It’s hot. I’m tired. Lets go back to Rhode Island.   Leave a comment

Moving South in the Chesapeake

The plan has always been to sail back to Rhode Island after we reached the bottom of Chesapeake bay. Now we’re definitely ready to go. It is so hot. Any kind of movement or activity is so exhausting that we’ve relished the long days of slow sailing across the bay when all we could do was sit. Actually, we could have sat but instead we messed around with the sails, brought out the MPG, and swatted flies. The bugs have gotten out of hand too. They keep us awake at night itching old bites and trying to prevent new ones.

We’re in Cape Charles, VA right now. This is our second Virginia stop. Reedville, our first, was a quaint old fishing town on the western side of the bay. The menhaden fishing operation and processing plant made the town smell like a pet store (menhaden is used for fish oil and to make things like pet foods). We snuggled into a finger of the creek that put us right in the town’s backyard. Several people greeting us from their boats and invited us to use their docks when we rowed ashore. There really is such a thing as southern hospitality!
We spent out time in Reedville enjoying the air conditioning and history at the Fishing Museum and eating ice cream at Chitterchat’s icc cream and gossip parlor. This was the first place we encountered jellyfish, or stinging “sea nettles” in the water. They were everywhere! Some are as small as a quarter and others are almost fist sized. They’re white, not colorful, and apparently they pack quite a sting. We stayed out of the water, as hard as that was considering we were dripping sweat just sitting still in the boat.

This past week has been a good one for sailing. We had good breeze between our anchorage on the Little Choptank River (where we went after Annapolis). It was a grey but warm day with 15-18 knots of wind and we had a great time sailing upwind with one reef in the main.
Sailing from Solomons to Deal island was a slow, downwind day but we broke out the MPG and made the most of what little wind we had. Solomons to Reedville was an even windier upwind leg than our previous windy day. We had 20+ knots and sizable waves. The boat did a lot of smashing and crashing but nothing went wrong or broke. We put 2 reefs in the main and roller-reefed the jib a bit. Other sailboats were just motoring along the coast so we felt pretty hardcore. Lee and I are getting pretty good at handling Pirat in all kinds of wind. Reefs are no problem. We’re getting faster and faster at tacking and certainly getting lots of practice with the MPG and pole.

Cape Charles is an up-and-coming historic town on the eastern shore. A local golf resort has brought quite a bit of development but the city marina where we’re staying is still grungy. The town feels like it’s trying really hard to appeal to the wealthy retirees in the new development but it hasn’t quite fleshed out yet. I’m sitting in the public library, which is in an old, very small church. The places we got for wifi are always interesting.
Lee and I are tentatively planning to duck out of the bay tomorrow morning for our passage North. We will sail offshore (maybe right around the border between the coastal and offshore waters) all the way to Block Island, RI, if we’re lucky. It’s hard to know what to think about the weather. As long as the wind will be behind us and the waves won’t be too big it should go smoothly. But when is a wave too big and how accurate are the forecasts?

At least I have good news to start me on this leg: the peer reviews of my thesis came back favorable and the DMNS wants to publish it with “major revisions”. Woohoo! I have something academic to do!

Posted June 22, 2010 by Rachel in Pictures

0 responses to It’s hot. I’m tired. Lets go back to Rhode Island.

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  1. I like the picture of you and Lee in the sun on deck. Also like the pics of the MPG.
    Safe passage to Rhode Island.

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