Out of the Chesapeake
We motored the 30 odd miles from Herrington to Solomons which wasn't a disaster as the batteries needed a good charge and staying in Solomons for a few days waiting for decent weather gave us a chance to stock up on some 'goodies' from Woodburns Gourmet supermarket.
From there down to Deltaville we had a great sail with the log reading a maximum boat speed of 9.3 knots. With flat seas Ajaya revelled in the strong winds from behind the beam and for a while every time we looked at our boat speed it was well above 7 knots. This with full fuel and water tanks too. A clean bottom was certainly a help achieving these speeds. After a night at Deltaville we were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise...........
A beautiful sunrise at Deltaville and moonset -these two tugs are often to be seen tied up there
............but we paid the price for the great sail from the previous day. Headwinds of up to 20 knots found us slamming into strong southerly winds that were forecast to get even stronger the following day which is why we chose to leave that morning. Fortunately they eased off as we closed with Norfolk where we ended up in the middle of a mass of racing boats tacking all over the place. We were now out of the Chesapeake.
Norfolk approach as always was busy with outgoing commercial shipping mingling with incoming warships and us trying to keep out of everybody's way. If you don't then somebody will soon be on the radio to you!
We kept well away from this! The newly re-developed waterfront at Norfolk pictured from our anchorage
We didn't quite get the tide time correct at Old Point Comfort and ended up battling an ebb tide making the 5 miles or so seem like 10. We finally anchored off Hospital Point overshadowed by the gigantic cruise ship 'Carnival Glory' which was about to embark on a 'Cruise to Nowhere' for 24 hours. From the loud cheering from the balconies onboard you would have thought it was off to the Caribbean. It then executed a complete 360 degree turn in the Elizabeth River (fascinating to watch) before gliding off into the night, the onboard nightclubs probably already heaving with young revellers.
Carnival Glory (952ft) off on her 'cruise to nowhere' quickly replaced by the Crown Princess (951ft) - it was busy at Norfolk cruise ship terminal
We treated ourselves to 4 nights in Waterside Marina in Norfolk, partly to wait out bad weather, with the east coast being hit with the worst storm in many years coming out of the mid west and partly to indulge in some retail therapy in the vast shopping mall in downtown Norfolk. Whilst in Waterside another cruise ship, the 'Crown Princess' paid a short visit which gave us another 360 degree turnaround spectacle which attracted large crowds. We also searched for dreaded Stink Bugs in our aft cockpit locker where we keep our diving equipment. We'd put this job off for a week or so fearing it would be alive with the damn things - body count was around 30! We especially checked the snorkels!
We left Norfolk and headed into the Great Dismal Swamp crossing from Virginia into North Carolina and stopped at the N.Carolina visitor centre in the canal where we rafted alongside an Island Packet. It's just like the Folly at Cowes only with more mosquitoes. It was a warm sultry night but we were due a weather change overnight with the arrival of a cold front.
You can see ahead for miles on the dead straight Dismal Swamp Canal with trees in their early autumn beauty & in the lock at South Mills we see that we have not too far to go!!!!