S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Norfolk

Luxury! We are on land at the moment, staying with Tina, Ian, and Malcolm at their new home in Norfolk, VA. We reached Mile Marker 0, the beginning of our journey on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), at 7 o'clock this morning (after a 43 hour nonstop trip), and we anchored at Hospital Point. Tina came zooming out on her boat, Flutter, to pick us up.

We made the trip from Atlantic City to Norfolk in one hop. The first afternoon of sailing was terrific, and we made 7 knots under jib alone, but then the wind died, and we had to motor nearly all of the rest of the way.

At 3:30 on the first night, after the moon set (the color of a lit jack-o-lantern as it went down), I (Jill) was struggling to stay awake when I noticed the water around the boat was breaking. It took a minute for me to realize that about a dozen dolphins had joined us. Without the moon it was fairly dark, and the dolphins' dark fins were difficult to see above the water. But the really cool part was that the water was filled with phytoplankton, little guys who glow when they're disturbed. I've seen them in the water before, but never in such numbers that all of the water glows as if somebody has switched on a blacklight under the water. As the dolphins shot through the water and charged the boat, the phytoplankton formed bright blue tubes around them and lit up their bodies. Then they'd dive under the hull and surface on the other side in another iridescent splash. They stayed with the boat for over a half hour, until Dean came up on watch. Dean saw a meteorite bright enough that he thought a spotlight was on the boat.

The next night was not so much fun. In fact, it was not fun at all. We entered the Chesapeake Bay after dark, and we realized a little too late that the chartbook we have for the ICW starts at Norfolk, well inside the Chesapeake Bay, not at the entrance itself. We held our breath a few times as we squeaked over a few shoals (down to 7.2 feet; we have a 5'8" draft), and neither of us got any sleep as we made our way toward Norfolk, but we made it in the end. It's the last time we'll go anywhere without a chart.

1 Comments:

Anonymous PM Eitienne said...

Congrats on navigating to Norfolk. Roving Fender has decided family event in St. Lucia is most promising. Rutting season here in the land of the headless horseman, with jittery deer all about. Much yelping from Coyotes and Fishers with the coming full moon and cold. How is the water temp and current treating you?
Will you layover long or headout again perhaps into the blue water?

7:52 PM  

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