Gone Sailing

S/V Abigail Grace

19 January 2018 | Coinjock Marina, NC to Alligator River Marina, NC
18 January 2018 | Coinjock, NC
17 January 2018 | Coinjock, NC
16 January 2018 | Coninjock / Coinjock Marina
15 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
14 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
13 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
12 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
12 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
10 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
09 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
08 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
07 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
06 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
05 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
04 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
03 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
02 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
01 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
31 December 2017 | Chesapeake VA

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

19 January 2018 | Coinjock Marina, NC to Alligator River Marina, NC
44* / Sunny
Sun and Sails
It was cold this morning when we left Coinjock and headed for the Alligator River Bridge. We navigated the waters of the North River and crossed the Albermerle Sound with little difficulty - Yes!. There were tense moments though, as channel markers continue to be missing or broken, and some barely visible and stump like (easily hole a vessel). We left approximately 8:40a and arrived at the Alligator Bridge around 3:00p and hailed the tender to request an opening. We were told the bridge is only opening before 6:00am in the morning and at 12 noon - they are doing required maintenance (it was closed for 7 days and was to open on the 17 to its regular schedule) . Unable to go any further we decided to go to the Alligator River Marina which runs parallel to the bridge and which will allow us a short run in the morning to make an opening before 6:00am. It was a great day with warmer temps and fair winds - we were able to put out our yankie and mortor sail - it was just what we needed - perfect.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

18 January 2018 | Coinjock, NC
34* / Windy
Cold and Windy
We woke to snow and ice - again. Our decks were covered with ice and snow and the wind was howling, so didn't go anywhere today. Greg made breakfast and later cleared the ice and snow off our cabin top and deck. I did some cleaning and laundry in preparation of (hopefully) leaving tomorrow. Forecasted predictions for the next several days are for warmer temps and sunshine - what!

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

17 January 2018 | Coinjock, NC
Temp 38* / Cloudy
Snow - Seriously
With tonight's forecasted weather predictions of 2-4 inches of snow and winds with gust of greater than 30, we decided to stay tied off here in Coinjock. Late afternoon the winds picked-up and the snow came and boy did it come. It looked like we were in a blizzard. The snow was coming down sideways and the wind howled - once again, really glad we were tied off and had electric. Well, I guess we will see what tomorrow brings but as of now it is not looking good for leaving.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

16 January 2018 | Coninjock / Coinjock Marina
Temp 41* / Foggy
Fog
This morning and after a good nights rest, we had planned to continue down the ICW, crossing the Albermerle Sound and stopping for the day, anchoring in the Alligator River. Our plans changed when we woke to a very foggy morning. The fog was so dense and visibility so low schools were delayed for several hours. Forecasters reported the fog would lift around 09:00, then changed the it to 10:00, and then changed it to "by" 1:00. The fog finally lifted around 12:30. Leaving this late meant we would have to navigate the last 45 minutes in darkness. After last night and the uncertainty of channel markers we decided to stay here in Coinjock another night.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

15 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 38* / Cloudy
Where are the Channel Markers
Tom departed 07:30 from AYB Marina cutting a path through the ice. After saying goodbye to Ken and Dana (now back from Fla) we threw off our dock lines and motored down the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal (ICW) following in the trail of broken ice left by Tom. It was cold and quiet as we motored-on. There were no delays with bridge openings and the bridge tenders were nice to talk to. The Centerville Bridge Tender ask us to keep a lookout for a pair of sea otters he had seen earlier playing along the canal banks. We didn't see them near the bridge, but we did see them a mile or so down the canal playing and eating. The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal empty into the North Landing River which becomes the Currituck Sound (the ICW flows through these). The ICW was well marked thus far, but (as usual for us) this would all change. When the North Landing River opened up (got wider) the first four green channel markers were either down, in the water and difficult to see, or just not there. Not only were there numerous missing or down green and red channel markers along the way, but some were broken and barely visible in the water. There was a strong north wind blowing which was blowing the water out of the River and Currituck Sound lowering the water levels/depth (already low). This coupled with the missing channel markers made navigation difficult and we had run aground. We dropped our anchor and waited for the water to rise. The sun was setting when the water level improved enough for us to free ourselves from the bottom. Greg was on the bow with a flash light looking for channel markers or anything sticking out of the water as we continued to navigate toward Coinjock Marina and Restaurant, our destination. Unfortunately, in the darkness and without channel markers we went aground again. This time it was Wayne from TowBoatUS who came to our rescue. Wayne pulled us off the bottom and assisted us to Coinjock passing a tug and large barge with only a few feet to spare. Once we were all tied off we went into the Coinjock Resturant for a bite to eat before they closed. Later we were told the recent cold temperatures had frozen the North Landing River and Currituck Sound which is why channel markers are missing, broken, or down.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

