arrow heads south

16 October 2016 | Whitehall Bay, Annapolis, MD
11 October 2016 | Jackson Creek, Piankatank River, VA
09 October 2016 | Portsmouth, VA
05 October 2016 | Portsmouth, VA
02 October 2016 | Portsmouth, VA
29 September 2016 | Manteo, Roanoke Island, NC
28 September 2016 | Roanoke Island, NC
27 September 2016 | Little Alligator River, NC
23 September 2016 | Portsmouth, VA
22 September 2016 | Old Point Comfort, VA
21 September 2016 | Deltaville, VA
19 September 2016 | Deltaville, VA
18 September 2016 | Dymer Creek, VA
17 September 2016 | Reedville, VA
16 September 2016 | Solomons Island, MD
10 September 2016 | Baltimore, MD USA
13 May 2012 | Home port, Middle River, MD
08 May 2012 | Dymer Creek, VA
05 May 2012 | South Mills, NC
29 April 2012 | Carolina Beach, NC

Almost at home port

16 October 2016 | Whitehall Bay, Annapolis, MD
Pelicans at a fish trap on the Patuxent.

We have had pretty good weather for our return - not good enough to do much sailing, but north winds light enough to power into easily. So we have had daily runs from Portsmouth to Deltaville to Reedville to Solomons to Rhode River to Whitehall Bay. It is a short hop from here to our Middle River slip, and we will get there certainly by Monday or Tuesday (depending on how many more honking geese the admiral wants to listen to).


11 October 2016 | Jackson Creek, Piankatank River, VA
Left Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth, VA, at 8:30 am, after 9 days there. No real problems with commercial/military traffic, though we did scoot across the Thimble Shoals channel just in time to avoid dealing with a nuclear sub putting to sea. Powered into 8 - 11 knots of wind from the north for 8.5 hours and reached Jackson Creek. There was a surprising amount of southbound traffic, and we never saw so many boats anchored in Jackson Creek. All these will stack up in the Norfolk/Portsmouth area and wait until the ICW reopens.

The next two days look like similar weather, so we should get to MD by Thursday evening. Then the weather turns poor for northbound folks, so arrival home is difficult to predict.

PS There are tiny little knats here, and we finally are using the no-see-um screen that the Admiral crafted some years ago.

Matthew has passed by

09 October 2016 | Portsmouth, VA
The edges of Matthew packed a punch. Yesterday afternoon the rain and wind began to pick up, and from then until this morning we had around 7.5" of rain and winds in the 35 mph range, gusting to over 50 mph. This afternoon the rain has stopped, but the wind is still strong and gusty.

A few boats were damaged, mainly because of poor preparation. We had pretty much stripped the exterior and placed double lines on the boat, and we are fine. But it was noisy and bouncy, hard to sleep, and our forward hatch had a leak that dampened some of our stuff.

We are beginning to hear reports of ICW closure "until further notice" south of here due to bridge and lock damage, and everybody expects a lot of debris in the water. So we have firmed up our decision to return home rather than continue a delayed and messy trip south. If the wind forecast is correct, we won't be able to head north until later in the week. Until then we will keep reading and puttering. However, it is true that a boat gets smaller when it is not moving, so we might change location in a day or two.

Watching Matthew

05 October 2016 | Portsmouth, VA
One of our bigger neighbors, but not the biggest.

Still in Portsmouth awaiting developments with Matthew. The marina is full of all sorts of boats doing the same, including several very big, very ugly ones.

Things are beginning to look a little better for VA, but nothing is moving because things could change, and also the SC ICW is closed because of the bridge closures for the coastal evacuation. Same might soon be true of NC.

So we are reading a lot, participating some in the dock's social scene, and making sure that we are well tied down and have the exterior of arrow cleared off to reduce windage. (While it looks like we will miss a direct hit, we could be in for stormy weather and high water levels.) Today we took the ferry across to Norfolk and visited a shopping mall, saw the movie "Sully," and had lunch.

Clearly we will be here for another few days - maybe longer.

Wrong direction

02 October 2016 | Portsmouth, VA
Typical scenery on the Virginia Cut ICW.

So here is how it has been going. For the last week or so the weather has been pretty good for cruising the iCW: cloudy, with some light rain, but light wind for powering down rivers and canals, and for cruising sounds. In this we have been lucky. And we didn't get trapped in the Dismal Swamp when it closed for almost a week (a few boats did) and only one side of a drawbridge failed on the Virginia Cut route. On the other hand, the dinghy outboard failed (and was replaced), the anchor windlass wired remote "down" switch has failed (but I have a less-convenient one at the helm), the weather seal on our GPS chartplotter started leaking so the screen is fogging, and we have a rear-main-seal leak on the diesel that seemed to increase. All of these difficulties can be dealt with by work-arounds or credit card.

Then there is hurricane Matthew. In the Carolina's, the Captain does not like the choices when it comes to riding out such a storm. There are good facilities in exposed coastal locations (Beaufort, NC, and Charleston, SC are examples), and typically not-so-good facilities in the less-exposed, inland areas. Therefore the Captain has pointed the bow north, and we are back in Portsmouth/Norfolk where we are going to watch developments for a few days. The Admiral is not pleased.

When we made this trip 5 years ago, our insurance required that we stay north of Cape Hatteras, NC, until November 1. With our current insurance we have no such restrictions, but of course we knew there was a risk. Looks like we have lost the gamble.

Bottom line: the Captain is beginning to believe that there is a Jonah aboard and that we should head for home port.

Manteo again

29 September 2016 | Manteo, Roanoke Island, NC
arrow waits at the dock, while we explore on foot
Vessel Name: arrow
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 343
Hailing Port: Baltimore, MD
Crew: Jack and Terry
Extra: Me and my arrow. Straighter than narrow. Wherever we go, every one knows. It's me and my arrow. Me and my arrow. Taking the high road. Wherever we go, everyone knows. It's me and my arrow. (Harry Nilsson)
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arrow's Photos -

s/v arrow

Who: Jack and Terry
Port: Baltimore, MD