Monday, October 31st, 2011
After some nice cruising in Chesapeake Bay, visiting Smith Creek off the Potomac River, and Irvington on the Rappahannock River, where we were able to get together with former Tulsans Kimberly and Scott Vail and family, we had a great wind from the north on Friday, which blew us down to Hampton. We anchored at dusk in Mill Creek, just inside the entrance to Hampton Bay, and braced for a change in the weather. Saturday was cold, with 40 knot winds forecast, so we called the Hampton Public Piers marina to see if we could come in a few days earlier than originally planned. Dock-master Kate found room for us, and we waited for a break in the rain to pull anchor and move in to the Hampton River. A stop at Blue Water Marina to fill the fuel tanks and the eight new jerry cans on deck provides us with all the fuel we need for the upcoming trip to the Virgin Islands.
Tha marina and a local wine shop hosted the 1500 sailors that were already in port to a wine party on Saturday night.
Sunday the rally office opened, so we checked in and also had our safety inspection. Although we are still lacking a few items, they are on order from West Marine in Hampton.
We are working through the list of to do items...like everything, as soon as one item gets checked off, we have to add additional items. Our generator died Saturday morning, but Charlie thought it was because the port fuel tank was empty. Now that we have fuel, he has worked this morning on servicing the generator, and it has run well for a hour, so victory is declared. However, he had to turn off the fuel at the tanks to service the generator. The fuel tanks are under our bed in the aft state-room, and when we went to put the bed back together, he discovered that one of the fittings has broken, so now he has taken that apart and is searching for a replacement.
I have used the on-line registration to notify BVI customs that we are coming...this is supposed to make it easier to clear in to the islands...it didn't work two years ago, but we'll see if they have it working now.
My computer died and I sent to Tulsa from Irvington, where the technician managed to turn it on and boot it up with no problem. Don't you hate it when that happens? Perhaps it got too cold, or a little damp, and dried and warmed up on the way. We hope that Bob Crawford will be able to get it in his luggage and bring it back to me on Friday. In the meantime, I have managed to load the Airmail software on to Charlie's computer so we will be able to send and receive messages from the Sailmail account while at sea (WDE9568 at sailmail dot com). The rally will be able to send us weather and fleet position information daily.
A routine engine check the other morning showed that the coolant tank was empty. Charlie has diagnosed it as a problem with the domestic hot water tank, so now we are trying to find a new hot water tank and get it delivered to us before we leave. We may not have it installed by our departure; we can always boil a kettle for hot water; at least it is easier to get that part here in the USA rather than down-island.
You can follow our progress during the rally on the World Cruising Club's Caribbean 1500 website.