Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Go (South) West

Well, we finally got out of Cape Charles.  But it was an ordeal.

We were up before dawn, and cast off by first light.  We planned, as was becoming our habit, to have coffee and breakfast underway.

Bad move.

As soon as we cleared the harbor's breakwater, we found the wind blowing 15-20 out of the north and 3-4 ft waves and chop, being opposed by the incoming tide.  As our course to Hampton was roughly SW, this put the waves on our stern quarter, which produced violent rolling.  So although it was finally a North wind we could potentially sail on, it was too dangerous to send anybody forward to the mast to work the halyards,  so we still ended up motoring.

Short But Rough

Joan tried to go below to get coffee, but was being flung around the cabin repeatedly.  There was no way she could pour coffee, so she came back up into the cockpit.  I had the wheel to hang on to, but she was still getting pretty tossed around.  I suggested she sit in the cockpit floor, as the rolling would be less there, and there would be some warmth from the engine below.  It must have worked, because she pulled her hat down and fell asleep.  I had to keep prodding her every so often to make sure she was alive! ;)
Dead in the Water
Once we got into the Hampton Roads (a confluence of several rivers at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay), the waves subsided, and we were able to finally have some coffee and a light brunch.

Up the Hampton river, we docked at the Hampton Public Piers before 1:00 pm.  They have great rates ($1.25/ft for BoatUS members) and are right in town.  There we ended up right next to a Pearson 365, crewed by a cruising couple, Steve & Judy,  who have been full-time liveaboards for 14 years!  We had them over for sundowners and snacks, and talked for a long time.  One of the nicest things about this trip is the great people you meet at every stop.
Ed, Steve, Judy
We even had a few hours before sundown to hike around town, get a few errands done, treat ourselves to dinner out, and even go for a carousel ride!

This point in our trip marks a sort of milestone, as it's the farthest South we've ever been with Dolce Vita before.  Tomorrow, we launch into truly new territory!  Our plan is to go to Great Bridge VA, go through the lock, and tie up at one of the two free docks there.

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