14 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 33* / Partly Cloudy
Getting Ready
Prep day started with a walk to the laundry mat and breakfast with Tom and Ken at Panera's - our new go-to spot. Usually I do our laundry at the marina but with all of us preparing to leave and only one working washer decided to go to the laundry mat - a lot quicker. After breakfast and laundry we headed back to our boat. We saw Jim and stopped to say goodbye. While standing on the dock we noticed the ground by "Plastic Toy" move (felt like we were in a SiFi movie) leaving a divit. As the three of stood and watched the ground cracked and starting sinking. The divit was now a growing sink hole. We notified the dockmaster who put out cones and taped off the area. Apparently a water pipe broke, had been leaking, and caused the sink hole. Greg and I spent the remainder of the day organizing, stowing gear, and reviewing charts in preparation for our am departure.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

13 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 31* / Partly Cloudy
Amigos
We met Tom at Panera Bread for breakfast and to go-over his charts for the gulf coast side of Florida. It was a nice change. Afterwards we met-up with Jim (Capt. of Emerald Is.). Jim's boat was docked in one of AYBs many boat garages and he wanted to move it to the dock area where we were. Early afternoon the four of us (Tom, Ken, Greg and I) helped Jim bring his boat around. He has a beautiful 47ft Grand Banks - georgeous. Afterwards, Jim offered us his rental car to go shopping. We graciously accepted and us four amigos went shopping. Once we returned and thanked Jim profusely for his car, we (four amigos) walked to have dinner at El Toro Loco a Mexican restaurant - it was a good day.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

12 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 72* / Humid
The Ice Has Melted
Today was a great day. Three tugs pushing barges came through the lock, under the bridge, passed us, and kept on going - No one came back. After the second tug a recreational boat came through and docked across from us on the other side of the ICW. The other day Greg spoke with Dusty, the yard manager, about having some work done. Early afternoon Dusty and another employee came over and completed the work. Dusty operated the "crane like" machine lifting one of the workers up the mast to check our spreader lights, and install and attach the hardware for our lazy jack system and flag halyards. Greg was going to do the work himself but didn't want to re-injure his back. Dana of "Plastic Toy" stopped to say goodbye, he left today to drive his wife and their little dog (Austin) back to Florida. Ken, Tom, Greg, and I went to dinner at dDebs - again. It was pouring when we were leaving so we donned our foul weather gear, met Tom and Ken, and walked to dinner. dDebs was serving a prime rib special - Greg and Ken were all about the prime rib. After dinner returned to our boats and as Greg and I were getting ready to take the girls for their evening walk a motor boat came along side of us and squeezed in between us and Plastic Toy (with only feet to spare) - it was like they paralleled parked their boat - amazing - later we found they had a bow thruster. After returning from our walk an emergency weather alert broke on TV indicating we were under tornado and severe lightning watches - really. We made sure everything was secured topside, watched some TV and called it a night.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

12 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 65* / Sunny
Ground Hog Day
Starting to feel like we are living our own version of the movie "Ground Hog Day". The tug came through again this morning, turned around, and went back to the Lock side of the ICW. But, today the tug game through twice. The second time was around 15:30 but, as always it turned around and went back to the Lock side of the ICW. Gabriel and Tom of sv Maselle left today for Ft. Lauderdale Fla. They are boat delivery captains and are delivering a catamaran from Tortola to Ft. Lauderdale. Gabriel came by to say goodbye to everyone while Tom went to pick up their rent-a-car. Greg, Tom, and I walked to the "Lock Side" resturant which is located across the bridge for an early dinner. The warm weather today melted a lot of the surface ice and tomorrows weather predictions are for temps close to 70* with rain later in the day - this is all good news.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

