|St. Michael's Crab & Steak House|
The food was pretty good - we both had crab dishes; mine a crab cake and hers a crab imperial. Mine was delicious! That was one healthy crab cake with little or no filler. Big chunks. Vegetables indifferent. But that's not why you go there, anyway. Crab. Steak. Go for that.
|Main Street, St. Michael's|
We had to go to Awful Arthur's Seafood Company for lunch because, well, with a name like that how could it be bad? It couldn't. They had amazing oysters on the half shell and we both had a great salad with fried oysters on it. Odd, but the salad with fried oysters on it (6) was like $15, but the half dozen fried oysters alone as an appetizer was $12. The salad was a better deal, frankly.
Lyon Distillery. She had had them give a talk at one of the get-togethers and wanted to see the thing face to face, as it were.
Nothing would do but we had to taste all their rums. They're not aged, but they are 'rested' for a couple of months in barrels. They also make a vodka and gin. Unfortunately, their distribution is fairly small so you probably won't see their rum any time soon.
I'm not a big rum drinker, tending towards aged spirits (like Zapata rum, for instance). I found these young and harsh. But that's from an aged scotch drinker, so there's that.
Lynn had been threatening to make a chicken in a pot. My disbelief in the process was strong. But it was the night for it. Guess what? Not only is it possible, but it was terrific! And afterwards there was chicken soup! Brilliant.
The next day we were leaving for the southern Chesapeake, Solomon MD harbor. It was sunny and humid and getting hotter. Really hotter. The 1400 log entry was, "38° 41.2N, 76° 23.9W SOG 6.8, COG 170° Engine 2000 rpm, 190°, 45#. Fucking hot and sunny. Virtually no breeze. We had to throw the last of the horses overboard today."
|Solomon Island marinas|
I think we had beef stew for dinner. It was delicious! Also, it cooled down and started misting. Terrific. During the evening we discussed going up the Patuxtent River to St. Leonard's Creek. We took some time to choose an anchorage but way up the creek is Vera's Beach Club. It is as surprising a find as you could expect.
With the winds at 15-25, gusting to 30 out of the east and the seas at 3-6 feet we blew down the Chesapeake at a blistering 7.5kts SOG. I must say, alone I would not have been out there but Lynn convinced me and I'm so happy she did! What a sail!
|Wolf Trap Lighthouse, Chesapeake|
While travelling up the bay under reefed mizzen at 5.5kts we had a pod of dolphin playing with our wake and bow wave. It was the first time Lynn had seen them. She was thrilled, talking to them and pointing them out. It was beautiful to see them again through someone else's eyes.
The plan was to sail into Cockerell Creek to anchor and fix the motor. But we couldn't point high enough. So we put out the jib and looked for another protected bay up the river to stop in. As we passed Sandy Point on the port side we saw two boats already anchored. Lynn steered us in and chose a spot to drop the anchor. We furled the jib, and under mizzen she put us right where we wanted to be. I dropped the anchor and as Pelican blew back, the anchor set and we were there.
Dammit, I wish you lot could have seen that! It was perfect. Quiet, professional, and efficient! It was like old-timey sailing.
We were happily exhausted. The wind was still up, but with the short fetch Pelican rested lightly on her anchor.
|Lynn on the helm under full press of sail|
Winds were 15-20 so we raised all the sails when we got on course! Lynn was on the helm grinning the whole morning.
Here's the thing - just as we arrived to Thimble Shoals it started to rain. And then it rained harder. We travelled for another hour or so and arrived at Waterside Marina in down town Norfolk. Now, I'd never been there and I knew it was across the Elizabeth River from the Tidewater Marina (where I have been) so I tried to get entrance directions from the marina hands.
Picture this: it's rainy and grey. We're tired, wet and cold. It's getting dark. Where is the entrance? The directions are to go to the battleship and look for the entrance. Guess what? Battleships are grey for a reason. So we went really slowly until there was a GREAT BIG LIT UP SIGN, "Waterside" right above the entrance. That would have been a useful tidbit of information.
Anyway, easy in, easy tie up.
The Waterside Marina is nice, small with good floating docks. But it's near Norfolk's Waterside which is noisy. A small park with big national restaurants and lots of activity on the weekends. If you're looking for exciting things to do, this is the marina. If you're looking for quiet, go to Tidewater Marina across the way. For instance, we got in late Friday night and at 7 am Saturday they were doing sound checks with house music.
We wanted to go to a breakfast place so we wandered off to a place called 3 Way Cafe, but it didn't open until 10! WTF? It advertises breakfast and brunch. I guess we just wanted breakfast too early. Anyway, we met a couple, Brian and Wendy who gave us the bad news. But nearby was d'Egg Diner which we all went to. It was really good with friendly service. I'd definitely go back!
After breakfast we walked to a nearby Enterprise car rental place and picked up Lynn's rental tank. She had ordered an Altima but ended up with the biggest, blackest SUV I've seen. I think an Armada. What a tank. A tank with comfort but a tank nonetheless. We drove it to a local garage to park it until Sunday.
|Battleship Wisconsin & I|
We spent a lovely few hours wandering around the museum and ship.
But then it was nap time, don't you know.
We had a quite dinner. Sunday, Lynn was heading home because someone needs to keep the world running. Meanwhile, it was time for me to see my friends Bob and Nancy for brunch.
They met me at the marina where we were supposed to have brunch at Stripers, but it was closed until 11 and worse, it was under construction. So off they took me to Leaping Lizard Cafe. The bloody marys were great, the food excellent (although if you get the crab cake benedict, ask for extra hollandaise sauce beforehand. You'll be glad you did.)
|Cape Charles Light|
I had to get back - a big day was in the offing. I was going to leave Norfolk at 5 am to catch the bridges.
I did even better than that. I left at 4:38. Once I got my bearings I was able to get down to the Gilmerton lift bridge pretty quick. Guess what? The rail bridge was closed next to it so I had to wait. Feh. When I got to the Great Bridge lock, I had to wait for shift change (a few minutes) and they locked me through for the 7 am Great Bridge opening! Yay!
|Old Cape Charles Light|
I had planned to stay at the Midway Marina and Hotel in Coinjock but I was there around noon, too early to stop. I had flown down the Currituck sound motor sailing at 7.5 kts steady. There was a 15-20 kt breeze or so that was way aft of the beam and I had the jib out.
Well, I passed the anchorage about 2pm, also too early to stop. Besides the wind had piped up quite a bit to like 25-30. I decided to go for the Alligator River Marina, which made me cross the Albemarle Sound with following wind and seas.
This I can say: I was very happy to not be going the other direction. It started to rain, the wind was gusting over 30, and the waves short, steep, and up to 3 feet. Even the autopilot was having trouble. But I was flying!
|I backed in! Like a pro!|
Sadly, before lunch the next day, a truck ran into the power line and the grill went down until after closing. So tomorrow, before I leave, I'm gettin' me a basket of fried chicken!
Well, that's about all for now. Lots of adventures happened, lots more to go! Oh, and someone suggested a font change. Let me know if you like it.