We're FINALLY heading South again - not as fast as we had hoped but at least we are making progress - today we crossed the VA/NC state line - yippeeeee!! We've really been taking it on the nose from Mother Nature - literally - we had to sit out a day of nasty weather when we were in Solomons Island and then we had two enforced "chill days" while we were in Portsmouth, VA. We had a miserable run down the Bay on Saturday with the weather but finally we got tied up to a dock at a great little family run marina (Portsmouth Boating Center) to ride out the rest of the nastiness - it was cold and rainy and windy like you read about!!! We had 20-30 knots for 3 days!!! Each morning we agonized over whether we should tough it out or sit tight and wait for better weather (which we knew was the smart thing to do but we just want to get south NOW!!) I know this will be unbelievable to some, but we made the smart decision and hunkered down in Portsmouth to wait out Mother Nature's wrath. Wendy and Paul at the marina had a lot to do with it - they offered to drive us to and back from the local sports bar Roger Browns on Sunday so we could watch football - now that is way above and beyond the call of duty for a dockmaster - thanks tons guys!! We had a great afternoon belly up to the bar downing a few cold Coors Lites and some tasty (but incredibly spicy) Thai wings despite the fact our Patriots had a bye week - we contented ourselves routing for everyone that could help the Pats in the standings and cheering for everyone that was playing against a NY team (not that we're biased or anything). The bar was rocking as it is the only real sports bar in town and with all the volumes up on all 30 TVs we actually almost felt like we were at each and every game...cool joint!!
Beers, Apps and FOOTBALL at Roger BrownsMonday was just as miserable if not more so despite a forecast that had called for better weather - just teasing us I guess. Once again we made the decision to hunker down since the canvas on the boat next to us was all but ripping off - good call again (but now we were chomping at the bit to turn Gypsies loose on the ICW). To dull our pain, Paul connected us up with cable so we could watch a little ESPN and the Monday Night Football game - WOW - watching football in the comfort of our own home - call me spoiled!! While we made the best of our time in Portsmouth, the boat kitties flat out LOVED it - they got to cuddle with mom and dad under blankets for days!!! Kitty nirvana!!
We woke on Tuesday to something we haven't seen in such a long time - the sun!!
When we were finally able to get through the lock, we decided after checking out the weather to just tie up at the free dock in Great Bridge for the night - the next day was supposed to be back to 20-25 knots of wind so we knew we wouldn't be crossing the Albemarle Sound in that.
This morning we hit the Great Bridge right at 8:00 am since we couldn't get through the next bridge until 8:30 - we laughed at the big Sea Ray that went through at the 7 am opening who was still sitting there waiting for the Steel Bridge to open when we motored up (should've read the guidebook big boy!!!) Despite lots of wind, we made tracks (along with another caravan of boats!) through a very narrow stretch of the ICW lined with fallen trees, stumps and deadheads (logs or stumps that stick out of the water but extend down and could really cause you to have a bad day as they rip into your boat!!!)
Click here to see our anchorage in Broad Creek.