Reedville and Deltaville are two seaports along the Virginia Shore on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay. Reedville is very much a commercial port and home of the Atlantic menhaden ( also known as Bunker, or more locally Pogy.) After a nice sail down from the Coan River off the Potomac, we pulled into the fuel dock at the Leadbelly Restaurant which was closed but the very nice lady proprietor who was cleaning up came out and turned on the diesel pump for us to top off. While fueling, she made sure that we knew that the people on the big fishing boats were not known as fishermen, they were "Watermen." We left the dock and anchored between the big Omega Protein plant and another big dock. Later, a big boat came in and started offloading the small fish into a line of semi-trucks towing hopper trailers.
Around 8 pm, the expected cold front came through with a squall, the temperature dropped from the 70's to just below 50, and the wind shifted 180 degrees. At 4 am, Allen awoke because the boat had a strange rocking motion; he knew immediatly that we had dragged anchor and run aground, also realizing immediatly that when the wind shifted, we should have re-set anchor... That will not happen again! A quick check of the tide and we found that the tide had just come off of high, and was falling. If we did not get off immediatly, we would need to wait until the next tide (fortunatly the higher high,) but that would not be for 12 hours.
Luckily, the rudder was not stuck (our rudder is as deep as our keel so that is always a risk) so using anchor and motor, and pivoting the boat side to side with the rudder, we were able to get off the muddy bottom. We returned to the fuel dock at Leadbellys where we tied up and grabbed another couple hours sleep before heading out in the morning.
The wind was up out of the North and it was chilly, in the 40's, after a few nice days in the 70's. The waves were up but we were able to sail downwind on jib alone at 6 to 7 knots. We did not like the way the autohelm was working so hard in the following seas so we hand-steered and when the current turned against us (and the wind), we decided to head into Deltaville, and this time to a marina for a break and a shore-power recharge. We called ahead to Jackson Creek Marina where we were welcomed with an expert helping hand and told we had arrived in paradise and how long were we staying?
Deltaville is very different from Reedville, I have never seen such a high percentage of bluewater equipped sailboats at any marina, and the large yard here has many more on the hard. The marina has a nice lounge, and is full service, including a courtesy SUV, which we borrowed for a run to West Marine. We were able to get a Navionics chart plotter chip (micro-SDRAM card) and hopefully the issue we have been having with our current chartplotter chart since Maine will be cleared up. Did I mention that we had to navigate in to Deltaville using the backup chart app on Allen's tablet? The issue is that whole regions of our chartplotter will come in blank white at lower zoom levels. The SDRAM, when plugged into a computer reads errors have been found and even a reformat and re-download of the charts from Navionics did not fix it. Now we have a backup chart set so hopefully the issue should not return, but there are some details for devils to hide in so maybe you will be hearing about this agian. Hopefully not (and yes, we have paper charts onboard and know how to use them!).
We met Steve when headed out the door of West Marine. Steve had been ahead of us on the "wait list" for the courtesy SUV. The people after us actually got it before us because the young man behind the counter neglected to mention that you have to be there in the office when the vehicle returns or whoever shows up next gets the car. AND WHAT IS THE POINT OF THE WAIT LIST? It mitigates the fights when the car gets back? Yes, that was the problem that the wait list solved. Unbeknownst to Norma who had gone to the bathroom! So there we waited in the office. Could we go next door to the lounge?... hmm better not chance it. The car returned five minutes early (that would be the five minutes short of the extra hour we waited for it, in the office.) Got the keys, thanked the kid and went to West Marine, got our goods, and met Steve...
Steve met us at West Marine and asked if we could give him a lift to 7-Eleven for the pizza deal--buy one and get one free on Tuesdays. Well, we took advantage of that deal as well and had pizza for dinner and then breakfast. Yummy!!! Steve was the guy on the list after the folks after us but he had decided to walk.
An extra day in "paradise" We have been in paradise, and the temperature is NOT 48 degrees! But the wind was gusting today and the waves in the bay up again, so rather than have another day of hand-steering, we decided to stay in and take a long walk. Unfortunately, the Martime Museum is closed on Wednesdays, so we walked along the main road into town where the businesses are scattered. There are a fair amount of support services for the boating crowd here. We also visiteda "swap meet" store where Norma got some earrings, and we picked up some free, stackable, plastic dishes. These were to replace a couple that we had been using as "starters" but had cracked over time. While in the shop, one of the ladies that worked there called out, "Hey, Lady on a boat, I'm giving these plastic dishes away." I asked Norma if she was the same "lady on a boat" who was being called and she said no, she didn't think so. No other boat ladies seemed to be responding, so I wandered over to see, and liked these free dishes.
We made several stops after this shop, one to the Galley Restaurant for a scrumptious fried oyster basket and cheesy potatoes side or Norma and a yummy, yummy meatloaf sandwich and mashed sweet potatoes for Allen. So good! We ate all of it. We'd been walking and shopping for hours. Anyway, we made several other stops--one to get four soft shell crabs for dinner (which were wonderful) and some good balsalmic vinegar and a large jar of pepper jelly--one of our favorite treats. Then we walked some more and landed at a swap meet kind of place called the Man Cave. Norma was allowed to enter as well, and she stocked up on some gifts and Allen got some reall great fishing gear from the really nice old coot who served him. Allen had buttered him up with fishing and boating and even model railroading chatter, and the old guy loved it and gave him some free stuff. He even gave Norma a free food cover--sort of his policy to get customers to buy more stuff which we gald did and felt us good overpaying him 5 bucks in cash. He loved it! Good stop!
When we got to the boat, we took the picture of our stash of trinkets and purchases and put them all away where they belonged. (one must keep the boat tidy!!!) We ended the lovely day in the evening with our soft shell crabs, broccoli bits and sauted onions and lemonade and tea and then our show--The Americans which we binge slowly. We plan to be ready to get up early tomorrow and hope the seas and wind and waves and current and weather will be with us.