10 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 59* / Sunny
It's Back
Around 8:10 am this morning the tug was back and to our excitement it was pushing a barge - a very very long barge. We were watching with anticipation and excitement as we thought the long heavy barge would definitely break the ice - right? Not so. The tug was able to push the barge just a few hundred feet past "Plastic Toy" when it stopped. The ice, so thick, accumulated in front of the barge preventing the tug from pushing it further. The tug had to unhook and maneuver itself around to the front of the barge in order to push the barge back to Lock side of the ICW. Although the tug wasn't able to push the barge far it did breakup the ice around us. In the afternoon Tom, Greg, and I walked across the bridge to "Buckets" resturant for lunch/early dinner. Later, Greg and I took the girls for a walk before calling it a nite. Tomorrow's forecasted temperature is predicted to be in the 60's which should surely help to melt the ice - hopefully the tug will be back.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

09 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 48* / Paritially Sunny
Hopeful
This morning we all were excited and hopeful as we heard a sound we hadn't heard for quite sometime. It was the distinct sound of the bridge horn blowing indicating the bridge was about to open. Everyone was off their boat and standing on the dock, watching in anticipation of the tug coming through. We had smiles on our faces as the tug gunned its engines and broke through the ice - it was so exciting. The tug was able to break a path approximately 600 ft into the ice before it turned and headed back - yes, headed back. The ice, at least five inches thick in places, proved to be too thick and difficult for navigation. Even though we were feeling a little deflated when the tug didn't make it through we were happy an attempt had been made to open-up the waterway. As we were headed back to our boat we were given more not-so-good news, the Alligator River Bridge is closing to all traffic for repairs until January 18th (we can't fit under this bridge). We are all still feeling hopeful, with forecasts of warmer weather coming, the ICW will soon be void of ice and snow and we will all be on our way. Greg, myself, Tom, and Ken went out for a late lunch at "Ddebs" - a much needed break. Hopefully the tug or ice breaker (or other) will be back tomorrow.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

08 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 23* / Overcast
Charts and Notes
The last few nights temps have been in the single digits and it has felt like it. Greg's back is improving with heat and rest. He continued to rest it most of the day until late in the afternoon when Captain Tom (Bonnie Jean) came aboard. Capt. Tom has made many trips down the ICW from Rhode Island to Florida and back again. He went over his charts and notes sharing his knowledge of the ICW with Greg. They went page by page and Greg marked our charts with anchorages and other relevant information. Thank you Captain Tom for this invaluable information.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

07 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 23* / Overcast
The Same
Still snowed in. Greg rested his back and watched movies with the girls. I walked to the grocery store with Captain Tom (Bonnie Jean) to get more heating pads for Greg's back and a few other items. On the way back we stopped at Panera Bread. Tomorrow is Monday and hopefully someone will clear the docks and sidewalks of snow.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

06 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temps 17* / Overcast
Nothing New
Greg continued to rest his back while the girls laid around (showing off their new doos above). Everything looks exactly as it did yesterday - snowed in. There is a front-end loader here but I guess it must not work, or the employees aren't allowed to use it, or they don't know how to work it because the marina roadway, paths, sidewalks, and docks haven't been cleared/shoveled. The snow is so deep that when I take Abigail and Isabel out I have to carry them and Gracie, I can't put her down - if I do it takes me half an hour to find her. Hopefully, someone will come in tomorrow and clear away some of the snow.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

05 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 11* / Cold
Digging Out
Today was a "digging out and get more snow off your boat" kinda day. We woke to temps around 11* which later increased to the low 20's. The sun came out for a little while which helped by melting some of the snow. I took a walk around the marina after letting the girls out and took some pictures. Capt. Dana of "Plastic Toy" started his engines (2 big engines with big props) which broke up the ice around our boats. Greg ran our engine, which thankfully started and ran without issue. After running the engine Greg rested his back until dinner - he twisted it yesterday. He has been taking Aleve, applying heat packs, stretching, and resting. Later we had dinner and watched a movie.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

