Posted by: nosmokingsails | November 21, 2010

Norfolk, VA

We left Cape May at 8:30am on Thursday, November 18th, and sailed past the Delaware Bay mouth with ease and fair winds and currents pushing us along at 5-7 knots!

By evening, however, those pesky little “small craft advisories” were starting up again.  This time because of NW winds at 15 knots and gusts of 20-30.  We managed this with a heavily reefed main sail (meaning we rolled the sail up along the bottom so not as much of it was out and catching the wind), and using our storm jib (the front sail on the boat, which looked like a thong compared to the full coverage jib we usually use!).

We still traveled at 5-7 knots during the night with only our tiny storm jib, the reefed main, and the mizzen sail up.  I drove from midnight until 7am, and didn’t have to wake Rob up for any help!  Yay! (though he later said that if he knew we were going over 6 knots, he probably would have wanted to take down the mizzen or at least reef it, but I just really wanted to go faster – AND we had very little wave action due to the NW winds, so the wobbling was not bad at all).

It was a beautiful night with hardly any ships along the horizon and Rob made contact with a cute little 30 foot Cape Dory sailboat who did the same trip as us and arrived in Norfolk just a bit before we did on Friday night!

My sailing friend John advised us to not enter Norfolk after dark due to the insane amount of Navy ships and other giant ships, but we found that with the other sailboat also traveling through the city ahead of us, and with all of the lights, we felt confident we could make it to the anchorage within Norfolk (rather than anchor outside the city first, then have to sail there today).  This was our longest sail thus far – we anchored at 7:30pm in Norfolk (35 hours total)!

Norfolk is SO BEAUTIFUL!  We are anchored right beside the channel, so we get to see the pretty city lights from the boat and there is a free dingy dock in Norfolk by the Nauticus Museum, which is also at what they call “Mile 0” of the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway).  It sounds so badass!  They mark all the points along the ICW “Mile 47” or “Mile 600”.

The first Florida town on the ICW is at Mile 600-something.  Yikes.  And the place where we need to sail across the Gulf Stream to Bahamas is at Mile 1000-something.  Double yikes.  I didn’t realize it would be THAT far!  But we will enjoy it.  Next part we are doing is called the Great Dismal Swamp Canal.  Fun!

And I like that it is warmer, but the nights are still nippy enough for me to want to get a bit more south soon.

Pictures will follow!  Until then, I must get caught up with work and wander this new city where you can get frozen yogurt buffet style with any toppings you want at a cost of .27 cents an ounce!  Ah!  (Rob did not agree that gummy bears are a proper sundae topping though.)

A couple night shots:

I like being the blur in the foreground of the beautiful cityscape!

New haircuts definitely call for artsy light shots taken by myself on deck!


Here is a sunrise photo of our view of Norfolk from our anchorage, just before we motored south:



  1. glad you are enjoying norfolk, kris….looking forward to more photos.

    1,000 plus miles just to get to the gulf stream to the bahamas! yup, yikes!!!!

    sail safely!!!! love you, mom

    • this is Dad sending a few words, since Mom’s response is in moderation all nite.?
      Sounds good, like the idea of a dighy dock and free, makes sense they have’
      one, since the beginning of the intercoastal…… also, proud you have
      been sailing alone and enjoying it, but nite sailing scares me a little..
      I did some boating late at nite crossing from newport to quonset, but
      wouldn’t want to do it again….love dad

  2. I was wondering if this would be an interesting on shore stop for you. sounds like “gummy bears” is enough to lure anyone to shore!!!! Love Terry

  3. just to let you know. The little blue tile symbol next to my name in the responses space is my birthstone color, I did not choose it!! Cool!! Love Terry

    • hey terry, the little green tile next to my name is sort of my birthstone color, too, peridot. Though I don’t know if it will be the same with every post.

      I second what dad said, Kris, the night sailing sort of scares me too!

      Love, MOM

  4. this is mom showing grandma how to post a comment.
    we can see you are almost thru the swamp canal already.
    Hope there were not too many alligators!

    Happy Thanksgiving from us….we will be missing you!

    love, mom and grandma

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