Monday, October 11, 2010

Annapolis, MD - Norfolk, VA

Waterside Marina, Norfolk, VA
36 50.61 N 076 17.51 W

Over the past 2 weeks, since our last post, we have continued to slowly travel down the Chesapeake Bay en route to Norfolk. Thankfully we were not in any particular hurry because we ended up sitting out quite a few rainy days at the three anchorages we visited.

After the SSCA GAM we remained anchored on the Rhode River Monday & Tues. waiting out rain and strong southerly winds along with many other south-bound cruisers. There was a brief weather window to continue south on Wed. 9/29 before that tropical depression that everyone on the east coast experienced the week before last was forecasted to bring heavy rain & winds for us the next day. It was a cloudy day and by mid-morning scattered rain arrived (earlier than NOAA weather predicted of course) so we motor-sailed to keep up our speed and make our intended destiation of Solomons island, MD about 60 miles south as quick as possible. We stayed dry inside our enclosed cockpit while Carina’s sails got a washing.

Our anchorage on St. John's Creek
in Solomons Island after the sun
returned following 2 days of rain
 We anchored in a very nice protected area of Solomon’s - up St John’s Creek with excellent holding for predicted winds. And even better, we had an excellent wi-fi signal from one of the shore side homes. It ended up pouring for 48 hrs and the town of St. Mary’s – about 10 miles south of us recorded over 12” of rain fall. We stayed snug & dry aboard Carina reading, surfing internet, playing daily Gin Rummy & Scrabble games. With no sun to charge the solar panels we fired-up the generator to charge our house batteries and make hot water for a few hours each day.

Morning view of Jackson Creek ,
Deltaville, VA 
Under a clear sunny sky we finally raised anchor on Sat.10/2/10 traveling further down Chesapeake Bay (still along the western shore), crossing the 10-mile wide mouth of the Potomac River and then the Rappahannock River, to the town of Deltaville, VA. Similar to St John’s Creek, we again dropped anchor in another quiet, protected anchorage on Jackson Creek. We enjoyed our afternoon cocktails looking out over modest homes and grassy lawns that ringed the shoreline. That was the last sunny weather we saw for 2 more days as more rain and strong winds passed.

View down Jackson Creek with 
Deltaville Boatyard distant left.
By this time, we had not been off the boat since the Rhode River – 9 days before, so with the sunny skies on Tues. 10/5 we finally lowered the dinghy and went to shore to explore the town of Deltaville. We walked 6 miles all around town and had lunch at a marina tiki-bar-type restaurant called Cocomo’s. The locals were extremely friendly and we experienced our first taste of southern hospitality. People from just about every car we passed waved as they drove by. Two locals actually stopped along side to ask if we needed a lift anywhere. Apparently the townsfolk can spot cruisers and are more than willing to help in anyway they can. One fellow stopped and asked if we needed help, directions or a lift anywhere. We ended up talking with him for about15 minutes. It was clear to him by our northern accents that we were “Yankees”. He turned out being a transplanted New Yorker who simply fell in love with the area and stayed.

He jokingly remarked that while we would be labeled as ‘Yankees’ by the locals because we’re just passing through, he has been labeled as a ‘Damn Yankee’ because he ended up staying.

Fall was definitely in the air over the past week with much cooler temperatures getting down into the 40’s overnight. Mark succumbed to swapping shorts for jeans and has said repeatedly “it’s time to head south”. We also resorted to firing up the generator to use the reverse-air heat system to warm the boat up in the morning before jumping into the shower.

Wed 10/6 we traveled further down the Bay anchoring in Chisman Creek, off the Poquoson River. We stayed here for 2 days as we were timing our arrival at Waterside Marina in Norfolk for the afternoon of Fri 10/8.

Battle Row at Norfolk Naval Base
Friday’s travel was only 30 miles out and down to Norfolk passing the sprawling Norfolk naval base docks along battleship row and then the commercial cargo docks of Portsmouth on the opposite side of the Elizabeth River. We docked at Waterside Marina ( right smack in the downtown harbor front.

Carina in condo-mode dockside at
Waterside Marina, Norfolk, VA
Carina instantly went into condo-mode…. connected up to shore power, city water and secure to docks. The hustle, bustle and noise of a city marina is something we (and the cats) are not normally used to. There was a beer festival and band playing until 10pm right off the docks. The marina location is short walking distance to restaurants, shopping & museums. We had a wonderful sushi dinner at Domo’s on Friday night. 

Kathy, Jason, Veronica, Mark
Saturday we left Carina snug and secure at the Marina, hopped in a rental car, picked up Mike (Kathy’s youngest son) at the Norfolk airport and then drove down to the Outer Banks of Corolla, NC for what was an absolutely perfect beach wedding on 10/10/10 for Kathy’s 2nd oldest son Jason and new daughter-in-law Veronica’s wedding. 

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