Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Nature Rules

A lot of people depend on something, whether it be coffee, chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol, or their job, parents, friends or spouse. And that’s all right. We, on the other hand, don’t like to be dependent. It’s one of the reasons we live on a boat, left the “normal” world behind and do what we do. Of course it doesn’t work that way and we discovered that we are actually very dependent right now. Sure, it’s only on one thing, but we are totally at its mercy. Yes, I’m talking about the weather.

After bashing into the waves, that one day, we decided not to go south in south winds anymore. So, we decided to stay nearby Reedville until the weather improved, which it didn’t. We hung tight in rain and wind for a couple of days. Our water and fresh food supplies ran low. Norfolk was calling; we had less than a week left to get there and find a solution for boat and dogs, while we would fly to a wedding in Florida. The weather predictions only seemed to get worse.

On October 25, we got up at 6 am, just like the previous days. We listened to the radio, and got back to bed, again. Too rough out there… A few hours later, we saw other boats leave the anchorage and figured that we were probably too careful and being big babies. We left Reedville under a gray sky. Once we left the channel, the fun started. The wind was howling and the waves looked huge. The rain poured down and we tried to sail the whole stretch. I got seasick and my lips became blue from the cold. Changing direction was a fiasco. We tried to turn the safe way, but the waves were so high, that we couldn’t get enough speed to turn over them. We needed the engine to do the job. The jib got caught at our new (pointy) radar mount and ripped. Mark and I tried to comfort the dogs and avoid the crab pots. It was all one big mess and we regretted leaving. But, when we arrived in Deltaville, totally soaked, very tired and defeated, we were yet another step closer to our destination.

One more haul and we would reach Norfolk. The weather was still awful. It kept raining for days and we got stuck in yet another anchorage, together with 20+ sailboats. The pile of wet clothes grew and taking the dogs to shore was no fun. As for the weather predictions, they barely improved. When the rain finally stopped, we ignored the “small craft advisory” and left Deltaville late morning. The wind proved to have slowed down a lot and all of a sudden we found ourselves barely moving over the water. The temperature had dropped immensely. With our late start, we would never make it to Norfolk, so we spent the night somewhere half way. The next day, when the sun lit up the frosty world, we motored all the way not to lose any more time. Approaching the big city, we saw a few dolphins and lots of pelicans in the bay. Our moods improved and early afternoon of October 30, we finally reached the marina in Norfolk. We had a total of one full day to prepare our trip to Florida and fix some boat problems…

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