Always A Few More Chores - November 23, 2001
We are now officially underway, having left the dock in Annapolis on Thursday November 15th around 4pm. We knew we would not get far with only one hour of daylight left ahead of us, but we wanted to get started before Friday rolled around. It is an old sailing superstition that one should never begin a voyage on a Friday, and while I don't consider myself highly superstitious I decided it was wiser not to tempt fate.
The week before leaving was crammed with work in a futile attempt to finish all the chores the list. The truth is the list is never complete, and the work continues throughout. In fact today, a week into the trip, I have decided to take the day off from traveling south to complete some important projects that must get done. But first let me backtrack to our departure.
Last Thursday night we anchored in a little creek called Deep Creek just off the mouth of the Magothy River. The holding was good, and we were protected from the winds, but I still did not sleep well. I never sleep much the first day out, as I am listening to every sound the boat makes, getting to know each creak again, and not being able to relax until each one is familiar and identifiable.
We rose early the next morning and started motoring south as there was little wind. It was a long but easy day of motoring and we arrived in Solomons, MD for the weekend ready to do a few more chores! I grew up sailing out of Spring Cove Marina in Solomons, and it was nice to be in familiar surroundings, and helpful to have a marina manager who knew me by name. Saturday we went for a beautiful day sail with a friend, and had our first chance in quite some time to test Baggywrinkle under sail. She did beautifully, and we screamed across the bay close hauled at 6 knots. Sunday my parents drove down from Washington with my cousins and their 3 year old daughter and the day was full goodbyes and of course a few more chores such as installing a spice rack Miranda had requested and my father had built.
Monday we were again on our way south, down the Chesapeake Bay. We had a head wind and 3 to 4 foot seas, and we tacked our way into it going 5 to 6 knots but making slow progress towards our destination. Again this was a good test for Baggywrinkle, as the seas were not small and she took plenty of water over the bow. I was very happy with how she performed and how little water found its way down below. This day was also a test for Miranda, for she did not know if she got sea sick or not. The results of the test were mixed She was all right as long as she stayed on deck, but going down below and doing anything made her feel quite green. To be fair I start feeling green if I go down below for any period of time and try to read or navigate and the conditions were nothing to yawn at. But, the experience of trying to make toast for breakfast and having to bolt up on deck half way through the exercise convinced Miranda that she will take something to help when we go off shore.
That night we anchored in Smith Creek off the Potomac, and had a nice dinner before heading to bed. The next day we got a late start, leaving the anchorage around 11am. But, we made good time as the wind was behind us at about 20 knots. We raced down the bay doing 7knts with just the jib up, and decided to keep going after it got dark so we could make some good time towards Norfolk, our destination for Thanksgiving. Around 11pm we navigated our way into a small creek on the south side of Mobjack bay, dropping the hook and dropping off to sleep in rapid order.
On Wednesday we woke and had our normal breakfast of Hot Oatmeal. It's not easy to get up with the weather as cold as it'Ss been, and the oatmeal helps! We've been warm sleeping, and the days have actually warmed up with the sun shinning brightly on us. But we are all looking forward to being in shorts and tee shirts, and being able to take showers in cold water without minding. After breakfast we motored the few hours south to Norfolk. Even before we crossed over the tunnel bridge that acts as the entrance to the harbor we could see the navy ships in their births. The grey behemoths lay quiet but ready to go at a moments notice. The Enterprise, having recently returned from the middle east was only a few hundred yards off to our port as we motored by, and we could see the scaffolding and lights for the Garth Brooks concert that was to be held aboard that night. We continued into the harbor passing at least 10 tug boats some with barges some without. And at around 1:30 we docked right downtown in a slip provided to us by an OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) friend. Sam and Miranda spent the rest of the day exploring the town while the captain did what else a few more chores.
Thanksgiving morning was full of things to do. Before we were picked up
by my cousin to go eat a massive meal with his wife's family, I had to
go up the mast to grab a halyard that had been skied two nights before,
inspect the rigging, and do a few other things. That being done we went
and had a lovely Thanksgiving, Miranda's first. Later that night Miranda
told me she had eaten too much, and I congratulated her on a successfully
Thanksgiving holiday. We had plenty to be thankful for as we were able
to eat plenty of wonderful food, take showers, and do laundry. Not to
mention there were no chores to be done that night.