MAY--Deltaville, Virginia to Pentwater, Michigan

Anchored off Hospital Point in Norfolk, Virginia on May 1. Left for Deltaville early in the morning so that we had a favorable tide taking us out into the Bay and then a favorable tide to follow us up the Bay to Deltaville. Lots of naval traffic leaving Norfolk which we managed to avoid with the early departure. Expected a great sail with forecasted southwest winds at 18 to 20 knots. Fantastic sail but for only one hour when the winds moderated and shifted more to the west so we had to motorsail. About an 30 minutes out of Deltaville the winds picked up once again but too late for us to take advantage of!

The entrance into Jackson Creek at Deltaville is always a thrill. The channel is narrow but well marked with a depth of at least 8-9 feet. Markers G3 and R4 at the bend take you very close to shore (there are additional small stakes on the red side of the channel at the bend to help you stay in deeper water). When you round the last red marker R10, you turn to head to the marina otherwise you run aground. It seems like at least one boat runs aground in that channel every day. When we passed through the channel the waters close to shore were calm so you could clearly see the shoals. Regardless, it is always a relief to be through that channel! We sat at anchor Saturday and Sunday then moved to a dock on Monday.

The first two photos show the channel that you follow to get into Jackson Creek where the Deltaville Marina and Deltaville Boatyard are located. I found these photos on Deltaville Marina's website. Deltaville Marina has great facilities for boaters--laundry, clean restrooms with showers, a swimming pool, boaters lounge with TV and book exchange, WiFi and a screened porch with tables and grills. The last picture shows the ICW moustache/beard that will be scrubbed off as soon as DISCOVERY is on the hard.

Getting DISCOVERY ready for the hard is so much easier at the dock! Took the sails down and used the lawn for folding. The sails are so tightly folded that all three sails fit in the shower stall! Carl scrubbed the dinghy using the cleaners recommended by Kris (TILT). I scrubbed the deck--what a luxury to use all the water I wanted. Also did stinky laundry (last done is Vero Beach). TILT arrived Monday afternoon taking a slip next to us. The guys helped each other with heavy/bulky things. Monday night we had a potluck dinner in the Marina's screened porch with TILT and KYETA (Ann and Dennis). KYETA's hailing port is Traverse City, MI. KYETA has been sailing around the eastern Caribbean and Bahamas for several years deciding to take the boat home.

Wednesday late afternoon, DISCOVERY was lifted out of the water and placed on jackstands. TILT came out of the water right after us. TILT and DISCOVERY will sit side-by-side for the rest of the summer. Kris and I discussed "food".We didn't want to waste anything plus we didn't want to eat out every night. Ended up cooking on board and eating in the screened porch every other night. On "off nights", we'd go out for dinner--twice meeting up with other cruisers. One night the four of us met Cathy and Tom (PERSERVERENCE) at the Galley for dinner and another night we met Tom and Sandy (ANANIA) for pizza.

The following Wednesday (5/12) Craig drove Carl over to the Newport News/Williamsburg airport to pick up a rental car. While Carl was gone, I did the last minute laundry (sheets and towels), put out Damp Rid, opened drawers and cabinets and laid the cushions on their side.

The first picture shows DISCOVERY's clean hull. I realize it will be dirty when we return early fall but for now I enjoy what it is.....clean! The next two pictures show Carl fixing our "boo boo". The rudder and the keel needed some work because we ran aground in a narrow channel near Vero Beach while trying to raise the sail. You can see the ding over Carl's right shoulder. Picture four is our rental car while picture five shows our baggage. It would have been a challenge to fly home with all that stuff. The last picture shows Carl coming down the ladder after locking everything up for the summer.

Left Deltaville 11:30. Drove through Washington, DC......our timing was perfect since we missed most of the rush hour traffic on the Beltway. I did the driving while Carl studied for an advanced level for his HAM license. Arrived in Somerset, PA where we stayed for the night. Went to a local restaurant where we shared an excellent dessert---a chocolate chip cookie prepared in a fry pan topped with two huge scoops of ice cream, two scoops of whipped cream all drizzled with hot fudge.

Next morning, Carl drove until we reached the Ohio border where I took over. The turnpike makes it easy to make time. Arrived at Pam and Brian's home in Grand Rapids around 4:00 PM. Carl and Brian returned the rental car to the airport. Stayed with Pam and Brian for two nights. On Friday afternoon, Pam, Brian, Carl and I attended a Potluck Salad Luncheon at their Condominium Association Club House. Later in the afternoon, Pam and I enjoyed our bi-annual pedicures (we do this in the spring and again in the fall). In the spring, my feet are in such bad shape---it is darn right embarrassing! Completed a vitamin and supplements run at Costco saving lots of money. What did Carl and Brian do while Pam and I were doing girl things? I guess they did guy things. In the evenings the four of us watched TV (Episode One of the History Channel's AMERICA--The Story About Us and the movie "EDGE OF DARKNESS" with Mel Gibson).

