Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh, the Peaceful Chesapeake!

Gary, Sherry, Bob and Dennis
We have said good-bye to our crew and the other sailors in Hampton, VA. We spent the night at the Hampton Yacht Club and had dinner with Bob and Pixie (from the Caribbean 1500 days) and Gary and Linda Kay and her father. I was really ready for someone else to cook a meal for me! And I had been anticipating a crab cake for several days! Mission accomplished again!

After a very quiet and peaceful (as in not rocking or listening to waves slapping the stern), Dennis and I slipped away from the dock early in the morning and began our trip north on the Chesapeake Bay alone. Once again the wind - what there was of it - was on the nose so the engine was humming again. While extra crew is essential on a crossing, it was nice having the boat to ourselves again. Of course, he was on the phone working most of the way up the bay. As soon as he was in cell phone range, the Captain was back to work!

I am comfortable enough to navigate and sail the boat while he is down below working. It amazed me with how confident I felt on the bay compared with last year. Then everything seemed to be an unknown. While we have learned so much, we both know we have so much more to learn - and that the learning should never cease. With our increased knowledge and comfort level, the whole trip was more enjoyable.

Another beautiful new day!
There is only one place we know of to anchor on the way up the western side of the bay: Little Bay in Fleet Bay. It is about a day's trip from both Hampton and Herrington Harbor. So we tucked in there for the night expecting a storm and a rocky night. The storm went northeast, we had a beautiful sunset and a wonderful smooth night of sleep!

The sunrise was beautiful as we pulled out of the anchorage for a long day of motoring - again! It is about 11 hours to Herrington Harbor.

The blimp was very close to us.
Again we encountered Navy games - complete with hovering helicopters, fighter planes, ships of all sizes and a blimp! I felt like we were their target. The blimp was flying very low in the sky and actually rose to clear our 65 foot mast as it passed right in front of us. Since we can only get into Herrington Harbor at high tide due to our seven foot draft, we were timing our arrival for the 7:20 PM tide. The extra challenge at this time of night is looking into the sun while trying to spot the unlighted buoys!

Entering Herrington Harbor, Tracy's Landing: At Last!
Once we finally tied up at the dock, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that it surprised me. I still don't know if it was exhaustion, a let down or sheer amazement at myself for have completing 3000 miles of sailing!

I never doubted that I could do it. Of course, I knew Dennis could! I just didn't think this kind of trip would have come so soon in my learning curve! It was a real sense of accomplishment! And my final docking maneuver was perfect as Trillium gently slid along side C Dock. (I set a goal to be excellent at docking the boat after watching Erick Reickert handle S/V Escapade on our sail with them. He is so slick at it!)

There we were: back where we started. Ready to party. The worst part was that there was no one there with whom to celebrate! So we went out to dinner, had a toast to ourselves and I had another crab cake! Then we collapsed into bed and slept 10 hours!

After two and a half days of cleaning and closing her up, Trillium is going on the hard for the summer. 
Why is it that the laundry is never done-
even on the boat!
We have a long list of improvements and repairs to do before the next adventure. Putting her away is like packing up the cottage each fall: wash and bag all bedding, empty lockers, insect repellent, etc.
We also have a busy summer with family weddings, birthdays, and graduations so we won't be sailing until the fall. We will be traveling to California for two weddings and to Chicago for a graduation. Time to golf, too. And the cottage. And most importantly, with the grandchildren!

All in all, what an adventure. Life is good!

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