Monday, October 11, 2010

In Little Creek, VA

After a long offshore run from Hempstead Harbor, Long Island, NY down the East River and the New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coasts we arrived at Hampton Roads, VA at about 3:30 AM last night and dropped the hook off the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Fort Story. This morning (later, we did sleep in) I rafted up to Water Hobo and Bronco made us both breakfast We decided that we would fuel and continue down to the north end of the Dismal Swamp Canal tonight, a distance of about 25 miles. Since we will get there after the last lock opening for the night we expect to just drop the hook in the canal and wait for the morning opening.

What a change the past couple of days have made. The weather has turned to warm. Actually it has been warm here all summer, we just transited into the warm weather. The sun is shining and the inside of Reboot is actually warm. The outside temperature is 79 degrees. What a change from the 50's and 60's of the past few months. We are both in shorts and our cats are sunbathing on our decks.

We are also now in fresh water. This means we can swim or at least take a dip off the stern without having to wash off salt water. The water as we go south is stained with mangrove so it looks like tea but that is a small price to pay for getting cool and clean at the same time.

Bronco (H2OBO) was amazed at the size of Hampton Roads. He expected that when we reached the harbor channel it would be a few minutes to enter and find a place to drop the hook. Was he surprised that it took 3 more hours to get into some protected waters to drop the hook for the night. We have also been just dropping along a protected shoreline rather than going into harbors, this is new for him and relatively new for me too. I just realized that Bronco is going to be even more surprised when it takes us another 2 hours to get down to the piers where the ships actually dock.

We expect to work our way down to Oriental, NC in the next three or four days. We will meet whoever from the Key West winter of 2009-2010 group is still there and wait for HOBO II and POW-MIA to catch up.

We are now starting a major change. For the next week or so we will be motoring almost all of the time in very protected waters. Quite a change from being out in the open Atlantic watching the weather and experiencing 25 to 35 knot winds on a regular basis.

When in St Pierre I spent some time with two boats. I have already related the problems of Veleda II in their crossing the Cabot Straight. I received an email from Blaise Vincent on ALOE VERA's trip across the Atlantic. An excerpt...

It was tough, but we made it. We docked at Kinsale marina (Ireland) yesterday where we are enjoying a well deserved rest.

21 days of crossing,4 days hove to under bare pole, 1 storm force 10 (50 knots gusting 58), 3 severe gales force 9 (45 knots of wind) and we have lost count of the force 8 gales (35-40 knots) since they where our daily bread, not speaking of the sea condition with waves over 10 meters high ( next time you see a 4 storey building, you'll know how it feels). Actually, apart from the most extreme, we where thankful to have such wind because we blew our genoa to shreds on the second gale and with a n°4 jib you need wind to keep moving. Huge thanks to our weathermen ( not the right wing extremists, the guys that kept a look on the forecast for us and guided us through the satellite phone) without whom we would have experienced force 11 or 12 winds with enormous seas!!!

....

It looks like I had the easy passage!

Cheers

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