Offline Entry: It's Friday night and I'm sitting in Salon of S/V Audax as we are anchored off Hospital Point in Norfolk, Virginia, at the entrance (mile zero) of the ICW. (Intracoastal Waterway) This is a major milestone! No more waiting for "weather windows". Just drawbridges and locks instead... but no more big seas for a while.
So... what a leg this last one was! Departed Cape May NJ yesterday (Thursday) at around noonish. Steamed with the wind on the nose and 3-4ft seas until dusk or so. Then the winds clocked around and we sailed though the night. What a night it was. Breezy, decent seas, starry night, The Doors playing in the cockpit speakers... quite enjoyable. We did hit some gusts which caused us to reef the sails. When doing so, we headed up to luff the big genoa, which had the sheets just a flappin' and whippin' like crazy. Just as I shouted from the helm "we don't wanna do this too long, guys, those whipping sheets are gonna stave up the dodger", the whipping sheets did, in fact, stave up the dodger. She's all stove up. Two big holes. DOH. I'm glad it wasn't a human face. The chilly temps didn't exacty improve the dodgers elastic qualities, either. Add it to the "to do" list, I guess.
Then we started HAULING ASS. Reefed in sails, blowing 15-20kts across our beam, 4 ft following sea, and we had 'er surfin' up to 8.5 knots, which is great for a beamy ol' cruiser! All under the stars with Led Zeppelin playing in the cockpit. Good times. It's fun to drive at times like these. Four states in one night.... New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. BAM!
Then the winds died off at sunrise, so we fired up the engine. Something smells like burnt rubber. Slight smokiness. The alternator belt is too lose and its burning up. We tighten it. Gotta get a new one. Get two. We then steam into Chesapeake Bay. We see two submarines heading out. Here comes DDG 52! I immediately reckognize the Arliegh Burke class Destroyer approaching quicky astern. VHF handheld on ch16. Sure enough... "Sailing vessel in Thimble Channel, this is USNavy warship do you copy.... we would like to overtake you to port..." Like they had to ask. What if we said "NO"? Jordi hailed them back and we were nice enough to let them by. That was cool. This wasn't one of the BIW ones, however... DDG 52 was built at Ingalls in Mississippi. Steamed by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, through Norfolk and here we are. I cooked up dinner: broccoli, and spaghetti with sauce and sausages. It was really good. Morale is high. It's going to be nice to just motor along in flat calm waters for a while, taking in sights etc... not that sailing isn't fun... of course it is. In moderation. Everything in moderation.
John can't get "the schlong" to work. (big super amplified wi-fi antenna) That is a slight bummer. Aside from that, the dodger damage, and the tender outboard motor not passing raw water, everything is going pretty smoothly. I'm really tired right now.... loooong very active night of sailing last night. I have CSDD. I made that up. It stands for Cumulative Sleep Deprivation Disorder. This is Sailing Vessel Audax, over and out.