Port of Call – Deltaville

We arrived today after 3 days of rain and wind. Again, all downhill/off-wind sailing. If we had to do all of that to weather, we would have driven to the rendezvous.

Yesterday – our second leg of the trip – was uneventful. Not always easy, because with wind above 12 mph in the open bay, every action takes thinking through, and everything involving sails can happen quickly and forcefully. The 4-5 chop was also a factor to deal with. Movement around the coachroof, inside the cabin, and even in the cockpit was hazardous. The motion down below was pretty much intolerable. It didn’t take but a few minutes down there to get queasy, so we made our forays below as quickly as possible. We ate very little, as food didn’t really appeal to us too much. I had two granola bars, Ruth had something similar, and we both drank water. A note on seasickness: when food and water is needed.  A little bit of the right kind of snack and water to wash it down can settle a queasy stomach.

We gratefully made the mouth of the Little Wicomico and felt like we were in the lap of luxury to be in smooth water.  We got the hook down in an anchorage we’ve visited before, and the holding was excellent. The anchor set immediately, and we didn’t budge, though I checked our position a number of times through the night.

The saloon looked like a laundry shop with all the foul weather gear hanging off of every hook and edge. Yesterday and last night were both fairly cool, so I lit our lantern and turned the flame low. This warmed the saloon nicely and chased the damp out of the air. It seemed to aid in drying gear too, as things were fairly dry by morning. No, we didn’t leave the lamp on all night. I’ve done that before, ensuring first that we had ample airflow, but it wasn’t cool enough for that and being under blankets as well. I’m happy to say that our bed stayed dry in the vee-berth, despite having a broken plexiglas lense in the fore hatch. The upturned dinghy kept all the rain out.

We were in bed asleep by 2100 and didn’t rise until 0700. Underway again by 0900 into the roughest day weather- and conditions-wise yet. We raised the main after bearing off to the south and had the wind on a beam reach all day. 4.5 – 5.5 knots under main alone. Sometimes surging above 6 down a wave face. We’d had enough fun and rough weather, and I didn’t want to risk much time on the deck, as the conditions were so rough. So rather than experiment with adding sail area, and different sail combinations, I simply turned on the engine and had it ticking over at about 25% throttle. That increased our average speed to above 6 knots, and often much more than that ( we touched 8.1 at one point sliding down a wave). This also made the motion more tolerable. We only had 22 miles to cover today, and anticipation of getting off the washing machine ride was high.

We arrived at Dozier’s Marina (Deltaville) by 1400 and tied up in our slip. Our first order of business was washing and drying all the wet gear and clothes we went through over the last three days. Next order of business is welcoming friends and fellow Watkins owners as they arrive tomorrow.

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6 comments
  1. Pretty awesome journey Rick, the Bay is not to be trifled with.

    • So right, Adam. This may be inshore sailing, by there’s plenty of opportunity to respect the forces of nature.

  2. Ells said:

    Glad you made it safely! Have a great time!!! Sounds like you’re getting better sleep out there than at home?!

    • Sometimes! Depends on how exhausted I am when I go to bed. Being on the water is tiring. In bad weather, it completely exhausting.

  3. Johadel said:

    As we were slamming up the bay under power on Friday, there were times that I was thinking similar thoughts about driving to the rendezvous! But the next few days made it all worthwhile. Heading back to Dare on Monday we had similar wind, but this time from the SSE. The mitigating circumstance was that we were in the lee of the western shore of the bay. The waves were much smaller than those with that long fetch coming from the north on Friday. I’d be willing to bet that you had an exciting romp on the way home!

    Big thanks to you and Ruth for helping to make the rendezvous memorable for Cathy and me. Sharing meals, music and sailing with both of you really made our trip to the bay special!

    • Joe, we had wonderful sailing and wonderful weather (most of it) all the way home. You’re right, we had an off-wind romp up the bay with mostly protected waters, in the lee of the western shore. Yesterday we sailed for hours on the port tack and never touched a sheet.

      We had the greatest time renewing our friendship with you as well – as I said at the rendezvous, I look forward to playing music with you all year!

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