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Published: October 8th 2007
Ella Sibley Nicholson
Born October 1, 2007 at 1008 pm.
6 lb 15 oz
Blog 8 About Time - We’re Grandparents!
On Monday night October 1st, Dawn had her baby, a beautiful little girl, Ella Sibley Nicholson. She was born 2 weeks early, quite a surprise for all of us. Dawn, Paul, and Ella are doing very well, and Sharon flew home from Norfolk October 3rd.
We thought we still had at least a couple of weeks, so we were taking our time moving down Chesepeake Bay. Dawn called Sunday evening while Sharon and I were in Solomon Islands, and said that her water broke and she would be having the baby in the next day. We spent the next several hours trying to decide where and what to do. The 2 issues were, finding a nearby airport, and finding a place to leave the boat for a couple of weeks while we go home, and to start learning how to be grandparents. Finally the decision was to leave early the next morning and get to Norfolk Virginia, at the bottom of Chesapeake Bay. That’s a 101 miles, just to the outer harbour, - a lot of miles for a sailboat to do in one day. We sailed, and motored, averaging over 7
knots and arrived at the entrance just after sunset. Norfolk is a very large shipping and naval port so it’s pretty well marked at night, still we had large swells off the ocean behind us, and it made steering pretty tricky through the breakwall after dark. We anchored in the harbour downtown, at about 10:00pm. While we were anchoring, Dawn was having her baby. Quite a stressful day!
We didn’t see much of Norfolk, except as you enter the harbour there are miles of docks dedicated to the US Navy ships. Even in the dark it was incredible how many naval boats are there, and the size. They are huge! I’m pretty sure Canada doesn’t even have one ship like some of the small ones. (Thank goodness)
The next morning we traveled through Norfolk, (6 or 7 bridges to go through) and started into the inland waterway. The inland waterway starts in Norfolk, and if you want, you can take it all the way to the Florida Keys. At the end of the bridges there is a canal, that we had to go through. A barge had an accident the day before at the last bridge , and
so there were lots of boats waiting to enter the lock. We finally made it through the lock and were lucky to arrange for a dock, at the Atlantic Yacht Basin. It is right at the Virginia, and North Carolina border, and will be a very safe place to leave the boat while we go home to see our new granddaughter.
Sharon flew home October 3rd, and I am staying here with the boat until Monday. I am fortunate to be able to get a car ride home on Monday, with Jane and Paul Melody. Jane and Paul dock their boat at our home port, Bayfield Ontario, and are going to the Annapolis boat show this weekend. So, I should be home on Monday night for a week or so.
In the blog we are including some more pictures of Annapolis. Not unexpectedly, we spent more time in Annapolis than we had planned. Annapolis is such a nice place, that it’s hard to leave. We saw lots of old friends, met new friends, and enjoyed the services available in Annapolis. While we were there the Naval Academy had a big football game against the Air Force and as
we were moored right in front of the Naval Acadamy we got to watch all the action. Also while we were in Annapolis we met up with some cruisers from our last time out. We met Claude and Bernard Lesporte from Toronto, with their new Catamaran sailboat that Bernard built. We had spent time with them in the Bahamas on our last trip, so it was a special treat to meet up with them. Like us they are just going out cruising again, after being home for 10 years.
So that’s it for now. Hopefully while we are home we can see some firiends. We will be staying at Dawns, while we are home.
Sharon and Doug
Aboard SV About Time
PS I am just getting around to sending out this blog. It has been busy here in Guelph and Ella is just amazing. We are so lucky to be grandparents (that title still sounds strange). Dawn, Paul and Ella are doing well. Doug is arriving home this evening and I know is anxious to meet his granddaughter. Steve has been with us all weekend and it is nice to be all together.
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