1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: October 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Heading Down the Bay, Part III, Reedville to Hampton

Daren, my friend and crew for this trip, is having fun with hats....I think I brewed this morning's coffee a bit too strong.
Yesterday's Reedville vs Deltaville decision was made for us by the weather. As we found ourselves nearing Reedville, the winds moved into the south, and the waves built a bit, just enough to slow our progress to the point where a daylight arrival wasn't going to happen if we continued to D'ville.
So Reedville it was, which meant a bowl of the best crab bisque on the Chesapeake Bay in this little dockside restaurant beside Jennings Boatyard.
Now this isn't a tourist place, it's a local pub and that's obvious when you walk in. In Annapolis, for close to $10, you get a watery bowl of soup that a blue crab might have looked at. Maybe. If you're lucky.
Here, for $7, you get at least three times the usual amount of crab in a bowl - the owner told me the how she made it several years ago, I don't recall the exact amount...but every spoonful of bisque is full of meat. Lots of meat.
To give you an idea, if you walk out back of the place, they have close to a dozen water trays where they keep crabs, in season, for peelers and for making fresh soup. Let's face it, short of the crab jumping into the bowl while you watch, it don't get fresher!  I had to stop myself from licking the bowl.
Here's this morning's view in the anchorage. Couldn't ask for better. Out on the bay though, it's a bit lumpier and we're moving along at 5-6 knots. Winds are W 15, and we have some current with us now. I expect we'll arrive in Hampton around 5:30, just in time for happy hour.
The winds are expected to back to NW later in the day, which will make for an even better sail, since it will also put the waves behind us. Right now, we've got 1 -2 feet on the beam, making it bouncy. Not bad, just not as good as it could be.
I shouldn't be complaining, should I? Too many of you reading this are sitting at home, rather than sailing, or putting your boats away for the season. A shame you aren't out here with us, heading south. Hurry up and join us!
Talking about heading south, here's some of the Canadian Navy at about 7 am this morning.... anchored off the town of Reedville.
Once in Hampton, I'll be getting ready for the SAIL ICW Snowbird Rally, 19 boats leaving on November 1, destination Miami around December 15 - 20. This will be a fabulous and fun trip south, with lots of cool events planned.
You can follow our progress, and even see where I am right now, at WheresWally.
One last view of Reedville, and the most important member of the crew: Aduana, the WonderPuppy...see you in Hampton!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Heading Down the Bay, Part II

The Canadian Navy behind us this morning -
a dozen boats, most from the Great White North
Solomons Island, Chesapeake Bay. It's a lovely spot to stop over on your way south to the ICW. Large, protected anchorage, excellent marinas, and some good restaurants. There's also two chandleries, so if you need parts or gear, it's not a bad place to be.
Unfortunately, no one carries in stock the replacement gaskets and rubbers for the Whale Gusher Galley MkIII water pump....and how in blazes did they ever come up with a name like that for a foot pump?
Beautiful Sunsets to accompany the wine
So last evening during a gorgeous sunset, Philips screwdriver in one hand and glass of wine in the other,
I disassembled the thing, pulled out the offending rubber and gooped it up with silicone, in the hopes I could restore water to the galley sink, without two thirds of it coming out onto the floor instead of in the sink.
Mr. Fixit at work...
After letting it cure overnight, I reinstalled it, and wallah!, it worked perfectly. Now I have time to source a new gasket and do this all over again in a week's time - although I admit, I'm tempted to see just how long this repair lasts.
This is a normal cruising day...there's generally always something that needs fixing, or maintaining. I also tightened up the fan belt this morning, and adjusted the engine idle screw. It's this daily maintenance that keeps you moving, that and just paying attention to your boat to see what's going on so you can keep on top of it. Boats can be sneaky about these things, as you likely know!

Today's destination is Reedville, VA, or if we do really well, Deltaville. I'd love to make Deltaville and shorten tomorrow's run to Hampton by fifteen miles, but with fall's short days, it's unlikely - although I've entered Deltaville in the dark many times before, it's always been to tie up, not to anchor out, and the anchorage in D'ville is very small.
Today's conditions are pretty benign - sunny, a high in the 60s, light winds WSW at about 5 - 10 knots, light chop. We've got the main up, and are running about 5 knots, with the tide against us - it turned at 8 am, so short of getting up really early, we were out of luck there.
To give you an idea of the difference the tide can make, even in Chesapeake Bay, yesterday we were running about 4.9 - until we got the tide behind us, then we were looking at 5.5 - 5.7. That's a significant push.
Tomorrow's weather is looking a bit dicey - we may have to hole up wherever we end up. However, since no two forecasts have been the same for the past week, we'll just have to wait until tomorrow morning and see what we get.
In the meantime, for those still unsure about boat maintenance, I include the following flowchart - use it in good health!

Photos courtesy of good friend and sailing partner Daren Magness....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Heading Down The Bay

The Annapolis Boat Show is over and it's time to head for Hampton and the ICW. I'm on the Chesapeake right now in fact, with my good friend Darren, who is helping me to get the boat to Hampton. And this is being posted to you courtesy of his mifi - how cool is that? I have to admit, I'm feeling rather pampered - someone else running the boat while I surf the net. Now if only the winds would shift to the west so we could sail!
Here's the plan....this weekend, the Hampton Snowbird Rendezvous is going on. This will be a great event, with some excellent speakers, and I'll be sitting in on a round table discussion on Florida Anchoring on Sunday morning. You can find details at Hampton Snowbird Rendezvous.
On November 1, the SAIL Magazine ICW Snowbird Rally begins, with 19 new cruisers heading south to Miami. You can see details of our trip at Itinerary, and follow the blog at Rally Blog Page
It's going to be a very exciting trip, and I will be blogging/facebooking and putting up video and photos of the trip as we move south - so you can follow right along - even email or text with questions if you wish.
Currently, there are close to a dozen boats moving south with us, in SSE winds of about five knots and a north setting current of .4 knots. Gypsy Wind is making about 4.5 knots, which is good in these conditions.
We have the main up, and it's helping, and I'm holding closer to the west shore so that as the wind backs to the west later in the day, we can take advantage of it. You can see our position by checking the Delorme Tracker we have onboard. As if a red boat with a Canadian flag and Cuban puppy isn't unique enough!
That's it for now - time for me to go up and take my shift.