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? ;-)