37:49.2N 76:18.8W The Great Wicimoco
The wind sang taut in the weather rigging and blustered around his ears as he stood on the starboard side deck balancing to the roll as the roaring wind sent one massive grey wave after another hurrying at the ship; the starboard bow received the wave first, beginning a leisurely climb, heaving the bow up towards the sky, but before the pitch was in any way completed the ship began her roll, heaving slowly over while the bow rose still more steeply. And then as she still rolled the bow shook itself free and began to slide down the far side of the wave, with foam creaming around them…………
With apologies to C S Forrester, we are reduced, in every way, to armchair sailing! The western shore of the Chesapeake Bay is a delight. There are numerous rivers and creeks to explore and for the last two weeks the weather has been benign, the waters calm and the gentle breezes have allowed for old fashioned sailing in and out of the glorious wooded landscapes.
Following a two week road trip into the Blue Ridge and the Mountains of West Virginia, we left Deltaville ten days or so ago after completing various repairs and headed up the Piankatank River. Simply stunning. The tree lined banks are interspersed with occasional houses and green lawns that flow down to the river’s edge. From there we cruised to the Corrotoman River off the Rappahannock and lay at anchor for a couple of days in serene surroundings. Sailing down the narrow Carter creek into Irvington we rounded up in front of the famous (?) Tides Inn and dropped anchor. A foot slog into historic Irvington revealed a street or two of Victorian villas each in their own mown cricket ground and two “upscale” trinket emporiums. Not a soul to be seen. In fact on a daily basis we ask ourselves where has everyone gone.
A gentle sailing breeze took us north to Indian Creek and the following day on to Reedsville and up the Great Wicimoco River to avoid the smell of the Reedsville fish processing plant. Reedsville is home to the menhaden fishing fleet. They land around 100,000 tons of these inedible fish per year which are turned into everything from vitamin pills to cat food. We need stores but hopefully the wind will have changed direction before we have to go ashore. So there’s time aplenty to render Hornblower some much needed assistance.