.

To help us pass the time, the cheerfull folks in the Red Bull MINI travelled down the line, handing out free samples of their drink!

The RedBull Gal makes the rounds. Photo by awood279.

And then, the Pocahontas, the largest in the Jamestown/Scotland Ferry fleet, hove into view out of the mist...

...and discharged her cars.

All this time, about the only folks who seemed unbothered by the rain were the gulls.

Finally, it was our turn to load up.

They packed us on pretty tightly, as the rain lashed the decks.

Amidships portside, looking forward.

Amidships starboard, looking forward.

From the bow stairs, looking to port.

From the bow stairs, looking forward. Who else but MINI owners would stand out in the pouring rain?

From the bow stairs, looking to starboard.

From the stern stairs, looking forward to port.
Note three rows of cars. Photo by Misbehave.

From the stern stairs, looking forward to starboard.
Note four rows of cars. Photo by Misbehave.

From the bow gate, looking aft.

The ship's superstructure. How do you like that umbrella on the right?

All in all, we were able to put seventy-seven MINI Coopers and Minis on the ferry for the fifteen minute crossing, setting a new Guinness world record!!!

Approaching the ferry pier at Scotland after the crossing.
Time to spin 'em up and defog the windscreens!

Hampton Roads MINIs roll off.

After unloading, we all rolled the three miles over to the Rocky Bottom Restaurant, who opened their arms and reserved their restaurant for us at the last minute. Thanks guys!

All for us!

Lots of food and fellowship.
As one would expect, the Rocky Bottom specializes in seafood.

Even more food and fellowship?

And now we come to the serious side of our endevor: Through sales of tshirts and raffle tickets, we were able collect $1000 to donate to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters!

Been there? Done that?

After a great time of fellowship, the MINIs split up to make their own wet ways home, having set a world record, collected some great memories, and made a great gesture to a great charity.

All photos by 2nd MINI and (my groovy) SIDECHICK unless otherwise noted.

Photo of Bob and Ruth by Aprilwhine. Thanks, Sherry!

My New MINI Homepage: CLICK HERE