Sunday, October 31, 2010

And We Are Off!

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!

The Admiral

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where Did Summer Go?

Heavens can it be that time of year already? The summer has flown by and while we are excited to begin a new cruising season, it is hard to believe that November is already on us.

We had a great midwestern summer! The midwest heated up this year which made for some great days boating on Lake Michigan. We also spent time in Nova Scotia - beautiful country - visiting our friends Eric and Ellen on West Wind. (Thanks so much E&E!)

Lots of family activities kept us busy. Pictured here are photos from the annual family Corn Roast where we spent a weekend tubing down the river and eating pig and corn.

Boat work also entered into the mix with Tropical Breeze getting lots of pampering. We raised the water line two inches, gave her a new look with lots of bottom paint, modified the bimini, restitched the trampolines, a wash and wax and more.

But before we get too far down the road a few shout outs:
Thanks to Jim and Kathy (and Murphy too) on Charm who have agreed to take care of the "Silver Bullet" during our journey.
Also a call out to Dave, Shirley and Christopher. Sorry we missed your last blog comment until now. We hope you - and many others - had a wonderful summer on Tiffany Rose. And yes Christopher, I am once again in search of the elusive manatee this season.
So we are ready!! Let the southern journey begin!!

The Admiral