Sunday, June 1, 2014

Chisman Creek Anchorage to Deltaville - Beating to Windward.

After getting up, verifying the anchor was where we left it, and making breakfast, we were again on the move.  This should be our last day of travel up to Deltaville VA.  The weather finally seems to have improved and is supposed to be nice for the next several days. We make our way out of Chisman creek and into the Chesapeake.  The wind was again from the northeast, but we decided to try and sail it anyway.

Goodbye Chisman Creek, you were a nice anchorage.
Beating to windward is what sailors call it when you are trying to head to an upwind destination.  If you have big swells and the wind in your face, I can imagine you could take quite a "beating".  In our case it wasn't bad.  We had maybe two foot seas on a 5 second period (at least that is the guess I noted in my log book). Of course it feels rougher because you are traveling against the wave direction so to you they feel much closer together. Winds were anywhere in the 15~30 knot range, justifying the need to reef the sails.  Still trying to figure out the best time to reef using the "sticker" the charter company put on the inside of a cabinet door as a recommendation.  As it turns out, I found the boat tends to make more leeway without going much faster if you exceed their recommendations, so it looks like I'll stick to those.

You do a lot of sailing when beating to windward...but you don't do much of it in the direction you are trying to go.  We were averaging around 5 knots, but our velocity made good (VMG - or the speed you are going toward your destination) ranged from around 3 knots to -2 knots.  We would play with pinching into the wind as much as we could, then falling off a bit for better linear speed to see if the VMG would change, but it was a slow ride.  I know I'm no expert when it comes to sailing and the best we could seem to get any sort of speed was at about 40 degrees off of the wind direction.  When you account for the leeway, we were traveling somewhere around 50 or more degrees away from the wind. Finally around 4:30pm we had to fire up the engines and motor sail or we were never going to make it to Deltaville before dark.  You can see in the image of our track below when we went from sailing to motoring as our course became much more direct.  While we sailed a majority of the distance we traveled, it seems we only sailed about 1/2 of the actual path between Chisman Creek and Deltaville.

We made it to Deltaville, but it was late and the boatyard I was heading to was closed for the day (and weekend), so we anchored in a nice bay just a little outside their facility.

Rover at anchor in Fishing Bay near Deltaville VA.
I guess I hadn't mentioned this, but the reason for this trip, in addition to getting north of Cape Hattaras before June 1, was to get the boat hauled and get some work done.  I hope I can find some decent tradespeople here, I've heard pretty good things about the area.


  1. Congratulations, Mike! Your accomplishments over these past six months, from buying Rover to repositioning her to Deltaville, have been truly inspiring. I regret that I was unable to join you for that last leg to Deltaville. You did just fine though, as I knew you would. Congratulations on a huge success. Best of luck with Rover and the retrofit. I'll look forward to reading your blog as you continue this adventure. Nick

    1. Thanks Nick and Conchi.

      Getting past the "sitting at a marina fixing things" stage and actually on to sailing has been great. Good reminder of why I'm doing this and providing renewed vigor to make it over the next couple hurdles (some refit and selling the other house).