We’re On The Move Again….


Friday – 30 October 2015 – After enjoying 3 nights in Deltaville, VA waiting out a bit of weather, we were greeted with a beautiful sunrise as we left the marina early in the morning.

The waves were big and rolly for the Chesapeake Bay, and we were rocking and rolling quite a bit the first few hours.  Bob had anticipated the trip to Hampton, VA would take 8 hours, but with a favorable current we found ourselves arriving in less than 7.

Because the wind was coming from behind and shifting between aft starboard and port, we (and most of the sailboats on the same path) didn’t put out the sails and just motored the whole way.

The wind was brisk but the sun was out and warm (quite a lovely difference from the past couple of days on the water) and it all resulted in a lovely day on the water.

Norfolk, VA has a large US military presence and as we approached we found ourselves sharing the waters with a myriad of different military vessels, including a war ship and hovercraft (pictured).


We arrived at Hampton City Pier and had the most challenging docking experience yet.  The slip was perpendicular to the deceptively strong current of the river.  It was amazing to experience first hand and to watch others as they struggled pulling in later, how the current could literally push our heavy boat completely sideways!

But after some help from the dockhand and neighbors (really protecting their own boats  from us, but being gracious about saying they were wanting to help us), we were successfully tied up no worse for wear.

(We definitely weren’t the only ones the current challenged that day – When our neighbor pulled in next to us, Christina flew out of the cockpit and pushed their bow from the side of the boat so their anchor wouldn’t get caught up in our shrouds.  It should never be that close.)

We shared a most excellent dinner in town and Christina suggested we stay for an extra day or two to discover more good food on the menu. But the South is calling and we will keep on moving — next stop a short trip to Portsmouth, VA before starting the ICW.

Hunkered down in Deltaville

Wednesday – 15 October – We are still in Deltaville, VA waiting out weather. The high winds are coming from the south (the direction we are heading) and it is raining pretty heavy. The wind finder app reports waves up to 6 feet – which is big for the Bay. So we are staying in Deltaville until the winds die down and shift back to be more favorable for the next leg. We may not take off again until Friday, heading to Hampton, VA.

So today is a day of boat chores, cleaning, and laundry.

Our first dolphins!!!!!


As Bob was carefully navigating over a shallow bar in the middle of the Bay I saw what I thought was a fin.  Sure enough it was a dolphin.  Followed by another and then a pod made their presence known.

What could have been a totally dreary day of motoring to Deltaville, VA (where we are are now docked),  with overcast and rainy skies and little wind anywhere we wanted it, turned into a magical experience.  There were a few that kept coming back to swim alongside and at our bow.  (But with the weather we were kept in the cockpit.)

I hope that we never tire of seeing these magnificent creatures.

Note to self:  Dolphins are very hard to capture with the camera.  They are constantly moving and by the time you see them, and get your camera up, they are below the water again…. so after several attempts and only capturing the water where they had been, I put the camera down and just watched with glee.  Above is the best photo of the day.  I hope for better in the future.  


Changes of Latitudes…Changes of States

We’ve crossed the 38th Parallel….. and entered Virginia.


Before 0800 while the sun was still making its very brief debut for the day, we set out for another day on the Chesapeake Bay.

Once we left the protection of Solomons Island, we traversed a few more crab pot lines and turned South.  We decided to let out the Genoa and see how it went.  With winds estimated at 15 – 20 knots, we turned off the engine and SAILED, hand steering and averaging around 6 knots per hour.

genoa out

With winds from the North/Northeast the wind and temperature was brisk, but still I thought I had over dressed for the day with thermal layer, turtleneck, fleece and foul weather jacket.  I would later learn I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I definitely got cold – darn that heater that should keep me warm in the cockpit!

We sailed for 4 hours until the wind decided to take a break, and we had a destination to get to. So we fired up the engine and motored for the last 2.5 hours of the 8 hour day culminating for 42.5 miles.


We opted to make the longer journey to Reedville, VA and this meant we crossed out of Latitude 38 and sailed into 37 — still heading South.  We left Maryland and entered Virginia.  No – there was no “Welcome to Virginia” sign to be seen on the water.

We arrived in Reedville and tied up to a dock/marina of a restaurant that was closed.  An unfortunate aspect of coming south as late as we are….”off season” hours for restaurants which translates to “closed Monday through Thursday”.  Oh well – instead we had a yummy nutritious meal aboard and are now hunkered down for the night.

A benefit of marina/dockside life is electricity which means we can fire up the reverse cycle air conditioner/heater to keep us warm overnight, since we have given up on the hydronic heater at this point.

Tomorrow’s destination is Deltaville, VA which should translate to a 5 hour journey with similar weather and wind forecast.

