Wilton Creek to Hampton River – October 31, 2012

Promptly at 7:30am Rode Trip and Serendipity simultaneously hauled anchor to say farewell to our hurricane hole. It was COLD! Another 40-something degrees this morning and we were bundled in four layers underneath our foul weather gear. We motored out Wilton Creek. At the mouth of the Piankatank River we set sail and the race began!

The wind was out of the southwest and predicted 15-20 knots. Back into that Chesapeake chop we slammed through the waves. When we guessed the wind was 20-knots, we put two reefs into the main sail. Brian was at the tiller and enjoying being on the move once again!

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Serendipity found their opportunity to pass Rode Trip! Hmmm…we strategized to get back into the lead.

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Brian held our course as best he could through shifty winds. Serendipity tacked. Here was our advantage, we took the lead once again! Hoping to be the fastest Westsail ever we let out the reefs in the main (wind lightened back to 15-ish knots, if we hadn’t done this we would have stopped…momentum can only carry us so far).

Serendipity found yet another hole to pass us by when Brian and I continued sailing as long as possible. Yup, diehard cruisers trying to save an ounce of diesel! We could see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance as we approached the entrance to Hampton Roads. Cars passing along the bridge in the distance looked liked giant water bugs skimming across the bay.

Shipping channels converged here with huge ships making their way to Norfolk, VA. We steered clear of the ships.

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The sun had set by the time we weaved our way into the Hampton River fighting a 1-knot current. Matt was sounding the anchorage and determined we had roughly 6-feet of water just past red buoy 20, where the guidebooks had indicated we anchor. We dropped the hook. Matt recapped the day’s sail with us before Brian and I headed into the boat to fire up our stove. When we put those two reefs in the main sail thinking 20-ish winds, Matt had clocked 32-knot winds. Brian and I need to review our ‘ol Beaufort Scale for better predictions…or we could get one of those newfangled anemometers. Matt and Jess headed ashore for a fast-food fix to de-stress from the day’s tribulations at sea.

Buddy Boating “not really racing” Score: Rode Trip 1-0 Serendipity 0-1