The great capes are weather pivot points. As we rounded Cape Hatteras, cool moist air enveloped us. We added layers to the tee shirts and shorts that had been sufficient to the Cape’s south. The sun inched up over the horizon, joining the moon which had risen late and remained high in the sky. Cape Henry, the entrance to Chesapeake Bay lay less than 100 hundred miles away. At 6 knots we would enter the commerce-dense Bay in darkness. We preferred day light. As the south wind gusted to twenty knots, we reduced our jib to a napkin. Elizabeth Jean mosied her way up the Outer Banks at a leisurely 2 knots. Slowing down helped us savor Elizabeth Jean‘s last day on the Atlantic Ocean. With daylight’s arrival the following morning we passed the Bay’s fishing fleet putting out to sea and joined the cargo ships and naval vessels entering the Bay. Around 1300 (1 pm), we tethered Elizabeth Jean to the fuel dock at Salt Pond Marina in Hampton Virginia. Four hours later, the squall hit. The torrential rains and arcing lightning, when viewed from our secure dock, reminded us of our decision six days earlier to leave the Bahamas rather than linger and shorten our weather window. Had we stayed in the Bahamas we would have been weathering the storm rounding Hatteras.
Rounding Hatteras brought cooler weather. Eric reviews possible marinas on his iPad and in the Waterway Guide for Chesapeake Bay. Go Hawks!
Ocean Jedi, Aircraft Carrier #69, steamed towards Norfolk as we made our way to Hampton.
Elizabeth Jean, secure at Salt Pond Marina, over seven hundred miles from the Bahamas just hours before the squall hit.