October 31, 2018

Starting our journey south

We did it! On Thursday, Oct. 25, we cast off the dock lines and started our journey south. It was a pretty quiet and ordinary morning, the sun was shining and the winds were light, as we pulled out of our slip for the last time.

There was little fanfare; we stopped for diesel at the fuel dock, waved to a dear friend watching our departure on the marina’s webcam, and then headed out of the channel and into the Chesapeake Bay. Despite the ordinariness of the day, it still felt like an important moment after so many months of planning and preparation.

After a short 30 nm motor sail down the Chesapeake Bay, we tucked away in a cove in Mill Creek in Solomons, Maryland to wait out a Nor'easter that was bringing heavy winds and rain the following day.

We spent two nights at anchor; one of them mostly sleepless in 20+ steady knots of wind that spun us around on our anchor like we were on an amusement ride. While there, Sara made her first loaf of bread on the boat, and Nick cleaned and greased the last two winches.

Our next stop was to (another) Mill Creek, this time in the Great Wicomico river, just past the mouth of the Potomac river. We had a great sail in 15 knots of wind off the beam, and while underway we finally saw the sun shine after a few days of clouds and rain. We also crossed our first state line, from Maryland into Virginia.

A clipper was forecast to come through the next day, so we stayed put in Mill Creek for two days. During the sailboat show in Annapolis, we attended a friend’s barbecue for fellow cruisers, and met Larry and Barbara on S/v Hoodless. They were anchored in the same cove in Mill Creek and so they joined us for an afternoon aboard Borealis to swap stories and share cruising plans.

The following day we weighed anchor and sailed in lighter 6-12 knot winds some 20 nm further south to Jackson Creek in Deltaville, Virginia. We arrived at lunchtime and by dinner our small creek had six other boats in it, likely all making the migration south as the cooler temps arrive in the area!

A few breezy days are forecast ahead (gusts into the 30s) so we’ll likely stay in the anchorage for a several days and until we get more favorable (not on the nose) winds going south.

Our next stop is somewhere in Portsmouth/Norfolk/Hampton, where we’ll connect with mile zero of the Inter-coastal waterway, or ICW!

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