Pictures taken during our stay with Pam and Brian. The first picture was taken at the salad luncheon. The last two pictures are Pam and I getting our pedicures.

Pam and Brian drove us to our cottage Saturday morning. First glance---the cottage is in good shape but then reality sets in. Carl raked and burned the oak leaves that were ankle deep in the yard. I started removing oak leaves and pine needles from the flower garden. The plants were up trapping the leaves so the only way to get them out is to scoop them out by hand. Took me a week to clear the garden (I only worked 4-6 hours each day. Getting older so I need more frequent breaks). Meanwhile, Carl started cleaning the exterior of the house. He scrubbed the vinyl siding, cleaned out the rain gutters and used the leaf blower on the roof to remove debris. His last project was the deck--powerwash then a bleach-like cleaner followed by stain. Still under consideration is painting the interior walls.

Carl worked like a madman--raking leaves, blowing debris off the roof and staining the deck.

Friends, Ron and Jackie, manage our mail for us. We drove down to Muskegon on evening to meet them at their boat, pick-up 9 months of mail and have dinner. Two bags of mail--one of them were packages.

Oh yes, the flower garden. Picture one was taken to show how deep the leaves get and how the plants trap them making it impossible to use the rake or the blower. The second picture shows the garden leaf-free with a few of the flowers blooming.

One Saturday morning we drove to Allegan where Carl took the exam for an advanced HAM license. I walked around Allegan taking pictures of the 2nd Street Bridge and some of the downtown area while Carl wrote the exam. Allegan's Second Street Bridge is one of the largest ever constructed by the King Iron Bridge Company---a Whipple-Murphy truss iron and structural steel bridge. It has a span of 200 feet over the Kalamazoo River. The lattice iron finials on the end posts, latticed metal handrails and a wood-floored pedestrian walkway are the only decorations. The bridge was opened to traffic in late September 1886. and is an ongoing project to protect and preserve it for the future. Currently traffic is one-way only so traffic is controlled by a stop light.

Pictures taken during my walk around Allegan.

The town of Pentwater has several new shops and a big, new controversy. About the controversy--Scandia Wind, a division of a Norwegian company called Havgul Clean Energy, has plans to develop a large wind farm in the water. Scandia Wind's original plan was to build 100 turbines of the coast of the Pentwater. But after encountering sizable resistance, the plans were modified to build 50 generators four miles off the coast of Pentwater and another 50 generators six miles off the coast of Grand Haven. Each turbine is about the size of a thirty story building (doesn't include the large turbines on top or the structure that’s beneath the surface of the water).Under the water, the turbines are connected to a large cylinder shaped base that would be filled with water to keep them anchored.

It’s the project's massive size, and the fact that it has never been done before in the U.S. that has lots of people scared along the lakeshore. Objections include: Use of public trust bottom land in the lake by private corporations for profit. Negative impact on the dune and wetland ecosystems .Negative impact on freshwater ecosystems--destroy birds, bats, and waterfowl. Each turbine contains 200 gallons of lubricants--what happens if a leak or failure? Navigational hazard for recreational boats. Potential ice damage to generators. Some people don't like the looks of the generator (eye sore). The generators will have flashing lights and fog horns. Lose tourists and decline in property value. In general, there are people on both sides with strong opinions. This controversy will go on for some time so stay tuned.

The first picture is an artist's rendition of the Lake Michigan Wind Farm. The second picture is the water fountain at the Brass Anchor. Picture three shows part of Main Street. The last three pictures are new shops.

By Sunday, May 30 the exterior work on the cottage was complete. In fact, except for moving the furniture from the garage to the deck, we took the day off. Went sailing in the late afternoon with friends, Ken and Sharon, on DOLCE along with Bill and Paulette and two of Sharon's friends from her Book Club. South winds at 15 knots so we headed out the channel sailing west on a beam reach, turned around and returned. The group drove up to Ludington to Luciano's for pizza.

The following two pictures show the deck with furniture and the yard/garden free of oak leaves.

Two sailing pictures.

Memorial Day morning woke up to the sound of thunder--just a couple cells moving on shore with very little rain (wish there would have been more because it is so dry). The severe weather passed southeast of us. Drove down to stay with friends, Ron and Jackie. Lots of talk about maintaining boats and cruising. Jackie made a delicious dinner.

The weather in Michigan was pretty nice. There were snow flurries on May 8--we were still in Deltaville. The temperatures the first week of our return were cool for us but pretty typical for Michigan (daily highs in the upper 60's and lower 70's). Wow, it warmed up the 10 days of the month to daily highs in the lower 80's. We also gained a full hour of day light from May 1 to May 31. Summer is definitely coming. Hoping for a warm to hot summer.

Submitted by:
Marilyn Thoreson
June 2, 2010