Here we are! Another big milestone for the crew of Wild Horses. We arrived in Norfolk, Virigina yesterday afternoon and are currently anchored just 5 nautical miles north of Mile 0 of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW or more commonly just “ICW”). This is the “inside route” that will take us all the way from Virginia to Florida, just over 1,000 nautical miles. Wow.
The past week has been spectacular. The weather has been favourable and the anchorages we chose along the Chesapeake have been divine.
We left Herring Bay and our dock at Herrington Harbour South almost a week ago and headed directly for Solomon’s Island, Maryland. This is a beautiful inlet off the Chesapeake that offers numerous options for anchoring, all of which were just as lovely as the next. Our buddy boat Brise was already anchored here, having arrived at Solomon’s Island a few days before us. Solomon’s Island also proved to be a great place to stock up on groceries and boat supplies, with a grocery store, liquor store and West Marine in easy walking distance. Yay! And, even closer? There was a veterinary office just steps from the dinghy dock. Don’t worry, Ocean is just fine (well, maybe a little spoiled but otherwise fine). We just needed to get a top up of Ocean’s allergy meds. We are chasing Ragweed season as we head south…
By Tuesday, we were ready to move on. Under dead calm winds, Brise and Wild Horses headed out together, bound for Reedville, Virginia. This little creek, nestled about 20 minutes off the Chesapeake, is a true gem. It houses an active crabbing fishery, a couple of small restaurants, a marina, and…well, that’s about it. We have heard that one of the restaurants (The Crazy Crab) can get pretty wild, but it is only open on weekends. Being there on a Tuesday night, we were treated to quiet serenity.
The next morning, we were off to our next anchorage in Deltaville, Virginia. We had a bit of a late start due to dense fog that had settled along the Chesapeake coastline overnight, but by 11am it had cleared brilliantly to allow us to make headway down the coast.
Deltaville did not disappoint. It is a lively, beautiful spot with the centre of activity being the Deltaville Marina. This place provides docking, boatyard and haul out services and, for a small fee, allows anchored boats to use their facilities. On shore we were happy to see a forest with walking trails (oh, how we miss our trail hikes) and a great marine nature centre. We tried to soak it all in quickly since it was only going to be a one-night stop for us on our way to the ICW.
Yesterday, we left Deltaville, hoping for a lovely sail to Norfolk with 15 knot winds. Uh, nope. The wind was up, yes, but WAY up and it brought the sea state with it. We rocked and rolled for over seven hours with 30 knot northerly winds and 4-6 foot waves knocking us around. Yeesh. It was a tiring day of hand-steering Wild Horses to keep her as balanced as possible. We did our best but the dog did land on the floor once or twice. I am quite positive I saw a few glares from the four-legged crew!
The sea state had calmed a bit by the time we reached Norfolk. When entering the area, the first thing you see is the Virginia Naval Base. I mean, you can’t miss it. The thing is huge! Acres and acres of frigates, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. It is quite impressive.
Our anchorage, in the Lafayette River, was just beyond the naval base. It is a lovely place to stay while Brise and Wild Horses wait for Sensai to catch up. Ted and Evelyn were able to fix their battery issue in Annapolis so have started the journey south to the ICW. We are hoping for all three boats to be together again in Coinjock, North Carolina, at ICW mile marker 50.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.