04 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 21* / Blizzard
The Bomb Cyclone Blizzard
"The Bomb Cyclone Blizzard" is the new name given to the storm by forecasters. We woke this morning to approximately 11 inches of snow and our boat pitching forward 10*. Initially we thought the snow on our bow was the culprit for our pitching. Greg and I both went top sides and removed as much snow as we could with our cutting boards (yes, cutting boards) and "dollar store" dust pan. After removing the snow and returning below deck we were still pitching forward sitting no different then before we removed the snow. Returning topside, we noticed the boat was sitting far below the dock. Where did the water go? We couldn't get off our boat the tide was so low we were sitting on the bottom and pitching forward. Unbelievable, it was high tide but the water level was lower than we had experienced during the lowest tide. We unrolled the astroturf for the girls and continue to clean off the snow. Captain Tom (of Bonnie Jean) came by and offered us his shovel and 8ft ladder - thank you Capt. Tom. Later we learned Surrender (Ken's boat) and Maselle (Tom and Gabriel's boat) were also sitting on the bottom and either pitching or listing. The snow has final stopped but the wind continues to blow and the temps are dropping. The temps for the next few nights are forecasted to be in the single digits - burr - good thing we got those extra blankets.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

03 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 38* / Sunny
Why We Didn’t Leave
If we were ever doubting our decision to stay put until the "blizzard" (yes it is now a blizzard) passed the picture above of the boat stuck in ice on the ICW was confirmation staying was the smart thing to do. We took the girls to the groomers this morning and were walking to have breakfast at the Sunrise resturant. The resturant is across the bridge on the other side of the ICW. As we were walking across the bridge we saw the boat stuck in the ice in front of AYB marina (were we are). Little did we know we would end up spending the rest of the day with the Captain of that boat, Ken. Can anyone guess where Ken is from? Maine. After breakfast we came back to our boat and that is when we met Ken. Later we all walk to the hardware store (again) for tarp to cover our dinghy and Ken wanted to get a cube heater and tarp for his dinghy too. We all got our tarps but there were no heaters left - no cube or other heaters (so glad we got one yesterday) - they were SOLD OUT. We then had lunch, got the girls from the groomer, picked up some water and snacks, (Greg bought water yesterday but someone stole it while he was in the hardware store), and went back to AYB and covered our dinghy before the snow and nightfall.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

02 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 28* / Cold
More Ice
Last night we saw the super moon reflecting so beautifully on the ICW and this morning we saw the trees across the ICW reflecting so beautifully off the ICE. Amazing, last night the ICW was liquid and this morning ice. Captain Dana of "Plastic Toy" (tied off ahead of us) and Captain Tom of "Bonnie Jean" (tied off behind us) both ran their engines to break up the ice. The ice was thick and although both captains were succesful and broke the ice, not only around their vessels but also around ours, the water 15 ft out from all of us remained frozen all day. It is cold and according to weather forecast it is going to get colder but not before it snows. Yes, snow again. Predictions are for a minimum of 3 inches and a maximum of 10 inches. Greg walked to the hardware store and purchased another cube heater while I stayed with the girls and did some cleaning. We thought it would be best to have a second cube heater on board encase we should need it. The snow is suppose to start early evening tomorrow and end Thursday but then the winds are going to blow greater than 24 mph. Tomorrow we are going to prepare the decks for snow and walk to the store for a few last minute items before the snow (hopefully). It is evening now and all has frozen over again. It is warm and toasty here in the cabin with our diesel furnace and cube heater and as I write this Greg and the girls are all fast asleep.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

01 January 2018 | Chesapeake VA
Temps 32* / Cold / Windy
Happy New Year
Wishing all a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2018
Blessings to all
Love Greg, Diane, and Girls

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

31 December 2017 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 34* / Cold / Windy
Stocking Up
The weather forecasters are now predicting 3 to 4 inches of snow on Wednesday. With this in mind, Greg and I walked to the supermarket and stores to restock on a few items. In addition to food, we bought two more blankets in case we should need them.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

30 December 2017 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 42 / cold
Staying Put
We have decided to stay put at AYB until the Arctic low passes. We spent most of the day preparing for the forecasted freezing temps. Greg unhooked and drained anything he thought could possibly freeze. Afterwards, we did some laundry, took the girls for a walk, hand a nice dinner, and watched a movie before calling it a night.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

