NORFOLK -- The Elizabeth River was full of an international armada of ships kicking off the first ever sea and air parade in Norfolk.

'It's pretty amazing. You watch these captains and the Virginia pilots and these tug boat companies spinning these ships around in a really narrow area. I can really appreciate what it takes to do that,' said Hank Moseley, the Maritime Operations Manager for Opsail 2012.

13News anchor Joe Flanagan had one eye on the flyover and one eye on the ship, HDMS Esbern Snare, from Denmark. It was also carrying military reporter Mike Gooding.

Tanika Singer watched the parade. She's visiting from Richmond and has triplets age three and a four year old!

'So far I think it's really good. I didn't learn a lot about history when I was growing up, so I wanted my kids to learn a lot about history,' said Singer.

Wednesday's parade covered 28 nautical miles and featured 29 vessels. By Friday, it will include 15 countries. The German frigate Hessen is the most technologically-advanced ship visiting.

'We are stealthy by shape. In fact if we look now from a missile perspective, the missile would see only a small dot instead of a huge one which is really a huge one, which is protection for ourselves and provides us a little more capability to defend ourselves,' said Cdr Thorsten Marx, commanding officer of the FGS Hessen.

'Welcome to Hampton Roads' was the phrase of the day.

'It is great to be here and we are looking forward to a great visit to Norfolk. The receptions already was marvelous and we anticipate that we will have a lot of entertainment here over the next few days,' concluded Cdr Marx.

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