On our last evening in Deltaville (Oct 27) we joined in on a BBQ at the marina. Lots of food and met some very nice people. As we were sitting talking there was a couple from Mississauga who store their boat there for the summer. As it happens, the world once again shrank to awfully small proportions. The lady Connie, I (Dave) had met while I was working at Mono Cliffs. She was on a contract with another part of the board and we had briefly worked on something together. And her husband Ken, works at the West Marine store in Oakville, and I had met him there, having spent many hours equipment shopping this summer. Go figure!!
So we headed out from Deltaville for our last stretch of the Chesapeake Bay. It looked not bad and started that way. As we made our way further from shore to get into a deeper channel the wind came up and before we knew it we were rocking like crazy in large, steep waves. It was hard to hold the course we wanted to avoid the shoals because the waves were hitting us broadside. Christopher would look below in the cabin now and then and comment enthusiastically as items started to fly around and make a bit of a mess. We didn’t realize that he had also been paying attention to the marine forecast until he said, “These waves aren’t 1 foot, the forecast was wrong!” After donning our harnesses and much jockying with the wind and waves to get to our preferred course we were relieved to turn downwind and have these waves pushing us in the direction we wanted to go.
At the end of a tiring day we pulled into a nice anchorage (nice for now) in Mill Creek in Hampton Virginia. We hopped in the dinghy and went to the military marina there and went for a walking tour of Fort Monroe. Pretty cool with a moat, big cannons and all! No alligators in it though. That night at 3am our nice anchorage turned into a rocking ride. The wind shifted and waves came rolling in, causing Christopher to wake up and say "this isn't comfortable" and then... "this isn't safe". After jumping up and down too many times I decided to sleep in the cockpit. That turned out pretty good as I could lie there and open one eye now and then (pirate style) and see that we were still OK. As Matthew mentioned in one of his comments on our blog - I wonder if when we get home I'll be hopping out of bed to make sure the house is still there!
After that we found a better anchorage in the Hampton river. The anchorage was better but the weather got worse. Wind and rain and then gale warnings! These really made for a raucus time. With the weather getting the best of things we upped anchor in the morning and went down to a marina for 2 nights. Ahhh. With temps getting down to 3c we were able to plug in our little heater. This was also the time to complete a special mission. Christopher was in need of a blood test for his arthritis medication monitoring and so we took this time to rent a car and drive to the local hospital for the procedure. As usual he was very brave about it all and afterward, free wheeling with this car - guess where we went?? To the Amtrak station!! A fitting reward for getting through the hospital stuff. That evening we sang Happy Birthday to my sister Patti!
We actually had the car until 3pm the next day so we took off to see trains the next morning as well and also got to do a number of errands. It was funny to be driving for the first time. It didn't blow sideways in those strong winds!
Now it is Oct 30 and we are back at the anchorage on a sunny cold day. I am sitting in a cafe writing this while Shirley and Christopher have walked off to the post office. A solo sailor who had just come down the east coast stopped at our boat to offer a book he had just finished. This is what this trip is like. You never know what interesting thing is going to happen next! There are a number of boats here waiting to head off on the Carribean 1500. An offshore event with 50-60 boats hitting the ocean and going straight to the carribean, with support. Cool! I also bumped into a fellow boater from Sodus Bay NY in sailing vessel Kismit. The world shrinks again!!