Finally some sailing

Our day off

A big body of water here

My navy friends flying by us

Oh my

Water water everywhere

Anchor celebrates turning four in Deltaville Va.


November 2, 2014

Sunday: So at Zahnister's the Sunday wind became unpleasant. It was a nice day but so gusty it made me want to stay the whole day and wait for Monday. Done. A nice walk around the whole area. Solomon's Island in the "off season", I guess. Very Quiet. We are up the "Back Creek" off the "Patuxent River" off the Bay. That's going to be the pattern this week. Off the bay, up the river and into the creek! Not necessarily in the direction we want to travel either. But all on the west side. For the rest of Sunday we did laundry at this nice marina and I wrote an edition of "Exploits" and that's when the nice lady brought me the ice. Poof.

Monday: This looks like a good day. We're in to get Anchor her morning constitution and in doing so meet another couple in a dingy who lived once in Penn Yan and her sister's husband was my daughter's basketball coach. That figures, it happens all the time on these trips. We're gone at 9am, early for us, and a light wind from the wrong direction is happening. The big event today is we will cross the mouth of the Potomac River. We have heard bad things about this. Don't do it with south wind over the southerly flowing river flow. No big deal today, I guess. It's pretty tame. But wow, is it getting bigger water! The bay widens out so much there's no seeing each side without binoculars. We thought about several places to try to end and it turns out we go up the "Great Wicomico River". I don't see what possibly makes it so great, but no matter, as soon as we're on it we're off it and up into "Cockrell Creek". Turns out we landed in "Reedville". There's a Menhaden fish processing plant here. Never heard of "Menhaden" fish. Several very large fishing vessels in here and the processing plant looks like a 24 hour a day operation. The "Mehaden" story is an interesting one and I suggest looking at it. It involves the source of Omega-3 oil. We see a dock, one of my favorite sights and Anchor's too. We take a face dock and go try to find a human. There are very few humans here. Must be because it's five o'clock. We only see a lady on another dock and she comments we are okay where we are. There's a "Crab Shak" restaurant but all closed up. No matter, we eat boat food and that must be the end, except for during Anchor's night walk we see the bathrooms and they're open. Good for us. Poof

Tuesday: Still no humans here and it is very quiet. On the morning walk we see the people who advised us we were ok for the night. They have a large steel vessel they brought here from Scandinavia and are living on it but are from Michigan. 'Been here seven years, he says. Jeepers, seven years? We put some money in an envelope, in the crack of the marina door and we are gone, off the creek. This was the first place we did not have any cell service and it was Lisa's Mom's birthday. She had to walk a ways down the road to make a "HB" call. I'm getting disgusted with how little we're actually sailing and today seems pretty good. The wind is coming at us but we could sail across the bay and back. More miles but at least not just a boat ride. So we do. A single reefed main and the jib and we do sail all day. It was nice, but still, darkness is always looming so we have to plan the right angle to get in. It works out we are heading for Deltaville, Va. It's a long way into the Piankatank River and into "Fishing Bay". We're there and a nice man from the "Fishing Bay Marina" comes out. He's really friendly and helpful and, we're in and done. It's so nice here it only takes a few minutes to decide to stay an extra day. Lot's of boats again. Oh look, nice grounds, great bathrooms and some people around. We book in for two nights and made some good boat food. Boat food tends to be sandwiches or soup, or noodles, sauce and salad. Strangely enough it is always good. Poof, we're done again.

Wednesday: A day off! Cool. We walk around and meet Scott, who hails from Sodus Bay NY. We had a lengthy conversation. He is a hot air balloonist and we had several things in common, including the boat thing. We then used complimentary bicycles to ride onto the highway, find a pizza (Anchor's birthday celebration) restaurant for lunch, and there we noticed "Dozier's Waterway Guide" headquarters. I have to walk in to see it and it is the distribution center for the guide. They were very friendly. Now we're off to the grocery store. These bikes have large baskets and we're going to test them out. Shortly, with full baskets, we're riding back and upon return, Scott came over to see if we wanted to ride with him for a dinner. He took us to Taylor's tavern and all is good. If we want to stay another day Scott offers us his vehicle too, but we plan on moving on to further our mission. A walk of the "Anchor" and we're all poofed out.

Thursday: Supposed to be pretty good North something wind. North could be good for us. We get out by 9:30 and soon enough we are experiencing some pretty good size rollers out here. May be not bigger than some hefty Seneca Lake ones but we have some swells going on too. We want to quarter them just right and put out head sail. It works pretty good and we are making 7+ knots a lot. When we crash down into a swell, not so much, and we do that often. It's a beautiful ride today. Love these waves. They seem to just envelope the boat sometimes and squeeze us up onto the high roller and then back down. It's good and it lasts all day. Okay, we have to remember...darkness coming again, so off we go into the "Poquoson River", and selected the Chisman Creek for landing. We found the "Dare" marina and three guys came down to help me. I found out why. The wind is going this way and the current is going that way, and docking was an adventure in itself. Not an awful issue, but I think it was up there with the most memorable. We're in, we're done again. And where are we? I don't know. I guess we are in "Poquoson" itself. But after all those waves and sailing, it didn't matter where we were. Boat food, a walk of the marina and we are all "poofed out".

