Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hampton, VA Public Piers

Sunday, Oct 18
Distance Traveled:  42.67 nm
Total Distance:  918.19 nm

We pulled up anchor and left about 8am to light winds and clear skies.  Phil was at the helm and we were entering the channel just around a curve and we hit bottom.  It took us about 10 min, but we made it off and continued on our way.  Mind you - we were in the channel.  Lucky for us it's soft mud.  The winds were light out of the E and so we were motoring.  About 9am Phil raised the head sail and we were motor sailing.  After we go into the Chesapeake Bay, the winds were 10-15 knots for a few hours.  In the early afternoon the winds pretty much died - 2-5 knots and the water was glassy for a couple hours. 
Lorraine likes the lighthouse in the background
Finally as we were getting closer to Hampton, VA and the winds picked up and we were able to still motor sail but at a faster speed.  There weren't as many boats out today as there were a couple days ago.  As we got into the channel to come into Hampton, VA we passed a navy ship.
Navy Ship

I was a little nervous if there would be enough room, but Phil wasn't and as we came closer to them, they veered off to their starboard, so we didn't get as close as I would have like for the photo op.  For some reason, we thought that the Hampton Public Piers were farther up river than they turned out to be, so we weren't prepared for docking.  I was rushing to get the fenders attached and get out the dock lines.  They have short docks here and the big posts, so it was a new experience docking this way.  I didn't know how to get the line around the foot diameter posts , to Phil helped and we had Kate the dockmaster and a helper also help us dock.  After maneuvering with the lines and readjusting the fenders, we were settled about 4 pm.   They charge $1.25/ft but have a special if you stay 2 days get the 3rd free, so that's what we decided to do.  This is also the place that provides a free night with the card that we got at the boat show, so we decided to save it for when we come back in the spring.  Phil asked me if that was S/V Sail Away anchored, but I couldn't tell and was too busy to look at the boats as we came into dock.  But as it turned out, Sail Away was anchored as I saw Jeanne coming out of the shower.  When they heard about the docking deal, they decided to come and dock next to us.  So Phil and I along with Kate helped them dock.  After they were settled, the 4 of us decided to go to the grocery store on the bikes that are available for free here.  They have one bike with a basket - 4 total so off we went to go to Food Line.   Phil was the "lucky one" to get a bike that the chain fell off - probably about 3-4 times on the way there, and also the crank arm that the pedal is attached to was also sliding off.  So we followed behind him to stop and provide assistance, and periodically he would be hitting the crank arm at the base with his foot to push it back on.  Ken and Jeanne were behind us.  We did make it to the Food Line and the Dollar Store next door and got the food we needed.  We shared the basket as Ken had bought a case of pop. He thought it would be better for him to be on the bike and I agreed.  It's really hard to steer a bike when you have a lot of weight on the front and Ken is twice as big as I am.  Phil had the same bike and I found that handlebars on Ken's bike were loose and I had to frequently lift it up.  When we got to the a corner, Phil's pedal almost fell off to the point that it wasn't working anymore.   Phil needed a hammer - but one wasn't available.  We got lucky that there was a very large rock (piece of concrete I think) that he was able to use to pound it back on again.  Phil started on his way, carrying this rock in his hand for future need.  Then we went a little way and he had to pound it on again - and then the chain fell off.  See photo.

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Actually the photo was the last time that Phil had to pound the pedal on and was able to make it back to the boat without the chain falling off either.  After we got home (back to the boat) we decided to have supper together, so Ken warmed up on his grill the crab cakes we had bought, Jeanne made a salad and I made rice medley in the pressure cooker and yellow squash/carrot mixture.  We ate on Sail Away and then enjoyed tasting the different liquor that Ken keeps on his boat - so we tried Grand Marnier, Baileys Irish Cream, and Sailor Jerry's rum.  All the food was good and GONE by then end of the evening.  We had a good time by all.
Lorraine, Phil, Jeanne, and Ken

Tuesday, Oct 19
Lay day in Hampton, VA

The weather was nice and we decided that with ready access to water, it was time to clean the boat both inside and out.  Phil did the outside and I cleaned inside.  It was nice to have everything clean and being able to use enough water to do so.  I had also wanted to go to the laundromat to clean clothes.  Phil went on Google Maps and couldn't find one close by, so we did nothing.

