We left Baltimore early on the 25th. We thought we were leaving close to high tide but soon after we left the marina we got stuck in some mud. Luckily, after me hanging out the side of the boat and Mark doing some maneuvering, we were able to get ourselves loose fairly quickly and get on our way.
It was a beautiful but cool day and unlike our trip around Newfoundland there were lots of other sailboats on the water. We are now beginning to meet up with other sailors making their way down south for the winter. There was not much wind so we ended up motoring but all in all it was a good trip.
Our first stop was Herrington Harbour South. It is a beautiful marina with lots of big boats. Shortly after we arrived, Mark helped another boat come in, Jester, a Catalina 320. They had just left their home port of Annapolis and were starting out on their first trip down south. They said they were not really ready or organized but were determined to get going so they left anyway!
We only stayed one night as we knew bad weather was coming in a couple days so we wanted to get into Virginia before it got here. The next stop was Solomons Island and though we left early it seemed everyone else was coming right behind us. It was a perfect wind to sail and so we sailed right to the entrance of Back Creek at Solomons Is.. We stayed at Spring Cove marina which was very nice with lots of amenities. The pool was still open, but way too chilly to swim and there were other things to do. We visited the Calvert museum and screwpile lighthouse which were very interesting. They even had a marine section with otters and lots of different kinds of fish to see. We also picked up oil as we will be due for an oil change soon and our original supply is almost gone.
We moved on the next day to an anchorage in Fleets Bay. We were originally going to Reedville but we were making good time that we decided to go a bit further. It was a bit tricky getting in as there were a couple fish farms in the bay and they were not well marked but we managed to get around and get anchored safely. We even saw a few dolphins on our way in. There was another sailboat already anchored and another one joined us afterwards. It was windy but our anchor held us well throughout the night.
We left not long after the sun came up (not that that’s very early in late October!) and made our way to Yorktown, Virginia. The York River Yacht Haven is a beautiful marina with great staff and very friendly people. We planned to stay here for three days as the bad weather was coming in. It rained long and hard the next day and strong winds the next. We took advantage of the weather and did many of our chores such as groceries, laundry, maintenance issues, and even defrosted my freezer! We were lucky the marina provided a courtesy car to get us around. We felt good at all our accomplishments so relaxed the final day before getting ready to move on once again.
Luckily it was calm on Halloween day and we were able to move over to Norfolk where we will tour around for a few days. The weather was cool while in Yorktown but it looks like it is getting a little warmer in Norfolk for the coming week. The staff at the marina are friendly and again helped us dock and get settled. We met other boaters also on their way down south. One even from Cobourg Ontario and their boat was named Sojourn. This was the name of our first boat. Plus they had their boat at Port Credit marina the year they purchased it to paint the bottom and Mark remembered seeing it there. What a small world!
We enjoyed touring around Norfolk. We walked the Cannonball Trail which took us to many historical sites around town. At times it reminded me of Charleston. They have several mermaid statues around town which I found intriguing. As a port city, Norfolk has long lured men and women to the sea, so the mermaid was designated as their signature symbol in 1999 as a celebration of how far Norfolk had come. We also really enjoyed seeing the General Douglas MacArthur memorial, which included quite a lot of his memorabilia (even his Chrysler Imperial limousine) and other artifacts of the conflicts he was involved in. Mark went to see the USS Wisconsin while I relaxed back at the boat. We also visited the Pagoda & Oriental Garden.
We leave on Friday to travel to Beaufort NC. It will be roughly a 2 1/2 day trip but the weather looks good. We will write more upon our arrival.
Till we write again…