Sunday, November 14, 2010


After a quiet night anchored in Solomons at the southern end of the western shore of Maryland on the Patuxent River, we moved on to Deltaville Virginia. It was a sunny day with a brisk north wind, but the crab fishermen were out there crabbing away leaving fish guts and happy gulls in their wake.

We spent a day in Deltaville, did some laundry and some errands and met a few other sailors who are also heading south. Most of the boats in the anchorage flew Canadian flags but there was also trawler from Rhode Island that had been tied up ahead of us for a few days in Chesapeake City. 

Saralane at anchor in Deltaville
It’s easy to tell, by the ‘yes ma’ams/sirs’ and ‘y’awls’, that we’re in the south. Another giveaway is the southern hospitality – the boatyard in Deltaville kept a old loaner car in the lot for anyone who needed it as well as bicycles for those feeling more energetic. We had some heavy stuff to carry back from our errands so we opted for the car.

Before we left Newport I picked big bunches of parsley and sage from the garden… and sadly this is all that’s left. Picking through the wilting leaves I found this hitchhiker! Since we weren’t going to keep feeding him we gave him the swim test. He didn’t make it but I’ll bet he made a good meal for a sea critter farther up the food chain.

We left Deltaville with a strong north wind and a big following sea and headed for Norfolk. (For the non-sailors that means the waves are going in the same direction as the boat – it’s a much more comfortable way to move than to be bashing into waves that are going in the opposite direction.) The seas got much bigger when we reached the mouth of the Chesapeake and we got a long distance view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The photo is a little blurry but it’s all I could manage before losing either my camera or my lunch over the side.

It was dusk when we arrived in Norfolk where Skip’s friend Oliver (of the to-do list… “call Oliver re: auto pilot”) wrangled a free slip for us for a few nights. We didn’t realize until we found it that it was narrower than Saralane. So… how to fit a 12 ½ foot wide boat into a 12 foot wide slip? Those pilings aren’t really solidly in place are they? Apparently not. And besides… that’s what fenders are for! It’s just as well nobody was home on either of the adjacent boats. We should probably leave in the dark too.

Oliver gave us his car to use and we ran yet more errands trying to find pieces to finish the fridge interior. The businesses in the marina were throwing a big customer appreciation bash with free food and drinks and a band on Saturday night and we were officially customers for the night. The party was such a hit that they ran out of food before we could get any. At least they didn’t run out of drinks or music.

The company that made our hot water tank was good enough to offer to replace our leaky tank so along with our new main sail, our new hot water tank should arrive either here or just across the way in Hampton over the next few days. It's been unseasonably cold ('unseasonably mild' as the forecasters euphemistically say) so we'll stick around and enjoy the hot showers here until all our stuff shows up.


Leslie said...

Okay, another totally novice question. After you wedge your 12 1/2 foot boat into a 12 foot space at the dock, how do you get off the boat and onto the dock? I'm picturing a car wedged into a parking space so the doors don't open. How do you get out?

About Norfolk, where are you docked? On the maps, it looks like there are docks all over the place. Are there many big cargo ships around? Do you have a horn or a bell in case you need to alert some big boat that they're about to run you over? (Again, I think like a land lubber in a car.)

Hope you feel better.


Madeline said...

Imagine two cars to a parking space with room to exit each car on the outer side of the space. Forget drivers side/passengers side... you can exit a boat on either side. That's the set up here. If you look to the right of us in the last photo you'll see a skinny dock between us and the next boat. That's the outside of our part of the double parking space on that side. On the other side there's... a boat! So we don't exit on that side. Between that boat and us there's a piling (a big wooden post sticking out between the boats) - that marks the midline of the double parking space. We're supposed to stay on our side of that post. (We tried.)

We're in Vinings Marina; there are a bunch of marinas in this area. There weren't too many cargo ships when we came in but there's a lot of navy activity.

We do have an air horn (it looks like a spray can - it's hand held) and we hope not to have to use it. It's up to us to stay out of the way of big ships since 1) they're bigger than us 2) they're bigger than us, and 3) they're bigger than us. Seriously though, they can't maneuver as quickly as we can so it's our responsibility to stay clear. (Reread: blog post" Jersey Shore (or Sailing Sucks; Part 2") about the barge blowing it's horn at us as we gaped at the Statue of Liberty.)

I'm feeling a little better... another day or two and I'll be back to 'normal'.

Penelope said...

So, the photos look as if its really cold, and perhaps unpleasant. When do you figure you'll hit warmer weather. Florida or perhaps before ?

Madeline said...

Hi Penelope - It has been cold! Just yesterday there was a little heat in the sun for the first time. We may feel warmer when we get into the Carolinas over the next few days...

I'll be doing a new blog post (hopefully) later today!