Sunday, October 25, 2009

2nd Year: Kent Narrows to Norfolk

                         Southbound from Kent Narrows, Chesapeake Bay, via ICW

Tuesday, October 20, 2010
On our way!  After the sink/faucet repairs were completed at 6 PM on Monday, we decided to bolt....been tied to a dock way too long.  Up early, eager to pull out, even without any major planning, we headed out in great weather (cold to get warmer).  Ah, the sun sparkling on the water,  boats all around, birds all over and Finally Fun smoothly cutting through the good to be underway......I could cruise forever.

Over the next 5 hours cruising toward Solomon's Island, our overnight anchorage, I figured out a plan for the next few months and especially for the next few weeks.  We will kill time sightseeing in VA as we can't go further south than Cape Hattaras, NC til 11/2, due to insurance requirements and the hurricane season.  (See our itinerary for plans).  Given that most boats have the same restriction, we are keeping our eyes peeled for friends we've met along the way -- many boats headed south this time of year.  Given that, I've planned our trip for early afternoon stops to ensure we will have swing room at anchorages.

Love the sunsets at anchor!
We pulled into Mill Creek, Solomons, at 2:00 today, dropping the hook.  By 4 PM there were 7 new boats swinging around us......We had our 'choice' spot, so no hassle.  Ah, a wonderful evening, reminding me how much I LOVE anchoring out and how much I don't enjoy the marinas.  The solitude (the other boats don't make any noise), the birds, trees, sunset, calm waters -- so relaxing.  AND a first warm day in what seems forever.  We sat on the aft deck, reading, writing, playing with our new Kindel that daughter, Stacey, gave us and reading the Wall St. Journal.  In general, just kicking back.  Best day in a long time... so nice to relax ON the water.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Ahh, another beautiful day - pulled anchor at 8:45 AM, cruising a long day to York, VA, actually on the York River and home of  the historic 'triangle' of York, Jamestown & Williamsburg.  We grabbed a mooring ball just as it was getting very dark ( I FINALLY found it in the water -- started to worry!) at River Landing in York just to spend the night for $25 vs about $90.  We'll move into their marina tomorrow early so we can play and sight see...too much trouble to do that from the dink and have to worry about losing power while we are gone for who knows how many hours out 'playing'. 
Coming into Yorktown at dusk

Bah, gremlins still inhabit this boat that I am certainly having a love/hate relationship with.  The RayMarine Chart Plotter that has given us nothing but trouble since DAY ONE and that no one can fix - in spite of being sent back TWICE, failed again.  Failed 6 times while underway after not failing all day yesterday - the first day it was in operation since being returned as 'fixed' by RayMarine.

Finally Fun almost alone in the marina at Yorktown
I am so sick of all this....still can't convince Andy to move to a sailboat with fewer moving parts....and be done with all this hassle.  We spent the usual inordinate amount of time on the phone speaking to the guy, Rick, who installed the units and keeps trying to fix them (it is both the upper and lower stations) and to RayMarine.  Finally, long story short, we will have someone meet us in Charleston (a real live CERTIFIED tech) and try to determine the problem.  And RayMarine will pay for it.   Me, I am ready to dump all those parts in the ocean with a big sign, "HERE LIES TWO RAYMARINE CHART PLOTTERS THAT HAVE  ALWAYS BEEN FOREVER DEAD" and I'm ready to slap a sign on Finally Fun, adding a big YELLOW LEMON to her hull...... 

Thursday & Friday, October 22 & 23, 2009
Relaxing, enjoyable days sightseeing in York & Williamsburg...and so easy to do.  This Triangle of historic sights has trolleys and a shuttle bus to hop on/off of all day long so no hassles with transportation. 
Yorktown bunkers

Note the hole in the building from the battle
 York is the site of the last battle in America's Revolutionary War, where Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington about 300 years ago.
Click to enlarge & read about the battle
The story, as told by one of our US Park Rangers, was hilarious, as he really got into the personalities and how and why the battle was won by us, vs being won by the Brits.  Amazing, we should have lost our quest for independence as it was just about over and our rag tag troops about done in, when Cornwallis got lazy, complacent and focused on chasing women -- very distracted.  Then we snuck in here & whipped him!!
The bunkers & Redoubt 10
I also enjoyed the risk taking the Americans pulled off as they fought for their beliefs and how they won at York.  I especially loved  the Ranger's take on history vs what I remember from my elementary school history.  Guess at that age, no one talked about chasing women....... if our schoolbooks were half as interesting as this Ranger and some of the Rangers I met in Canada, I'd have been a history major no doubt!  Both Williamsburg and York are so picturesque, charming and well worth the stop here, up the York River, just a few hours north of Norfolk and only an hour's drive from Richmond.

River Landing Marina at Yorktown


York River

We hope to be off in the very early morning at first light, trying to beat out bad weather that is predicted for tomorrow.  We plan to hunker down at the military marina at the Norfolk Naval Base for one or two days and see if our Insurance Company will give us a waiver to head south a few days before the 11/1 date.....We need to beat out a bridge closing just north of Charleston that will give us a potential problem getting southbound....Andy doesn't like cruising in the ocean, given his last hurling experience.

Saturday, October 24, 2009
Up and headed down the York River back to Chesapeake Bay by 7:15 AM, in hopes of  beating the bad weather predicted.  Here we now sit at the military Norfolk Naval Base many hours later and no storm in sight.  An uneventful cruise here, taking about 4 hours and not the heavier seas predicted.  Surprise, we are in exactly the same T dock we were in last year when we were here!

Andy's nephew David, Andy, Brother George, Sister in Law Jill & Sharon
AND a BETTER surprise, Andy's brother, George, called him, asking where we were.  George & Jill were celebrating an anniversary and were in VA Beach, only a few miles from us!  Small world.  We hooked up and had a fun afternoon eating in downtown Norfolk and wandering around before they continued their drive home to Reston,VA.    So very good to see them again!

Sunday, October 25, 2009
Ugh.  Cold, rainy, dreary.  We spent the day being lazy and doing not much of anything given the ick weather.  We celebrated Andy's 70th birthday today - I made two of his favorite foods:  pasta & eggplant, combining them into a very tasty dish with lots of garlic that I roasted.  I made brownies, to pretend it was a cake.

His gift from me is a trip to Poland and Russia, given that where he was born, Grodno, is now in Russia as they stole the land in 1939, the year he was born.  He and his Mom were put on a train to Siberia by the Russians where they lived for several years doing slave type work in the coal mines.  Irena was a nurse by training so that kept her out of the mines.  At any rate, we shall depart in early May for about 3 weeks in search of relatives and roots.  We'll leave the boat in Jacksonville for the month while we head overseas.  A good day, in spite of the rain.

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