Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I made it home BARELY!!! (Final Leg)

  After a long night with Max at the emergency room again because he was still very ill I managed to get up bright and early and singlehand Sal to our slip in Little Creek Inlet. First mate stayed with Max. Once away from the dock I immediately began to follow this beautiful Nordic Tug. The day was bright and the forecast was for 10-15kt winds (Remember: I said "forecast").

 Battlefield Bridge beginning to open

 Bridge almost fully open as I approached

 Distance marker sign in locks

 Here I am tied up to the edge of the locks. Word of caution-  very long lines are needed to tie off. These are not the friendliest people I have ever met and when my lines were not long enough to reach the tie off points they were not pleased.

Locks at the proper level, gates I go

Entering the (not!) beautiful Elizabeth River...

 No traffic at the High Rise Bridge this morning!

Last picture from trip home, camera took a dump!

Motoring along I had a great time by myself, things were going well. Wife called and said Max was ok and recovering well. Continuing along the Elizabeth River I was enjoying views and sights of all the working barges and tugs. Time was moving along nicely and as of 10am I had reached mile marker 0 of the ICW.  Off to my starboard side I could see Norfolk's Waterside complex. As I was motoring along I realized I had to pee in the worst way.....looking around at all the marine traffic, looking on board and realizing I was the only one there, I now had a problem. After a few minutes trying to figure out what I was going to do and just not being able to hold it any longer I kneeled in the cockpit and used a closed-off plastic oil funnel.....What's a guy to do?? Now with that small problem solved I motored on. I was coming up on Norfolk Marine Terminal and the Norfolk Naval Base. As I approached these areas I noticed the breeze had kicked up quite a bit. I still had no worries and continued motoring. As I motored past the last of the naval piers and headed toward the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) I could see out into the Chesapeake Bay. I saw white caps...lots of them, wind was right in my face, out of the northeast. As I got closer and closer to the bridge tunnel I got more and more nervous. Sal was begining to really pitch and roll. I quickly realized I was heading for some pretty steep chop. The entrance to the Elizabeth River and HRBT come together in a narrowed area and cause quite a current. It was about 12pm and the tide was headed out and the wind was blowing out of the northeast at 20-25kts (&%$@ forecast!!). As I hit the waters over the HRBT Sal's bow was climbing straight up some 6-8ft surf type waves. I would look up and only see bow one moment and the next was nothing but green, cold water engulfing the entire bow. I was scared! I looked down at the GPS and it would go from about 2.5kt to 0 as Sal and I worked our way through this incredible surf. At one point I looked back and could see nothing but water then sky then water.....Sal was really getting tossed. I decided to tie myself to the boat. I was not sure if we were going to make it. Sal's trusty Atomic 4 pushed her through it though. After about 15-20 scary minutes of 6-8ft surf waves we were now past the entrance to the Elizabeth River and working our way across the lower Chesapeake Bay in 20-25kt knot wind under motor alone. But little did I know there was even more coming......To Be Continued!

Sailing With Us

Here are a few pictures and a video from today's sail. Very nice relaxing day on the lower Chesapeake Bay

Ocean View section of Norfolk's waterfront


 Ummm...... where'd the Captain go?

Sal moving smartly thru the water

Monday, July 9, 2012

We beat the heat!

    Yesterday we beat the heat! I was dying to go for a sail but didn't want to get out there and cook in this heat. The weather forecast was for good wind during the overnight hours and into the morning, so we got up at 5:30 and left the slip close to 7a.m. What a great morning out on the water. Wind was from the SW blowing 13-15kts and gusting to 18kts, a bit more than predicted but it sure made for some great sailing. Downwind on a broad reach Sal was moving right along! Very nice sail indeed. Check out our YouTube channel for video of it.

Heading out with the sun rising from the east

A nice full main! Rare during July and August

 Wife enjoying the breeze and the light spray as we beat into the waves. We were headed toward  Hampton, VA

A bit far off but that is a large container ship approaching Thimble Shoals Light

Returning from our sail we just rounded the corner to Little Creek inlet

Approaching our slip

Sal looking salty and happy to have been out doing what she does best!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


  I'm sure if you have stepped outside in the last week and you're in the US, you realize it's summer. This year has been a hot one so far. I have been reading that high temperature records have been broken everywhere across the nation. Here is no different, it has been hot and humid in the mid-atlantic. Today was too hot to go out sailing, with no breeze we would cook out there, besides sailing just isn't fun without wind! Actually without wind its pretty much just a sailboat anyway. I decided instead of sailing today I would stroll the docks and snap a few pictures before heading home and soaking up some air conditioning.

You can see from the grass it's been a hot and dry summer

There's our Sal in the distance...looking smart!

The infamous "F" Dock, trespassers will be violated....or something like that

 Little Creek inlet, boaters haven

Looking off the stern of Sal. Getting up to this view every morning when we move aboard won't be so bad!

Another view off the's a forest of masts

Another shot of the marina, showing the Navy base in the background

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gorgeous Day Sail

      We enjoyed a great sail this past week. Here are a few shots from the day. We really like our new light weight drifter. I bought it off of craigslist for $250, a steal! I  tried to get some interesting shots with our new (to us) Canon DSLR T2i, another craigslist find! I also added a few videos to our new YouTube channel, you can view them from the link to the right from our blog

 My beautiful first mate relaxing on the deck as we move right along

 A shot of the new rigging and drifter.

Another shot looking up the mast. Crystal was at the helm while I moved around taking a few shots

Here is one of the videos I uploaded to YouTube