This trip started at Reagan natl’ Airport
, where I had to pick up my sailing buddy and a rental car. I rented a Mustang 5.0 from Alamo because why not. After some burnouts and a quick tour of the monuments in DC, we headed south to Norfolk. Somewhere around Ladysmith, I ran over something on the highway that cracked the rim, destroyed the tire, and broke the shock tower. Whatever it was, it got 3 other cars as well. We were all on the same shoulder changing tires and assessing damage. After putting on the donut and deciding to press on vs abandoning the trip, we headed south at 60mph. Safe (enough). That set back cost us a precious hour of sleep.
After no sleep and dealing with the rental car claim, We departed Vinings Landing at 0900--
Crossing the mouth of the bay with an incoming tide and a 15-18kt north wind was not fun. It was work, but worth it. One close call with a Navy
Frigate that didn’t know what speed it wanted to go, and we were across into smoother waters. I was happy to give up the wheel
after 4 hours of fighting Betty O's big rear end. Once the water
calmed down, I was happy to figure out the autopilot
. We had a nice close up view of the Wolf Trap light and steamed with a beautiful ketch
for an hour or so. Those were cool moments. The stars after dark were just amazing.
The transit from Norfolk to Deltaville took much longer than anticipated due to the slow crossing, we didn't get into Doziers until well after 9pm. Deltaville had quite a few grounding and/or strikes in their channel due to an obstruction. Locals think a wreck shifted into the channel. There were 6 boats up on the hard
from running into something the day we arrived, some nasty damage. one sailboat had a rudder
bent at 45 degrees and had pushed throught the hull
. A big old Bertram had both of its outdrives ripped completely off. Nasty damage. When the kid fueling me up asked how I got in after dark, I told just followed the rules of the road and kept close to the channel markers. I'm sure I had a bit of luck as well. We departed at 0700 the next morning. The ride out was white knuckled, but I stuck to my track from the night before. No problems.
We were able to put up sails and head
east for an hour or so, come on we had to sail a little. Reefed and set sails, it was a sporty day. We were making 6-8 kts and nice wind. Unfortunately we had a schedule so we dropped sail and started to motor
north. There was a light north wind and glassy waters for most of the day. Quiet day. Once the sun went down, the tugs and barges came out. My god, those things are everywhere. The first one taught us that “if it looks weird, it’s a barge.” That became the rule
of thumb and we both became adept at identifying its trajectory. We must’ve seen more than a dozen. We were due to pull into Solomons at 10pm. The weather was so nice and the water so smooth, we decided to just motor
on to Deale. I spent many hours standing up forward just watching the water go by. What a great experience.
We were tied up in my new slip at 0200! There was frost on the docks and a billion stars overhead. I think I made a good choice. We celebrated the trip with long showers, hot coffee, a LOT of sleep. Then a total pigout at Fogo De Chao.