|View of Norfolk from Portsmouth, Virginia|
This spring while sailing north along Chesapeake Bay we learned a few valuable lessons due to a smorgasbord of weather events. Even though Chesapeake Bay is nearly an enclosed body of water it commands a certain degree of respect. Southern Chesapeake Bay is a large body of water with an expanse of approximately 35 miles across near the mouth of the Potomac River. When winds kick up over 12-15 knots in any direction combined with an opposing tide, an uncomfortable short, steep chop builds quickly with the occasional wave break over the bow and dodger. Wind on the nose can seem like a never ending slog to weather.
|Garden in Portsmouth Virginia|
|Greenhouse door in Freemason District, Norfolk|
|Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Deltaville, Virginia|
After spending a few relaxing days in Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia the time had come to continue traveling north. Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Jackson Creek was our first overnight stop along the Chesapeake. Most mornings Joe monitors NOAA weather broadcasts over the VHF radio. I'm usually working on my "beauty sleep" but, one particular morning I was rudely awakened by the words...tropical storm warnings for southern Chesapeake Bay! I sat up in bed shrieking, "Did I just hear tropical storm warnings or was I dreaming?" "Where the heck did this come from? We haven't heard anything about a tropical storm!" It seemed that Tropical Storm Andrea the first named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season had formed from a trough of low pressure situated over the Gulf of Mexico during the afternoon of June 5th. The storm had sustained winds of 45 mph and was forecast to move rapidly up the eastern seaboard arriving in lower Chesapeake Bay the following day.
|The pool at FBYC overlooking Fishing Bay|
|Simple Life and Chanticleer|
We prepared for Andrea by securing Simple Life behind a peninsular of land in Jackson Creek in Deltaville, Virginia with hopes that the land would protect us from oncoming wind and waves. Everyone in the Deltaville area was fortunate. By the time of Andrea's arrival at New Point Comfort, Virginia in lower Chesapeake Bay winds were reduced to 35 mph accompanied by buckets of rainfall. Simple Life survived the storm without a scratch. When Andrea headed north pummeling the east coast with serious flooding we decided to make a run for Tipers Creek in the Great Wicomico River where we planned to rendezvous with cruising friends Bob and Pat of Chanticleer who were kind enough to invite us to stay at their dock and lovely home in Wicomico Church, Virginia.
Our rendezvous with Bob and Pat was a welcomed reunion
since we had last seen them in Boot Key Harbor in the Florida Keys. Upon arrival they offered to take us grocery shopping in town, refill our propane tank and planned a special dinner for us that evening. Pat even offered to let me catch up on laundry chores while enjoying dinner. The following evening Pat invited their friends Bob and Julie, another cruising couple who also have a home on Tipers Creek to join us for a barbecue dinner party on their screened porch overlooking the creek. Bob and Julie have been cruising to the Bahamas and west coast of Florida for a number of years and we all enjoyed trading "war stories" of our experiences living aboard.
|Pat and Bob at their home on Tipers Creek|