The wind blew steady all night making Dave and I wonder whether or not we would be able to get off the dock. Come morning the wind had calmed and we took it as an opportunity to begin. Good thing we did because within an hour of our leaving the marina the wind started its steady blast. So much so that even before we reached the Chesapeake, Dave suggested we do something we had never done before - reef the main.
Admittedly we were flying a little blind. Our wind speed indicator is not working but nonetheless we both knew it was blowing a might harder than the 15 knots forecasted. By mid-morning we had our confirmation. Someone from the Navy came over the radio and announced to other Naval ships that the wind had averaged 30 knots for the last 10 minutes. Good thing we reefed the main.
Yet wicked wind is not all wicked. In this case it was out of the NNW and with our southbound heading it made for a fun and fast ride down the bay. We averaged 8-9 knots but at points were surfing 10+ down the waves.
Our journey was so quick that we passed our anticipated stopping point in Hampton Roads, zipped by Hospital Point, crossed underneath the Gilmerton Bridge and successfully locked through the Deep Creek lock and into the Dismal Swamp.
Already two days ahead of our albeit loose schedule, we pulled up to Elizabeth Dock for the night. What a great first day!