East River anchorage off the Mobjack Bay to Downtown Hampton Public Pier
Last night was the first night that no one anchored around us. Talk about being all alone! When we popped our heads out of the companionway this morning we still were solo at our anchorage....no other sailboats! It was very still and very private until I spotted to early morning Kayakers taking advantage of the early morning wildlife. It was cloudy and cool but that didn't seem to bother them at all. In fact, when I panned the area I noticed there was a small 16' fishing boat with 2 men trying to catch some fish. Early mornings on the water are just breathtaking!
We finally decided we better get moving if we wanted to travel the 29 + miles to the Hampton/Norfolk area. It once again was going to be a few more miles up the Hampton River by the time we reach our destination of Hampton Downtown Public Pier Marina. We motored into Mobjack Bay around 9am which should put us at the mouth of Hampton Bay at approximately 2pm. However where yesterday was picture perfect, today is quite the opposite! The winds were blowing from the SW and much stronger than what was predicted, so we had a pretty good heel going with our motor and foresail. However, we never seem to hit favorable tides....they always seem to be early, early morning or late in the afternoon.
Remember I said yesterday that we really needed to pump out? Well, I went below to make some coffee for Chuck and the smell from the head was really overpowering. I checked things out and because we were leaning to port, our holding tank was overflowing somewhere....where?....holy shit...somehow it came out onto the aft cabin floor! Great.... what else can happen? I took the helm and Chuck worked trying to tighten the clamps and checking the hoses. Not good! He was also at times kneeling on our transom with his head in the port locker. My concern now was that he might fall overboard with the 3-4' waves splashing over the bow of the boat.
We continued on our way without remedying the problem, hoping that the waves wouldn't increase in height. The sooner we got to the marina and pumped out, the better. When approaching the Hampton/Norfolk waters, the VHF radio became very active from the US Navy. They were warning boaters to stay 500 feet from the aircraft carrier that was on maneuvers which we did not see. However when we rounded the peninsula at Old Point Comfort where Fort Monroe is the Navy once again radioed a warning for all boaters to keep a safe distance. This time it was to stay away from the submarine that was on its way our of the bay. Of course there is always one boater that either isn't listening to the radio or just decides to do his own thing....the Navy requested that he give the sub a wide berth or they would use force!!!
After that bit of excitement, we found our channel green and red channel markers to enter the Hampton River....only to discover a warship was entering the harbor behind us.
Shortly we made it up the river to marker R20 where I called the marina about a pumpout. The dockmaster, Jake, came down to the dock an helped with our lines and we were able to stay there for the night.....our first night at a dock for over a month!!! Showers, laundry, restrooms......this is going to be like heaven!!
the Atlantic!! We were late because we hadn't eaten much all day and we needed food. We still made it in time to get hear sailing stories and to get some advice from those more knowledgeable than us about the ICW! One important bit of advise....be at St Mary's, Ga for Thanksgiving....we're going to try.