Saturday, June 23, 2007

June 5

June 5. We set off from Old Point Comfort and headed to Deltaville, Va. Low tide was just before 0700 so by leaving then we were able to motor out the 4 miles to the Chesapeake at slack tide and then turn north as the tide started to fill in behind us.

The wind was predicted to be 15 to 20 knots from the west. We got both sails up and killed the engine and as we started our journey north the wind was barely 10 knots but we were content with our 5 knots of boat speed. After only an hour the winds started to build to 17 knots and we were humming along at better than 7 knots. It was to be short lived though.

The wind continued to build and we were now barreling along at close to 8 knots. Woo Hoo. During the day we saw wind speeds of 25 knots and our best boat speed was 9.2 knots. There was a pair of trawlers and a couple of sailboats including a big catamaran trailing us but they were never able to overtake us.

The wind was very gusty and Rover was working very hard so I decided we should hand steer the 40 miles to Deltaville. It was either a very exhilarating, exciting ride or a white knuckle, hold on for dear life sprayfest depending on where you were sitting. Perspective is everything.

We finally had to reduce sail when we were only about 6 miles from our destination. The wind really had us healed over even with the sails eased. 15 to 18 degrees of heal is about optimum for our boat so far as speed and comfort are concerned. Today 15 degrees was our minimum and 20 was the norm and when we started seeing consistent 30 degree heal angles we had to take in half the genoa. We were still doing over 7 knots.  It may have been the best day of sailing for anybody…………..ever.

We’re in Jackson Creek in Deltaville and anchored in the south branch of the river. It’s absolutely beautiful here and very protected. 2 trawlers have come in and anchored upstream from us and 2 more are downstream. Christy and I went in to the town dinghy dock to walk into town to see if some food shopping can be done.

When Christy gets up on the dock she’s looking at the boats in the anchorage and says “isn’t that boat dragging?” I look up and see one of the trawlers cart wheeling and spinning down stream as the tide is ebbing. One of the guys on the trawler is sitting in the cockpit on the phone and completely unaware that he’s dragging down the river. Christy runs out to the end of the dock and yells to him as he passes “excuse me, I think you might be dragging”. He looks up, looks around and says into the phone “I gotta go!” He gets his buddy to start the engine while he hauls in the paperweight, err, anchor and then they head back up to give it another go. They were literally 30 seconds from shore, thank God for them that she noticed.

After that we set out for town. If a stroll to the mailbox is a 1 and the Bataan Death March was a 10 then I gotta call this “walk” at least a 7. Over a mile to a Post Office and after taking care of business there we asked the clerk for directions to the nearest grocery store. She said it’s just down the road, we say “we’re on foot” and she says “Ohhh”. It turns out to be a more than a few miles to the local Food Lion but there’s a convenience store only another mile or so down the road. It ended up being a 5 mile round trip for 24 cans of Diet Coke and a loaf of bread.

I’m not really sure of the mathematical formula but it’s something like number of cans of soda, times distance traveled, times degrees of temperature, plus cube root of the number of Post Anchoring Cocktails Bill consumed before this trek began. All I know is that those 24 colas weighed about 80 pounds by the time we got back to the boat. Oh. and did I mention that it’s hot as hell.

Anyway we’re back at the boat and the anchorage is just beautiful. Things are good. We’re off for Solomon Island tomorrow; we hear there’s a full sized grocery store there and it’s within a mile, do the math. Woo Hoo 

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