If you sail your boat, may you have HIGH WINDS,
If you ride your bike, may you have TAIL WINDS,
If you have beans for dinner, may you have NO WINDS!
So, me thinks we have here a glimpse of bathroom humor in the sixties decade? ;)
We began the ride at 10:00 a.m. at the old Louisa Courthouse, rode east along the western boundaries of Lake Anna and put in 34 miles by lunch. Heading back to Louisa, one could feel we were heading back upstream, but the hills were gradual and there were still long stretches where we could roll. Stopping at 42 miles, I gave the Brothers the choice to opt for the 50 miler, but they would hear nothing of that sort. Stopping at 62 miles, I told them I had reached my goal of riding a metric century, would they get the car and pick me up? But they would hear nothing of that sort! So after 5 hours and 7 minutes of riding we found ourselves back at the old Louisa Courthouse, feeling rather buff and proud of our accomplishment. For me, it was the first metric century I have ridden in over 20 years! Retirement is great!
|Still standing and smiling at the end!|
|Gretchen and her girls!|
- 20 Fine cool fall day, wonderful, challenging 39 mile ride
- 20 Beautiful rural countryside with large family farms and fine lunch spot
- 10 Tons of domestic animals including the cutest goat ever
- 0 Riding on Covered Bridge Road with no covered bridge
- -100 Dirt road
- -50 Total Points
Left Lynchburg about 10:30 a.m. heading to Seaford, VA, to put SunShower in the water at Mills Marina on Back Creek. The trip was uneventful and the marina has a good ramp so launching was a snap. Other than the ramp, there is nothing good to be said about Mills Marina; it is on its last legs. I saw in the Chesapeake Guidebook that Hampton has a nice waterfront to visit so I drove over there this evening. But guess what, it is not readily accessible from the streets. I was amazed. There were no public lots and no discernible access points. Oh well, maybe by water sometime!
The weather forecast is for small craft warnings tomorrow so I decided to spend another night (reluctantly) at Mills Marina so I would have a car in case I could not sail in the morning. Since it was Saturday, I decided to go to a restaurant for breakfast. The choice was easy because at the intersection with Rt. 17 was Pop's Drive-in, filled with cars. When you enter, you just find a seat. I sat at a table for six with four other men. My end found me with an Air Force contractor who works at Langley and a guy who owns a landscaping business. Breakfast was so good I plan to go back Friday Morning before I head back to Lynchburg!
I sailed for five hours today around the entrances to Back Creek and the Poquoson River. It was delightful once I got a reef in with steady 15+ mph winds and two foot seas. Good start to the week! On Back Creek there is a scallop processing plant with a large fleet of ocean going vessels.
Small Craft warnings were revised to expire by 1:00 p.m. so I went to Yorktown again to see how the wind and waves were on the York River and to walk, of course.
|Yorktown Victory Monument|
Heading down the York River at 5-6 mph on a close reach with a reef in the sail and steady 15+ mph wind. Where to go? Cape Charles or south to Virginia Beach? Gee, I really like Cape Charles and with this wind I can make it across the Bay by 4:00 p.m. Hour later and wind is fluky, I really need to reconsider. How about Mobjack Bay...well, it would be a real hassle beating into these waves. But I can reach back up the York to that nice marina. Done! And a good decision it was because the wind shifted to the east and I finished the sail on a run! I didn't get to the destinations I had planned but it was a great day of sailing!
|Leaving York River Yacht Haven with the Coleman Bridge in the distance.|
A small craft advisory was posted for last night expiring by noon today but this morning the forecast was revised to 15 mph winds with 2-3 foot waves. Leaving the marina about 10 a.m., I found the wind blowing right up the river and the wave forecast was correct! When I hoisted the sail (still reefed) I soon discovered I did not have enough power for steerage. So I took the reef out and SunShower sprang to life! Two and a half hours of "power" beating south across the bay and then west to the Ware River where I was sheltered enough to eat lunch. I saw one other sailboat this morning and it was a Compac Suncat! Really, it was! Heading back out of the river I was on a "power" reach down the south side of the bay. About 2:30 p.m., the wind dialed back a bit and I had an easy run back across the bay to the East River. It was simply a grand day of sailing on Mobjack Bay!
