Valinor spent the remainder of the week in Norfolk, my crew went home, and I also went back to MD to work for a few days. My wife and step-son and I returned together on Friday, May 8, spent the night on the boat, and then departed Saturday morning. Unfortunately, we didn't take many pics, but here's a recap.
We found the boat in good order, and a couple of my crew had each come back to check on her multiple times during the week--Thanks guys!
We got a later start than we intended on Saturday morning. We didn't need any fuel because we topped off with our remaining jugs on deck. After settling up with the marina, here we are motoring out of the marina after 1130 on May 9.
The weather was much more agreeable, with Easterly winds at about 15-20. We were able to reach with a single reefed main, and make good speed. However, with the late start, we didn't get to our desired destination. We were shooting for somewhere north of Windmill Point, which would've been about 50 miles. Instead, we tucked into Jackson Creek, at Deltaville, MD, about 43 miles.
I had forgotten how tricky the entrance to Jackson creek can be (it's been 20 years), but we made it in OK and anchored in a beautiful spot. That evening we had some severe thunderstorms come through, with winds up around 35-40 inside the creek and spectacular lightning. Our new anchor held solid, even with multiple wind shift, so we slept well.
May 10 - Winds shifted to the North at about 20 knots, with 3 - 4 foot waves in short period--we call it the "Chesapeake Chop". It was dead on the nose, and we had somewhere to be. I hate that. Some boats that came out before us turned around to head back into Deltaville. We continued on, motorsailing of course straight into it, taking wave after wave of water over the bow for about 10 hours.
Valinor just plugged along though, and the ride was not too uncomfortable. I had worried that my step-son, who is not an experienced sailor, would just hate every second of it. Instead, he thought it was great, and still raves about the fun he had in the Chesapeake Chop! He and my wife stayed tucked underneath the dodger, so they were dry.
We stuck with it, and made 62 nautical miles that day, and tucked into Mill Creek at Solomons, MD, for the night.
May 11 - The wind shifted for the better, and even though it was a rainy again, we were able to sail about 60% of the time home to the South River. The trip was uneventful for the most part, and after the entire journey, the 45 miles home seemed pretty easy.
We even backed into the slip on the first try--don't know how! We unloaded the gear, and that night crashed hard into deep sleep.
Here's a pic of Valinor in her brand new slip, the morning after we arrived.
Sorry I don't have more pics of this leg, and we didn't have the SPOT with us this time either.
We were satisfied to have made it home safe and sound, with crew and boat intact. I was happy that my wife and step-son participated in the delivery of our new boat, and they were too.
Valinor had traveled over 530 nautical miles in a short period of time. Actually 6 days and two nights underway, all together. We learned a lot about the boat and her gear as well. Figured out what needed to be replaced right away, and what could wait.
I'll post a few learnings next.