Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dodge the Big Gray Iron Ships - Portsmouth to Chisman Creek Anchorage.

The weather was forecast to be better today, not great, but better and improving as the day went.  So, I decided it was time to move on.  We left the free dock in Portsmouth just a little before high tide (so we could get to the dock lines without getting our feet wet) and with gray skies greeting us.

Lots of Navy ships in Portsmouth/Norfolk.
There was other gray that greeted us as well, the gray of several U.S. Navy warships.  Shortly after leaving the dock, one of the ships came up from behind, backwards.  It didn't get that close and apparently found a place to turn around, because later, it passed us.  Actually, it was in the channel and passing a barge coming the other way in the channel and we, wisely, just moved off to the side and let them pass.  You can sure feel small when these ships pass by.

Navy Ship passing Barge.  Weather still wasn't great.
There is a causeway that goes into a tunnel north of Norfolk so ships can pass over the cars.  Just after getting through that part of the channel, we were passed by an aircraft carrier.  You really feel small when one of those giant floating airports pass by...even at a distance.

Aircraft Carrier with a 500 yard "protection zone" enforced around it.
Once we got away from Norfolk, there were no other encounters with the Navy.  We did hear on the radio that they were doing exercises in the area, I guess that explains all the ships that were out and about.

About the time we got on course, what little wind there was we found to be dead on our nose again.  So, we did a little sailing and a little motor sailing to make reasonable time.  At one point near the end of the day's travels the winds died down a bit and we flew the spinnaker again.  Still pretty sure I've used this sail more since I've had the boat than it has been used the entire rest of it's life.

We found a nice anchorage location courtesy of Active Captain and after a little debate about where to drop the hook, we anchored for the night.  The few times I've anchored out, I've had a hard time choosing an anchorage location.  Maybe I just try to be more considerate, but I try not to anchor right in front of a house on the shore or too close to where I think a lot of boat traffic may be (don't want to be inconvenient to others and certainly don't want to be run in to by another boater).  By the time we were ready to anchor, the clouds had all parted and it was a nice evening.  We grilled up some hamburgers on my Magma rail mounted grill and then were treated to a nice sunset.

Not a bad place to spend an evening.

This will be the first night I've spent at anchor on our boat. The anchor seems well set and the weather is calm now, so hopefully it will be an uneventful night.  One more day and we should be to our destination.

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