Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Stay in Cape Charles

Well, here it is, Saturday, and we're still in Cape Charles, and likely to be here Sunday too.
 Friday, we got a ride to the Food Lion, courtesy of the marina,  and did some reprovisioning.  The driver waited for us while we shopped! Life really is different in a small town.  It worked out well because the front and its rain were later arriving than originally predicted.

We've met several other couples on sailboats: Mike & Lisa on the 50' Hunter "Promise", Melissa & Anne on the Catalina 445 "Moondance", and Wes and Sheryl on the Wauquiez Hood 38 "Merlin", all here waiting out the front's passage.  We did sundowners with Mike & Lisa on Promise and watched the front roll in.
The Front Arrives late Friday Afternoon
We originally chose Cape Charles as a layover while the cold front and it's gale-force winds passed.  Turned out that wasn't such a good choice.  Because of the orientation of the town harbor, and their incomplete breakwater, any wind with a westerly component makes it very bouncy here in the marina.  For the last day it's been blowing NW 15-20, with gusts much higher, and a 1 foot swell plus chop in the marina!  We slept ok, but our slip is in the lee of the resturant, and isn't getting as much wind as the others, who were up most of the night tending lines.

The floating docks here make things interesting in these conditions.  Trying to walk on them feels like you're coming back from a long and successful happy hour!  And Dolce Vita is constantly straining at her lines.

Today we spent most of the time in town, getting some copies made of ICW updates from Melissa, and visiting the many shops and galleries.  The town library is located in a building that used to be a bank.  The Local History room is housed in the vault!
The History is Secure!
And Watson's family Hardware Store is like stepping back in time 50 or 60 years!
Another Era
We finished off the afternoon with a meal at Kelly's Irish Pub.

This evening, after dark, I suddenly saw nav lights flying down the main channel in the harbor!  At first I thought one of the boats in the marina had had enough of bouncing, and was trying to get back into the sheltered lagoon by the fuel dock.  With these conditions, this would have been a crazy thing to attempt in the daylight, let alone in the dark!  But then the lights abruptly turned and headed back.  This repeated another time, and I realized that this was a new boat arriving and trying to get onto the T head of one of the docks!  I and several others raced to that dock to find a 60' Beneteau Oceanus struggling mightly to get a line on the docks. Despite the wind and current, the captain was maintaining an amazing amount of control, but the wind kept grabbing his bow and flipping it outward at the last second, despite his bow thruster.  Eventually, he backed his stern up to the dock and we got several lines over and pulled him in without incident.  Our excitement for the evening!

Tomorrow, the wind is supposed to come around to the West, still blowing 15-20.  This will be blowing directly into the Harbor.  Just getting out of the slip without damaging the boat would be difficult, so we're probably going to hang here another day.


  1. I "never" get sick but watching those videos of the docks makes me think I might, if I were there. The forecast up north is for 15 to 25 for the next 3 days. Enjoy St. Charles!

  2. Joan always calls it that too. I think it comes from too playing much Monopoly as a kid! ;)

  3. Ed, I will be in South Port, NC the afternoon of the 28th day of the 29th for the Stede Bonnet sailboat race and the morning of the 30th I will be heading back south to Little River, SC. Just wanting to know if you will be down this far by then?