Stuck in the Cold and Wind

We left Solomons, Maryland after being there almost a week, thanks to our wonderful friends Nancy and Ted. Our trip to Deltaville, Virginia went smoothly, always the best kind, and we had a peaceful night at the Deltaville Marina.  The area is quiet and picturesque.ImageImage

Getting in and out of that little Creek is “interesting.”Image

The first time we did it was about 6 or 7 years ago, and following an overnight there I was driving the boat, exiting the creek. Somehow I missed the last green mark at the dog leg (I’ve marked it with a green circle here), where it turns right to return to the Bay. And ran aground. (Hans has never let me forget this. . . ) So leaving there on Friday morning I was driving the boat. And yep, somehow I missed the last green mark at the dog leg, and ran aground AGAIN. For SURE Hans will never let me forget it, and from now on, when leaving Deltaville I’m going to let him drive!

It’s always an interesting ride through Portsmouth, with all the military stuff going on. There was a supply ship coming in from the Atlantic and we sort of crossed paths a couple of times getting situated. Interesting stuff! And of course we passed several aircraft carriers. They are huge!

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We pulled into Top Rack Marina in Chesapeake Virginia at about 2:15, fueled up, and got our slip assignment. Image

We are next to a 60 foot Romsdal boat. It’s gorgeous, although Hans says the inside is “tight,” with narrow doors and passageways. It was built in 1960 or 1961, and the people who own it are permanent liveaboards.Image

This is not a glamorous or picturesque place, but it’s “relatively inexpensive” and we knew we were going to wait out the coming gale force winds here. Monday morning we will go through a bridge and then the Great Bridge Lock at about 7 am, continuing on our way south. In the meantime, after a lovely Saturday, Sunday has been about 30 degrees, blowing 25-30 knots with gusts of 40. It’s cold. The groaning of the lines holding us to the dock is unnerving, and we’re running out of bread and milk. . .

Although Top Rack Marina has about a dozen transient slips (and invites visits with promise of free dockage with dinner at their very good Amber Lantern Restaurant), it is primarily for smaller boats. There is a humongous building with stacks of little “cubbies” that hold boats up to about 30 feet. Instead of having a home slip, these boaters simply call up and ask that their boat be launched, and the fork lift takes them out of the cubby and deposits them in the water.Image

We’ve been watching a number of them being winterized and put away until spring. . . on a day like today, I think that’s what I would prefer to be doing.

On Our Way South!

We’re under way!
We left the dock at 7:05 on Friday morning, heading south.
This is the Francis Scott Key Bridge, about 45 minutes from our slip (at our normal speed of about ten miles an hour). We feel that going under this bridge signals either the end of our voyage, or the beginning. So here we are, beginning a new season.FSK Bridge
We had smooth seas, just the way we like it.Leaving Patapsco
Our fingers were crossed that the next three days will continue this way, as the Chesapeake Bay is the part of this trip that can get “really interesting.” The average depth of the Bay is 12 feet and for such a huge body of water to be so shallow, the waves that can kick up with any wind will be short and steep. Trawlers don’t like waves anyway, but short and steep can be extremely uncomfortable.
This little gadget is our “SPOT.” When we turn it on it sends a signal every ten minutes showing our location. I’ve put a permanent link on the front page of the blog in the column on the right so you can check it out. If you save it to your favorites you can watch our progress.Spot
There weren’t many people out there, but this Bay built boat named “Shameless” passed us heading north. He was definitely loaded down with all of the equipment needed for his trade, which is crabbing. He’s probably heading home for the season from the looks of it.Shameless Crabber
Niya was in her accustomed place for the day, guarding my feet. She gets up every time I do, just to make sure she’s not missing anything, but this is how she generally travels when we’re under way.Niya guarding my feet
About three hours out of Baltimore we realized that our generator was overheating – it kept shutting down after running for only a short time. Almost immediately we also realized that our inverter/charger wasn’t operating properly either. These two pieces of equipment are key to our AC power when we aren’t plugged into shore power. Without them we knew that there would be no anchoring out tonight, as we would have no heat, and hey, this is November!
We called our friends Nancy and Ted, who have a lovely condo – and a slip that they were not using – in Solomons, Maryland, about 65 miles south of Baltimore. They are very generous friends, and we are grateful to be tied up at their dock and plugged into shore power. Monday morning at 8 am we are due at Zahniser’s Yacht Repair Yard, just down the creek from where we are. In the meantime we will have an opportunity to get ourselves more organized. I will NOT post the photo I took of what the inside of the boat looks like. Nothing is put away yet!
But look, wouldn’t you agree that if you are “stuck” somewhere, this is the place to be?AV at Solomons Landing
Unfortunately our stay here has lost us our “weather window.” Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be unpleasant on the Bay, so we will stay put until things calm down.