The Sooty Tern sat alone for a good week while I took my 2 younger boys for a first sail of the season with Emily's Grace. The weather was a mixed bag. Fantastic for 2, rain and blowing for 2, and finally sun and blowing. Not quite the idyllic run of days the weatherman had predicted last week, but even a bad day sailing … (you know the rest).
A break from routine and turning away from winter was rejuvenating. Here is a different way to wake up:
With southerly breezes we jumped from Mobjack to Poquoson and on to Norfolk.
Then the fair temps and sunshine stopped. With the edge of a front due to force the winds northerly, we decided to ride a gale back north in the rain. The thought of a cold bash to windward home and a rolling Norfolk harbor persuaded us to go. Winds stayed 20-25 and gusted to 30-35. With just the jib flying and a following tide we escorted a large tanker from downtown to Sewell's Point. There the ship rounded east, got up her steam, and shot past forts Wool and Monroe. By the time we reached them, the tanker had dissolved in the rain. Hugging the western shore to avoid the seas, we were back in Mobjack Bay in a few hours and reached far up the East River to drop anchor in Woodas Creek.
An hour later the winds veered 180 degrees to the north pushing gusts to 35 kts. Cold and wet, but with a sense of accomplishment, a warm dry cabin was welcomed.