Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hampton, VA, to Solomons, Md

Wednesday, May 21 - We had some boat maintenance to take care of this day (get the pattern?)...but still managed to walk around Hampton and bike to the grocery store for a few items. The waterfront area is so pretty, but the little town seems very, not quite thriving. If we'd had longer we could have visited the Hampton University and the Air and Space Museum...

Thursday, May 22 - We'd called around for fuel prices in Hampton and in Deltaville. The "cheap" fuel ($3.89/gallon) was at the Old Comfort Point Marina in Hampton. So on this morning we left the slip at around 8 AM and stopped for fuel before we set out. We got the last of their diesel. The next truck would come, they said, later that day...and the price would go up.

It was after 9 AM before we really left Hampton, then. It was a beautiful day for travel, even though the waves made it necessary to lock everything down and close all the windows and hatches.

We pulled into Dozier's Regatta Point Marina in Deltaville, VA, at around 2 PM. Little did we know, we had stumbled into a lair of Loopers! We tied up next to Bob and Lynn Williamson on Legrace. Lynn told us they (and six other Looper couples) were getting together at 4 PM to give Bill Truex and Jill Williams on Transition a certificate for having completed the Loop...then we'd all go to dinner at Cocomos at 5. We signed on! Wayne washed the salt off the boat while I went to grab a few supplies with the courtesy car. This is a picture taken from the marina office. We're the second boat from left (Legrace) on the front row.

At 4 PM we all met in the boaters' lounge and, after introducing ourselves, the Transition crew was presented the certificate. Then we all "talked the talk" about Loop experiences, advice, etc. There were 19 of us who went to dinner that night: David and Gracie from Carry Forward, Woody and Ellen of Double SS, Bill, Jane and their grandson Danny from Wayfarer, Jack and Patsy from Honga, Greg and Susan on Allegria, Bob and Lynn on Legrace, Jim and Peg of Sanctuary, Bill and Jill of Transition and Wayne and I. At 5 PM two pickup trucks came to carry the 19 of us to dinner. Yes, we're still in the South!!

So happens it was Woody's birthday so we got in on another celebration when the restaurant staff brought him a mini-birthday cake!

Dinner was great...though the hour wait for the checks was a hassle. We were then transported back to the marina in a variety of vehicles.

Tomorrow many of us are leaving for Solomons, MD. We're hoping to get a mooring ball or anchorage and "veg" for a few days.....

May 23 - We woke up and checked the weather, first thing, (that's the norm for days when we plan to be moving) and the weather was suddenly looking iffy to us: small craft warning out for the area of the Chesapeake Bay that intersects the Potomac River and above. It didn't take us too long to decide that we would rather stay at Deltaville another day and get some housekeeping done rather than have a bumpy ride to Solomons. Legrace and others left early that day on the trip and reported a good day on the water...but we, and several others, stayed at Deltaville another night.

We gathered more supplies, washed the boat, did four loads of laundry, worked on the air conditioning pump... and other "fun" boat maintenance projects. That afternoon Gracie, Jane, Gail and I went to town for a few things. It was like a "mini" girls day out! (See, we had the courtesy car and you could only have it for an hour!) We managed to hit the grocery store, Family Dollar, hardware, library (they had a great book sale going on with special reductions on the prices that day) and seafood/gourmet shop. I came home with shrimp, tabbouleh and crab fritters for supper. Yum! And we only ran over about 20 minutes on our car time!

Saturday, May 24 - Memorial Day weekend! Check out time was noon and we only had about 20 miles to go that day to get to an anchorage just below the Potomac, Sandy Point, so we took our time getting out that morning. Several others were going to the same area that day...Carry Forward, Gail Frances and Wayfarer. I took a nice, long walk into town and Wayne and Jane followed later in the courtesy car to pick me up. Jane and I went to the farmers' market while Wayne looked for a tool at the hardware. After coffee and a snack at Coffee Delights, Jane and I met back up with Wayne and we stopped at the seafood shop before getting back to the marina.

I'd noticed the little roads around this area had clever name placards posted on a tree to indicate which families lived down that road. Jane, Gracie and I walked back to one of those roads for some pictures...and we would have walked down the road to see a replica of the Stingray Point lighthouse, but these were country roads and the traffic had picked up so that it was not a safe thing to do.

We headed back to the marina, each of us with our SLR cameras in hand, and as we were entering the marina area decided to stop for some more pictures. As we were snapping away, a truck pulled in with two young men who offered to take a picture of us together...

Around noon we pulled out, followed a little later by the other three boats. The water and wind were obliging and we had our best day yet on the waters of the Chesapeake.

As we made our way out of the channel to Dozier's I snapped an osprey nest we'd seen on the way in.

By 3 o'clock Segue and Carry Forward were anchored in Sandy Point and Gail Frances and Wayfarer were docked at the Reedville Marina a short ride away.

Sandy Point is beautiful! We took Lucy to shore on a little chunk of beach and settled back to enjoy the rest of the day. It's been a while since we've had a calm anchorage, and we both have missed it. We'd love to stay here another night, but the weather tomorrow is supposed to be ideal for our next piece of the trip so we'll probably move on.

I called our friends David and Cathy on the sailboat Orion and told them how much we were enjoying the anchorage here (they had made the recommendation). I told them we were planning to go up to Solomons on Sunday and they gave us some alternative anchorages in case Solomons turns out to be too crowded. We'll wait until Sunday morning to decide. Meanwhile, we watched the sunset and a movie that Gracie on Carry Forward had loaned us.

Sunday, May 25 - We had a nice trip up to Solomons today. We got a late start, taking Lucy to shore in the dinghy and all, but got up here by about 3:00 PM. Crossing the mouth of the Potomac wasn't bad at all. We had a few big waves, but not many.

We had to laugh at a couple of things. First, the places we passed on the way: Point Lookout, Point Look-In...and Point No Point. Gotta love it! This is the Point No Point Lighthouse.

Then, we heard this distress call from a sailboat couple in their 70's who'd gotten too close to a lighthouse and were stuck on the rocks. We listened intently as the Coast Guard questioned them about their condition, location, etc., and said help was on the way. Then we heard another call to the Coast Guard:

CG: Vessel calling the Coast Guard, go ahead.

Vessel: Yes, I need to report a family in distress on Jane's Island.

CG: A family in distress?

Vessel: Yes. They don't have a radio. They were apparently dropped off on the island and need to leave but don't have a way off.

CG: What is the nature of their distress?

Vessel: Well...the children are being attacked by horseflies!

CG: Please switch to channel 22 (after which I'm pretty sure they passed on the distressed family call.)

I hate those flies, but I hadn't thought of calling the Coast Guard on them...yet!

When we got into the Solomons area we picked out an anchorage down next to the Holiday Inn so we could dinghy in to their dock. The anchorage became a little more crowded as the afternoon went on, but it's still very pleasant. Reminds us a little of being in Marathon, FL, with all the boats moored about and dinghies everywhere.

And what's Lucy been up to lately? Well, she needs a trim, but otherwise she's still doing great. Still loving the lap time...

We'll stay in Solomons through Tuesday for sure...then on over to the eastern shore to visit either St. Michael's or Oxford.

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