29 December 2017 | Chesapeake VA
Temps 28* / Cold
Iced In
We woke this morning to find we were iced in. Yes, the ICW was ice and the Abigail Grace frozen and still in the water. You could see the ice and how it buckled and froze around the pilings. Greg and the dock master each threw a rock into the ICW but they just bounced and rolled along on top of the ice. Later, we saw two large yachts go bye very slowly breaking and pushing the ice as they motored along. You could hear the crushing noise of the ice against the boats as they pushed through. After some morning chores, Greg and I walked to the supermarket to pick-up some fresh veggies, fruit, and a few other items. We also met another couple staying on a small sailboat up from us. They are Tom and Gabriel from Sweden.

Gone sailing / Abigail Grace

28 December 2017 | Chesapeake VA
Temp 32* / Cloudy
What To Do
This morning we looked at our charts and weather forecasts for the next several days. When reviewing our charts and planning our route we consider distance, fuel, water, food, number of bridges to navigate, (if they are railroad bridges, can we clear the bridge, do we need to call for an opening, and so on) and weather. Weather is considerd at our current location and at our planned/future destination and right now it is not looking good at either location. There is a cold spell, freeze, cold snap, artic low system (whatever you want to call it) coming across the eastern seaboard and it is going to be cold from Maine to Florida. If we leave here (AYB) our next stop is approximately 38nm away in Coinjock VA. There is a marina in Coinjock where we can stop and stay with electric to run our cube heater in addition to our diesel furnace but no other amenities in walking distance or close by. We can use our cube heater and diesel furnace here too and if need be there is a lounge were we can go with TV, couch, chairs, etc. Also, less than half a mile away is a supermarket, drug store, hardware store, and more. With forecasted temps of 4* and 8* we are seriously thinking it would be best to stay here versus moving on. Whatever our decision we will be here or in Coinjock until January 7th/8th when forecasters are predicting warmer weather of 40's during the day and 30's in the evening.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

27 December 2017 | Portsmouth VA to Chesapeake VA
38* / Cloudy
Virginia Cut
We departed Portsmouth Boating Center for our next stop at the Atlantic Yacht Basin Marina (AYB) in Chesapeake VA. Our destination wasn't very far but we had to navigate several bridges and to also transit the Great Bridge Locke. We were delayed 45 minutes at the Gilmerton Bridge due to the adjacent railroad bridge closing for a train. The delay at Gilmerton Bridge caused us to miss the 4 o'clock opening of the locke. The locke tenders let us waited inside the locke until the next opening at 5 o'clock. We were the only ones in the locke. This was the first time we had ever been in a locke - very interesting. AYB was a short motor after the locke and where we will spend the next few days. We wanted to anchor our way down the ICW but our motor problems and now the cold weather have dictated otherwise. With the forecasted cold front and nights in the teens we have decided to marina hop until (hopefully) reaching warmer weather.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

26 December 2017 | Portsmouth VA
Temp 48* / Sunny
"Ah Ha" Moment
Yesterday we spent Christmas calling texting and face-timing with family and friends. Our families cover the whole east coast from Maine to Florida plus we have a nephew in Texas. It was a quiet day here at the marina. Late afternoon Greg decided to tackle the task of moving the fuel filter to a location closer to the engine and the fuel tank. The fuel filter was in a locker in the cockpit far from both the engine and tank. It was while Greg was disassembling the fuel filter that he had an "Ah Ha" moment. He noticed fuel leaked out of the filter when he moved it. This shouldn't be so when taking a closer look he saw a gasket was in up-side-down. Hence his "Ah Ha" moment. It all made sense. We didn't have this problem with our engine before but Greg changed the filter prior to leaving on our trip in November - could he have put the gasket in incorrectly consistently 3 times? :) Excited but apprehensive the up-side-down gasket was/is the culprit to our motor problems. Today we took the girls for a walk finished the laundry and watched a movie. After the movie we settled in for the evening.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

25 December 2017 | Portsmouth VA
Temp 43* / Windy
Merry Christmas
Wishing all a Very Merry Christmas
With Love
Greg Diane and Girls

