Wow, it’s been a little crazy since we got back to Pier 7. It’s a good thing we decided to jump up the bay in one hop. The next two days it rained like crazy and with the shift in wind the temp dropped at least 30 degrees! It would have been a wet, freezing and rough ride up the bay on those days. Three days after we got here I had to fly back to Myrtle Beach and pick up the car we bought there. That meant spending a few more days with Genne, Zach and Eliana. 🙂 Tuesday drove the car up and now we’re all running around trying to get ready for the Annapolis Boat Show which is this weekend. I’m still adjusting to being back and all that that entails. If you picked up our journey after it started, we travel south in the winter and come back to the Annapolis area in the summer to help one of our daughters with babysitting while she finishes school. We also use the time to work and recharge the cruising kitty so we can do it all over again. The transition between play and work can take some getting used to though….
Almost as soon as we set the hook in Mill Creek we both took a nap trying to cram in some sleep to make up for the sleep loss we knew was coming. After the nap, had some dinner and watched a little tv, while at the same time the listening to the wind speed increase hourly. At eleven o’clock we started preparations for the journey and by eleven thirty the hook was up and we were out of Mill Creek and headed toward the Chesapeake.
I made the decision to run both engines with no sails on the overnight portion of the trip. The reason for this was that lower bay can get crowded with cargo ships, tugs and various other traffic, not to mention fish traps and crab pots on the way to deeper water. In this way I could concentrate on avoiding the above mentioned and not have to worry about the sails being ok. As I turned up the bay, avoiding a tug towing a barge 1800 feet behind it, our speed was 7.8 knots. The night was bright with a full moon and with following seas, the ride smooth. About two hours, up a cruise ship headed south passed by and wow, the thing looked like a small city on the bay it was so lit up. After that one small tug went by and then no more ship traffic.
About an hour after daybreak Michele took over helm duty and I unrolled the genoa. There just wasn’t enough apparent wind to raise the main so I didn’t. The speed increased to over 8 knots and I went inside to sleep. After a couple of hours or so of sleep, I asked Michele how things were going and she said fine, that we were regularly surfing down the swell at 9-10 knots and at times touching 12 knots. Turns out the we managed the fastest speed we have seen on El Camino at 14.4 knots! That was surfing down a particularly nice swell. And that’s how the rest of the trip went, motor sailing with just the genny and surfin’ down swells.
Now that we are tied up here at Pier 7 the weather reports says that tonight and tomorrow will drop into the low thirties. Wow. I still don’t know how Matt and Deanna, of Suburbs to Sailing, managed to spend the whole winter onboard. It’s raining as I write this and I guess that’s a good thing because the boat was absolutely covered in pollen and the water here at the dock is not on yet. I have never seen the boat so yellow in pollen. It really needs a good wash…any takers..:)
This is the free dock on the south side of Great Bridge. There is another one on the north side.
When we biked to the post office at Great Bridge we came across these sculptures scattered about this yard…
Coming up the Chesapeake..The entrance to South River..
Pier 7 Marina..Home for awhile…
Rain and cold..
We knew todays run would be an easy one because the anchorage at Mill Creek is only about 25 miles from Great Bridge. There are however ,one lock and a few bridges to open along the way. The lock at Great Bridge is fairly easy to enter and get tied up. The lock has line handlers that take your dock line and loop it around the mooring cleat. Notice I said “loop” it around. The other end comes back to you and you make that end fast to your cleat. In this way when leaving, all you have to do is take your end off your cleat and pull the line in with no help needed from the handler.
After the lock there’s a couple of bridges and two railroad bridges that are usually open. This time through the Beltline Bridge was lowered for a train to pass over. The train was long and slow, slow to the tune of a wait of over an hour. After the Beltline….NO MORE BRIDGES! 🙂
As we looked at the weather this morning it was apparent that on Wednesday and Thursday the Chesapeake was going to have north winds in the 15-20 mile range and gusting higher. Since these were planned travel days up the Chessy and not wanting to bash our way up for two days in a north wind we decided a change of plans was in order. So the new plan is to leave tonight around midnight, give or take, and go straight through overnight to Edgewater. This way we take advantage of the south winds that will be heading up the bay with us. It should be a 17-20 hour trip up the bay that will be infinitely more comfortable then if we waited for the winds to change. Once on the South River we’ll drop the hook in Harness Creek for the night and get some rest. Pier 7 is only about an hour up the river from Harness, so that will be an easy run. So, that’s the plan, we’ll see how it unfolds…
The new high rise bridge being built at the “Steel Bridge”. That’ll be one less bridge ta open….
Parts of the navy base at Norfolk. This crane has to be one of the largest I have seen. Look at the size of the cars in relationship to the crane…
The battleship Wisconsin on display in Norfolk..
The bow wave off the large cargo ships always impresses me…
Hey we actually got in some motor sailing yesterday on the way to Great Bridge. That means we picked up an extra two knots of speed for free. I love free.:) There were only two swing bridges to deal with and the first one, the Alligator River Bridge, always has our fingers crossed. You see, the first time we tried to go through way back when, the bridge was broken and we ended up waiting more then four hours for it to open! This time though everything was in good order as it opened right up for us.
At Great Bridge there are free docks on either side of the bridge and so we took advantage and tied up there. On the south side the docks are right beside the newly completed Battlefield Park and Memorial. The battle that took place here was on December 6th, 1775. It’s a nice park and if you turn right when leaving the park there are a few good places to eat. Last year we tried Woodies and this year it was Kelly’s. Both were pretty decent. Today we’ll get out the bikes and ride to the post office and Fresh Market and just stretch our legs. It’s shaping up to be a beautiful day..
This is the famous Coinjock Marina and Restaurant. The prime rib here is reported to be outstanding and 32 oz’s!!
Ya think maybe they are closed today??
This is what a broken marker looks like. We saw one of these in Mesquito Lagoon that didn’t have a new mark installed beside the broken one. Very hazardous indeed…
A busy day at Centerville Swing Bridge..
Yes, I still love my jets! 🙂