We really enjoyed Bermuda although the weather was not
great. We were anchored for the first 5 days and had several squalls with
gusts of force 7 to 8. Unfortunately on the 6th day the gusts hit force 9
and Alice's anchor dragged. We ended up doing some damage to the pulpit
and toe rail. We then got a mooring alongside the wall in the town of St
George. Managed to get some repairs done by which time the weather had
settled down again.
We had a day in Hamilton to look round - it rained most
of the day. The we caught the ferry to the Dockyard another day. The
museum there was fascinating.
It was a very sociable time too. We moored behind
"Atlantic Explorer" which a research vessel. The crew were cooking a
barbeque when we got there. They invited us along to dinner which was
delicious. We were then given a tour of the ship by Maureen, the scientist
who was working on the ship. George's friend Gwyn also works there and he
came down to see us and came again to the boat for supper the next
night. That night there was a "Beating the Retreat" in the town
square. Martin had managed to acquire front row seats for us all.
They had a pipe band, looking splendid in their full Scottish regalia and a
brass band. They entertained us for nearly an hour. Their
rendition of Amazing Grace was particularly good. It could have been
an English summers evening - it was cold! I put on jeans, jacket, shoes and
socks! The only difference was that in the gaps in the music you could
hear the tree frogs! Surreal.
Chiara and her brother and crew arrived on
Thursday. Kevin and Jean on Amokura arrived in the evening and moored up
next to us. Sulana then arrived on Friday and it was a good get together
for Happy Hour in the Sports and Dinghy Club. We also caught up with
Triple D and Rainmaker which was lovely. Everyone had a rough trip to
Bermuda, whenever they left. Fish and chips in the White Horse on Saturday
evening before heading off.
We left Bermuda early on Sunday morning in beautiful
sunshine and flat sea together with Caduceus. We motored to begin with,
then motor sailed and then had a really quick sail. All went well until we
got close to the Gulf Stream. Then we had incredible thunderstorms and I
was very worried that we may get struck by lightening. Luckily we
didnt. It got very rough and windy - gusts up to 45 knots. We
were only doing 2 to 3 knots some of the time motor
sailing. 4 to 5 knots of current against us. And that was
with the weather routing!! Once we got out of the stream it was much
calmer. Caduceus had done much better than us. We lost them in the
thunderstorm and finally caught them up a few hours later. I dont intend
to do any more long passages!!!!!
We got here Thursday, so took 4 days to the entrance but
another few hours up to Norfolk. The
Chesapeake Bay bridge is fascinating as it goes part way, then disappears into a
tunnel so that the ships can get through and then back to a bridge, then another
tunnel and a bit more bridge. It is over 17 miles across. A
fascinating feat of engineering. Then we came past a marina for war
ships, they put ours to shame - they are enormous - this is just part of the US
Navy. The commercial docks are enormous too and make Southampton
Martin had got in contact with the OCC(Ocean Cruising Club)
port officers here - Greta and Gary. They have arranged free
moorings for us. They live in a condo block with a jetty and moorings
where we are. The immigration people came down to check us in. We
then had to walk to Customs which is about a 20 minute walk away. It
was all a lot easier than we had been warned. We just have to phone up
when we go to a different state. Greta and Gary then invited us for drinks and
dinner that night which was lovely. Yesterday morning Gary took
Andrew and Martin to the Chandlers for charts etc. Greta took
Elizabeth and I to TJ Maxx and Walmart. Had a lovely time with retail
therapy and the prices are so much better than the Caribbean and Bermuda.
We are right in the old town of Norfolk which is very pretty. Some of the
houses look as though the Addams family should live in them! Only
down side is that a government dock right next to us is being re-piled.
The crane and generator are right by our boat and the noise is
deafening. They are even working on Saturday.
We are still pinching ourselves when we realize that we
have actually sailed all the way to America.