Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Driving Next Door

Well, the plan didn't change in over a day, so it actually stuck. We left the anchorage next to Ft. Monroe for a marina we found that felt like it was right next door.  You know...kind of like that scene from...I think it was a Cheech and Chong movie...where they drive next door. Our destination was the Salt Ponds Marina in Hampton Virginia.

Old Point Comfort Marina and Ft. Monroe

Why did we decide on a marina?  Well...there are a few reasons. First, we currently have two cars scattered across the east coast that we need to retrieve...and hopefully sell. We also have some work we can do inside the boat, and that is a bit easier at a marina or yard (and living aboard is far easier in the water). My parents also want to come out and see our new home, and that is also easier with a fixed location. We were able to find a marina with a very reasonable monthly rate, so it seemed like the best solution.

We hauled up the anchor and made our way out of the Elizabeth River around 10 am. The clouds were disappearing, and it was turning out to be a nice morning for a sail.  Well, it would have been if there was any wind to speak of.  The wind would pick up, I would decide to raise the sail, and the wind would disappear.  I'd wait for a bit, give up and drop the sail...and then the wind would mystically appear again. Mother nature and I would play this little game 3 or 4 times before she finally gave us some wind...directly on the nose, of course. No matter, we didn't have far to go and had all day to get there, and this crew could always use a little practice beating to windward.  So we spent the next couple hours sailing along at 5 knots or so, with a VMG of 1 to 2 knots.

Shipping containers arriving at Norfolk

Even with the slow progress, we arrived at the marina between 2 and 3 PM. The entrance into the marina is via a somewhat narrow and shallow channel.  The reason it was narrow was actually due to the fact it was shallow.  Parked at the side of the channel was a bunch of dredging equipment, so my guess is the 5 foot depths will soon read more...not that 5 foot is a problem for a catamaran. The width wasn't too bad, enough room for my 21 foot plus beam...until you add in the large power boat that rounded the corner when I was in the middle of the channel. We were able to squeeze by one another, mostly because I could venture out of the channel and into the 4 foot depths.

I guess our stack pack stands out at most marinas.

We got the boat tied up to the dock and poked around the facilities a bit. The marina sits in a nice area, but the facilities themselves are starting to show some age and need for maintenance.  Still, not a bad facility, particularly for about $325/ month with electric. The marina stretches about 3/4 of a mile along the east shore of the "pond". We contacted family and started firming up plans for the month. We got the WiFi hooked up and I was able to resume publishing posts. True to most marinas, the WiFi is a bit spotty...but workable most of the time.

The long walk from our slip to the marina office.

The last two days we made the marathon drive south to retrieve the car we left at the marina in Florida a few weeks ago. One thing I can say, keeping a car while cruising is a pain. I hope the hassle is worth it for dealing with the upcoming maintenance tasks. Once those are complete, we should definitely sell the cars.


  1. Glad to see you finally found a place! Great price too. I'll be following to see how you like it.

    SV Kintala

    1. Found a place to park...and might even be able to do the top here if I could do it all in-place on the boat...but now we need to find a place to haul the boat as well (long story). So, still looking for that, but may have a couple leads. One may be right here in Norfolk, another in Deltaville...not finding much further north that isn't price-prohibitive.

      And I'm still going round and round over how to construct the hardtop...too many decisions that I don't have the experience to make...and with slow internet at the marina...very painful to do the research on.