Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sailing South

Thursday, October 17th, brought light south winds and predictions of one foot seas, so we opted to drop the mooring and go even though better sailing wind was predicted for tomorrow.  We passed through the 9:30 bridge on Spa Creek, stopped for fuel and  water, and were off and motoring before ten.  We passed the famous Thomas Point Shoal Light.

Our new belt on the autopilot worked well, and for the first time since Lake Erie standing watch was carefree.

Our plan was to motor to Soloman's Island, but the wind forecast proved inaccurate and the seas built to three feet.  Passage  doesn't do well motoring into seas this large, so 18 miles from our destination we turned around and sailed downwind for ten miles to Knapp's Narrows.  We really hate ever giving up distance made.  We discovered the current was very strong in the narrows, but docked just east of the bridge and spent an uncomfortable night in strong northwest winds.

Friday the 18th brought strong northwest winds, so we cast off at 7:45 and enjoyed an excellent sail down the Chesapeake Bay.

We enjoyedseeing the Cove Point Lighthouse as we neared Soloman's Island.

 We docked at Calvert Marina and soon enjoyed happy hour with the crews of three other cruising boats. A front arrived, and we sat out a rain day at the marina.

Sunday we motor sailed to Deltaville, where we took a dock at Regatta Point Marina.  The weather has gotten much colder at night, and we wimps are electing to plug in so that we can enjoy heat.

Deltaville to Norfolk turned out to be a low wind and flat sea motor boat ride.  On the way we passed Wolf Trap Light and then a naval worship working its way up into Mobjack Bay.

This was only a prelude of the many warships we would see as we motored the ten miles up the harbor to Waterside Marina in Norfolk.

We love Waterside because of the many restaurant choices.  This trip we chose to eat at Joe's Crab Shack. 

Tuesday, October 22nd , we couldn't leave early because the Gilmerton Lift Bridge didn't open until 9:30.  What a pain!  Boats backed up to wait for the opening, and then we were off!

After one more lift bridge, four power boats and seven sailing vessels arrived at the Great Bridge Lock.  We all crowded in, then after leaving the lock had to jockey to maintain position for 12 minutes to wait for the first of three more lift bridges.

We motored on, once being passed by a flotilla of power boats who caught the last bridge 30 minutes after us.

After motoring down Currituck Sound, we arrived at Midway Marina in Coinjock.  The wind report sounded negative for crossing Albemarle Sound on Wednesday, so we assumed we would be sitting here for a day.  Coinjock is not exactly an exciting place,  so we weren't looking forward to a lay day here.

We awoke on Wednesday the 23rd to a revised weather forecast which gave us time to cross the sound before the winds built.  We left the dock in light air at 7:40.  Two hours later we approached the sound to discover strong winds right on the nose with building seas!  Since Passage is extremely uncomfortable and struggles to maintain momentum in these conditions, we soon gave up and went to plan B.  We turned southeast and headed for Roanoke Island and the lovely village of Manteo on the Outer Banks.  Our ride was comfortable and fast, so we were tied to the dock in Mateo by 1:30.

Because of predictions of strong westerly winds, Thursday became a lay day.  We will do boat maintenance, laundry, grocery shopping, and a haircut for Jack.  We will also enjoy this lovely little town before departing for the mainland and Big Trout Marina in Engelhard, North Carolina, the halfway point between here and Oriental, where we will rejoin the ICW.  Hopefully, we will be able to enjoy two days of sailing.


  1. Hi Sue and Jack,
    I'm catching up on your blogs. Got the first one back in August and then somehow my email address, didn't receive anymore. Anyway, your journey sounds and looks wonderful.

    I went to Ireland for 2 weeks on Aug. 25. Absolutely wonderful. Too much to tell in this small space.

    Sue, I didn't forget your birthday. October was full of all kinds of events including our herb society herb fair the day before your day. I sent you a "virtual" greeting as I was recuperating from the activities of our event. Much fun, but exhausting!
    My belated birthday greeting is that your coming year may be filled with lovely adventure, challenges, good times, good friends, and much love.
    Smooth sailing.

    1. Thanks for your reply. We don't send emails with every blog entry, so please check back every week or so to see if we had time to post. Look forward to hearing about Ireland.