June, 2020

...now browsing by month


Back in Cape Charles, Va.

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

The previous blog was published from Fort Lauderdale the end of April. I wandered in and out of the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway) in and out of the Atlantic. Greg and Marlys Clark were my hosts at their condo in Cocoa Beach over the weekend of April 25th. You will have read that they were also my hosts on their large catamaran in March during the Heineken regatta in Saint and Sint Martin. I moored “Fleetwood” on the barge canal and left from Port Canaveral into the Atlantic and back into the ICW at Saint Augustine and from there via Jacksonville to Green Cove Springs Marina on the St. Johns River, for a haul out. This was my fourth visit since 2008 to this funky collection of mariners and semi permanent boat people. I got back into the Atlantic on May 22nd. Sunday night, before Memorial Day, I got whacked by a nasty storm at Cape Fear and finally gave up on trying to work my way out of it and took refuge on the ICW at South Port, NC.  My plan was to go back into the Atlantic at the Masonboro Inlet. But the wind was dead on the nose so, I decided to continue on the ICW, but when I was to pass through the first bridge, at Myrtle Beach, my shaft became uncoupled. The current pushed me through, I dropped the anchor and Tow-Boat US towed me to the large anchorage nearby. It took me 7 hours that day to try and fix the problem and the next morning another 8 hours, when there were still issues. In the mean time the wind had turned more favorable and I left at 4 pm from Masonboro Inlet for Cape Hatteras and the Chesapeake. A very fast sail, there as to be a northbound current, I did 120 nautical miles in a 24 hour period. But then the wind died and I motored. Another 3 hour repair job in a motionless ocean. On early Sunday morning, May 31st, just south of Cape Henry, I received another short gale force storm whipping. My daughter, Jeannine, her husband, three of my grand children and my two great granddaughters saw me sail past, from the beach, in Virginia Beach. But a nasty northerly sprung up at Cape Henry and adverse tide made me turn back to  seek refuge in the Rudee inlet. I sailed back and close to the inlet the wind died. I cranked the motor on and, once again the shaft spun. I ended up dropping the anchor with 5 ft under the keel and a 150 ft from the surf. Tow boat US came to the rescue at dusk and towed me into Little Creek. My daughter and family came to get me on Monday morning and I had three great days visiting with them. My second oldest grandson had been released from a 5 1/2 year prison term. His older brother and his dad had come from Texas. It was a great reunion.

I managed to make it into Cape Charles from Little Creek, a 22 mile distance, on Thursday morning the 4th.  This time the repair held it for the motoring out and into Cape Charles. But a permanent solution is in the works now. Most likely it is the result of having over-tightened the stuffing I replaced in Green Cove Springs.

My plans are to sail north for a summer sail in New England in July. I have a berth in the Cape Charles municipal Town Dock, B-2 right at the foot of the Shanties restaurant. The welcoming committee was present, Thelma Peterson made the sign “Jack came Back, to the port of Gold” as in her song:  “Jack come Back”


I have posted a You Tube 6 minute video of the sail from St. Barth back to Cape Charles at: https://youtu.be/PynBA95hFvE