Monday October 11 – Friday October 15
We motor sail down the Chesapeake Bay, then turn up the Choptank River, then up the Tred Avon River and are anchored off Oxford by 6:30. Both boats have trouble setting the anchors but they finally dig in just in time to watch a beautiful sunset. Steve makes a soup with some leftovers of ours & George's and we make tentative plans for the next few days working our way south to Norfolk where Jan will fly back to on Saturday. Tuesday morning from 9 to 10:30 we walk around the town of Oxford. There is not a lot of tourist things to see & do in this part of the state which makes it that much more of a treat. Like being in a different world just traveling up the different water ways seeing the beautiful homes and the trees it is a wonderful way to spend the day. The plan was to go to Cambridge for the afternoon & anchor overnight there. But as we were bringing up the anchor our windlass stopped working, we were dug in really hard & the load did something to make it stop coming up, the down gear still worked, but Steve gets it up with the manual lever. As we are heading out for Cambridge we decide to head to Solomons Island instead. The weather is supposed to get cold & rainy and if Steve needs parts to work on the windlass Solomons is a better choice. We are anchored off Solomons Island by 5:30 to see another beautiful sunset. Ride around the anchorage on a “booze cruise” with Wild Thing sipping on drinks and talking with other boats & into dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. Wednesday turns out to be a beautiful day and Steve works on the outboard motor for the dinghy as it is still not working right, not sure how many more life support fixes he can do on this one. The afternoon he tackles the windlass problem and for the first time in our boating history we have an easy fix Woo – Hoo ! Steve thought the solenoid had burned out but it was just a loose wire. So it only took a minute to fix (once we cleared the way to get to it). The afternoon is spent doing emails & some paperwork over a very slow internet connection. Grilled Steak dinner over on Wild Thing as we make plans to move on. Thursday's weather prediction is not so good as we wake for a sunrise departure the radar shows a storm moving in so we stay put to see if it will pass on by, it does but not until 5 that night. We are glad we are safe at anchor and not traveling in the cold rain. At 5 once the storm passed Steve & George go for a long walk then come back to get me to go to dinner. Friday's sunrise departure looks to be a beautiful morning leaving Back Creek. By 8:15 we are sailing down the Patuxent River heading for the Bay at 7-8 + knots. By 8:45 we put a reef in both the main & genoa and are still making 7-8 K with 16 – 20 K winds on a forward beam reach. By 10 it has warmed up to 65° as we pass the Potomac River. With the west winds and a long fetch over the mouth of the Potomac the waves get pretty choppy as we cross. Next as we approach the Rappannock River it gets cloudy and the winds pick up even more. We miss the rain around us but have to double reef & then triple reef the sails as we get wind gusts 25-30 K and the waves have built to 4-5 feet. It is a fast & exciting sail down until we turn west into the wind when we motor with a triple reefed main into 2-4 foot waves and top wind gust of 36 K. Lots of water coming over the bow, thankful we have a dodger! With the wind out of the west we are able to anchor just off Jackson Creek near Deltavile in the lee of the land. As we get closer to shore the winds & waves both die down, we are anchored by 3, and the sun comes back out to welcome us to the new anchorage. Saturday we will have another early departure to head to Hampton Virginia just north of Norfolk & east of Newport News where we will spend a few days.
Link to Pictures; http://picasaweb.google.com/103931849054358791487/MovingSouth?feat=directlink