10/22/2009, Deep Creek, VA
October 15th, 2009 Norfolk to Deep Creek Lock, VA
10/22/2009, Norfolk, VA
There was no reason to hurry this morning because the Lock opening at Deep Creek wasn't until 11am and the Gilmerton Bridge, which was an hour away, was closed between 6:30 and 8:30 am for rush hour. We had coffee and lounged around until 9 and weighed anchor in a cold drizzle. As we motored through the Norfolk/Portsmouth shipping complex the rain picked up to the point where visibility was not so good. We had a short wait at the Gilmerton lift bridge but were the only boat in the area so marking time was easy.
We slowly motored up Deep Creek past a couple die-hard fisherman were caught a nice one as we passed in steady rain. In front of the lock were 7 boats, five big trawlers a small Cat and a Hunter. We were last in line.
Getting everyone in the lock took some time, but eventually Robert closed the door and we were slowly lifted about six feet to the level of the Dismal Swamp Canal. When the doors opened about 20 minutes later, all seven boats continued on while we treaded water just past the lock exit. There were three boats on the dock with lots of space between them. It was pouring by now and there was only one person in sight. -some tall guy in a yellow slicker. His boat was at the very end of the dock and we could easily fit behind him if the two other boats would move down. Normally, in this situation, boats would have already tightened up to make room but not this time. I ask if anyone was aboard the boat that needed to move and the yellow guy said yes and walked down the dock to knock on his boat. After discussing the matter for a minute the yellow guy came back to say that he would move his boat backward and we could take his spot.
Then the other guy came out and said that he would move ahead but that it would take some time. Meanwhile, at the short dock, which is adjacent, a very nice Canadian stood out in the rain and asked if we wanted to raft off. I thanked him but said that there was more than enough room on the larger dock.
Finally with the boats moved and retied, we slid in the vacancy with an impressive Captain Ron move. The yellow slicker guy, who's name ended up being Nils, asked Robert, who had arrived by then, if I knew what I was doing and Robert told him that I "knew exactly what I was doing."... a nice vote of confidence... but the truth is that docking on the port side where I can use the prop walk to suck us in is easy.
It was still pouring as we tied up and thanked everyone for coming out in the rain to help us. We had some lunch and knocked off the only two tasks that we had on the list before mid afternoon. Nils was having problems with his new Honda generator and I offered ours since our battery bank was maxed out on our two-hour trip.
The rain let up and we wandered up to Lock to see if anyone was locking through on the 3:30 opening but there wasn't much action. A Tow Boat US came through hauling fuel to some idiot who ran out about 12 miles in to the Swamp.
One of the two sailboats who locked through with us and continued on hit something about a mile into the canal and messed up their prop. There had to turn around and Robert locked them through later in the evening.
Nils and Pat... the yellow guy and wife, invited us over for dinner on "Fairwinds" ( A Bristol 41 which is now Kathy's second favorite boat) as thanks for the use of our generator and we had a very nice time with them.
We returned to "Sapphire" and watched a movie before hitting the sack.
October 14th, 2009 Deltaville to Norfolk, VA
10/15/2009, Deltaville, VA
We had set the alarm for 6am to check the weather and make the decision of traveling or not. The alarm didn't go off and we and got up at 7:09 to a grey day with about 15 knots of wind in our protected little creek. I could see three boats working their way out into the Bay and trough the binoculars it looked a little rough our there... not elephants on the horizon, but good teeth like a rip saw blade. We drank our coffee and I left the decision to Kathy while going above to lash things down in case we decided to take our leave. The bottom end of the Chesapeake has the reputation of being not the nicest of places on a windy day.
We decided to take a look and bail out an hour or so south if need be....
It was rough getting out into the Bay into four footers. But when we turned south and raised some sail things got nice... almost comfortable but not quite. To avoid rolling we headed much to the East of our rhumb line and sailed over to the Eastern shore to avoid some fetch. By noon we turned toward Norfolk dead down wind and had a nice ride in.
We were anchored by 4pm in a slight drizzle and about 10 knots of wind from the NE. We had a quiet, comfortable evening.
October 13th, 2009 Deltaville, VA
Over coffee we watched the anchorage empty while checking the weather. It was plain to see that today was the day to make the last leg of the Chesapeake. It was going to get cold, windy and rainy for the foreseeable future. But we had things to do here and there are worse places to be socked in.
I went ashore to see who was around and found Rick and Linda on the hard in our spot. They had lightning problems this summer as well and are here letting the marina do the work. (What a concept?)
I also found Roger and Jane of " Sereno 55" parked next to "Tilt"... it seems that Craig just returned to Michigan for the funeral of a friend and won't be back for a week or so.
When I returned to the boat, Kathy had the laundry ready to go and had spent a considerable amount of time cleaning the cockpit floor. It looks better than it has in weeks. Tom of "Perseverance II" had called and was on his way to pick up his crimping tool that had been passed to us from some of his Canadian friends. He arrived in his two-seater 1964 Mercedes convertible... and was kind enough to drive me on a couple of errands around town. We had a nice lunch before returning to the boatyard.
The aundry was backed up so there was really no reason to take our clothes over yet but we did pay our daily usage fee and took the car to the grocery and vegetable stand. Linda rode along with us to pick up a few things as well.
After taking the groceries back to the boat, Kathy took the clothes ashore to get in line for the washing machine while I worked on topping off our fuel tanks. I make two trips to the fuel dock and by the time I was done, Kathy was almost finished with the wash.
Meanwhile, and this is cool, Rick had yelled at me from shore to come in or give him a call. He had mentioned this morning that his radar was being replaced even though it had been working fine for a month. It is the same ours but has three times the range. I told him that I'd be interested in taking it off his hands if the insurance company okayed the deal and so in the afternoon he called them and got the ok.
What he really didn't want was to have the Boatyard get their hands on the unit... and resell. Anyway, I walked over after refueling and he gave the thing to me . . .Wow! If we're lucky it may be a plug and play. The transmitter seems to have the same type of plugs as ours. We'll have to wait and see, but I am hopeful that it will be an easy swap. At the worst, I'll have to snake a new wire down the mizzen mast.
With clean clothes and a new radar we returned to the boat just at dusk and went to work on supper. While is was cooking we put the outboard on the rail and hoisted the dinghy on the long shot that we might be able to travel tomorrow.
We had a great meal of escalloped potatoes and ham with sautéed spinach on the side, and then watched some old "Cold Case" reruns before bed.