Phase 2 began with a fully loaded rental SUV and a nine-hour road trip from upstate New York to Deltaville, Virginia where OLOH had been resting for the past month. Getting a car always seems a bit like a crapshoot and given our exodus for the winter we often need the largest SUV we can get our hands on. We can recommend the Ford Expedition from Enterprise – it’s a beast but a very comfortable ride for this kind of a trip. After a very full day of provisioning and boat preps, we were tapped but ready to get underway. One thing we noted was how fortunate we are that our friends who have cars near their boats are always so generous in allowing us to use them to return rentals and get provisions. Thanks, Ranger crew!
Conditions: Sunny & 49° to start, 52° to finish. Winds south/southeast 10-15 mph, seas 1-2′ 10 kts, river calm.
Distance traveled: 50.4 nautical miles (58 statute miles)
Time underway: 4 hours 58 minutes
Average Speed: 10.1 kts
Max Speed: 16.4 kts
Fuel used: 62 gallons
We had been hoping to have our first overnight in Chesapeake, Virginia, around seventy miles from Deltaville. Unfortunately, there was no room at the marina there and we couldn’t count on finding space at the nearby free town dock, so we opted for the traditional start-of-the-ICW overnight in the Norfolk area. (note: After arriving in Norfolk our friends who have stayed at the marina in Chesapeake told us that it has fallen out of favor with them in a big way so it turned out to be a good stop not to make.)
Having our first stop in Norfolk allowed for a leisurely departure from Deltaville. We fell right back into our routine and had an easy shove-off with very calm conditions in the protected harbor when we left. When we woke up and checked the weather we saw that things had shifted. Once clear of the Deltaville entrance it was apparent that the new forecast was accurate. The winds originally predicted to be blowing 5-10 mph out of the northeast were blowing at 10-15 out of the southeast and the originally predicted 1′ seas were now sloppy two-footers. There was some wind against tide happening as we had an outgoing tide all the way down the Chesapeake, but it was nicer to be running with the current rather than fighting it all day. Despite the wet ride for the first couple of hours, it was a beautiful day and great to be back on the water.
The closer you get to Norfolk the more the radio reminds you of where you are. A lot of commercial traffic making passing arrangements and frequent calls from pilot boats contacting thousand-foot freighters to bring them into port.
Then there are the military ships including, on this day, Warship Fifteen which wanted to make sure nearby traffic steered clear while they were on practice maneuvers. We were happy to oblige.
We opted for Waterside Marina in Norfolk just past the official start of the ICW this time around. We’ve stayed across the harbor just past mile marker zero in Portsmouth before but weren’t thrilled with the marina there. We’ve also stayed in Hampton which is nice enough but we wanted to put some more miles behind us. The Captain stayed at Waterside once before – years ago – while helping a friend move his boat and both the marina and waterfront area have gone through a very nice revitalization since then. Waterside’s basin is a bit tight for bigger boats but it’s totally manageable. The dock staff, Alex and Alex, were attentive and very nice and the docks are in excellent shape with good power and water pressure. While they have floating docks, their fingers are only forty feet long which doesn’t work for us so we tied to their seawall.
It’s a good stop for the night with decent enough food close by. This was also an easy stop for the Captain’s Dad to fly into so he could join us for a bit of our cruise down the ICW. It’s great to have him aboard and Jasper couldn’t believe it when his Grandpa hopped out of his Uber from the airport.
We head to North Carolina and the iconic ICW stop of Coinjock next. See you out there!
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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6