Thursday, October 24, 2013


We got up with the dawn in order to get some fuel, hit the pump-out, and be on the Bay early. We checked the weather, "Small craft advisory, winds West at 15 to 20 gusting to 25, waves 4 feet". We checked the tides; low at 1107, high at 1805. A quick E.T.E. put us at the mouth of the Potomac around 1400, full in the face of a flood tide flowing against that 25 knot wind. Then we decided to stay in Solomon Island for another day.

At first it wasn't clear that waiting was the right thing. The sky was blue, barely a cat's paw troubled the water on Back Creek, and it is getting hard to ignore the cold. (One's breath was clearly visible before exiting the v-berth this morning, making getting up at all a small act of determination.) In order to salvage a bit of utility from the day we decided to get the fuel and pump-out chores done, and even found a good price for a night on the pier where we could power up the boat, run our little heater, and maybe drive a little of the accumulated condensation out of the boat.

It is just about 1400 now and we are pinned firmly to that very same pier. A double set of fenders is getting squished nearly flat as, even in the shelter of the Creek, a relentless west wind - bumping 20 knots - leans against the boat. It would be good to know what the conditions are like at the mouth of the Potomac right now; to learn if it is actually as uncomfortable as suspected. I know there are some boats out there. Channel 16 was full of calls from Navy boats trying to get various sail and power boaters to exit a live target area. (The Chesapeake Bay seems a stupid place to have a live fire area; just saying.) Maybe, after they get out of the way, they could give a report of what the conditions were like (and maybe if the Navy hit anything they were aiming at)? Just curious.

Only one boat of the 4 anchored around us last night left this morning. While motoring up and down the Creek getting chores done we passed a half-dozen or so more, obvious cruisers, hanging on the hook as well; including a 50 foot Cat and a brace of power boats. None appeared to be getting ready to sail, and none have passed since we tied up here.

Guess we aren't the only one's who decided that the cold wasn't that bad after all.  Next year though, come this time, we plan to be 100 miles south of where we are now.


Bill K said...

Maybe this will help for conditions.

This is a link to the NOAA bouy's which give wind and wave conditions.

Bill Kelleher

ps If this takes you to the main page, you want the USA Southeast.

Sabrina and Tom said...

A seasoned cruiser told us they check all the weather resources and then if they are still iffy, they watch what the local fisherman (small but commercial) do - NOT the cruisers. She said, if the local fisherman are headed back in or don't go out at all, then we don't either. I observed the same when we were laid up 3 days in Southport.

S/V Veranda said...

You did some chores, don't feel bad about not going. We made Elizabeth City today and its supposed to be colder tonight than in Annapolis....