MAY--Norfolk, Virginia to Deltaville by Sea and Deltaville to Pentwater, Michigan by Land.
Left Mill Creek or Old Point Comfort (Hampton, VA) early in the morning to ride the current out to the Chesapeake Bay. A great day for a sail. Winds from the east at 15-20 knots so DISCOVERY scooted along. Saw a submarine leaving Hampton Roads behind us. Hoped to see it "dive" but it continued to cut along at the surface as it headed for deeper water. Arrived at Deltaville when the tide was almost at the lowest point. Deltaville's channel is well marked but very narrow. You will go aground if you stray outside the channel at all. This is our third time into Deltaville (Jackson Creek) so we were able to avoid all the shallow spots.
The following are Deltaville pictures. The first picture shows the channel into Deltaville. You can see the sand bars that one has to avoid. The marina is in the lower right hand corner. I apologize for the glare from the camera flash! The second picture is a birdseye view of the marina with the anchorage. The third picture is a Deltaville sunset.
Once the anchor was set, Carl headed in to the Deltaville Marina and Deltaville Boatyard to finalize arrangements for putting DISCOVERY on the hard for about 4 months. Found the people working at the Marina and Boatyard to be helpful, friendly and service oriented. Made arrangements with the marina to use their facilities and arrangements with the Boatyard to pull the boat on Friday, May 11. Use of the facilities include access to a courtesy car.
SALTY PAWS, a catamaran with Jim and Bentley plus their two corgy dogs, Ethyl and Petrol, joined us in the Deltaville anchorage one night. Used the Deltaville Marina's courtesy car to make a run for groceries and then had cocktails on SALTY PAWS. The last time we saw SALTY PAWS was in New Bern, NC last October. Jim and Bentley spent their winter in Florida (mostly on the west coast). It was fun to catch up with them and hear about their cruise and adventures.
Next guests to arrive in Deltaville were Jan and Mike Enzinger on SIGNFICANT OTHER. They arrived in Deltaville from York just before the forecasted "big blow". Had not seen Jan and Mike since March 2006 in Marsh Harbour. Mike and Jan were land lubbers from April 06 to April 07. Spent time talking about previous cruising adventures. Their plans are to cruise further north this summer and then put the boat on the hard again for the winter.
As previously mentioned, a huge cold front moved off the East Coast with high winds especially off the coast of the Carolinas. Followed the rescue and search by the Coast Guard for 4 sailboats. The first sailboat was a 37-foot sailboat , SEAKER, nine miles off Oregon Inlet (close to Cape Hatteras) in shoal water. SEAKER had dropped their anchor but were dragging in the high winds and seas. On board--a 70 year old man and two women. A helicopter responded to SEAKER's EPIRB signal. According to the Coast Guard report the sailboat was getting pummeled by 30 to 40 foot waves. The Coast Guard rescue swimmer said the sailboat was pitching up and down so much he thought the mast would come up and impale the rescue basket. Can't imagine the fear the crew experienced or the sense of relief when they finally arrived on dry land at Elizabeth City, North Carolina!
The next boat to broadcast an EBIRB signal at 3:00 AM was the sailboat LOU PANTAI. Just a half-hour later a third EPIRB signaled, this one from the 54-foot sailboat FLYING COLOURS, and by 6:15 yet another EP from the 67-foot sailboat ILLUSION, had been triggered
The sailboat, LOU PANTAI was 225 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, apparently south of Flying Colours, which was 200 miles east of Cape Fear and 50 miles east of Illusion. Another Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to an area where a Coast Guard C-130 spotted some flares. The LOU PANTAI's crew of three were hoisted into the chopper and flown to land.
Another C-130 was launched from Elizabeth City to search for FLYING COLOURS a Little Harbor 54 which was headed to Annapolis, MD from the US Virgin Islands. When the C-130 received the coordinates relayed by the EPIRB---there was no sign of the sailboat or its crew of four.
Finally, a C-130 was launched from Elizabeth City---spotted the 67-foot ILLUSION with its crew of three. The ILLUSION was taking on water and had lost its steering. A helicopter had been dispatched to ILLUSION's location. The ILLUSION was in 30-40 foot seas with 50-60 knot winds In the wild seas, the anchor of the ILLUSION dislodged and hit the hull punching a hole below the waterline! Once again, the three member crew were hoisted up to a helicopter and returned to dry land.
