Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the North Landing River in the middle of No Where in Virginia

Wednesday, April 27
ICW at mile 25
Distance Traveled:  60.83 nm
Miles to get Home:  1304.33nm
Total Distance Traveled:  397196

We woke at 545am this morning 45 min after the time I had set on the alarm.  I guess my ear plugs worked too well.  But we moved fast.  First filling the tank with 4" of water.  I had marked on the side of the tank starting 1" down from the top 6-7 lines so that I could tell more how much water we have use or put in.  We're at the top 1" down so that helps also to gauge when to tell Phil to take the hose out of the deck fitting.  The weather was pretty warm this morning and the winds for 8kts so we decided that it was a go for leaving today.  We started the engine @ 613am only 30 min after we had wanted to originally.  By 616am we pushed off the dock with winds 9.7 kts with 71 degree angle to SB from 230 degrees (SW).  By 631am we exited the channel that went into the Bay and by 646am we pasted R36 - the last marker for the channel east of Roanoke Island.  Soon after Phil let out the head sail, but reefed as the winds had already increased to the 15-17 kt range.  In front of us we see SV Salty Pawss.  by 8am (I'm on watch) I see gusts of 18 kts and by 819am gusts hit 19 kts and having to turn more upwind, the wind angle has changed from 175 degrees to 120 degrees.  Just enough that the wave are hitting us on the port side so we are have a bouncy ride rolling side to side.  I'm hoping that the 20-30 kts winds don't come soon!    It's been spitting rain on and off over the past hour or so and just increased to a light rain at 10 which last just long enough to put on the foul weather gear for me to then have to take it off.

930am is Phil's watch and we pass Green marker 173 which tells us we are now back in the ICW.  Even though it's not my watch, I stay above for awhile so that I don't get seasick.  Finally after the winds have decreased to 12-14kts and we jibed the headsail, I go down below to take a nap.  I wake at 1135am and quickly get ready to go above for my watch.  At 1140am the wind is now 20-26kts at 74 degree wind angle to port and 270degrees on the compass.  I'm glad that we are in semi protected waters and that we are running downwind as we turn a corner.  The 74 degree wind angle is the closest upwind that we had today.

When we left today, 3 of the diesel jerry can were empty - we forgot to get some at a gas station while we had the car - having too much fun being tourists I guess soat 1230pm we stopped at Coinjock Mariane and bought 22.8 gal of diesel - 7.8 going in the tank.  We have a quick lunch of sandwiches and fruit salad I made while Phil drove (on part of my watch) so I took over once we were on our way again.  1pm the wind is gusting to 27kts with sustained winds of 22-26 kts.  Our GPS speed is 6.3 kts and boat speed is 6.75 kts.  We are making 5 mi in between 40-45 min - really good for us.  By 127pm I see gusts to 30 kts still sustained 25-28 kts.  A couple sailboats pass us and Salty Paws is not too far ahead planning to anchor at Pongo Ferry like we might.  At 211pm I see gusts to 31.8 kts and the boat speed is 7.8 kts.  Phil's on watch so I don't have data for him but we are still going downwind and the dinghy doesn't like it at all.  I'm letting it in, then letting it our - the bow digs into the waves and spray comes up. Phil slows down a little and turns of the engine so that we sail. I let the dinghy out and it seems to like it better until we had a power boat pass  us - going at a low speed but we can't go any slower as we're sailing!  The dinghy REALLY doesn't like that but it hangs in there.

Finally at at 322pm Phil starts the engine and we go through a fixed bridge and we turn left into a little oxbow that shows 9-12ft depth on the chart.  Well we went aground - then got off and hailed the other boats that we're aground.  Not what - where to go.  So we start down and Salty Paws says be careful tieing up the the closed marina - we continue on.  Let out the head sail to go fast - then roll it in as we think Salty Paws is anchoring.  They aren't so we let it out thinking to go to Great Bridge to tie up at the dock by the lock.  We really don't like that as the chart says they open the bridge on the hour up to 7pm - we have 2 other bridges to go through.  We've been on the road a while.  We go through the start of another oxbow and Salty Paws starts to anchor there.  It's has a 6ft lip and then deepens.  Can we get through??  NO - aground again so we get off and Phil anchors on their left - still off the channel at 423pm.  All around us is marsh - but we're safe and great holding.  The anchor set before I had 40' out.  I let out chain until 60'.  Dark clouds are on the horizon, but Phil checked the radar and they will go by.  As I right this the sky is clear.  Yeah!  No rain.

It's 630pm and time for me to fix supper.  We have to fighter planes flying around here making noise and it's still 15-20 kts winds still from the SW.

Our plan is to go on tomorrow even though the winds are going to be the same.  Still downwind until we get to Hampton, VA.  Will anchor across from the marina we stayed in last fall.  The wind is to be W about 10kts Friday and cooler.  Saturday NW 5 - 13 depending on where you are so we don't know if we'll wait for the winds to change to the South again or not.  Saturday is too far away to tell.

We got an email from NY State Canal System and because of the rain and weather, the Erie Canal won't open May 1.  Once we are in Cape May, we figure it will take 3 days with good weather to get to Waterford so we aren't in a hurry now to move fast.  We are planning on meeting April and Kevin Majni-Holko on the Chesapeake to get mail.  Email me if you need the address.  Buckeye Chocolate is welcome!!  We're on our last piece.  Only kidding - not I'm not. :)

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