On Sunday morning the rendezvous concluded and we untied 8 lines from our boat and our next door neighbors’ boats and headed south from Solomons, MD.
It’s a pleasure washing dishes with this view.
It was a gorgeous day on the Chesapeake Bay followed by a gorgeous sunset in the Piankatank River where we anchored. I loved this anchorage because fish were constantly doing belly-flops in the water and I love that sound. Also, I love the name of the river: Piankatank. There are so many places and rivers with Native American names such as Choptank, Rappahannock, Nanticoke, Susquehanna and on and on. Scott was thrilled to try out his new bow eye and is super pleased. It is quite in the forward stateroom and he is using much less chain while at anchor.
The next day we started planning our routes in order to be in a marina and be hunkered down for Hurricane Michael. Friends recommended that we attempt to make it to River Dunes in Oriental, NC rather than Belhaven, NC, as we had planned. River Dunes Marina was not damaged in Florence, and is in a well protected harbor. We were awed, as usual, by the huge container ships and naval vessels in Norfolk.
We had planned to hang out there for a couple of days but decided to go further to Chesapeake, VA. We found a spot there to tie up to the free city “walls” and went into town for a yummy pad thai dinner with our friend, Marty. We met Marty and his wife, Amy, in Stuart, FL last winter. I love listening to Marty tell fascinating stories of his 89 years of interesting experiences.
We woke at 5:15 a.m. the following day in order to take off at 5:45. We needed to pass through the Centerville Bridge prior to its closing for rush hour at 6:30 a.m. We left in the dark and had to be careful to avoid the rowing teams. They shouted at us to let us know where they were. Thankfully, we rarely have to get up that early but we did enjoy watching the sunrise as we were eastern bound at the beginning of the day. We planned to have a long day and anchor at Bear Point, about 70 nm in total. Our boat angel, Steve, encouraged us to go another 31 nm. further to Pungo River Anchorage. We decided to make hay while the sun was shining prior to the storm so we kept on. Now that’s one heck of a long day and were often going over 9 k. which on our boat is super fast! We finally dropped the anchor at 6:30 p.m. giving us a 12 3/4 hour day.
We were rewarded with another beautiful sunset, followed by an amazing sunrise which meant we were up with the birds, again. We watched the gorgeous sunrise in our reverse image screen on the back wall of the pilot house as we were heading west at that time. It was a relatively short day going to River Dunes in Oriental.
Upon docking we immediately set up double lines and hung all the larger fenders. Thursday, along with Tropical Storm Michael, came and went with little fanfare. Not much rain and wind gusts around 50 k.
When we docked we were told that the wi-fi was very good, even on the docks, which was an unusual surprise. Well, we learned that it wasn’t really the case. No wi-fi. Our phones didn’t work. Our texts only sometimes worked. We couldn’t even check the weather or contact family to let them know we were ok.
Friday was another great weather day so we cleaned and then we paid $20 to rent the marina’s van to go to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. The store had no electricity but had a generator so we stocked up preparing for company that night…Scott’s niece (Stephanie), her husband (Brooks) and 5 year old daughter (Eva).
It was sooo much fun having a little one on the boat again! They took us to dinner at Toucan Grill in Oriental which was on the water looking out at the very large and well-maintained shrimp boats. The chocolate cake for dessert was outstanding as was the fiery sunset. The next morning we took them for a chilly dinghy ride and Scott let Eva drive…I haven’t even been allowed to drive the dinghy yet!!! She had so much fun zig-zagging across the water and making it go faster and faster! Eva also taught me some new sidewalk chalk techniques. It was so nice of them to drive 1.5 hrs. to come spend the night and we had a great visit.