Saturday, 26 October 2013

Solomons Island-Norfolk

Well we've had a fabulous week, although the temperature has dropped considerably. The locals tell us that its been colder than normal, just our luck, but they should start to get warmer over the next few days. Definitely time to get moving more south.

We spent a few days in the beautiful anchorage or Solomons Island, such an amazing little waterway at the mouth of the Patuxent River. Lots of boats tucked in there, many that we have met somewhere along the way - 80% of us Canadians!


We made our way into California via city bus for a few groceries and an attempt at replacing our VHF remote mic for the radio that has decided to pack it in. Getting home turned out to be more of a challenge and ended up sharing a cab back to the boat.

view from our bus ride to California, looking down to Patuxent River
We went by to invite the crew of Sea Angel over for sun downers to find Brian crabbing off the bow, with one keeper in the bucket and a huge smile on his face!  We were pleasantly surprise when they brought it to share with us after Anne had cooked and cleaned it, a wonderful treat, thanks guys!!

Brian was a tiny bit intimidated by that feisty little crab in the bucket! 

Just a quick note on this  "poor boys" crabbing. We haven't had a chance to try it yet, but it's on our list.
We've been told this is how you do it...
involves a string, a piece of meat or fat, and some patience. Place the string with the meat tied to it down until the meat is sitting on the bottom, when you feel the crab start to walk away with the bait you slowly start to pull him up. As he gets close to the surface have your net ready because he will let go when he sees his fate approaching. yum, yum!

Tasty treat 

Making the decision early on not to be in a rush or on a schedule helped us turn back from  some very  uncomfortable seas.  Beating hard into the waves for 7 hours when we didn't have to didn't make much sense or sound fun, even though as a sailor it did feel a little like defeat.
5 boats had headed out of the anchorage, with 4 for us returning a few hours later. A lot of like minded cruisers.
We did spend some fun time playing around in the bay with great wind and no waves, great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

For the first time since we have owned the boat I'm experiencing some mold growth around in different places which is quite disconcerting. Talking to fellow boaters I realize I'm not the only one, but now to tackle the problem and keep up on top of it.

Our trip the next day, now had the light wind behind, was a sunny tranquil trip into Mill Creek. Another awesome anchorage, tucked way back with a very narrow entrance in and only a few other boats.


Next stop was into Jackson Creek (Deltaville) where we fueled up took on some water then headed to the free dock where Sea Angel, already tied up, helped us settle in. Managed a bike ride into "town", actually passed another West Marine so ordered that new cock pit radio, to be picked up in North Carolina.

Auto pilot

Entrance into Jackson Creek

Morning on the dock in Deltaville, getting ready to push off

Al's quite fascinated by all the Pelican's we are starting to see, I think it's reminding him that warmer weather is in our near future. 
Off to Hampton which is just across the way from Norfolk. Great sail but cold and raining. Almost at the mouth of the Chesapeake and it's a bit sad that this part of our trip is nearly over.

Gourmet lunch on the move - Peanut Butter and Jam
Norfolk is a huge Navy base with too many vessels to count. While entering Willoughby Bay we had the exciting privilege to experience an aircraft carrier transiting out of its berth towards the Atlantic, pretty awesome.

Anchored for the night, hiding from the rain and wind down below with some good wine and a movie.

We've been here in Norfolk for the past few days, catching up on laundry and cleaning as well as being a tourist. We actually made it to Portsmouth and Virginia Beach in one day (all for $3.50 each) via ferries, trains and buses, what a day!  Although still cold, the sun is out again and we are enjoying beautiful fall days.

View of the shore line traveling into Elizabeth River

"Haven" at the dock in Norfolk

This is a picture that I took, really! USS Wisconsin at dock permanently as a museum docked at Nauticus in downtown Norfolk 


Making our way back to the little walk on ferry from Portsmouth to Norfolk

Virginia Beach

We decided to take advantage of the free dock in Portsmouth overnight.  Taking another walk around town and wanting to get some groceries. Turns out we need to pay more attention to the Active Captain website, as we stumbled across a great little Marine store called Mile Mark "0" with the owners offering free rides to pretty much anywhere you need to get to for provisioning - liquor, beer, groceries etc. How awesome.  
We hadn't had lunch yet and they were waiting for another couple who had made a time arrangement for departure so off to lunch we went with plans to meet back at 2:30pm. Our lunch at "Segundo" Pizza was absolutely wonderful, amazing food and service and all for a fabulous price. Lunch took longer than we had thought and when Pete, the general manager and fellow boater, found out we were going to miss our ride he very kindly passed over his keys to his car. Can't describe how these kinds of gestures make us feel. Almost hard to wrap our heads around it. Thanks Pete!

One of the best Pizza'a we have had so far! On Court Street one block West of High Street

Line up, ALL Canadian boats at the free dock with "Haven" at the front

"Haven" and "Vita"
We are heading to the lock opening into the Dismal Swamp in the morning.

Bye for now, stay tuned.


  1. Love the blog, love travelling with you to some new spots weekly, we have been folowing since the begining, got your message and new phone number will call soon. Just returned from St thomas and St Maarteen for a little holiday and thought of you guys on a few occasions when we saw sail boats at anchor. take care.

  2. oops signed Carl and Robin

    1. Hi guy's good to hear from you hope all is well. We are currently about 25 miles north of Beufort NC. Take care and talk soon. Alan & Brenda

  3. How are you all doing?????

    The MacLeans

  4. This is Ethan.I hope your enjoying your adventure. i'm trying to talk my dad into us sailing around the world. I enjoy reading your post...keep n them sailing in!
    Keep the wind on your stern. I'll talk to you soon.