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Published: November 7th 2012
View from the Helm
After a week of unpacking the van and stuffing the boat with all the stuff we think we need, we were able to leave Portsmouth, RI on Oct 23, at about 11 AM. After an uneventful trip with mostly light winds, we arrived in Cape May, NJ the morning of the 25th only to discover the updated path of Sandy - ugh! We explored all our options and there really weren't many. Jon already knew what to do with the boat, having prepped for Irene last year. We spent Saturday and Sunday tying off the boat, clearing the deck of anything that can catch the wind and packing up our stuff. I had rented a car on Friday in anticipation of having to evacuate, so we were all set to leave on Sunday before it got worse. We were very lucky that the rain held off until we left. We left knowing that we might not have a boat when we returned. There were about 8 transient boats at the marina, mostly sailboats. A few owners stayed with their boats, most went home or to a hotel.
Jon & I took advantage of our unexpected hiatus from the boat to
Golden Crowned Kinglet
visit friends in western NJ on our way to upstate NY. We enjoyed being with them Sunday night and Monday morning - it made a worrisome time much more bearable.
Tuesday morning, we called the marina – Whisper and all the other boats were OK! Time to do laundry, clean the leaves out of the gutters, and get ready to close up the house again and return to Cape May. We drove back the next day (Halloween) along the same route through Pennsylvania and western New Jersey that we traveled on our drive home. This time we passed many toppled trees and roads closed by downed power lines. South of Trenton and Camden, everything was ‘normal’ – no evidence of the devastation in northern and coastal areas. Cape May escaped with some flooding and downed wires, but no major damage. We were incredibly lucky that the eye passed just to the north of us and everyone we met in Cape May said the same.
The next few days were spent checking the weather, shopping, and getting to know the other cruisers who weathered the storm: Warren and Joan, aboard Finisterre; Tom and Leslie on Dreamer; and Babs and
Preparation for Sandy
Uwe, aboard the trawler Duck. The hospitality of the crew of Duck was wonderfully generous - they invited the three sailing couples over for dinner Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thank you so much for keeping us warm and very well fed!
We finally had a weather window and left Cape May, NJ Sunday, Nov 4th about 9:15 AM, and arrived safely in Portsmouth, VA about 1:30 PM on Nov 5th. The temperature during our overnight sail didn't get below 47 degrees, a bit warmer than forecast, but still pretty chilly when you factor in the wind. Before the moon rose, the sky was filled with stars. When Kathy went off watch, Orion had appeared in the eastern sky. When Jon went off watch two hours later, the moon had risen and the light on the water was mesmerizing. Too bad it was so cold!
We made good time offshore with favorable winds and waves, but all that changed when we arrived at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. Gusty 15-22 knot winds and sloppy waves slowed our progress just when we needed to dodge huge freighters! It was pretty exciting to sail over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and
Uwe and Babs
Dinner on Duck
then pass by two naval warships going out to sea. Also exciting to have huge waves break over the bow! Whisper is very seaworthy and handled it well.
Whisper is now tied to a slip in Portsmouth, VA, at mile zero of the Intracoastal Waterway. We are just across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk. It’s a busy place, with lots of boats, barges, tugs and ferries on the water, as well as train and air traffic. Jon & I spent the day on the boat since it was too cold to walk into historic downtown Portsmouth. So glad that Jon bought a boat with a heater! There are plenty of boat chores to keep us occupied as we wait out the forecasted Nor’easter. Hopefully, we can get into Portsmouth before we leave.
Tot: 1.633s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 10; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0268s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.3mb