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

24 December 2017 | Portsmouth VA
Temp 42* / Overcast / Rainy
Hanging Out
It is Christmas Eve day and we are at the Portsmouth Boating Center (PBC). The marina (PBC) is actually closed for the holidays but the owner (Mike Davis) offered us a slip. He offered to come in and open so we could get fuel and water topping off our tanks before moving on. Mike also offered to stop by later to take Greg to the grocery store (if we needed) which he did while I did some laundry. We will be here for Christmas with a tentative departure date of Tuesday. Greg and I spent the evening taking pictures, decorating, and putting lights on our Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

23 December 2017 | Hampton VA to Portsmouth VA
Temp 56* / Sunny
White Knuckled
Excited to be in Hampton VA and for the day ahead of transversing the Elizabeth River with its many military vessels barges tugs and commercial ships. After much talking and discussion we thought it best to start with a new fuel filter - what were we thinking. Winds were gusting 16-20 from the southwest and temps were in the 50's as we weighed anchor and motored out of our anchorage - without any assistance from BoatUS. Headed towards the Elizabeth River and our next stop in Portsmouth I was at the helm when - yes you guessed it our motor bogged and (this time) sputtered. In 2-4 feet of chop at the mouth of the river in the shipping lanes with a military restriction area to port and a cargo ship (far off) heading our way I reduced throttle (as instructed by Greg) and we prepared to raise our sails. Our engine puttered on at 1.6 - 2.5 knots. Don't know how but we made it (great thinking Greg) across the channel and eventually to Portsmouth without stalling. It took 5 1/2 hours but we made it to our destination of the Portsmouth Marina. The marina is closed so we are tied off at the dock until tomorrow when the owner Mike will be in. We will get fuel and fill our water tanks to continue south towards the ICW.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

22 December 2017 | Deltaville VA to Hampton VA
Temp 42* / Cloudy
Early to Rise
We were up early as we had a long day (approx. 44 nm) to Hampton VA. The sunrise was beautiful and the bays calm - glass like. As we motored out of Ingram Bay we heard an all to familiar sound as our motor bogged and then stalled. We were perplexed as our motor had run perfectly since leaving Solomon's Island. We thought our motor problems were solved/history/gone/out a here. Anyway still in reasonably shallow water we anchored and Greg changed the fuel filter (thank God we picked up extras before leaving Solomon's Is.). There were small rust like particles floating in the fuel from the filter. With the new filter in place we weighed anchor and continued on motor humming along without issue. For the first time since leaving Solomon's Is. we saw another sailboat. They were several miles behind us for most of the day until they turned and headed in. The most interesting site was a jet ski rigged for fishing that cut across our bow. Otherwise we saw much of the same - fishing boats and freighters. The sun was setting as we entered Hampton VA and were motoring in the strong currents toward our anchorage for the nite in Willoughby Bay. It was just past Fort Wool when entering the marked channel for Willoughby Bay that we found the shoal that many boats are towed from - including ours. Yes it was BoatUS to the rescue again. Captain Robert said he pulls a lot of boats off this shoal as it has changed since the placement of the green can - obviously no longer marks the shoal. It was dark and Captain Robert offered to guide us thru the channel to the anchorage. We graciously accepted his offered and anchored safely and without incident. Captain Robert shared his local kowledge pointing out the military restriction area a few hundred yards away stating "whatever you do don't go there" but you are fine here this is a nice anchorage. Tomorrow onto Norfolk and the Elizabeth River.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

21 December 2017 | Reedville VA to Deltaville VA
Temp 43* / Sunny
Sailing On
We sailed out of Cockrell Creek around 11:30 with a destination of Fishing Bay Deltaville VA. The air was crisp and it was sunny which really warmed up the cockpit making it nice and toasty while at the helm - thanks to our enclosure. Today we saw a lot of fishing boats and a few freighters. We saw more boats out fishing today than yesterday. It took us a little more than 5 hours arriving in Fishing Bay around 16:35. We arrived and anchored just in time to take-in the beautiful sunset. Tomorrow will be a longer day as we are hoping to make Hampton VA.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

