Friday, October 31, 2008
Lest you think we are alone and crazy there were 17 boats in the anchorage. After an hour on the Bay this morning with steady 14 knot winds from the west everyone had their sails up – we could count 18 boats behind us and 12 in front of us. Only a few were trawlers. We left Fishing bay @ 7:15 and arrived at Hospital point in Porstmouth/Norfolk at 4:00 PM – our sail lasted 4 ½ hours before the wind shifted and was on our bow making us motor the rest of the way. We feel like we have worked damn hard just to get to mile zero – Beaufort NC is mile 204 Vero beach is mile 900 and something – a long way to go and lots of foibles still to come we are sure of that!!
This anchorage is interesting - (about 17 boats again ) the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk in front and behind us. We had to spend time in the shipping channel, watching for and giving leeway to barges, naval ships, container ships and the chase boats that guard the navy ships. Once we turned the corner out of the bay the air was much warmer and we enjoyed a beer and dinner out in the cockpit. I am thrilled not to have the heater on and it’s 66 in the boat vs the 44 it was this morning.
So off to the dismal swamp tomorrow and yes tomorrow night will be spent there at the visitors center – hmmm ……let’s hope we have no visitors …. Happy Halloween ! Margaret & Don click on photos for larger photo but then hit "back"
Sailing - yes actually sailing ! Norfolk,VA Tiller - chiller !
Thursday, October 30, 2008
So the day was shot because the trip to Hampton is too long to start mid morning. There are not any anchorages below the Piankitank River – so from here you have to go all the way to Hampton/Norfolk. Jackson Creek is one option but that is very tricky and shallow and S’s within a few feet of the shore. We bumped ground there once and have seen many boats ground while we have been at anchor. Not in the mood for a challenge this afternoon.
With the unusual low water we decided to pull into Fishing bay – A small cove with 18 feet of water ( about the size of the cove at the cape ) . It’s known for poor holding in stormy weather but with these COLD north winds we are protected by shore – we are anchored with 7 Canadian boats most of whom came down the bay this morning for 4 or 5 hours - a short day – to set them up for the long day to Hampton tomorrow. This is a beautiful spot and the sun is warm and we have our heater on though it refuses to work properly and we can not leave it on while we sleep.
It was in the 30’s this morning – we have an open cockpit so we are not protected from the weather. Tonight will be a hard frost but milder winds – we have been colder so we are ok.
It is good to have the time we took last night and are taking today to study our charts, we’ve got the boat really pulled together. Tiller didn’t skip a beat – he knew exactly where he was though he dragged his claws a little on the dock going to the boat ! So this afternoon we’ll just sit around, watch the other boats come in and pick cat hair off our layers of fleece clothing.
For anyone interested – google the "Dismal Swamp "– that is where we are headed after our night in Norfolk – Hampton ~ Everyone says it’s beautiful – I believe them but I have to tell you I am terrified of what lives there – in the water – in the trees – We have lost a few days and hope to catch up with our friend Greg so I hope that means we high tail it through the swamp though I believe ( I have tried really hard not to pay attention ) we spend one night in it. Now don’t you just wish you had free time in the winter ??…… Margaret if you click on the photos they get bigger-Fishing Bay
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It was exactly a year ago today that we took off on our first boat journey south. I was looking back at some photos and we did have a few days with Don in just a t-shirt – We feel better having already done this once but it’s still nerve wracking – the trip down the bay not to be taken lightly – these west winds have actually drawn lots of water out of the Chesapeake Bay. The tides are 2 feet below normal. It was strange today trying to figure out the tide even though a day or 2 ago we knew when the high tide was – it was high tide today and the water mark was where it was last weekend at low tide. This little creek we are in is a trick to get in and out at high tide so low tide being at 6:10 tomorrow morning is not in our favor. Running aground within 30 minutes of our journeys start is not really the tale we want to tell.
Tiller’s been really good for a cat that roamed the golf course all summer to being cooped up and kept on a tether. I wonder if I will be as well behaved ?
Stayed tuned... Margaret
Monday, October 27, 2008
Meanwhile I worked at the home we had been staying out to thoroughly clean it, move our things to the boat and organize. I was uneasy all day thinking things from the start of the day had not gone as planned. The 7 hours Don worked on the water would have been spent on pulling together all the last minute details.
At 5 PM I arrived at the boat with Tiller and the last of our food - It was cold and raining - when I got aboard they still had the boat torn apart - there was no room for me, the cat or the rest of our provisions. Don was so engrossed in problem solving he lost track of time and the weather report. I felt far from ready - the weather forecast was cold and strong winds. Tension could be felt by all - we had to let go of our plans to leave in the morning. I gratefully boarded "Aequantimitus" Bob and Sarah's warm, organized, Dickerson 36' sailboat to have a glass of wine with Sarah. The heater was on, no tools or parts in sight - just the warmth of friendship. We traded sailing and weather stories - a really nice end to the day.
Today was spent being grateful we weren't out in the gale - the wind has been terribly strong all day - gusts up in the low 40's - now Thursday is the day - tomorrow we will finish little details - we spent all afternoon at the boat getting the little things in place and feeling ready when the wind softens. Don solved the water issue for now - we dreamed this year would be warmer than last but with a high of 53 today and temps in the low 30's tonight - it's not going to be. With 30 knot winds I don't want to think of the wind chill. Well signing off for now - my air card signal comes and goes and I have had to restart this blog a dozen times - one more adjustment to life afloat !.... 7:30 PM - Margaret
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
So there she is ~ Heron~ all 20,000 lbs of her - today we'll be unloading the car - organizing food, sails, getting ready for tomorrow's launch.
We are very fortunate for the generosity of our friends Mike and Ann who have generously allowed us to stay in their waterfront home here in Deltaville while we get Heron livable. It's a wonderful modern ranch home with deep water dock - beautiful views and generous living space. It's for rent if anyone wants info on that just let us know. A great get-away for 2 to 6 people. Deltaville is a town of about 1,000 I would say - very small town - with 15 boat yards !
We'll leave our car here for Mike and Ann to use when they come east in November and December. A wonderful trade ~ I think we get the better end of the stick ,though if we keep having to visit the auto repair shop ( yes even had to have the car checked out in Arlington ! and today a new battery in Deltaville ! ) that old van may be worth as much as a house !
Had great visit with our friend Greg last night - he's been aboard Argonauta for a month or so getting ready for his journey south. Fun to talk about our start of this journey last fall together. Always fun to see an old friend. Well the new battery is in the car - time to get back to work.... Margaret
We have had a lot of inquiries about how to comment on our posts - you do not need a google password and account - if you click on comments - type your comment in - then fill in the funny looking script as instructed - then you will see the spot where is asks you for your password - just look below that and click on name/url instead and type in your name - that's it !! Then send your comments - just remember they are for all to read !