May 30, 2013
We just passed the New Point Comfort Spit Light off Mobjack Bay in Chesapeake Bay and are heading north to Deltaville, Virgina. The water depth is a mere 14 feet in the deep part of this channel. The majority of the Chesapeake is 25 feet or less--with anchorage sites bragging about 7-8 feet of depth. Our boat draws 7 1/2 feet so we are limited on where we will find places to anchor. Up in Deltaville we will anchor in 8-10 feet, and tomorrow check out their marina for boat storage. Hmm, wonder what the tide depth is here?
Last night was our first full night of sleep since May 16--we slept till 9 (me) and 10 (Dave)this morning. The boat sat as still as as house, and only the rub of a halyard on the mast could be heard. With the first light of the day, we heard the birds calling to each other, another sign we were near land again. After day 2 out at sea there were no birds, and no flies. The smell of land was replaced with the smells of the sea and our ever present boat smells. Yesterday I realized there was no welcoming smell of land greeting us as we approached Norfolk, Virginia--perhaps because the wind came from the east. However, there were flies, a horde swarm our boat and filled our salon. We eliminated over 30 and broke one fly swatter during the assault. So our shopping list now includes fly paper, eggs, more fly paper, potatoes, and spare fly swatters.
After 13 days at sea, Dave is more excited than ever for the passage to Europe he will make in the next few years. Nothing has daunted his spirit of adventure. I am wondering if after 13 days at sea I will be able to walk without the Earth feeling like it is pitching me to starboard and port. The trip was fairly smooth and normal for us--a few exciting hours while we jerry rigged a fix for an important part breaking, and then rearranged our sleeping and watch duties around what time we finished the repair. There were many days where we were the only boat on the water and 2-3 days between any sighting of another vessel under way. I gained a new appreciation for how vast the ocean is and how small and insignificant one boat can be upon its surface.
Dave said this trip across the open water makes him confident about crossing the Atlantic when he takes the boat to Europe. He was able to fix what broke, kept his mind clear to solve whatever was thrown his way, and he enjoyed the adventure and time at sea. The crossing of the Atlantic has been a long time dream for him and accomplishing it will be one of his lifetime highlights. But for now we are going to cruise the East coast, return to the Caribbean next winter, come back next spring to Maine and points south, and do another season in the Caribbean before he heads over the next horizon.
This summer we will be in Oregon in June, Texas for July and part of August--grandbaby #3 arrival, back to Oregon in mid-late August, then back on the boat to cruise the East coast from September through late November--avoiding thunderstorms and named storms if our luck holds up.
Life is good and we are looking forward to getting back together with friends and family. Time to quit writing, the flies have returned, are attacking me from all sides, and so I will take up the mighty surviving fly swatter and fight against their attempt to overtake our home on the water. It's clearly time to pull out of storage the bug screens!
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