Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bye Bye Chesapeake, Hello ICW

We are steaming south with 20-25 knots of wind and 4 foot seas on our nose so it's not the most fun we've ever had on a long shot!! (both boat kitties are sleeping at the moment but I'm sure they will not be happy when they wake up - I was right - Bootsie just woke up and is very much not happy with her house moving the way it is!!) It's as if the Bay is saying "how dare you think of leaving me?? I'll show you!!" - because that is exactly what we are planning to do! We are headed down the Chesapeake Bay into Hampton Roads and then to Portsmouth, VA to take on some fuel and rest up for the night before tackling the many bridges of the beginning of the ICW. Have I mentioned that the first stretch of the ICW in Norfolk is the one part of this trip we really, really despise - not because of the scenery or because we don't like Virginia (Doug was born there and we love it!) or even because of the ton of boat traffic clogging up the waterway! No - it's because there are so many freaking bridges in the first 12 mile stretch, many of which are ancient, many of which open only on a restricted schedule and inevitably one of the railroad bridges is stuck in the down position (despite all the guidebooks which say they are usually open!!) UGH!!! And to think we woke this morning to such a beautiful sunrise and had such a wonderfully calm first hour of steaming ....
Sunrise in Fishing Bay
Sunrise in Fishing Bay
Doug on the Bow After Pulling Anchor in Fishing Bay
unfortunately, just as we started to turn south, things...well....started to turn south!! So for the next 5 or 6 hours we get to deal with a very snotty, nasty Bay that wants to screw with us one last time....oh the joys of cruising!

We've had an amazing time while cruising the Chesapeake though and will miss (we just won't miss the cold and rain of this past Fall) - check out the link to see all the cool places we visited during our several months on the Chesapeake!!

Last night we spent a beautiful evening in Fishing Bay on the Piankatank River just south of Deltaville, VA and the Rappahannock River - there's not much there to see or explore but it's a great stop when you're heading south since it is very protected from all but south winds. Last night the winds were kicking but not from the south so given the dense mud, Gypsies just rocked us to sleep and our anchor didn't budge an inch! We really like nights like that!! We weren't too sure what the night would bring as the winds had picked up as the day wore on - by the time we got to Fishing Bay they were blowing around 20 knots and the waves had started to kick in....but I guess we picked a good spot (along with a number of other boats that are obviously making the same pilgrimage south!) On the trip down, we had several close encounters with large container ships out in the Bay (our AIS told us we would pass within 12 feet of one of them!) so Bootsie who was helping me at the wheel decided that was a little too close for comfort - we veered off course to give the big guy some room - all 931 feet of him!!
Bootsie Assists Tammy at the Wheel
Tanker We Avoided in the Bay

We spent the prior two days in Solomons Island on a mooring ball at Zahnisers - we stayed an extra day to avoid some nasty weather on the Bay (this time of year I guess there's really no getting around it - mother nature's going to get you one way or the other!)
Approach to Solomons Island
Gypsies Approaches Solomons Island
We have spent a fair amount of time in Solomons and always have tons of fun there - we had dinner the first night at Catamarans restaurant courtesy of a gift certificate we had won in a raffle at one of Scott Kirby's gigs we had crashed earlier this summer (thanks Scotty - by the way, the new CD absolutely rocks!!) There's really nothing better than prime rib and red wine from a bottle except when it's free!!! While it wasn't exactly the prime rib at Coinjock, did I mention it was free?
The Calvert Maritime Museum in Solomons
The next morning we awoke to pounding rain, winds and an all round miserable day so we decided to hunker down and sit it out in our protected spot rather than fight a nasty Bay (good call although unfortunately I think we're getting the "pay back" today - the next week looks even worse so it's not like we had much of a choice today unless we wanted to hunker down for a week - NOT!) I am studying for my Captain's license so as if I hadn't had enough studying when we were in Baltimore, I spent the day snuggled up with my Captains license textbook and the boat kitties - they of course had a ball - I on the other hand was very ready for a drink when 5:00 pm rolled around!!! OK maybe I had a beer with lunch but geez give me a break - how do you study without one?? We actually didn't even head into town (I know - we missed happy hour at Catamarans) but it never really cleared or warmed up! We both (and Sunpig especially) need to get south where it is warm - we have about had it with this 40 degree weather that's for sure!!!

So for that reason we are braving the wrath of the Bay - that and we can't wait to catch up to September Song who is already in Georgia for some much needed fun in the sun!!! Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween - don't let the goblins bite....unless you want them to in which case we don't need to hear about it!!!

Click here to see a map of all the places we stopped in the Chesapeake Bay.

1 comment:

  1. Wish we were there with you, NOT! It was 85 yesterday missing the record of 86, but last night a cold front moved through and it's only going to be 72 today and sunny. Can you say "What's your point?" We want you to catch up, but we also want you to be safe. The day will come when you will be steaming into where ever we are at in shorts and t-shirt again. Bet our Sun Pig can't wait for the change in wardrobe. Be safe and GET YOUR !@#@ SOUTH!!!!