Thursday, August 6, 2009

Norfolk to Cape May

In Norfolk we met a very friendly local fellow named Terry. Him and his wife, Lena, invited us out to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We had a really good time with them, and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy spending time with Henry. After dinner they drove us to a Food Lion for a few supplies. Terry is bit of an expert on VHF radios, so he sold Andy some cable and gave him some advice regarding the occasional trouble we've had reaching the bridges on our VHF.

The next day Terry came by and spent several hours with Andy installing new cables and making an emergency antenna. Henry and I ventured out to do some shopping, but the bus schedule was so complicated and infrequent we decided to make do with the meager shopping at the local plaza. At least it got us off the boat for awhile, I had a little 'cabin fever'.

That night the weather outlook was good, so we headed off on our 48 hour, which in looking at our new charts looked more like 36 hour, adventure.

The first night was uneventful. In the morning the sky was overcast, but the sailing was pretty good. Unfortunately...'the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed'...

Andy called the Coast Guard for advice on where the weather was heading. They told him it would miss us. Wrong! When the wind picked up to 25+knots Andy called them again, they told him that he should only be in 5-10 knots. He turned the boat and headed out to sea to avoid the storm. Unfortunately it chased us out, and eventually we had to turn into it. We headed for Cape May, looking to get off the water asap!

14 miles took us five hours! It was very rough and tough going. I was down in the aft cabin with Henry, Buddy and Charlie. Henry slept for some of the time, but it was very hard to keep him happy back there for the rest of the five hours. The hardest part was trying to keep him entertained and keep the dogs calm while I was sea sick! Definitely not our best day on the water.

Poor Andy was left to fight the seas and the storm alone. He was drenched, cold, and the auto pilot failed so he wasn't even able to take a bathroom break for that five hour stretch!

Needless to say we arrived in port feeling exhausted, each for our own reasons. We anchored for the night beside the Coast Guard Station. It was a noisy anchorage, as the Coast Guard had a platform out in the channel that had sirens and a loud speaker to call passing boats whenever they passed into the bay, or made a wake. I'm surprised Henry could nap at all! When things settled down later they had a helicopter doing exercises and hovering over the water about 100 feet from our boat! Not the most restful night, but much better than staying out to sea in that weather!

We were out

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