Chesapeake, VA (aka Great Bridge to the cruisers) N36° 43.243' W76° 14.247'
14 December 2008 | 36 43.243N 76 14.247W
When I went to bed (early) I had visions of going only as far as Deltaville (about 3 hours from Urbana) due to the lack of good anchorages between there and Norfolk, and it didn't seem like I could make it all the way to Norfolk. But then I had to pee - at midnight. And as I was lying in bed afterward, I started laughing at myself, for I had a moment of clarity that I could not get my head out of my butt earlier in the day and consider all of the options. What I realized was there was a near full moon, weather was calm, the Rappahannock River is wide and very navigable, as is the Chesapeake Bay itself, and there was no reason I could not travel all of that in the dark and save daylight for the ICW further south (which you really can't - or shouldn't - try to negotiate it in the dark). So I figured why not? I couldn't sleep anyway, so I got up and made preparations to leave early and hoisted the anchor at 0230.
The day was very uneventful, and I even managed to hit all but one of the bridges at the right times south of Norfolk and therefore pulled in here, my planned destination, only 30 minutes later than I expected at 1700. And the funny thing is after traveling all day and not talking to anyone on the radio (there was no one else goofy enough to be out here - it was pretty cold most of the way) I saw some folks tied up right by Great Bridge in a 40' Passport sailboat (Pelican) and they are from Willsborough, NY, just on the other side of Lake Champlain from Burlington, VT. Chris and his son Casey came over to meet me (I hollered something smart as I went past them like, "You should be sailing that in the Caribbean by now") and they all laughed. Anyway, they have a story similar to mine in that they are out for a two year adventure they just started; only they have two teenagers with them whom they are going to home school on the boat. OK, so they must be certifiably nuts. There is a fair amount of that out here. They invited me over for cocktails, but I am too tired and just want a shower and something to eat and then go to bed so took a rain check. More of that "small world" stuff...
Today was a real bonus in that I traveled 73 nm in 14 1/2 hours, and with the short days, that's not easy to do in the ICW. Tomorrow is supposed to warm to around 70, and with an early start I hope to put a fair dent in the miles to be traveled category. However, the next bridge south of here (only 3 miles, so I can't start as early as I would like) does not open until 0830, so if I can do 40 - 50 nm, that will probably be an accomplishment. I am shooting for somewhere in the North River which flows into the Albemarle Sound, near Buck Island or Broad Creek. South winds are forecasted, so we'll see. All I know it feels GREAT to be on the move again, especially knowing I am headed to a warmer climate!