It seemed like there was always one more thing to get done and we’d always leave tomorrow, but by the beginning of December we were running out of reasons to stay and it was looking more and more like time to go. On the evening of November 4th, we called it.
On December 5th we motored over to the gas dock, pumped out the holding tank, and filled up our diesel and water, and finally started out. Navigating in and out of Deltaville’s little harbor is a bit tricky, because the channel isn’t more than 50 feet wide or so in parts, and it’s shaped like an “S” turned on it’s side, and there’s some confusion around the last mark. When we first saw the channel on our way in, we stood off for a while looking and relooking at the chart because we couldn’t quite believe it. Outside the channel the water is only a foot or two deep. As we left we nudged along at a knot or so, feeling our way through the turns.
Annika was watching the charts and our position, and told Chris, at the helm, that he was edging out of the channel, but he didn’t entirely believe her until the boat nudged up onto a mudbank on the last curve. Doh! We powered off to the side and our depth got better right away. We aimed for the last marks, and adios and gracias, D-Ville.
And not a moment too soon, seriously. We’d been lucky with the weather – chilly in the 40s and 50s, but not much rain – but that looked to be changing. The day we left the conditions seemed to worsen behind us and the first few hours down the Chesapeake were misty and cooler still. It was awfully good to be on our way, though.
A few hours down the way the temps came up a little and the sun came out some, which was cheering. Not a lot of wind so we motored the whole way, making around 8 or nine knots at 2000 revs as the tide down the Bay was running with us and pushing us along.
We had to bump up the speed a bit as we got down near Hampton Roads as the tide was beginning to work against us as we headed to make the turn down towards Norfolk, and we were getting a little concerned about getting in before nightfall. Once round the corner and headed up the river the tide was working with us again and we pushed up quickly past the Navy yards and into Norfolk.
Norfolk has two little public docks – little harbors actually – that we were headed for. We made the town just after sunset, and were on the dock by 6:30, safe and sound and finally on our way.