Tuesday, June 2, 2015

22-26 May, Memorial Day at Cape Charles

The 14kt headwinds and 3-4' seas met us The Belle sailed into the Chesapeake Bay.  The winds shifted to north as we cleared land, and with all 3 sails full, close-hauled, we made 5.8kts headed to Cape Charles.  The Belle points nicely, and she sliced though the swells smoothly. As we approach Plantation light on the Eastern Shore, the winds died to 3-5kts.  A huge pod of dolphins surrounded the boat, as if the greeting party as we motored into the long channel to the Cape Charles City Marina. Just as we tied up, Al and Nickie aboard Risky Business, pulling into the marina area.  For us, a comfortable 4 hr sail.  For them, a quick 45 sprint across The Bay.
Al and Chess aboard Risky Business...awaiting the ladies before heading out for a day on the docks and visiting friends on the boats visiting Cape Charles for the weekend.

The Belle (green bimini and dingy hanging) and Risky Business to port, secured for a weekend of fun

Karen, Al and Nickie at stern of the 110'super-yacht cutter in the marina

The Belle in foreground and the 110'super-yacht cutter abeam as we head back out to the Chesapeake Bay for the sail back to Norfolk
Karen working her knitting as we sail back to Norfolk, close-hauled in the 12kt southerly.

1-3 May SEA SCOUT Jamboree at USCG Base Portsmouth

The 20-30kt driving rain on 1 May looked to really dampen attendance and activities for the 2015 Jamboree, however, 2-3 May proven to be blue-bird clear days with a spirited northerly to make the sailing adventure fun.  We got underway at 0500 from our slip at the Navy Base to ensure a 0730 arrival at the USCG base for the morning Sea Scout activities.  We took-on 4 full 10-scout crews over the days for hands-charting, position locating, and sailing around the many aids-to-navigation and boats-underway coordination in the Elizabeth River/Norfolk basin area.  What a great day for sailing with many of our under-development today future leaders and sailors of tomorrow!
The Belle snuggled into the USCG slip ready for scouts and scouters

Monday, August 4, 2014

3-5 July, Hurricane Arthur and Salt Ponds raft up

Plans were set for link-up with Al and Nickie on Risky Business on 3-5 July up at the Salt Ponds  on the Chesapeake western shore.  Then came Hurricane Arthur.  With the hurricane's eye targeted over the Outer Banks, then veering eastward, Karen and headed to The Belle on the 3rd...aboard as the 50kt winds shifted, rains poured, then cleared for a beautiful 20kt westerly for the sail north to Salt Ponds on the 4th. We arrived at low tide, with a 1.5ft storm surge remaining. The channel was still skinny water, getting down to 6.7', not sure of hurricane shoaling. With Karen calling out depths, we inched down the channel, made the 90degree to port turn, then eased abeam Risky Business for the weekend.  What a great night, with clear skies and fire works going on every horizon.  Again, a great time with great friends.

1-3 Aug, Dinner Party at Leeward Marina, Newport News

Riding the in-coming James River Tide made the 2 hr sail up the James River Bridge and into Leeward Marina all too easy.  The 8kt NW wind and close-haul westward sail was one of the smoothest ever...however, a line of in-bound massive thunder storms, due to hit about the time we headed up the "skinny-water" channel to the marina added the spice that seems to be part of every trip.  With our draft at about 5' with a full load of water and fuel and "stuff", the 56' deep main channel changed quickly as turned into the marina channel.  As we passed the last marina channel day markers (guidance from the dock-master to keep as close to Red side as possible), we skimmed over the 6.4' channel, into the 10' marina.  Friends from our dinner party group, Stewart and Boonie, and Kenny and Janette, joined Karen and me for a great time as the thunder boomers help soak the area.  We sneaked out Sunday PM with the 1400 high-tide for an uneventful motor/sail home with 2-4kt SE winds.   

25-27 May, Cape Charles Memorial Day Celebration

Crossing the Chesapeake Bay was exciting as 20kt northerly and 3-4' swells collided with the incoming tide.  The Belle steadied out well as we sliced across the Bay on a 4-hr trip to the Cape.  Three yacht clubs settled into the Cape Charles City Marina for the weekend - a great time with dock parties everywhere and time walking Cape Charles.

Al and Nickie and Karen and Chess (holding the camera) had a great time to plan-out rest of the summer get togethers.  Al and Nickie arrive in style on their Maxim 3200 cruiser as we serve as the anchor boat for most of our link-ups.

12-14 June, Cock Island Race Portsmouth VA

With a 10kt westerly, The Belle headed south to Portsmouth and rafted up at North Landing for the Captain's meeting and kick-off party on the Friday, 12 June.  Al and Nickie, and John and Barb joined us for the all-night party.  The Belle started in the 4th fleet, cruising class on Sat morning...with 88 boats in the race.  The 6-8kt early winds gave way to 12-14kt NE to make the race sporting.  The picture has the full crew back aboard for the after race party. Great time with great friends. 

22-25 June, Newport, Rhode Island

We took an air-yacht and land-yacht combination cruise to enjoy the heart of NE sailing.  Hundreds of yachts filled the mooring fields as we watched the 12m America's Cup single hulls race the past the Castle Hill narrows.  This pic is looking out our condo window, night fully immersed in the best of America's sailing.