Friday, September 26, 2014

Cockpit Inclosure? Priceless!

Point Comfort Light

Sometimes, it doesn't help to over plan and have grand expectations, especially if weather is part of the equation. We spent two over cast days in Oxford, sailed over to Solomon's Island, then beat into wind and waves to visit Tangier Island.

Classic Fish Trap on the Bay

Nostalgia drew us back to Tangier, but reality replaced our romantic memories of this small island on the Eastern Shore. The population is down to less than 450 people and the crabbing has shut down early this season. In just an hour we had walked most of town and had dinner in the small Fisherman's Corner Restaurant. The desolation is at once charming and sad, an idyllic way of life that may disappear with the island as the Bay reclaims it. In just the six years since we first found the island, she has visibly sunk and shrank. No new watermen commit to this life style anymore, there is no one to carry on the legacy and the fight to save the island.

The trip from Tangier to the Tides on the Eastern Shore was bumpy and breezy, and after  two days at the Tides, we elected to make a run down the Eastern Shore in a strong NE wind at our back. Less than an hour down the Rappahannock River with gusts to 25 knots, we remembered we had an enclosure to put up! the ten minute pause in our travel and we were warm and dry. The cost of an enclosure, priceless on a run like this. You guessed it, we had growlers and six foot waves, steady winds of 15 degrees, gusts to 25  all day. It was a really grey, nasty day. We tried to get ahead of the rain and high winds predicted for Wednesday, and we were successful. After days of limited phone and internet service, enough weather to deserve a reward, we decided to stay here in Norfolk for three nights until winds settled down.

Sadly, we have also elected to scrap our plans for the Dismal Swamp. Talk of submerged logs and a large outbreak of duckweed to clog your filters says Virginia cut to us. Friday morning we depart. The weather looks good though we are worried these northerly winds pushing too much wind into the Wilkerson Bridge, our first challenge of the trip!  


The waitress at dinner invited us to
church services in the morning but
we had planned to cast off before
it began. The church is open at all times.