|SunShower in her slip at Compass Marina.|
A glassy sheen is on the water as I motor out of the East River and head back to my car and trailer. Ripples fill in from the south so I raise the sail and test my progress; it's less than two miles per hour with the motor in idle. It has been a marvelous week with strong steady winds every other day of my trip, so I can't complain. However, I can motor the 12-14 miles to my destination at 5 mph arriving early afternoon. This gives me the option of getting SunShower out of the water ( maybe...it will be low tide ) and heading for home, meaning I can avoid another night at the ghetto marina. It is not even a decision. SunShower came out of the water with ease and I was on my way home by 3:00 p.m. But, but, I will not be able to go back to Pop's tomorrow for breakfast! Oh we'll, it is a small sacrifice to make for my own bed at home.
I love the Chesapeake Bay, it is such a wonderful place. Today I sailed with a pod of at least 25 porpoises as I left Mobjack Bay! Last night I sat on the porch at the marina rental house watching the boats gliding by on the river as the sun painted a golden glow on the salt grasses. I'm sure I'll return spring and fall for years to come. Maybe I was a migratory creature in a previous life? ;-)
|Sarah and Wei|
|Dan samples the curry.|
|Lunch Spot on the Maury River|
Of course, in Virginia, sections like the one described above always come with a price; in this case the 2000 foot climb west of Lexington during the first 15 miles of the ride to get up to the plateau! It was a great ride and one that we all think would be spectacular when the leaves change color in the fall.
We had a grand weekend at SML, good food, drink, fun and fellowship. Thanks to Jenny and Jeff for being our hosts. We love having you guys in VA 4-5 months during the year. Jenny and Jeff had their first "grandparent in training" weekend. Jeff could not believe the noise and constant activity and Jenny said she was so tired Saturday, she wend to bed at 10:30 p.m......a bedtime she had no seen in decades! Thanks to Sally for coming, it is always great to see you! Thanks to Kelley and Katie for making the effort to bring the grandkids to the Lake. Grandma and I appreciate it and love being with you guys, watching the kids grow and seeing what great mothers the two of you are! Love you all!!
We arrived in Hingham by 10:45 a.m. after fighting the Boston traffic which delayed us by an hour. Stopped by the Hingham Shipyard Marina to get our slip assignment and directions to the Back River Public Ramp. The marina is very nice with good security, floating concrete docks, clean restrooms and a friendly staff. The ramp was a great facility and we had SunShower in the water and her slip for the week by Noon.
Fine day for sailing today. We began by heading out the Hull Gut with the intention of going out to the Boston Light House. But beating directly into 15 mph winds and 2-3 foot waves made for a very long trip so we decided to go the other direction. We circled George's Island on which Fort Warren (circa 1850) looms when Gretchen discovered she had not put our sandwiches in our lunch bag. So we decided to land at the dock of GI since they have a concession there with food! Well, that brought immediate protests from the National Park staff since private boats are not allowed to dock on the island. But Gretchen sweet talked the ranger and he allowed us to stay long enough to get take out since I have hypoglycemia. Good job Gretchen! The harbor islands provide miles of protected sailing and we enjoyed the afternoon sailing between Long and Rainsford Island, around Peddocks Island and back to Hingham. It was just a fine day on the water.
No wind was blowing when we arrived at the marina this morning. With light wind and storms beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the forecast, we decided to prepare SunShower for travel and get her out of the water since we leave for home tomorrow. As it turns out, we could have sailed as there was a breeze with no storms this afternoon. Oh well, we had two great sailing days here and really got to see a lot of Boston Harbor. Wish we had planned a few more days to sail here.
This evening we celebrated our anniversary with a fine dinner at Saparito's Florence Club Cafe in Hull. It is a gourmet restaurant in a run down old beach house which you would not choose to eat at without some local knowledge; in this case a glowing recommendation from Ann Marie, our B&B hostess. Gretchen's grilled salmon with a mushroom, fennel risotto topped with arugula was outstanding. I will definately make the risotto at home!