Under Pepper’s careful management, all the tasks that we needed help with had been satisfactorily completed so it was time for us to leave the dock in front of his house and head south to Hampton. There, we plan to complete our final preparations for our passage to the Virgin Islands with the Salty Dawgs. We departed Worton Creek on Friday morning and headed to Baltimore where we had hoped to connect with Michael, a crew for our passage south. However, plans changed when the Coast Guard didn’t give us permission to enter the Inner Harbor due to an air show that weekend so we then headed to Duvall Creek on the South River (just south of Annapolis) where Michael keeps his boat. The picture below is of Thomas Point Shoal Light that we rounded to enter the South River.
Next morning saw an early start before the tide dropped too much so we could increase our chances of not running aground on our way out of the creek. Whew, we made it without even touching! Unfortunately there wasn’t much wind at all and it was out of the south so we ended up motoring pretty much all the way down the bay. The only time we managed to roll out the sails was after a brief lunch stop in the Solomons before we turned south again. However, it gave us the opportunity to practice our 3-hour watch system with the 3 of us and our offshore routines of clipping on, especially at night. It turned out to be a most spectacular moonlit night and not too cold so quite a pleasant trip. We slowed down as we approached Hampton so we could arrive as dawn broke and were welcomed by Jonathan, one of Michael’s friends, who took our lines at 7am.
Here in Hampton, several Salty Dawg boats have already started to gather but the organized activities (seminars, etc.) will not start until next week so that gives us a chance to finish up some of our remaining tasks in the meantime. We have secured a 4th crew for the passage south, Morris, a friend and respected sailor from Nyack Boat Club. We look forward to reconnecting with him.