20 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD to Reedville VA
Temp 48* / Overcast
Palm Trees
Although we haven't gone far since starting our adventure we have spent the last seven days on an Island with Palm Trees (palm-ish). Today we departed Spring Cove Marina Solomon's Island MD for Reedville VA. We left the dock at 08:06 and arrived in Reedville VA at approximately 15:30. On our way to Reedville we saw a tug pushing a barge full of what appeared like sand, large ships/freighters, and lots of people on boats of all sizes fishing. At the start of our trip the seas were rough but as the day went on they settled and upon entering Ingram Bay were flat. Once in Ingram Bay we motored up Cockrell Creek anchoring across from the "stack". The "stack" is on our starboard side and is luminated. To our port is a marina and a work boat dressed in lights. Our anchorage is peaceful and quiet as we settle in for dinner and the evening. Tomorrow onto Deltaville.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

19 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 56* / Sunny
Gunk in Our Tank
We were up early today waiting for Kevin (mechanic). Kevin canceled his appointment yesterday and rescheduled for this morning. When Kevin arrived he and Greg got busy crimping the 4 gauge wire (oops) and looking at the gunk in our tank. Greg's concerns of the gunk in our fuel tank being rust were confirmed when Kevin put a magnet in the tank and pulled-out a lot of gunk/rust. With magnet in hand Greg continued to remove as much rust as possible from the tank. Once completed he removed any remaining small particles and impurities by "polishing the fuel." Then we took Abigail Grace for a motor and she ran without issue. We finished up our day by preparing for departure in the morning - I actually said departure :)

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

18 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 48* / Sunny / Winds Light
Success
Our 2nd sea trial was a success hence the smiles on all five of our faces. We ran the engine for a little over 2hrs without a hiccup. Motored back to the marina where we waited for Kevin (mechanic) to extract some sediment we noticed in the fuel tanks (Greg's equipment for this is at home). The weather was sunny and mild and once back at the marina the girls enjoyed a little walk. Fighter jets were out in numbers flying overhead loud and fast - our military is amazing. Our day ended with a celebratory meal (opening our bottle of wine we were saving for Christmas) and a movie.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

17 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 48* / Calm
Still Here
Today after some coffee and breakfast Greg picked-up where he left off yesterday with engine fixing stuff (or looking to fix stuff). He took things apart looking for rust or clogs and changed the pump and filter. Then he bleed the lines of air and started the engine. As usual the engine hummed without a glitch. Unfortunately we couldn't run the engine for long as it was low tide and we were sitting on the bottom. So tomorrow it will be sea trial time again. While Greg was putting tools back and cleaning up I took the girls for a walk around the marina and then did a little reading. Later Greg and I borrowed the courtesy car (thank you Spring Cove Marina) and went into town for dinner. Sea trial tomorrow morning- keep praying for us.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

16 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 38* / Sunny
Mechanic Greg
Today we were able to use the courtesy car supplied by Sping Cove Marina to do a little restocking and to pick-up some parts for Mechanic Greg. The girls enjoyed a change of scenery too. I think we were all getting a little sailboat cabin fever. Once back aboard Mechanic Greg got to work on a few things before it was time to stop for the day and have some dinner. Tomorrow Greg is going to change the pump and filter and continue to investigate for causes of our engine problem. If all works and it is early enough we will go out for a sea trial - pray for us.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

15 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 33* / Windy
No Go
We went out for our sea trial today and within 20 minutess our humming engine started to sputter. It didn't stall though and we were able to limp back to our temporary spot at the end of the dock on our own. No calls to Boat US for at tow today. But we did make a call to the mechanic. Once again Kevin appeared at our boat with tool bag in hand. This time Greg had a video recording of our sputtering engine to show Kevin in hopes he would be able to quickly diagnois our troubles and we could soon be on our way. But this was not to be. After hooking-up pressure gages and checking this and that Kevin was unable to come up with an answer. So here we sit. Tomorrow is Saturday and the mechanic is off for the weekend so Greg and I are going out to do a little re-stocking and to a marine supply store for some parts. Maybe with all of the helpful suggestions given by George, Don, Greg's Dad, and ChaCha for the source of our engine troubles we will be able to fix it this weekend - say a little prayer.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

14 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 30* / Cold / Windy
Is Our Engine Fixed
Greg worked hard all day going over the engine but was unable to find anything significant to cause our engine problem (at least we think). He ran the engine for several hours at the dock and it hummed along without any problems. Could it be fixed. Is it a miracle? We will go out tomorrow for a sea trial - keep your fingers crossed.

