Bookmark and Share
The First Mate's Journal
Where to next?

Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
View Complete Profile »


10/27/2008, Blue Water Yachting Center, Hampton VA

Monday, October 27, 2008
Bluewater Yachting Center, Hampton, VA 37o01.056x077o20.480
50s, cloudy, rain and high winds towards evening.

Breakfast of ham/eggs this morning then boat chores, and a trip to West Marine for anchor stuff. Walked the dock looking at the boats and chatting with Crown Royal (we passed in the North Channel last year but never chatted) for a while. After talking with Joan Conover (Seven Seas Cruising Association - SSCA) and Crown Royal, I wish we were part of the rally, much as I know we're not ready yet. Heck our boat doesn't even qualify (you need to be at least 40 ft to leave with the group from here and we're 36). Joan was looking for someone to crew with another couple (2 people aren't enough - to grueling a trip per Joan) I bit my tongue (much as I wanted to volunteer). After chatting we caught the shuttle with one other guy going to West Marine, and going south with the 1500. I guess we're having our own 1500 going south, just in a different manner. On the way to West Marine, we found out that they give 1500 members a discount on various stuff, and couldn't figure out if we could or should use their discount or not. We still have $20 coupons from the boat show that would probably be more of a discount. Picked up chain (28ft that he gave us for 25ft (what's he going to do with 3 extra feet at the end of the roll?), 150 ft of rode and another delta anchor, shackle, and 2 mugs that I've wanted since having coffee with Lydia and Skip on Flying Pig. At the checkout the kid asked if we were 1500 and before I could say anything, the other guy said, "yes, they are" (we were chatting with him at the check out). So we didn't get to use our coupons and the 1500 discount saved us a whole $1.50. We could have saved more money by paying for a taxi and using a coupon as opposed to taking the shuttle... hmmmmm.... Got back to the boat and started working again but the wind was really howling and the rain started kicking in so we scurried below and kicked on the heat. I put a black plastic bag over the slats in the door to stop the wind from howling in and displacing our heat! Brrrr.... I didn't realize it was getting late, and didn't feel like cooking tonight so it's Kraft Mac/Cheese and hot dogs. Wayne said he liked it but I didn't particularly care for it tonight...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Bluewater Yachting Center, Hampton, VA 37o01.056x077o20.480
50s, cloudy, high winds & Gale Warnings issued today.

Very nice shower facilities here and lots of hot water. I steamed it up and thoroughly enjoyed it! Then walked to the office to see if they'd let us stay one more night. I really didn't want to go out in those high waves and winds today at all. There were small craft advisories and gale warnings around us - I definitely didn't want to go out. Adam signed us up for one more day (said he didn't think it'd be a problem) so we started working on filling the water tank, I melted & bound the ends of the new rode (whipped it) and some of the old ropes that were fraying and Wayne worked on the anchor setup. Got everything set to take off in the morning.

Chatted with Joan again & hopefully we'll make contact with Glenlyon while out, they're heading the same way we are. Ran over to Stray Kitty during the dinner hour to relay a message for Joan (on how to get his radio to work) but nobody answered. The second time over to Stray Kitty was a charm. Sounded like he had the bugs already worked out with his radio though J I told him we were heading out tomorrow and left our card with him. Hope we run into them in the Bahamas or somewhere. I'd have liked to have taken our kids on a trip like he's embarking on - what an experience for the parents and kids alike.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Cold, Windy, choppy - yukkkkkolllld

Topped up with a whole 3 gallons of diesel (but at 2.49/gal we had to try), pumped out and then headed out. Cold, cloudy, windy and very sloppy seas. Wind chill was 39 most the day. High wind and waves were trouncing us so we went no further than Hospital Pt, Norfolk VA (about 15 miles) and dropped anchor in front of the Tidewater Yachts Marina just past Red Buoy 36 which is the Mile Marker zero for the Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW). My teeth won't stop chattering... We huddled under the blankets reading and staying warm. Are we having fun yet?

Neptunes revenge continued
60s, winds E-SE 0-10mph, waves 1 ft
10/26/2008, Chisman Creek 37o11.077x076o25.388 to Hampton, VA 37o01.056x077o20.480

After sweet rolls and coffee, we drove across our anchorage area in a big X forward and back to see if our anchor was played out along the bottom. The hope was that we could snag the rope or chain with our anchor and haul it up. No luck. So we said adios to it and let Neptune have his due. So if anyone finds an anchor in Chisman Creek with a bent up fluke (that I did last year), give it our regards - it served us well...

Southbound again to Norfolk/Hampton.
It seemed logical that it wouldn't be to busy, Norfolk way, on a Sunday. Wow, the closer we got to the bottleneck area, the busier it was! Not with Naval ships though, but a large freighter (turquoise) came baring down on us blowing his horn and we weren't even in the channel. Just wanted to make sure we saw him I guess. We decided to go to Hampton, and the number of sailboats as we approached was incredible! It felt like heading into Annapolis for the boat show again! This time there were travelers south (like us), day sailors out for the beautiful fall day, racers, and as we later found out the Caribbean 1500 are meeting here to begin their trip to the Caribbean, the beginning of November.

