The Journey of S/V Moonshine

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Into the Southern Chesapeake

We've made it into the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay. It was quite a trip up the Inner Coastal Waterway. You have to pay constant attention to where you are. It is very easy to run aground in the, sometimes, shallow waterways. On the first section after we started out of Beaufort, NC we happened across one of the marinas that we stopped at to look at a couple of boats while we were in the shopping process. It was strange how it brought back memories of things we had done in the area while shopping. It was weird to remember how much we had done in the area but didn't remember at all while we were there. Things look sooooooo much different when you come into an area by sea. Anyway, we anchored in this beautiful backwater area away from the ICW. Shane and I rowed to shore and had a great hike into the wood along the shoreline. It was really fun to check out the eastern forest. We did much the same thing the following night. It seems that no matter where you go to shore and how much it looks like the last place it is still unique and fun to go on a hike before dinner.
The following night we came up to our first swing bridge. We have never gone through a swing bridge and didn't know exactly how they worked. As we were trying to do just that I realized that a big squall was going to beat us to the bridge so I asked the bridge tender if I should lay off till the storm passed by, and he said "That would probably be a good idea, captain." and it was. The storm brought 25 knot winds with up to 35 knot gust. Yeeeeeha!! Big winds, big waves. Finally got through the bridge along with a tug and barge coming the other way, which was exciting. Decided to stay at a little marina just north of the bridge. Low and behold, after we tied up at the dock and got to looking around we realized that we knew most the people in the marina. One guy , Buzz on Dalamar, was from Mobile, AL when we were there. It's truly amazing how many people you get to know along the way. A couple of days to rest up and avoid some more big storms worked out ok here. It was starting to get close to the time we needed to be in the Chesapeake so we could get Shane to the Boyscout Jamboree. On we traveled. After being in such laid back areas for the past few months it was mind boggling to go into the Norfolk, VA harbor area. LOTS of boat traffic, LOTS of bridges, BIG ships, BIG NAVY ships!!
We were followed into the Chesapeake Bay by a Navy frigate. It was a very interesting area, but was nice to get back to open waters again. Stayed out one more night in a little back water along the bay and then went up the Rappahanock River the next day so we could tie up in Urbanna, VA. Nothing seems to be easy or expected out on the water. Just before coming into this narrow little entry channel to the anchorage area another big storm hits us. We again have to motor around to avoid getting blown into shore. After the worst part was over we dropped the anchor to wait for the rain to let up so we could see were to go. The key here is "narrow entry", "unknown channel", "very shallow" if you miss. The charts and plotters  aren't always right on. We did make it in, finally, and got tied up to a dock. Urbanna, VA is one of the quaintest, quietest, friendly little burgs that you are likely to come across. We have enjoyed our stay here considerably.
Got Shane off the the National Boyscout Jamboree just fine. Christie and I have been busy working on the boat and visiting Williamsburg and other historic sites while Shane is away. Getting lots done and preparing for our journey to the Upper Chesapeake in a few weeks.

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