Located on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads harbor and the Hampton River, Hampton’s waterfront location is in the center of the Hampton Roads region. Hampton Roads covers a lot of ground – and a lot of water – in Southeastern Virginia. In fact, the name Hampton Roads serves a dual purpose, describing both a body of water and a geographic region.
Hampton Roads, the waterway, has been called one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Home to Navy ships, commercial fishing trawlers, cargo vessels, submarines and pleasure craft, Hampton Roads is a busy estuary that feeds into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay.
The Hampton River and the City of Hampton are located on the southern portion of Virginia’s Eastern Shore about 12 miles north of Norfolk at the entrance of the James River and its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. Hampton is an active and vibrant city chocked full of marinas, marine facilities, museums, waterfront restaurants and commercial fishing piers. Hampton makes an excellent stopover or destination location for any boater.
Portions Courtesy City of Hampton Virginia.
Use NOAA Chart 12222.
The Hampton River is reached via Hampton Roads, which is also part of the mouth of the James River and its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. On entering the Hampton Roads area from the Chesapeake Bay, be advised that this is a high traffic area for commercial freighters, tugs with tows, and some of the largest Naval vessels on Earth.
Just beyond the second Island of the Hampton Tunnel on the north side of Hampton Roads is flashing red “2,” which is located near waypoint N36 59.946 W76 19.138, and is the first mark toward the Hampton River area.
Once you have intercepted flashing red “2,” set an approximate course of 330 degrees magnetic for approximately .4 mile to pick up quick flashing red ”6,” making sure you honor green daybeacon “5” along the way. Once you have reached quick flashing re “6” change your course to approximately 301 degrees magnetic, making sure to honor green daybeacon “7,” red daybeacon “8,” red daybeacon “10,” and then flashing green “11” at the turn north toward the opening of the Hampton River (red daybeacon “12” lies just across from flashing green “11”).
After you have successfully navigated to flashing green “11” and red daybeacon “12,” you need to change course again (approximately 2 degrees magnetic) to head north toward the river entrance. The last two marks, green daybeacon “13” and red daybeacon”14” are just outside the river mouth, but flashing red “16” can help lead you in a bit farther.
Inside the river are seven well equipped marinas, and six of them have transient slips available for transient guests. Bluewater Yachting Center, just inside the river to the left (west - visible in the image above), has a 100-ton Travelift available for haul-outs and related repairs.