What a difference a day makes. Today the water in the Chesapeake was perfectly flat most of the time and slightly rippled the rest of the time. We occasionally put out our head sail but never gained much lift. Our goal was to be Reedville but at some point in the morning Kathy and I discussed the idea of continuing on to Solomons. It would make for a long day but our plans are to stay there for a few days so we would have lots of time to recover.
About 15 minutes later Jim radioed wondering if we might entertain the thought of pushing on to the Solomons....which would make their trip into their home port of North Herrington Harbor on Friday much shorter. By the time we got anchors settled we had been on the water for a little over 13 hours and had covered about 80 miles. (almost all of which was into a 2 knot current)
We had eaten on the way in so before dark we dinghied over to say our good-byes even though we'll be seeing them in a few days.
June 13... Solomons Island, MD
We both slept in this morning and it was 10 am by the time we were finished with breakfast. Our goal for the day was laundry and so we sorted everything and loaded up the dinghy for a ride to shore. The Holiday Inn here has an attached marina and allows folks at anchor to dock their dinghies for $2 a day. When we were here in the fall and there were so many boats that the dinghy dock was always crowded and no one ever tracked us down to pay. Today they caught up with us on the second docking.
The laundromat is located in a little strip mall about a block away (it's actually about ¼ mile) and very convenient. There is also a fish market, grocery, a bank and a few other businesses. We finished a little after noon and returned our clothes to the boat before another trip in to West Marine and lunch at a Chinese place. We made a few more stops and then returned to sit and read. (One of us made the bed with clean sheets and put laundry away before sitting and reading.)
Mike 06/13/2008, Mobjack Bay, VA
June 11... Hospital Point, Norfolk, VA to Mobjack Bay, VA
We got away around 6:30 and motor sailed through the ship lanes of Norfolk before traffic got bad. I tied in a double reef in the main while still in the harbor and as we left we were sailing for the first time in quite a while.
Once in Chesapeake however, we found that the forecast of 10 to 15 was off by half and when we made our turn north had seas of 6 to 8 feet hard on the nose. It wasnt the wave height that was the problem but the frequency. For most of the day we found ourselves going over one wave and nose diving into the next with literally tons of water pouring over the boat. Luckily our friends on "Solitaire" shot some video of us rocking and rolling and made a DVD, so we can relive this nasty trip again and again.
Anyway, we plodded into them at making 3mph over ground for most of the day. Jim radioed to say that since our ETA in Deltaville was projected to be around midnight, we might consider an alternate anchorage. We followed "Solitaire" into Mobjack Bay and anchored off the East River.
After putting everything away and replacing the sail covers, I spent a few minutes repairing our davits. One of them had worked itself out of it's base and needed some attention. The torque on them is amazing when we are pounding into heavy seas . At some point this summer I need to add another cross member to strengthen the system.
Mike 06/13/2008, Norfolk, VA
June 10th... Deep Creek to Norfolk
Happy Birthday Kristie!
Jim and I topped off our water tanks and were listening to the radio when we heard that Bridge #7 in Norfolk was not repaired. Our plan was to stay in Deep Creek until we were sure that it was fixed because there is no place to stop once you hit the Elizabeth River in Norfolk .... and there are big ships everywhere.
The first locking was scheduled for 8:30 and we met George when he arrived to tell him that we didn't want to leave if we were going to be stuck at Bridge#7 with no place to tie up or anchor. He got on the phone and after a brief conversation told us to get our boats untied while he readied the lock. By 8:30 we were out of the lock and on our way...½ hour before the scheduled opening. George had found out that Bridge #7 was going to opened at 9 for traffic and then closed for an unknown length of time for repairs. He thought that we could make it if he got us through his lock a little early. We love the Dismal Swamp lock guys!
We were at Bridge #7 at 9:00 am but nothing happened until after 10:00 when it opened. Traffic was stacked up on both sides of the bridge and the bridge tender said that north bound boats should proceed. We got in line with about 10 pleasure craft of varying sizes and started forward. As we approached the bridge with three boats behind us, we found an oncoming barge that was taking up all the available space. Since playing chicken was out of the question, we veered off and waited for a string of 4 very large barges to pass through southbound before continuing.
In a few miles and one more bridge, we were safely anchored at Hospital Point in Norfolk. It was above 110 again and about the only thing we could do was drink water and stay in the shade. I wanted to go ashore but it was out of the question in this heat.
Okay, the picture is from the Great Dismal Swamp, but Norfolk is not that pretty from the water.