Friday, June 1, 2012

At "Home" in Hampton, VA

The sun is rising over the Hampton River
as we docked at BlueWater at 5:20 AM!
Once again we are back at BlueWater Yachting Center in Hampton Roads, VA. This has been our "home" for the start of the Caribbean 1500 Rally and the finish for the Atlantic Cup Rally. In addition, our newest Southern friends, Bob and Pixie, live nearby and are always here to welcome us. They are wonderful!. With true Southern hospitality, they show up with treats, flowers, and keys to their car so we can run errands while we are here! It is fun to catch up with them and have a dinner out.

We had a great sail from Bermuda. The winds were good most of the way so we flew our gennaker which pulled us along at 8-10 knots. That was with a 2.0+ southwest current against us, too. Once we made our turn to the Gulf Stream, the sail came in and we flew wing and wing for awhile. We had some motoring when the wind direction was unfavorable, but it was mostly a sailing trip. Just as we like it-motor off and the sound of the sea!

I just love sailing under this sail!
The approach into the Chesapeake Bay was interesting as there were major storms with lightening strikes all around us, but we missed them. We also had the military playing night war games next us. The Black Hawk choppers came closer and lower than comfortable. Tom F. was on watch so he got the tug boat hauling their target vessel on the VHF to find out what was happening. They promised they would miss us! Thanks, Uncle Sam! It made for an interesting evening.

The challenges of navigating the Hampton Roads flats
Tom F., Dennis and I were up most of the night as we navigated into the bay. Fortunately, the water was calm and it was easy to steer away from the numerous freighters coming and going and anchored in the channel. If Tom had not been so familiar with the area, we would waited until morning to go in. We have been in and out several times in daylight, but never at night. The approach to the Hampton River is tricky so it was nice having two crew with spotlights to find the day makers as I navigated through the winding channel in the flats. A wrong turn means running aground. That would be embarrassing after sailing over 4000 miles!

We met up with the Skippers of Cosmic Dancer V and
Brizio who had sailed with us from Bermuda
After waiting for hours for the Customs and Immigration officer, we finally cleared in. The officer decided that our three apples and one banana required an Agricultural Inspection! The second officer seemed a little annoyed that his colleague called him here for ship's stores fruit! We had to agree that it would be consumed before we land in Maryland. What a waste of taxpayer money.

Ron and Tom F. were great helpers in all area..
Over all, the Atlantic Cup Rally was a fantastic trip with a great crew. I enjoyed having five on board as everyone had more rest. No one was overburdened with watches or tasks. Tom F. and Ron were terrific in their sailing skills and they were so helpful in general: in the galley and all around the boat.They were a perfect example of good crew. Ron stayed on with us to sail up to Herrington Harbor North to put Trillium on the hard for the summer.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dennis and Sherry - glad your trip was successful. I enjoyed following your adventures and fun. But I think I'm content to stick to virtual sailing! Looking forward to your next sail. All the best - Jerry


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