Southward Bound

For those of you who aren’t following along via Facebook (facebook.com/sailing.ave), here is a very brief summary of our trip so far and a slew of photos. Forgive me in advance if I sometimes use “I” and sometimes “we.” Ave and I are in this together, after all.

I left Annapolis early Tuesday morning, December 15th. It was warm and windy and beautiful, and Ave and I motorsailed down the bay, eventually finding a nice anchorage not far from Solomon’s Island, Maryland.

Wednesday I left Solomon’s early and made a good, long haul to Reedville, Virginia, setting anchor just outside the marina where I found Ave nearly three years ago. It was a glorious if not quiet homecoming.

Thursday it was down to Deltaville or Mobjack Bay, having left Reedville before sunrise. But a scan of the charts combined with the constant warnings from the weather folks had us making an early exit from the bay and up into the Piankatank River, where we found refuge from the 30-35 mph winds and 5′ waves they were forecasting for the bay. It was calm and beautiful where we were, albeit a tad chilly.

I was up early Sunday morning, setting off in 25º temperatures but with truly breathtaking views along the way. I headed south as the Chesapeake started to fade from view, and took shelter in Chisman Creek near York, Virginia. After fueling up early Monday morning, Ave and I made a glorious exit from the bay and into Norfolk, steaming past huge Navy ships, the hospital ship Comfort, freighters, coal ships, and tug boats dancing around us like dragonflies. It was a great day, warming temperatures and excitement everywhere around us.

Monday night we tied off at High Street Landing in Portsmouth with the Norfolk city lights along the horizon–and nonstop noise and action in the waters right around us. It was a luxury to not have to deal with weighing anchor in the morning, but I was eager to get out of there and move along.

So today, Tuesday, started the Intracoastal Waterway proper–that series of canals, sounds, rivers, and more, that give boaters an inland passage from Norfolk, Va, all the way down through the Florida Keys and back up the gulf to Texas. We scampered out of Norfolk and into the Dismal Swamp Canal and its long and somewhat turbulent history. Life slows down in the Dismal, as you creep along perhaps a foot above bottom on constant watch for logs below and tree limbs above. It was a pleasant change of pace from the tossing about that the Bay was sure to give me before I left her in my wake.

That’s all for now. I have to get back to the boat and prepare for my day tomorrow. The routine is fun, the details matter, and the moment is always awesome. I wish I could take all of you along.

Here are some photos of the journey thus far that you can scroll through, Enjoy!

John
and Ave

 

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