After cleaning, I decided to get out my Sailrite sewing machine to finish putting it together and get out my laptop to watch the DVD they included to learn how to do sp.  I did get it together, but then late afternoon, 3-4 more boats came into the dock  and I got side tracked helping them to dock.  One sailboat on the other side of us - Chuck and Dianne on S/V Nifty Nickers a Crealock 37 needed our help, and motorsailor a Naudycat 33 is next to them, and a motorcat farther up the dock closer to the bridge came in.  I learned that Kate had offered the use of her truck - to Bente and Tony on M/V Side by Side so following her suggestion,  I talk to them about hitching a ride.  Bente was very agreeable to me tagging along with her. We went to a laundromat that required you to put money in a machine and load up a card that you slide in and out like a credit card.   There are parameters like the least amount you can put on is $5 and you can only add $1 at a time.  You can use a credit card, but I didn't bring mine. We each had brought quarters and $20 bills so trying to figure out if $20 was too much was a chore - too much math to figure out. We ended up getting one card to share to start.  :(  It turned out that I used the largest size washer for $3.49  and a smaller at $2.49. - Then they charge $.44 per 10 min to dry -  After we started the wash, Bente went to the Wallgreens across the street.   I did some thinking and decided to go to to buy some milk to break my $20 so that I would have change to get a card for drying my clothes. In the end it worked out, but I was $.04 short of being able to do another 10 min on a dryer so lost that money.

After we returned Tony asked if we wanted to join them for Chinese - so we agreed even though Phil had started cooking rutabaga and had peeled potatoes for supper for us.  We'll eat them tomorrow.  Tony and Bente have been cruising for 11 years and living on their boat for 17years.  They had eaten at a local chinese restaurant here before but forgot where it was.  Kate, the dockmaster, directed us to a different place - a Japanese/Korean restaurant a few blocks away. We were talking and distracted passed up the restaurant.  As we stopped and looked back, a asian woman came out like a barker in a carnival, encouraged us to come in.  She said that she could tell that we were boaters.  We sat down and after looking at the prices decided that we couldn't eat there after all.  We both are on a cruising budget.  After much apologies, we starting walking again.  We still didn't know where the chinese restaurant was so Bente took out her Droid and used an app to help us get to the Chinese/Mexican restaurant which turned out to be just on the other side of the Virginia Air and Space Museum a block away from the boat.  We had walked about 1 mi to get there.  Oh well, good exercise.  We ate and the food was good and now we know of a good place to eat close by.  After we got home about 915pm we read a little and decided to go to bed.  We were tired after our exertions.

Wednesday, Oct 20
Hampton, VA

The day is cooler today.  It was 66F in the boat and I wanted to put on the heater and Phil didn't so I held off for a while, but then I said - we have electricity - this is crazy and turned it on.  It's a gray day and it's suppose to rain sometime after noon.  Chuck and Dianne have rented a car to do laundry this morning and have offered us a ride to West Marine later today, which we will accept.  This is a lazier day.  We have gotten mail today, Thanks Virginia, for sending.  It worked out better this time. 

We have free wifi here so have been working on this post and spending time on the computer.  I also want to get out the Viking sewing machine and work on Calvin's quilt.

Phil has decided that he would go try to find the fitting for the propane tank because there was a local big Johnson Evenrude company this morning.  He got out the folding bike and off he went. to Currently, he is using line to hold the tank.  He went to a Johnson motor dealer, but they didn't have anything.  Then he went to Patricks hardware store to get this fitting, brought something home and they are 3/4" so works on one pipe and not the other since it's 1".    He came back with information on the boat about a Boaters Social today at 430pm at LaBodega that we'll be attending.  We have decided to have a big meal at dinner, so Phil is fixing the rutabaga, potatoes and will have ribeye steaks.

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