Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009.

We slept well and found ourselves threading the winding exit from Jackson Creek back out into Chesapeake Bay by 0830. The wind was out of the north northeast so we were under sail as soon as we cleared the confines of the channel. It had rained a good bit during the night but the day broke with no rain; just a bit of fog and a dreary grey.

There were some fairly large rollers piling into Fleets Bay as we headed out into the Chesapeake. We had to go far enough out across the Chesapeake before turning south because the rollers were large enough to spill all the air from the sails as we tried to gradually turn south. So we continued east until we could lay a course for Wolf Trap Light. This left us running wing and wing with the wind and seas directly behind us. This turned out to be a very comfortable point of sail and we averaged 7.5 knots.

Once we reached the Wolf Trap it was time to veer 20 degrees to starboard. Luck was with us as the wind was just starting to come more out of the north northwest. We went to starboard tack and actually picked up some speed. To make matters even better, we had the ebb tide running with us almost all day.

When we reached Norfolk it was time to turn even more to the west. We ended up being close hauled with everything sheeted in as tight as possible. We ran across the shipping lanes and it was debatable as to whether or not we would be able to make the Elizabeth River without tacking or starting the engine. We crossed the channel diagonally and were literally skimming along the shallows outside the southern side of the channel. We finally made the turning mark with no room to spare. The now rising tide made the difference for us as it pushed us into Norfolk. As we turned south down the Elizabeth we eased the sails a bit and sailed along at about 5 knots to our anchorage at Hospital Point.

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