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The Chesapeake

"85ft/26meters" - thats the clearance I calculated we needed to get under bridges. Number one problem today the bridge across the Chesapeake says 75 ft clearance…. Umm but there is a dotted line indicating a tunnel. It was a great relief when we arrived to find massive shipping lanes and an even larger gap in the bridge where the roads went underground. It was a 382nm sail and we were greeted by Ian at the Hampton roads town dock with another tide ripping through a stern too mooring, to tie upto piles… Oh yes, we had this one sorted and landed far more gracefully, despite the tides best efforts. Best news was we had landed right next to a local brewery... time to do some tasting.

As I managed to overload the washing facility with soap suds ( another story), Maggie – who was trying to go for an afternoon nap but got roped into moving a rowing boat. The pay back was an evening lesson at skulling with "Red", yes, we both rocked up and spent the next few hours trying to absorb a multitude of instructions and stay upright!!

– There is far more to it than you can imagine. Wrist, flicks, arms straight, power legs, blades in , blades flat – ahhh. Then they say relax....! a great experience followed by a huge steak.

We hadn’t quite realized how big Norfolk was for Naval vessels. We decided to go for a mosie passed the fleet – three aircraft carriers just sat there and we lost count of how many support vessels.

We anchored just off the town quay and enjoyed our whizz around the USS Winconsin and a night at Fish and Slips bar where we were entertained by two lovely gentlemen, before heading off for some peaceful anchorage in Mobjoack Bay.

– my goodness just what we needed a total antidote( picture at the start of this post). Beautiful sunset and no one else to be seen. Next stop was Cape Charles. This was Memorial weekend and we were so lucky to arrive at the start of it, - a couple of shops had their own entertainment arranged, but it was the locally created mojitos listing to the Airforce jazz band that made our night. Although the soft shell crab and local banter at the marinas shanty bar was a close second.

Now some more tranquility was called for and after a cracking sail to Fishing bay / Deltaville anchored up and had our worst dinner ever at the Sunshine bar: deep fried crab cake. The compensation was the great conversations with a few locals and a never to forget Karaoke.

The next day we had our first OCC( Ocean Cruising Club) encounter ( I had joined three weeks before), Reg and Nicky – a wonderful couple both ex RAF flyers and now blue water converts came over for dinner.

We had a fabulous night exchanging stories and next things we know we are berthed on the OCC commadors own private yacht dock, swimming in their pool and having a fabulous night hearing about their sailing exploits. Lydia and Bill were lovely and very generous hosts. Having now received my OCC burgee from the Commodore we are looking forward to the OCC North Chesepeake Cruise later in the month.

St Charles beach

OCC. month.