14 May 2011 | Cape Charles, VA
We have left the ICW in our wake and sailed out once again into open waters...While not yet the open ocean, the Chesapeake Bay is large enough to feel like real sailing again.
We left Norfolk yesterday morning and, after the usual pumping-out and filling-up of tanks, we fairly flew out of Norfolk and the Hampton Roads aided by the ebbing tide. We were making 8.5 knots over the ground as we crossed into the bay itself. After months of motoring through the ditch and placid sailing, our reflexes were a little rusty...reaching in 20 knot winds with 3-foot waves quickly demonstrated this as all the books, clothes, etc that hadn't been properly stowed were promptly launched about the cabin as we re-remembered how to reef our sails down so the boat was more comfortable. But it all comes back, and soon enough Anne was sailing comfortably at hull speed while I had business meetings via telephone.
We sailed northeast across the lowest part of the bay to the eastern shore where we came into a wonderful working town harbor filled mostly with crabbers and people who work for a living...a quiet small town, which is a great mental relief after the busy city of Norfolk. If you look at our coordinates carefully on a satellite image, you'll see that we appear to be in the middle of the harbor. This is because we are amongst the very first boats to use the brand-new docks that were only completed yesterday, as we were coming in!
We spent the day here as the weather has become unsettled: Not a big organized storm system, but lots of showers and thunderstorms scattered around. We'll see how they develop before continuing...