Wednesday morning was lovely. We poked along the Waterway at 9-1/2 knots. The air was the coolest we’d felt all summer, winds were light, and the sun was shining. In fact, I even put on a long-sleeved shirt! A nice change from the previous day, AND the previous year when – along this same route – it was so hot we were putting ice down our backs! We knew we’d be passing Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake, Virginia by mid-afternoon, so we decided we would stay the night there and have a few things done on the boat the next day. AYB is a reputable boat yard in a very convenient location with the ability to handle most any challenge that might come a boater’s way. Over the years, they have taken good care of many of our Krogen Express owners, and this was no exception. (Many thanks to James Taylor, the service manager.) Within walking distance of the yard are several restaurants, Rite-Aid and a nice grocery store, and a Dairy Queen! (Also, across the way is a free dock where anyone can tie up for 24 hours, first come/first served.)
Another lovely day awaited us on Friday. Trouble is, we really didn’t know where to head! With always a plan in mind, this is a first for us! But our marine forecast sources (Wunderground.com, Passageweather.com, and the NOAA weather site) were telling us different things, and we had several legs of the trip to consider. First was the Chesapeake Bay, next was the trek up the New Jersey coast (not one of my personal favorites!). We also studied our principle online guide source (Activecaptain.com) to seek out suitable anchorages/marinas. There was a small craft warning for the Bay, and the particular body of water we were approaching (where the Atlantic meets the Bay) could prove to be quite dicey. We decided we’d just carry on and see how things developed. Norfolk is always an interesting place to cruise through. (Altho it’s not as exciting as cruising down the East River of Manhattan at night. But that’s another story for another time!) There is a lot of activity (ferries, police, Coast Guard, and pilot boats buzzing around), a myriad of noises (horns, beeps, machinery, and sirens from the industry on land), and excellent scenery (naval ships abound). With Norfolk practically behind us and the Bay fast approaching, we then had some decisions to make. The wind was kicking up, as were the waves. John said “well, what do you think? Should we go for it?” Knowing from experience what was ahead, I didn’t hesitate, “No thanks.” We headed up Hampton River, a spot we’d stayed many times before. This time we stayed at the Hampton Public (but not free) Pier, our first visit. Had a pleasant walk around town, and then dinner.