Yesterday our trip from Solomons to Windmill Point Marina was absolutely stunning, one of those magical bright days with water like silk that can happen occasionally on the Bay. There were fewer and fewer boats as we headed south, and the water got “bigger,” a few determined fishermen, and the crabbers are still out there as well.
Our overnight stop was Windmill Point Marina, a lovely new facility which has very helpful staff, and very low water. . . WOW! We saw less than a foot under the keel (which is 4.5 feet down) as we came into the channel. The dockmaster says the tide has been really REALLY low in the last few weeks. A beautiful day, lovely sunset. . . Easy, smooth going — I’ll take more just like that!
Today we left the dock just after 6:30, with plans to “beat the weather” to Portsmouth, which we did. . . we are at the free dock which is at the bottom of High Street, the center of most of the activity in this wonderful old city.
It was interesting to hear the chatter on the radio from several warships, one of which was warning all marine traffic to stay 15 miles away because of their “Live Fire Exercise.” Okay. . . I’m not certain exactly where they were because the lat/lon they gave was always garbled. I do wonder if they have any idea how difficult it is to understand them when they get into their “official speak” mode. Norfolk is very definitely a city of ships, under construction, under orders (or not) or being “moth-balled.”
Our trip today was 50 miles, and we were against the tide the entire way, so we averaged only 7.3 knots, which is about 9 miles an hour, slower than we usually go, but remember: this is not about speed, because that’s not something you can do in a trawler! We’ve come about 170 miles in total so far, and I am relieved to be at the bottom of the Bay. The Chesapeake can be challenging, and while I know there will be many challenges ahead, this was one that I feared. Whew!
With us at the free dock are two sailboats, one from Sweden (Think of THAT challenge!) and the other from Canada. The Canadians are ultimately headed for Guatemala, but will stop in the Bahamas and Cuba. Lucky!
So as a P.S., here is a view of the Christmas Tree at the end of High Street, right here at the free dock. No, it’s not snowing, it’s raining, but I just thought it was a lovely image. We are also joined by a dock walker who has seen better evenings. . . he seems fascinated by our boat, which I’m sure is just one of many that holds who-knows-what-kind-of possibilities for him. Ah well, we’re in the city.