Sunday, November 07, 2010

Today is the day: Ocean Bound!

For the first time ever, our little boat is about to taste salt water.  Today.

We are full of excitement, nerves, anxiety, trepidation, joy and a whole slew of other emotions.  For us "pond sailors" the ocean is a new beast; one that presents a whole new set of beautiful experiences (whales!  dolphins! endless horizons!) and a whole new set of potential issues and hazards (galvanic corrosion!  coral reefs! tides! currents!).  The learning curve, I believe, is about to get kicked up a notch.

Some might say our journey is 'just beginning' - but not us.  We've been on it since day one.  Up until now, we have: endured a crazy storm, had some bad docking experiences, we've taken on water,  had engine troubles, and we've hit a rock.  Aside from all that 'drama', we have been having the best time and we cannot wait to see what lies ahead on this next phase of our journey...if nothing else,  we are headed SOUTH so whatever travesty lies ahead, at least we will be warmer and perhaps with tans.

We bought the charts, we've been watching weather, we think we know where we are going (readers: any suggestions on where to anchor/dock between here and FL that are about 40 mile hops from each other are very welcome!) and we cannot wait to start shedding some layers.  Last night I think I burned at least 1000 calories just trying to keep my body temperature up!

Our plan is to sail 'offshore' for the first 150 miles or so and then duck into Delaware Bay at Cape May before heading into and down Chesapeake Bay before entering the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Norfolk, VA.  A lot of people ask why we are opting for the ICW instead of going "outside" (in the ocean) and the answer is this:  we are new to offshore sailing and what with our engine issues (of which we are not 100% in the clear of) we would rather be in the ICW and closer to help should we need it (knocking on wood!).  Yes, we will have to deal with tides, giant wakes from other boats, and running aground in unmarked shoals...but the option of being closer to shore and "protected" is providing some peace of mind to us.  Call us wimps.  We are proceeding with caution.

So - with no further ado, we're going to sail our ship - in the Ocean - this boat wants to do what she was meant to!

Brittany (& Scott)


Allen Tyson said...

Hey you two:-Have you guys practiced reefing just for grins?How long does it take you?When you get close to Cape May, you'll be near Stone Harbor my summer stopping grounds,during college days. Great little town on the shore.Stay warm, H&K Mr. AJ

The Ceol Mors said...

Taking the ICW? Not wimpy at all! You might change your mind once you hit Va., you might not. Since you are the ones repsonsible for your safety no one can make the call but you.

Safe journey to you!

Dan N Jaye said...

We've got *lots* of suggestions for doing the ICW to/thru Florida, way too many to write, we can discuss when you get to Annapolis. ICW is really quite easy. Do you have a copy of "Skipper Bobs?" It'll give you all the info you need about places to stop, bridges, etc. We'll show you our (very marked-up and tattered) copy when you get here.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck Guys. You will have a blast. Will say prayers for you two tonite. God Bless, DRJCAIII

Brenda and David said...

I know you're anxious to head south and get warm, but you might consider a side trip up the Potomac to our nation's capitol, Washington, DC. There is free anchorage near two marinas there (I think a 5 or 10 day limit to your stay, but you won't be staying that long), you pay the marinas $10-$12/day to use their dinghy docks as well as showers and all facilities and you're walking distance to the Metro which gets you to the museums, the Capitol, everything. The fall is a lovely time to be there, too. If you haven't been there, you might stop in.

You're brave to take the ICW! It does take more caution and care to navigate than just "going outside"... however I understand how it feels to be out on the unfamiliar ocean for the first time. Like me, you'll soon be wondering what the worry was about--and you'll soon realize that ocean sailing means using the power of those sails and forgetting that the engine even exists. In the meanwhile, good luck while motoring the ICW and we'll hope it gets warm sooner rather than later where you are!

Fair winds,

kerry mcelligott said...

my parents live off the Chesapeake Bay in Reedville. they have a dock and it's FREE lol. I am not sure if Reedville is before or after you enter the ICW, but le me know if its a good stopping point and i will help you find a place to stop.

Bill said...

We just drove through Beaufort, SC yesterday. It is on the ICW and has a nice little town marina, cute downtown too.

But before you get there, you MUST stop in Charleston, the best town I've been to! Lots to see and do, plus they have a city marina with 3000 slips!

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