October 21-23, 1999
Hello to all,
We are finished with all of the race activities here in Norfolk and plan to leave very early in the AM (Wednesday, 20th - Jane's 55th birthday!). The schooners were beautiful and the weather held out nicely for the weekend with our good friends, Ron and Helen, who sailed down to Norfolk with us. The race officials knew that our time schedule did not allow us to race from Annapolis with the rest of the boats and were most gracious in allowing us to participate in the after race activities. Actually the winds were perfect for 'Satori sailing' on the way into port. We had the Gollywobbler up and the rails nearly in the water as we came up the Elizabeth River towards downtown Norfolk.
Y'all would have loved to see all of the schooners including the Pride of Baltimore and the Norfolk Rebel. The latter is a "tugantine". It is described as follows in the race handbook: "...a unique sail-assisted workboat designed for towing and salvage...if her retired liveaboard captain feels like it." The boat was designed by Merritt Walter and is a combination of tugboat and schooner rigged sailboat. When the Victory Chimes (3 masted gaff-rigged: also in the race) was dragging anchor in Hurricane Floyd's aftermath, Tugantine to the rescue! As you might imagine the Norfolk Rebel and it's captain are very unique.
On Sunday Hurricane Irene made its presence felt, but we were soundly tied to a wonderful dock beside 'Nauticus' the Maritime Museum here. We had a 12 story apartment building between us and the Northeast blow. The good side of Irene is that she brought enough gentle rain prior to the blow that we were able to fill our water tanks. We got about 200 gallons of water within 6 hours. Sander has rigged a water catcher from the sun tarp that fills the middle part of our deck. Then this summer our cruising friends Greg and Catherine (at their dry cleaning business) thoroughly water proofed it for us. Wednesday morning we had a surprise visit from our friend, Mike. He and his wife, Bev, have been our hosts for the last month at anchorage. Not only did they graciously allow us to use their dinghy dock and park our cars, but Mike also helped us sell the old rust buckets (Saabs). We are now "carless" and 'careless'. Thanks, Mike! We are constantly amazed at the generosity of the friends we meet while cruising. Mike had just spent 24 hours on his shift at the fire station and drove all the way to Norfolk to give us the cash from the cars. The absolutely greatest satisfaction from cruising is the chance to meet such wonderful people!
We are back at the anchorage across from Nautilus tonight so that we can get an early start tomorrow morning. We will go down the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) to Moorehead City, NC. At that point Sander will decide if he wants to put in one more week at Camp LeJeune. He has been working there for the past month helping to install a new boiler. From that point we will sail "outside" off the coast down to the Cape Canaveral area. We cannot begin to describe how excited we both are to finally be 'on the move'. We have been graced with good health, good luck and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) good friends for the past two years in the Chesapeake area and we will miss them all as we miss our friends and family from IL, Maine, Halifax, Quebec City. I hope I haven't left any of you out! Two sides of the same coin...saying Goodbye to those we have grown to love and looking forward to the many that we will grow to love in the future.
We miss you all! Love from, Jane and Sander
Addendum on Oct 21st Still have not been able to send this message so will add to it as we go. We started at 5AM on Wednesday morning and traveled in the dark down the Elizabeth River. We were both very nervous about the first 65' fixed bridge. All of the fixed bridges along the waterway are suppose to be a minimum of 65'. In preparation for the bridges we removed a tallest antenna from the main mast. Then with 59' of mast and two whip antennae left (2' and 4') our height should be about 63' off the water. Not much room to spare!! The Pungo Ferry bridge must have had an extra 2' of water under it because the 4' antenna hit the bridge and was swaying around for a while. Other than that one we have cleared with no threat of heart attack from either of us.
Traveled 61 miles down the waterway on Wednesday and arrived at our anchorage about 4 PM. The anchorage was on Broad Creek which enters the North River from the west. For those of you with regular maps it is close to Old Trap, NC. Had quite a howl out of the north during the night but the anchor held like a champ. We shared the creek with 3 other sailboats and 1 trawler. For our cruising friends, the anchor was deep in very GRAY clay mud. It's a great spot.
Today we hope to cross the Albemarle Sound and go all the way down the Alligator River. That's only about 40 miles so that should be an easy day. We have learned that the rains in NC will have quite an impact on the fisheries in the Sound for years to come. The water shed has brought vast amounts of sweet water into the Sound affecting the salinity level. The salt water sinks and the sweet water which is accompanied by a high level of pollutants over-rides it. The oxygen level in the Sound will continue to decrease and it will take a long time for the area to recover. Mother Nature must take Her course.
It is quite cool to be underway with a cloud covered sky. We have truly joined the MRS...the mad race south. It seems as though everyone owns a boat and is headed in the same direction as we are. One boat after the other passes us and we pass a few as well. It's a great way to see a lot of boats up close but we must roll a lot to do it. Some of the trawlers are most considerate. They slow down and move over so that their wake will not affect us too much. Then there are those who are not so considerate. If I am below doing something, I will hear Sander yell from the companionway, "HOLD ON DOWN BELOW!!"
That's all for now. Jane
Saturday, Oct 23rd Hi Y'All We are in Beaufort, NC right now at the Beaufort Brewery which is not a brewery. They have a computer terminal and we are hoping (over a Chardonnay and a Bud) to soon connect with everyone. The ride from Broad Creek was uneventful but we did hold our collective breath under two more 65' fixed bridges. Luckily, they were both 65' from the water and there was no problem. We have been able to determine that if the bridge is truly 64' or above that there is no problem - provided there is no wake. WE still hold our breath and warn all those big wake producers away.
The anchorage at Beaufort is one really crazy place. The holding is wonderful but the current on Taylor Creek is as strong as a 20 knot wind. We are not exagerating when we write this. The current was opposite the wind and Satori was sideways into a 20 knot wind and sitting still. To tell you the truth it was really scary. Now the current has swung around and is with the wind. Life makes a lot more sense from this vantage point.
We will probably have some trouble finding a rental car. Not many available but a possibility that we will check out tomorrow morning at 10. Sander is needed at Camp LeJeune and we will probably spend the week here if our hearts can withstand the challenge at the anchorage. For all of you land people please keep in mind that the current reverses about every 6 hours. If there is a strong wind we will have the same scary situation every 12 hours. Please do not ever feel that we are complaining. The sun is shining and the temps are in the 60's. Beaufort is really a nice little town - very friendly people. Y'All come on down!
Jane and Sander