Friday: This should be a big day. We are only 16 miles from Norfolk, but 21 by the time way get out of here and all the way down into the Elizabeth River. I'm expecting excitement with this day because of all the Navy stuff to go by. The wind is again like yesterday but not quite from the same good direction. It's still usable though and we do our best. It's also cooler and cloudy and we are told that bad weather is coming. I make a phone call to the "Tidewater Marina" in Portsmouth, Va. So we have a spot to shoot for. The wind is pointed and a touch mean today. Not like yesterday. We can see the "urban" coming at us. A Navy ship, may be a destroyer is kind of pointed at us as we are entering the channel. He's at right angles to us aimed at our port side. We have time to think about it still. Lisa says to turn up the radio. Okay. Good move. A radio voice is calling to a sailboat entering the channel (us!) asking if we would like HIM to move out of the channel. Really? Yep, that's what he said. He's so big and we're so small. He sounds so polite and humble, when he looks so large and powerful. For a minute I'm falling for it: like he can move for me. No. I come to my senses and respond that the S/V will alter course and speed to accommodate his course. I'm sure it came out sounding like "Gomer" again (Shaazam) but he responded with a cool as a cucumber, "Thank you sailing vessel, I appreciate that". He flew by and now there's a container ship talking to a sailboat. He's huge. Us? Thankfully, no. I couldn't handle the excitement. But from here on out it was one "Holy Smokes" after another. Barges coming at us from both directions, another container ship turning in to follow us, tugs racing around and a dredging operation off to the right of us. This doesn't include the half dozen recreational boats, like us all making way to hunker down before this weather gets here. After some time on this Elizabeth River we get to the Red "36" and are to turn to starboard to enter the marina. It takes one phone call and some observation to find the entrance and the north wind is pushing me. Dock "F", slip # 8, they say. We're entering the "F" fairway. That's good. But wait - there are big expensive looking boats all the way down this fairway, (and the wind is still blowing me ahead) and how do I know which side of "F" that number eight is on. I'm out of here... now, before it's too late - reverse - working good, going backwards out of the drama for a minute. Lisa says there is a guy waving at us. Okay, may be this is the right side of the dock, now where is eight. I see from using reverse I have lost speed (good) and the wind looks calmer up the fairway a bit, so here we go. Okay, watch for # 8...we see 28, so there's ways to go. I can't see the numbers until we are almost at the slip, but there's the arm waving guy again, so this must be it. Woo, got to turn right now (!) immediately and use some thrust in forward to get the bow around or that 47 foot Tartan on the starboard side will be in peril from me. We're turning now, and not too fast with the speed...it's looking good... and done. Arm waving guy grabs a midship line, I'm in reverse, he cleats it, tends to the bow like he's done it a few times and he's off to the next boat. Quite surprising, but we did not hit anything, and the pressure is off. This is a floating community here, with restaurant, ship store, showering, bathrooms, and laundry all on the docks. It takes a few minutes to even walk to land. There are 400 slips and six mega yacht docks. Fuel stations with hoses that run the length of the dock. Directly across the Elizabeth River is Norfolk. And now for the weather report. Getting nasty tonight, and it does. We eat boat food and that's all is takes to "poof-right-out".

Saturday: Misery of weather. Gusts to 50mph the radio says. All day Saturday is a blowy, rainy, event. We walk around three times only to get cold. The tide is affected by this wind so much so that some fixed docks are under water by two feet. Not far from us, some boats are tied to pilings that no one could get off from. I think most all vessels are hiding somewhere today. There are a few anchored at "Hospital Point" which is just to the north of us and we can see the crews fiddling with their "ground tackle". A big ketch is drifting down the river and we watch the crew attempting to set the anchors again. We are happy to be here, big time. I scored some points by making this reservation here as if I was off the "WAG" system. I'm not. All day and all night, 30mph winds and big gusts above that. Two bow, two stern and two springs and watching them for chafe. It is so windy, you just don't want to go anywhere. We go into the restaurant here at 7:45, with the "Pankie" in the bag and have a nice burger.....then "poof-time" Wind howls all night long into Sunday.

Sunday: Howling wind continues. We're staying hunkered down. May be even one more day here. Next move requires a decision about "Dismal Swamp or the "Virginia Cut". We are 7.3 miles away from the split. I called the "Swamp" and they have enough water, so when we go, we're leaning in that direction. It's a not yet made decision. Now, Denis. He has remained in Annapolis stating that he is doing some dinghy trading. He lost his oars during his ocean passage on the Jersey coast so being dinghyless is limiting. He said that after he gets squared away with the dinghy and possibly some sail repairs, he'll be on his way south again.

Stay tuned for the adventures and misadventures of the LeeSeaAnne!!

Terry

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