Ride along as tug threads needle of Hampton Roads

My orders were simple enough: Be at Lynnhaven Inlet no later than 5:30 in the morning.

I had set four alarm clocks to make sure that happened, though none of them went off because I got to them first – I was up already.

The sky was studded with stars as I drove to the dock where a launch boat waited to whiz a Pilot photographer and me to our destination: the Sea Hawk, a tugboat that was pushing a barge longer than a football field.

When asked recently if I had any interest in hitching a ride aboard a big tug as it made its way from Cape Henry to downtown Norfolk, I jumped at the chance – an apt metaphor, maybe, in this case.

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