Friday, July 31, 2009

Chesapeake Bay in a Small Craft Advisory...Yikes!

Today was not the best day on the water. We travelled from just south of Norfolk up to Little Creek, at the mouth of the Chesapeake next to the inlet to the Atlantic. It started out slow going. We passed through all of the military stuff at a snails pace, as we were stuck behind a freighter in a fairly narrow canal. But it certainly changed pace quickly!

We need to pick up charts for this area and north of here. Without a chart we were under the impression that we weren't going nearly as far as we were!!

There was a small craft advisory in effect today. We thought we were only going to be in a small, sheltered channel. Once we got out into the open water of the Chesapeake things got rough. I was feeling crappy, partly from sea sickness, partly from Henry being up half the night crying with teething pain (just cut fifth and sixth tooth, and I think he has four more budding!). The teething pain was also making Henry fussy, and hard to get down for his naps. So I was not having the best day to begin with.

Then the storm hit. Andy saw it coming and took down our sails. He was prepared well ahead of time with the port lights closed and such. It was a storm unlike any we have seen to date! The wind speed just kept increasing, with the worst gusts in the middle of the storm reaching 50 knots!!!!! I couldn't have imagined what 50 knots of wind felt like until we were in the middle of it. The boat was being heeled by the wind and the rain was pelting us with such ferocity it felt like it was going to pierce our skin!

Andy kept his head and handled the boat beautifully. I grabbed both dogs and with Henry wrapped tightly in my arms, sat low in the footwell of the cockpit and tried to keep the baby and the dogs calm. I guess I succeeded, Henry actually fell asleep! I think it was when I started singing, "Blue Skies shining on me..."

The storm passed quickly, as they all do down south. After about 20 minutes we were coming into port under blue skies with the lightning and blackness behind us.

We treated ourselves to a dock for the night at Cobb's Marina. We figured we all deserved a little R&R, and the air conditioning wouldn't hurt either! We plan to spend at least 24 hours at Cobb's Marina to wait for favourable weather. Once we get a good window, we hope to do a 48 hour run that will take us just short of New York! We're almost home!!

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