The 2nd Day on the move…

 Dreary Day

Well….we spoke too soon regarding the hydronic heater unfortunately.  When we tried to fire it up last evening the blowers wouldn’t kick on and there were flames coming out the exhaust.  We don’t always agree on everything, but this time we both agreed this was not a good sign.

Undeterred, we rugged up in our winter woolies this morning and untied the dock lines before 0800 and headed south to Solomon’s Island.  It was a dreary overcast day of rain and wind on our nose again, but from within the confines of our full enclosure we had a lovely and comfortable day, motoring along the Bay.


For most of the day we didn’t see another boat, but this is a photo of a neighbor who we tracked on AIS as he followed us for a couple of hours and finally passed us.  That is a tugboat towing a large platform and what looked like another tug on a barge.

Tug w platform

Christina took the opportunity to practice and hone her chart reading skills and figuring out how far away land/water marks were.  She must have done a good job as we arrived at Solomons Island and docked at the marina with no incident.

Bob enjoyed just sitting back and letting the autopilot do most of the steering.

Bob at Helm

The marina and quaint village of Solomons Island  looks like a nice place to spend some time…. maybe we will plan to do that on the way back north in Spring.  But for now, depending on weather tomorrow and how long we want to motor, as wind is expected to still be from the south (on our nose), we will head to Point Lookout, MD or Reedville, VA. (a new state!!!!)

(A sidenote – as this is being written, Bob is looking at the weather forecast and our planned route for the next week and colorful language and expletives are being uttered…. oh boy.  Let’s hope somebody is wrong here.)

We Have Heat and We’re On The Move…

Leaving Back Creek in Annapolis
Leaving Back Creek in Annapolis

After enjoying 4 days in Eastport (Annapolis), waiting for parts for the hydronic heater, parts were received and the heater was re-installed and ultimately became operational at 1600 on Friday.  Woo hoo!!!

This morning (Saturday, 24 Oct 2015) at 0840, we released the dock lines and headed south for a few hours.  With the wind on our nose we had an uneventful, albeit chilly, motoring experience navigating around the multitudinous lines of crab pots.

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

We safely arrived and docked at Herrington Harbour South Marina to spend the rest of the day and night.  (http://www.herringtonharbour.com)

Tomorrow’s forecast is for more cold, mixed with rain and high wind.  As we are planning to take a leisurely pace down the Bay we’ll decide in the morning if we venture out and fire up the now working heater.  If so, we plan to get as far as Solomons Island.

The Next Adventure Begins….

Us at the stern

Pulling Away

On 19 October, a very brisk morning of 39 degrees Fahrenheit/3.9 degrees Celsius, at 0940 we untied the dock lines and left Rock Hall for the last time for at least the next 6 months.

From afarWe consider this the next big adventure as we begin our journey south to Florida.


First stop:  Annapolis – to try to get our hydronic heater repaired for the trip.  If successful we reckon we have ensured a warm trip, if not, the winter woolies will be close at hand.

The empty slip... we will be back!
The empty slip… we will be back!


Blue skies….

Just an update….blue skies and beautiful weather – this is what comes after the storm.

As you probably are aware after hitting the Bahamas harshly, Hurricane Joaquin veered East and headed into the Atlantic, posing no threat to the east coast of the United States.

We learned there are multiple models for hurricane tracking.  Most specifically, the US model and the European model.  The European model aways showed Hurricane Joaquin would track into the ocean while the US model showed it hitting the mid-Atlantic.  Over the days the US model shifted to eventually be more in alignment with the European model.

The European model has proved to be more accurate in predicting the movements of other hurricanes in the past as well, especially 3 years ago when it predicted Sandy would hit New England and the US model had predicted the storm to go out to sea.  From what I can tell, US weather forecasters report the US model predictions and I had to really search the internet to find the European model, once I learned about it.   You can be sure we will be tracking both models (if not more as we learn about them) in the future and prepare for the worst case scenario whichever model calls for it.

We have no regrets over preparing for the potential storm by removing the canvas and the two fore sails and doubling up our dock lines.  It was great practice and we got a better understanding of the boat and how certain things work.

The nor’easter did bring much rain and lots of wind over the next few days with the wind finally easing Sunday afternoon.  Even double tied in the most protected part of the marina, Dreamtime was rocking and rolling.  We were never worried during this, and I enjoyed the ride from the coziness of the cabin down below.

Thankfully the rains that have devastated South Carolina are not affecting us at all.

Yesterday we reinstalled the canvas which didn’t take long at all.  But we opted to wait until today with less wind in the forecast to re-rig the sails.  You don’t want to be handling unsecured big sails in the wind if you can avoid it.

Thank you for your concerns during the uncertainty.

All is well, and we are still planning to untie the dock lines in a couple of weeks and head south via the Intracoastal Waterway to Florida (if not beyond).