Thursday, September 6, 2012


The next morning we departed Calvert Marina, they were efficient and had left an envelope with maps and a Wifi code for me so we were able to do a quick weather and email check before heading out. We topped off at the fuel dock at 0905, we were the second boat in line when they opened. There were a number of boats headed South as well and we spent the morning following the Mystic Star until they turned off to the West, while we proceeded South towards Norfolk.

By this point we were getting proficient at staying out of shallow water and we spent most of the day in the middle of the bay, away from both shallow water and commercial traffic. We did pass several barges, headed North. Early on I mistook one for a lighthouse - telling Zach to use it as a course reference point; it became a standing joke to point out my "lighthouse" every time a barge passed us.

In the mid afternoon a front passed by and we had light rain for about an hour. Throughout the day Zach and I took turns at the helm. There was some ominous clouds to the West and occasional lightning flashes, but they stayed away and we enjoyed good weather for the rest of the afternoon. As sunset approached we got a call from Zach's mom warning of storms in the Hampton Roads area. We considered our options and decided that most likely they would be past Norfolk by the time we arrived at 2230 that evening. I took some time to straighten the anchor locker, laying out the lines on the deck for inspection and then re-stowing them in case it was too rough or windy to safely dock the boat and we were forced to anchor. I also rigged the radar reflector as we would be crossing several shipping channels and were unsure what the visibility would be.

An hour or so after sunset (2030) we started to feel the effects of the storm, the wind shifted out of the West and started to build. Our instruments reported winds of 26 kts and the waves were about 4 feet on our beam and it was raining fairly hard. I was considering taking down the bimini top and then the wind speed started to drop. By the time we made the Norfolk channel markers it was blowing a gentle 10 knots with a little drizzle. Zach was at the helm through most of the bad weather and did a great job keeping a steady course.

We pulled into a slip in the Little Creek Marina at about 2230 and with the help of one of our new neighbor we were quickly tied up at a T-head. We linked up with Susan Nelson and then went to town for a quick dinner.The next morning, Angie in the office (also a former Sea Scout) went out of her way to make sure we were well taken care of.

No comments: