05/12/2013, Chesapeake City
The wind finally died down enough for us to leave Hampton and start heading north up the Chesapeake. Our first night we anchored in a little creek just north of the Potomac river. Just as we were about to enter the anchorage a storm squall hit us with heavy rain and winds. As viability was next to nothing we needed to turn around and head out into the bay again until things settled down. Once we got into the river it was shallower then expected and we ran aground twice and finally gave up and just anchored in the channel. The next morning a steady stream of crab boats dodged us on their way to work at 6:00 am. The next day took us to the historic town of Oxford on the eastern shore. We fueled up then anchored for the evening. Oxford was a lovely town to stroll around and we had dinner at Schooners overlooking our boat at anchor. We couldn't head up the Chesapeake with out a stop at Annapolis, one of our favorite cities. We anchored in Spa Creek and visited some of our regular haunts. After one day we decided to head over to the east shore again and check out Rock Hall. We took a dock and met several friendly boaters who asked us to join their group at a fun local restaurant. This morning we left early hoping to beat the strong wind that were forecast from the north. It turned out to be a great day and we were able to sail all the way up the rest of the Chesapeake to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. We will anchor at Chesapeake City for the night then take on the Delaware bay.
Martha knitting at the helm
The flowers were in full bloom in Oxford
We stopped in Hampton Virginia to visit with Bob and Marilyn from Peaceful Easy Feeling who we met and had a fun time with in the Bahamas. We planned to stay with them for a couple of days. They treated us royally and we had a whole day of touring both Hampton and Historic Williamsburg. It was nice to get off the boat for a couple of days and Martha did get to enjoy a bathtub. After two days we set out early Thursday morning into a strong head wind. The waves turned out to be bigger then we anticipated so after a few hours on banging we turned around and headed back to the protected dock at Southall Landing Marina in Hampton. We are still here and it looks like we won't be able to leave until next Wednesday. We are keeping ourselves somewhat busy with boat chores but we are getting anxious to get going again. Marilyn has loaned us her car so we can get around. We plan to attend a street party tonight in downtown Hampton but at only 64 degrees it will be a little cool. I noticed the forecast for Hamilton and the lift in at our Yacht Club at home is 69 degrees. Its just not fair.
Sunrise just off the Alligator River
Martha and Marilyn in front of one of the oldest Anglican churches in America
British actors in Williamsburg
Wagon at Williamsburg
We are now in Norfolk Virginia and at the end of the ICW. We got a free dock in one of the town basins in Portsmouth across the river from Norfolk. Tonight we had dinner with Bob and Marilyn who we met in the Bahamas and live close bye. It was really nice to reconnect with them. Tomorrow we will sail to there home town marina and spend a night with them at there home. Martha is dreaming about a bath tub. From here we will sail north up the Chesapeake.
04/25/2013, North Carolina
We caught the 8:00 am bridge out of Beaufort and ran aground at 8:15. There was a shoal right across the channel. There is a new channel around the shoal but we missed it and the chart plotter was not clear. Although it was a sound grounding we were able to back out of it with no damage other them a bruised ego. When we stuck our nose out into the wide open Pamlico Sound the waves were huge so we headed for the protection of Oriental. As we arrived just after noon there was space on the free town dock. Another bonus is I am getting free internet at the dock. We borrowed bikes from the local marine store and biked over to the Marina. Up on the hard we saw Latitudes and Equus, 2 boats we met on our travels, put away for the summer. Oriental is a lovely town and very friendly to boaters. The dogwood and azaleas were in full bloom so everything looked beautiful and fresh.
Eagles Wings at the town dock
The azaleas were in full bloom
Lovely Dogwood tree
04/24/2013, North Carolina
We talked to the people from the boat in front of us at the dock in Wrightsville Beach and they said they were going to try the outside route to Beaufort. This would cut the 2 day trip on the ICW down to 1 on the Atlantic. The distance was about 70 nautical miles. At our cruising speed of 5.5 knots this would take 12.7 hours. With the longer days this would be well in our range. Checked the tides. High going out and high again to come in with a strong current push. Everything looks good so far. Now the wind. Light and variable in the morning building to 15 knots out of the SW in the afternoon. Good again. Now finally the waves. 5.2 feet at 8 second intervals. Everything looks good for an outside passage. We set the alarm for 6:30 and were off the dock 10 minutes later. With a high tide we made it out of the inlet with no problems. With very little wind we motored only and we were rolling a bit. The winds picked up at 11:00 so up went the sails and our speed increased to over 6.5 knots and to 7 later in the day. We made Beaufort at 6:00 pm on a high tide and incoming current. It turned out to be a great day of motor sailing. It feels great when everything lines up to your advantage.
Panoramic shot of Beaufort Waterfront
04/23/2013, North Carolina
We got a late start from Myrtle beach so it was just before sunset when we set the hook at Carolina Beach. After the previous long day we decided to take it easy and stop at Wrightsville Beach. We took a dock at the marina as they have a loaner car and we wanted to top up our propane and provisions. We met up with Always $umthing who we shared several fun days with on our way down south. Dianne was even thoughtful enough to bring Martha a belated birthday gift and card. We had a happy hour on the boat then went out for dinner together at a local sports bar. The Tuesday special was a cluster of snow crabs for only $5.00. We each ordered 2 clusters and it turned out to be a great inexpensive meal.
Dinner with Dianne and Al from Always $umthing
Paddle Boarder taking dog for a trip
Full Moon at Wrightsville Beach. Look out for super low and high tides?