Last month, DISCOVERY was in the same area (riding the Gulfstream from Florida to Beaufort, NC) as the ILLUSION, LOU PANTAI and FLYING COLOURS. I have included the information regarding the search and rescue in this log just to remind myself and others that the Atlantic Ocean can get pretty nasty. We had a great sail in the Gulfstream in April--light to moderate winds. However, when the winds gust from the north against the river of water that is moving north against the wind, the waves stack up and conditions can be life threatening. As of this date, the FLYING COLOURS is still missing.
Friends, Ben and Carole Gray, on NARWHAL stopped in Deltaville on their way home. Ben and Carole live in Galena, MD which is located on the beautiful Sassafras River. Last October we saw Ben and Carole in Solomon's Island--they were on their way to Georgia for the winter. Ben and Carole were only staying in Deltaville one night. Had dinner together on shore.
Last friends to arrive in Deltaville were Duane and Pat Marshall on NO SE. Had not seen Pat and Duane since Georgetown in the Exumas. Picked them up in the Marina's courtesy car to go out for pizza. Pat told us about her terrifying anchoring experience on the York River (same "Big Blow" mentioned earlier in this month's log). Pat had accepted an invitation to sleep on shore at a friend's house--leaving NO SE at anchor. Apparently, Pat was not aware of the forecast. The next morning, she could not get out to NO SE because the water was so rough. Then NO SE started to drag at anchor! Tow Boat US could not help. Somehow, neighbors who worked for the Navy arranged to get a larger powerboat so Pat could get out to NO SE. It was a very close call for NO SE---no damage.
Working with a custom bed business to get a foam mattress for the boat. It is hard sleeping on the standard cushions most boats have. We were shocked by the price for an regular "all foam mattress"....then add the custom work for cutting the mattress for a v-berth. I knew it would be expensive but didn't think it would be that much. Still----we ordered one. Having a good night's sleep on board is important.
On May 14, DISCOVERY was on the hard and our rental car was packed for the drive to Pentwater. It was difficult to leave the boat for so long--plan to return in the early part of September.
There were a few bumps in the road back to Michigan. Driving through Tappahannock, Carl was stopped for speeding in a school zone. Lots of road construction between Washington DC and Hagerstown, MD. Arrived at the cottage but could not move in as planned. The winter renters were still there. We stayed at Ken and Sharon Wierenga's cottage that is just a few houses down from ours.
Attended a Memorial Day Dinner in the neighborhood along with 13 other people. Great appetizers, fresh Michigan asparagus, grilled salmon and other great food. Drank some great wines and feasted on strawberry shortcake. After dinner, some of us danced in the living room to great Oldie tunes from the 60's and 70's.
The next four pictures were taken at Chris and Paul's Memorial Day Dinner. The first picture is of the table where all 15 guests were seated. Picture two is of Paul and Ed enjoying a drink on the deck overlooking Lake Michigan. The third picture is Diane, Sue and Leslie enjoying Happy Hour. The last picture is Chris, Sharon and Michael also enjoying Happy Hour.
Observed Memorial Day by attending Pentwater's parade and program. The parade includes the Police, the two Pentwater Marching Bands and the veterans from the VFW. There is a brief ceremony at the City Park which includes the 21-gun salute, taps and the dropping of a wreath from the Coast Guard Boat. Finally, everyone follows the veterans and the band to the City Park for program--music and speeches.
The following pictures were taken at the Pentwater Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. First picture is the police leading the parade. The next three pictures are of some of the veterans--marching, riding on a trailer and riding on motorcycles. The last picture shows part of the wreath laying ceremony.
The month of May passed by quickly. Once we left Norfolk, most of our focus was on getting DISCOVERY ready to put on the hard. I was looking forward to working on my flower garden at the cottage---hoped to get to it before the irises were in bloom. The good news was that DISCOVERY came out of the water without a hitch; the bad news was we could not get into the cottage until June 2. Oh well, cruisers write their plans in jello so they can be easily changed!
June 22, 2007