we arrived in Norfolk/Portsmouth VA today and are feeling exuberant! Partly because this is the start of the Intracoastal Waterway and partly because the days are noticeably longer (daylight until 5:15 PM and light at 6:15 AM.) the temperature has gone up a bit too although we had ice on the deck this morning.
Getting to Norfolk was a huge psychological goal for us, even though we have done this stretch three times already. We had a rocketing sail from NY to Chesapeake City - took us 33 hours to sail down the Jersey coast, up the Delaware River and through most of the C&D canal until we stopped to sleep. The wind was howling 25 knots most of the time with gusts as much as 38 knots, until we turned the corner to go up the Delaware River when the wind died and we had to motor. Once we entered the canal we counted 10 bald eagles in less than 24 hours, including 2 pairs that were sitting side by side on contiguous trees. Chesapeake City is a quiet little town with old houses and crab estaurants along the docks - there was a large neon sign in the shape of a crab on the town dock where we tied up for the night. A sure sign that we aren’t in NH/ME anymore!
We left early the next morning and got to Baltimore by 1:00. We had a lovely visit with Pete, Julie, and Maisie and their adorable kittens. Walked in the neighborhood we used to live in 28 years ago and saw that our old house is for sale! Thanks to Pete and his Living Classrooms crew for helping us with some logistics including the replacement of our old AGM batteries.
The trip down the Chesapeake bay was easy with a fresh NW breeze so we skipped Annapolis (even though I was really tempted to stop there to see Boo!) and carried on to Solomon’s island where we anchored at dusk and left before dawn the next day. We encountered the usual traffic, a few tankers, car carriers, containers, tugs and barges.......but no other sailboats like us. Why, I keep asking, if this is so much fun, are there no other people out here doing what we are doing?
We had a grey day without much wind but anchored for the night in a cove on the Poquoson River, home of the MILDRED BELLE, but now just a few duck blinds and new houses along the shore. When we woke this morning, it was still and misty, with a pink sunrise. It turned into a beautiful day with enough wind to sail but not so much to make it feel cold. We were still all bundled up in about 9 layers of clothing and hats and gloves etc, but the sunshine really helped. We expected the approach to Norfolk/Newport News to be busy with traffic but there was nothing this time. We are at a marina for the night and will get going at first light tomorrow - we found out that one of the bridges in the ICW is getting repaired and will be open for boats tomorrow but then closed for several days after that.
so you will notice the lack of photos..
i have have several good ones but the internet connection is so weak that I can’t get them to upload.