We hailed the City Docks, no slips available, then tried Bluewater Yachting Center - nope can only give you one night - I don't have the authority for more than that until I check with the boss. Yikes! All these sailboats out here and no dockage available? That's how we found out that the Caribbean 1500 was coming to town tomorrow and the slips had been all reserved. The 1500 is a cruising rally that gets together and flies south (honk honk, onk) to the Caribbean from here and this year also from Charleston S.C. So our timing was perfect (hey we're Abens remember?). Last year they had 70-80 boats leave from here, I'm not sure how many are converging this year, only that when we came in, it was really iffy if we could stay more than tonight. So my nerves have been a little touchy today. Want to hear some of my cluttered thoughts?

Last nights subliminal 2:00 am thoughts: "Oh my gosh, what if we drag, if there's a storm, and we don't have both the anchors up front (illogical I know with a storm anchor sitting in the cockpit - but not attached to anything)"; "okay, where'd my blanket go, it's cold out here"

Today's miscellaneous thoughts: "trolling for anchors, let it be here!" "damn, it's not"; "Why is that blankity-blank freighter baring down on us - we're not in the channel.... Are we???" "Why are all these frigging racers and day sailors aiming at me?" "Why are all these huge power boaters cutting in front of me and waking me???" "Why doesn't Wayne like cake? I can't keep ice-cream on board." "oh oh, no room at the inn, we'll have to anchor out somewhere, lower the dink and go grocery shopping from... where? To.... Where?" "Okay, lie and tell them we're only here for a night, then we'll shop, get the lay of the land and anchor somewhere tomorrow until we're set to go...after we find an anchor" "how far to the nearest West Marine and can we carry an anchor, chain, and rode for 5 miles back to a dingy... that's anchored...where?" "Why can't we be part of that 1500 clan flying south... I feel like a renagade goose that can't join the larger v..."

Needless to say some thoughts have omitted to protect the innocent...

We pulled into the Bluewater Yachting Center, got the lay of the land (yes check out time is noon), got an adapter for 50 to 30 amps for the boat (deposit $175.00) so we have power. The "boss" called after, to say he can accommodate us and was asking where we were (um, oops, in the marina). He said he was going to put us somewhere else but since we were here, that we could stay where we were (A big loud YAYYYYY). We then got directions from the young lad that works here - Dan, and headed to the Food Lion Store just shy of a mile from the marina (he said it's mile, but when I mapped it out it said .8 miles from the road that enters the marina. Walking it with all the groceries, it felt more like 10 miles. This marina is a huge maze! We were huffing and puffing carrying everything back (and we're not done). There are no sidewalks, so we had to walk the road and keep leaving it when cars passed us (which they did a lot). As we finally got to the marina, our young hero showed up in a golf cart and gave us a ride to D Dock, then showed us where the dock carts were. I could have hugged that kid to death - my hands and back were screaming at me, and I know Wayne's knee was giving him hell!

Next up - putting all this stuff away into the little frig! Oh no, there's water and stuff in the bottom of it. Need to clean it out first, then put all the food in. Yikes, 2 broken eggs during the trip from the store. More clean up. Oh no - the large eggs are larger than large and don't fit into my egg protector... Clean up the egg carton and put them back into it! Okay... food is away and it's 7:30 pm... What next? Dinner? What, me cook now that everything just got stowed? Forget it... I'm calling for pizza... I wonder if they deliver... They do!!!

8:15, phone rings... Dialog: I can't find your house. What? I'm not in a house, I'm on D-Dock, slip 23... You're where? I'm in a boat, D-Dock, slip 23. I can see D Dock. Where are you? Oh oh... I don't know, I'm on a boat, on D-dock, didn't the guy I called tell you? Um hmmm, I didn't even know this place was here. Me neither LOL. Hang on, I'll talk with you and see if I can find you. Are you in your car? Mmhmmm.. lights on? Mmmhmmmm? Okay, look for me and I'll look for you.... Okay... What color car? Light blue... okay, I see a big building. Are you near it? Mmmhmmmm. Anyhow we finally met up, and this pizza was GOOD! Mmmmmm.... It even came with a dipping sauce. So if anyone ever wants good pizza and they're here - call Chanellos Pizza! Very good and they deliver to the boat (if they can find you), if not, they definitely deliver to the marina!

Okay, tummy feels better; mind feels better... time for sleep... Tomorrow is a new day and the search for West Marine. I forgot to mention we called them and they stashed an anchor for us to pick up tomorrow. Theoretically, there's a shuttle van going to operate from here to West Marine for the Caribbean 1500 members. The guy at West Marine (Bill) said there would probably be room and they probably wouldn't know if we were 1500 or not so to just jump on in. Think they'll recognize us as on of their flock or will they peck us until we leave? Stay tuned... honk onk onnnk... two lone geese in the middle of a flock and what a marvelous flock they appear to be...

Updated - King Neptune's revenge
Cloudy, 70, rain/drizzle most the day
10/25/2008, Chisman Creek, MD

Captain is taking today off. Happy Saturday...
Here's a picture of both of us with our catch yesterday...

Remember that anchor that King Neptune gave us???

Well I guess he didn't like that we either took an anchor that belonged to him, or didn't like it that we didn't keep it. Either way, towards evening tonight, we discovered we were an anchor shy. Our 45 lb danforth anchor was gone!!! It must have taken a jarring during our passage yesterday and came loose sometime during the trip or last night...

By the way Capt'n says thank you for all the well wishes on his 69th trip around the sun ;)

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]