Norfolk, VA

Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Sat 8 Nov 2014 12:00

Position: 36:51.140N 76:17.872W

Date: Saturday 8th November 2014


We left Hampton on Thursday 30th October and sailed the short distance down river to Norfolk, where we docked at the private mooring kindly arranged for us by Gary & Greta, the Port Officers for the Ocean Cruising Club.  This was the same location that I had stayed on my way north last June.  Gary and Great had been so helpful back then and on this, our second stay on their dock, they were if anything even more helpful.  They ran us to the grocery store, invited us for supper, gave valuable advice about local facilities and even did some laundry for us.  Their hospitality was just incredible.


We managed a few visits to local museums and galleries and had a splendid time wandering around the city. But over the last few weeks the weather had started to become more wintery. Although there were still warm days, when the winds turned more northerly there was a definite chill in the air.  So much so that we had to buy some warm clothes. The periods of cold weather were becoming more frequent and colder and some nights the temperature was just above freezing.  It had been many years since we last sailed in cold conditions and this was not something that we wanted to be reacquainted with.


Our earlier plans had been to sail slowly down the east coast to Florida, but the low temperatures concentrated our minds upon the pleasures of warm waters.  So we had another change of plans and decided to get to south Florida as soon as possible.  This would entail a trip of over 1,000 miles, not something that Eileen wanted to do.  So she arranged to fly from Norfolk to Sanibel in Florida, to stay with her brother, who lives there.  I would get together a crew and we would deliver the boat to Fort Lauderdale.  I would then hire a car and drive over to Sanibel to collect Eileen.