Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 8--to MD!

Today started out with some pretty rough seas and some hard slamming, but this afternoon it calmed and we had a nice transit to Solomons Island. The big excitement for the kids was getting to decorate Easter eggs! Tomorrow we will be home. Laundry, ironing, and freeing the boat of its coat of salt and grime all await us!
Katreina spent lots of time on deck.
My cute little egg decorator!
They did a great job, and we even had to call the wine glasses into service!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 7--Nada!

With 30+ knot winds out on the bay today we smartly stayed put at our solid anchorage in Fishing Bay near Deltaville, VA. A lazy morning of showers and playing gave way to a breezy afternoon dinghy ride to the nearby marina. A 1-mile walk to town showed there wasn't much there, but we did get ice cream, poked around a marine consignment store, and hit up the 7-11 for some milk and eggs and slurpees for the kiddos. Another mile walk and a dinghy ride and we were back home, reading and relaxing. Katreina manned the grill for a terrific dinner of turkey burgers, then I boiled the Easter eggs (hope to decorate then tomorrow!). Frank also played with the new generator, running it for a bit to give our batteries a boost. In short, it was definitely better than getting beat up on the bay all day!
Our nice walk to/from town through farmland.
Goofballs!
Katreina making turkey burgers for the crew.
Adult time!
Pretty moon.

Day 6--Long push north

Today was essentially a reverse of day 2--Pungo Ferry Bridge to Fishing Bay. Of course it couldn't be easy! For starters our chartplotter wouldn't work. Thankfully our charting app on the iPhone/iPad did! It was cool and breezy, but otherwise just a few showers dampened our trip through the bridges and locks. After following my friend Matt's ship, USS TRUXTUN, out of port we were slamming pretty hard in 4-6' seas which got K feeling a little icky. Given a crummy forecast for tomorrow and abating seas tonight we decided to push on until after dark to make Fishing Bay since we knew it would be a good spot to wait out the weather. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset and 12 hours after we got underway we dropped the hook. With that, I'm off to bed!

Lunch for the Captain, made by the crew.
We made it through the locks!
It's the USS TRUXTON!  Hello to our friend,Matthew V.!
It's getting cold and windy!

Poor babe wasn't feeling so hot.
Keeping a watch for crab pots as the sun sets.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 5--The return begins

Today was insane! The morning started off great with a walk into EC for some coffee at Muddy Waters and one last goodbye to our friends. Winds were great for sailing down the Pasquatank for the first few hours. The day was lovely though stressful as we had to cross several shallow spots, including the one we had grounded at 2 days ago. Once we cleared that our next big concern was a line of thunderstorms. Lightning, 30-50kt winds, and blinding rain kept the pressure on us. As it was starting to clear we were near an abandoned marina at Pungo Ferry Bridge and decided to join another sailboat for the night. The weather was improving but after a long day we were just ready to stop. It gave us a chance to eat together and walk on a nearby beach. And the sunset was amazing! The forecast for our return isn't great, but we will make the best of it.

On a java run to Muddy Waters.
Play date with the mermaids on deck.
Finally under sail!
I'm driving!
Playing on the beach at Pungo Ferry Bridge.
After some rough stretches, this amazing sunset is a sweet reward.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 4--EC

This morning we had a very peaceful cruise to Elizabeth City where we enjoyed the hospitality of the town's free slips, had some ice cream and cupcakes, helped a fellow sailor into his slip, visited with family and friends, got to show a few old friends our floating home, played ball and did cartwheels, had a nice dinner with friends, and finally ended the day with cocktails in the cockpit. Full, wonderful day!

Tomorrow we will start the journey back, taking a little more time to enjoy it on the return while still ensuring we are back in time for the Easter Egg Roll!

Kickin' it by the piers.
A remake of our engagement photo, taken about 8 years ago on this very slide!
The kids attempted to remake the photo, too! 
Welcome to Elizabeth City, NC, the Harbor of Hospitality!
Playing catch with Grandma and Grandpa P.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 3, Plan B

We left our horrible anchorage very early this morning in 20-25kt winds. That quickly became 30-35kts sustained in steep chop (that's not fun). Add to it the fact that we had to transit in a narrow channel that others had reported shoaling (shallower-than-charted) and it was a pretty stressful cruise, mostly for Frank as he was driving. To keep things exciting we even grounded at one point! Thank goodness the engine, along with some help from the wind and waves, broke us free within seconds. Suffice to say, after just a few hours we were ready for a break and happily tied up in Coinjock (just a short drive from Elizabeth City) before lunch. The sun broke out and it was nice to just relax while the wind roared on, and we even got a nice visit from the grandparents! A hearty meal at the marina's restaurant and showers for the crew capped off the night and we are ready to head to Elizabeth City in the morning. Still a very nice day!

Super windy day, but the Captain is still smiling!
My favorite sign in Coinjock.
32 oz prime rib!  This cut provided 2 dinners, 4 lunches, and 1 breakfast, and it was delicious!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 2--to the ICW

This was a chock-full day! After leaving our lovely anchorage at Fishing Bay, just south of the Rappahanock, we headed towards the Norfolk area. Katreina drove for a bit (with the auto pilot on) and the kids and I hung out in deck quite a bit. We got a great view of the ships at the naval base, grabbed some fuel, and headed to the Intracoastal Waterway. The opening of bridges and being in locks was new and exciting for us! That said, it has taken us longer than expected and transiting the ICW in the dark in a deep-draft vessel is stressful! Now we're at a so-so anchorage just south of the Pungo Ferry Bridge for some rest, hoping that the hook holds until sunrise. If the wind shifts as forecast we will likely be out in the channel, but we just need a few "down" hours. If the weather cooperates we should land at Elizabeth City tomorrow afternoon!
Katreina and "Ray" at the helm.
A little dirt time while we wait for our 1st lock in Lehe Paine!
Great Bridge Bridge, VA
Trent checks on the bridge status.

Cruising the ICW.