Gone Sailing / Abigail Grace

13 December 2017 | Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 23* / Cloudy / Windy
At the Dock
Today we were hopeful for an easy resolution to our engine problem but this was not to be. Kevin (mechanic) came aboard but was unable to diagnois a problem as the engine ran fine while he was here. Without a resolution to our engine troubles tomorrow Greg is going to go-over the engine and look for any loose fittings etc. Otherwise not much activity today. Abigail was on the computer most of the day googling our engine problems (she's such a good little helper) while Izzy and Gracie were keeping warm snuggled up together. The weather has been cold with temps in the teens and winds at gale force. Our diesel heater (life saver) keeps us warm and while here (marina) we can use our axillary heater too. Although we are hopeful to have our engine problems fixed easily and soon I think we are all glad to be here safe warm and hooked up to electricity.

Gone Sailing - Abigail Grace

12 December 2017 | Solomons Island MD to Mills Creek VA
Temp 36* / Cloudy / Winds Light
Engine Trouble
With good weather forecasted for the day we departed Solomon's Island at 08:30 heading to our next anchorage in Mills Creek. Mills Creek is located off Ingram Bay and is report to be well protected with good holding. Weather predictions for the next couple of days were for low temps and gale winds so we wanted to take advantage of the good weather and sail on to Mills Creek. But this was not to be. As we headed for the Chesapeake Bay our engine bogged and stalled. Greg was able to re-start the engine but only to have the engine bog and stall again. We did some quick trouble shooting with nothing obvious to indicate a problem. We thought maybe we hit an oyster pot as they decorate the water in this area. Unable to re-start our engine the sails went up and a call to Boat Tow US was made for a tow back to Solomon's Island - Captain Mike to the rescue. Later back at Solomon's Island we had a diver check the prop for possible fouling - we were hopeful this was the problem. But this too was not to be. So we limped to a dock at Spring Cove Marina where a mechanic was scheduled to come out next day. Although we didn't make it to our next stop we were greatful for the day and for all the people who assisted us - Capt Mike, Diver, and staff at Spring Cove Marina.

Gone Sailing - Abigail Grace

11 December 2017 | Chester MD to Solomon’s Island MD
Temp 35* / Sunny
Casting Off

Today the sun was out, the temperature up, and the winds light. At 08:30 we departed for Solomon's Island MD. We arrived at approximately 16:30. It was a great day. The autopilot worked, the enclosure kept us warm, the artificial grass was a success for the girls, and the engine hummed along. The plan was to anchor in Back Creek but we grabbed a mooring ball at Zahniser's Yacht Center. After settling in we enjoyed a warm bowl of soup and mapped and planned our next day.

Gone Sailing - Abigail Grace

10 December 2017 | Chester Md
Temp 32* / Overcast
The Snow Has Stopped

The snow has stopped and it is cold and icy. Tomorrow's weather brings hope for departure.

Gone Sailing - Abigail Grace

09 December 2017 | Chester MD
Temp 29* / Snowing
Awaiting Weather

It's snowing and visibility is low so we won't be leaving today. Maybe tomorrow.

Gone Sailing - Abigail Grace

08 December 2017 | Chester MD
Temp 33* / Windy
The Start of Our Sailing Adventure

"Thank you" to our family and friends for your love and support. We want to share our adventure with all of you so please follow along and keep-in-touch. You can leave comments, email or call.

We Love You All

Greg, Diane, and Girls (Abigail, Isabel, and Gracie)
Vessel Name: Abigail Grace
Vessel Make/Model: TaShing Panda 38
Hailing Port: Chester, Maryland
Crew: Greg and Diane - Abigail, Isabel, and Grace
Extra: Sailing - Sharing our Adventure with Family and Friends
Abigail Grace's Photos - January 2, 2018 - Chesapeake VA - More Ice
Photos 1 to 3 of 3 | Main
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Captain Dana and Plastic Toy - breaking up the ice
Thick ice
Picture of ice broken-up and floating after the Captain of “Plastic Toy” and Captain of “Billie Jean” ran their engines
 
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