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MAY---Continuing the run North---Great Bridge, VA to Pentwater, MI

Traveled 2791 nautical miles this cruising season

Stops Along the Way:

Need to go back to the end of April when we left Oriental , NCon 4/29 because had a forecast for 3-4 days of southerly wind. One of those "Make hay while the sun shines" forecasts. In other words, even though we had tentative plans to get together with friends, those plans were formally called off. We want south winds for the Alligator River, Albemarle Sound and Currituck Sound so it was time to go. The south wind forecast held for ONE day only. The wind clocked north the night after leaving Oriental and then northeast staying that way forever (or so it seemed). Back to the month of May which began for us at the dock in Coinjock, NC. It was a cold, overcast morning. Weather forecast---15-20 knots from the northeast. Thought with an early start, we'd be in protected waters before the winds built to 20 knots. Just a few miles from Coinjock, quite surprised to find the wind howling at 25 knots with gusts to 32 knots in the wide open Currituck Sound. It was also drizzling with light fog. TILT was behind us---told us at times they lost sight of us in the rain and fog. The good news is that I could always see at least one navigational mark ahead of me and I have a good chart to follow. It was a relief to reach the Virginia border where the ICW is more protected--feel the wind but no waves to deal with.

Tied to the free wall on the west side of the Great Bridge along with TILT. CYGNET (Chesley and Bob) is also in Great Bridge but they are tied to the free dock on the east side of the bridge. Shortly aftersecuring the boats---Kris and I walked to the grocery store while the guys walked to an auto supply store. Still chilly so walking around in shorts, sandals and fleece jackets. Do we look like cruisers or what???

DISCOVERY and TILT tied to the free dock at Great Bridge, VA.


Love how this bridge opens. Hopefully, the photos below show why.


While in Great Bridge we went to the Mexican Restaurant for dinner with Kris and Craig. One night, Kris and Craig came over to DISCOVERY for shrimp and grits. In return, TILT invited us over for Cowboy Spaghetti along with Bob and Chesley. Stayed in Great Bridge longer than planned because of weather (wind direction). Waited for the wind to finally clock to the east so the ride up Chesapeake Bay would be tolerable. To kill time---went on a few walks, read and played Sequence with TILT.

Left Great Bridge on 5/6 going through the Great Bridge Lock at 9:00. Continued up the ICW very, very slowly so we arrived at the two opening bridges a minute or so before opening time. Hate circling in front of a closed bridge. Traffic not too bad in Norfolk---slowed down for one cargo ship that was taking up most of the channel and one tug requested a starboard to starboard pass. Just before reaching Fort Monroe (A.K.A. Old Point Comfort or Mill Creek or Norfolk Flats), the water became very rough due to several days of strong northeast wind and an opposing current. Great to get into the anchorage's protected waters. Dropped anchor, had lunch then sat in the cockpit reading. Noticed the anchor was dragging. Rustled Carl up on deck to re-anchor. Have been in this anchorage at least a half dozen times and never had a problem anchoring. In fact, one time it was a challenge to bring the anchor up. Anyway, moved DISCOVERY over to another spot, dropped anchor and stayed set.

The following morning headed for Deltaville. Wind east at 10 to 15 knots with 3 foot seas. A little rough going out the inlet with the wind on our nose. Motorsailed all the way to the Piankatank River. Went down to Godfrey Bay---dropped anchor but decided to move to Fishing Bay to get protection from the east wind. A good move---Fishing Bay was so quiet. The next morning, headed to Stingray Point Boat Works. Changed boatyards this year. Needed to get into Stingray Point at high tide. Tied to a face dock for two nights. The weather cooperated with us---all the sails down and bagged before noon. Carl completed "mechanical" tasks while I scrubbed the deck and hosed down the canvas, solar panels and radar.

DISCOVERY at Stingray Point Boat Works Dock.


Kathy and Curt (FIVE & DIME) stopped in Deltaville (Jackson Creek) for a "last visit for this cruising season" with TILT and DISCOVERY. Met them at the Galley for dinner. Met TILT at the Galley the night before they headed back to Grand Rapids, Prepared all the meat for evening meals that was still in the freezer.

Boat hauled out on Friday. Completed all the work we needed to do before leaving for the summer. Nine days later---locked the boat and headed to Michigan.

DISCOVERY in the lift. Notice our ICW Moustache!


Boat Projects:

The paint on the steering pedestal is cracking, peeling and chipping. Needed to remove the pedestal for repainting. There are numerous wires that run through the stainless tubes that help hold the pedestal in place (wires for VHF radio, radar, chartplotter, etc). Pulled all those wires out with not too much difficulty. Obtained estimate from the yard for re-painting the pedestal and contacted the manufacture for the cost of new one. Removing the pedestal was easier than Carl thought it would be with one exception--the 4 screws that hold the plate for the compass were frozen. Had to remove the pedestal with that plate still on it and take it to Wes' machine shop. Wes removed the screws for us. The cost of painting the pedestal was almost the same as a new pedestal. So--brought the pedestal home to search for more affordable options. The pedestal is currently at the body shop in Mears getting a new paint job!!!

On the left--marking the anchor chain with red, white and blue paint. On the right--the pedestal is removed and Carl is taking care of the caulking.


This boat on the hard not too far from us. It's name, ROUGH PASSAGE, no shit (can I say that on the internet??). Looks like this boat came into the boatyard, the owners dropped the sail to the deck and went home.


DISCOVERY---set for the summer.



Trip Back to Pentwater:

Locked the boat up for the summer on Sunday, May 19. Drove for a little over 12 hours to Dundee, MI where we stayed for the night. In the morning, continued on to Grand Rapids where we stayed at the McLenithan's place. Pam was not home--on a road trip with her sister-in-law, Karrie. Brian was the perfect host. Visited and watched TV. Brian made us a great dinner. The weather provided us with a little storm that evening---hail, lightning and lots of rain. Enjoyed a great night's sleep. Brian made us breakfast before we headed for the cottage.

The cottage made it through the winter without any problems. I made beds and unpacked the car while Carl started the yard work. Have not burned the leaves yet----the county has not issued burn permits except for one day when it was raining. Will burn those leaves when a burn permit is available. Haven't weeded the flower garden yet but it will be done in the near future. The deck is power washed and the furniture is out. It rained most of the month of April so things are a little musty. Carl has the dehumidifier going to help dry things out in the crawl space.

Attended the Memorial Day Parade in Pentwater.

Attending the Pentwater Memorial Day Parade is one of our summer traditions. The Veterans lead the parade followed by the two Pentwater School Bands (Elementary and High School). Everyone gathers at the Municipal Marina for a brief ceremony--prayer, poem, dropping of the wreath and a gun salute.


Started going to the Pentwater Artisan Center on Tuesday afternoon when the "women" gather to make jewelry. Every year, the Artisan Center has a silent auction at the Pentwater Art Show to raise money. I just started to participate in the silent auction last year---made a beach theme bracelet. This year I am making a seaglass necklace with matching earrings. Three women are making a fantastic quilt "Summer in Pentwater". Other items donated are pottery bowls and a number of beautiful wood items.

Below is the top piece of the quilt for the silent auction in June. I will put all my tickets in that jar and hope I win it.


Submitted by:

Marilyn Thoreson
May 30, 2013