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Into the Sunset
First leg of the Intracoastal Waterway
Linda / Sunny, warm changing to chilly
12/14/2011, Coinjock, NC

This was the big day for timing all of the bridge and lock openings. We left the marina at 8 and were able to make good time, arriving at each bridge at the right time. We started moving well, once past the bridges. Wind in the wide open flats created dangerous shoaling. We met an unfortunate young man whose sailboat had run aground, and while trying to assist him, we ran aground ourselves. We soon realized that we wouldn't be able to help him without endangering ourselves and our boat so we followed other sailboats out of the shallow area. We hope he was able to get help. Carefully we made our way a few more miles down the waterway, enjoying a colorful sunset over the marshes. We tied up at Midway Marina for the night.

R and R at Portsmouth
Linda / Sunny skies, warm!
12/13/2011, Portsmouth, VA

With clear skies, the wind behind us, and following seas, we arrived much sooner than expected in Portsmouth, VA. Two PT boats raced past us as we approached the harbour at Norfolk. The massive military ships were impressive.
We arrived at the Ocean Marine Yacht Center and received an enthusiastic greeting from Rod who assisted our docking. Can't say enough about their service. It was super. After showers and laundry, we walked in the chilly evening to an Italian Restaurant, "Amore", on Union Street in Portsmouth. The setting was cozy, food delicious, and service very friendly. We'll go back! As we walked back from the restaurant we got a great view of the lighted Norfolk skyline and the Paddle wheel ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Norfolk. Holiday lights made it really special.

Rockin and Rollin to the York River
Linda / Windy, cold, cloudy
12/12/2011, Chisman Creek anchorage

We left Reedville at dawn and finally had enough light to see this quaint fishing village. There were several 100 foot long fishing boats in the harbour and a prominent smokestack marked the entrance to the meandering channel, amazingly beautiful in the early morning light.
As we entered the main channel, the wind and waves picked up again and gave us a rocky ride until we tucked into a cozy, calm anchorage nearly 8 hours and 50 miles later. We are all secure with our new anchor and 150 feet of chain.
Hot soup, sandwiches, and hot tea for dinner sounds great. Only 30 more miles to Portsmouth tomorrow and a little r&r.

A long smooth ride!
Jim / Sunny and calm but cold
12/11/2011, Reedville VA

We left Annapolis just before dawn and had some great views of the full moon setting. As we headed toward Soloman MD, our destination for the day, the waters were calm, the tide was going out and the slight breeze was behind us. All of these conditions combined to help us fly down the bay. We decided to set a new destination about 30 more miles down the bay and with the help of our charts, we selected Reedville VA as our new target. We were averaging 7.5 to 8 knots and ended up making about 76 nautical miles for the day. Not bad for the short days of wintertime. Linda caught a beautiful sunset photo as we approached the last few miles to Reedville. We made it into a very dark marina with the help of the owner who coached us in on the cell phone. We enjoyed flouder and rockfish at the Crazy Crab restaurant that was just a few feet from where we docked Al Di La. A great finish to a long day!!!

A wild ride to the Annapolis Christmas Boat Parade
Jim/ Cold, windy
12/10/2011, Annapolis, MD

We left Summit North Marina in the dark and traveled down the C&D Canal by moonlight. By the time we reached Turkey Point the wind had kicked up to 20 knots. We had planned to go about 15 miles past Annapolis, but we found ourselves fighting 3 to 4 foot waves in 25 knots of wind. We decided to bail out and spend the night on a mooring ball in Annapolis since the weather report indicated calmer conditions for Sunday. We were delighted to find that we had arrived on the night of the annual Christmas Boat Parade. It was amazing to see how creatively people had decorated their boats with Christmas lights as over 30 boats paraded several times around the harbour right in front of us. A great way to relax after the excitement earlier in the day.

Move on day
Jim/Cold
12/09/2011, Summit North Marina, Bear, DE

Today we loaded the last of what we planned to take with us on this journey to Charleston. (probably brought way too much wine) Finding places for everything was quite a challenge but by the end of the day we amazed ourselves with how much we could store.
Weather report indicated that we should expect high winds and waves tomorrow. woopee!

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