The southern Chesapeake is a very strange place.
It’s not just the growing haze of smog or the growing number of huge shipping vessels that makes it strange.
It’s also the military omnipresence that creates a vibe like a tight wire. It hums and growls and spits at you and, much as we like…really, really like…the folks at Rebel Marina, we never want to stay long.
On the way over there from Mobjack Bay, I (Dena) was struck by how much I love our new mainsail. It never occurred to me that I might own a new sail, but our boat is of a type owned by cheapskates like us who would never replace a sail before it’s past time. That means that the Bacon Sails surveyors laugh and trash any sails that might fit our boat.
This one, though. Wow. Check this out.
That top batten was a revelation to me. It starts the whole damn sail the right way and gives shape to it, even in very light winds, even when beating close to the wind. The whole thing is exciting, but that was the part that surprised me.
After getting Schlotzsky’s, propane, and an anchor ball to replace the one lost in the knockdown, we decided to sail right away. But first, to check the engine.
We’d been losing a bit of oil as we had our side trip at Whale Watching Dana Point and so wanted to find its point of egress. Instead, we discovered that the same. damn. exhaust pipe that’s been a problem for years had worked its way loose again (WTF!!!). Off it came (we’re old pros at this by now) and in we rowed. David Briggs at Rebel not only loaned us use of his big vise and a monkey wrench twice the size of ours, he also talked us out of staying the whole extra day by convincing us that we could take the Great Bridge/Virginia Cut route south rather than the Great Dismal Swamp.
We rowed back out, fixed up the engine, and left! Same day! Wow! I guess this is what comes of getting plenty of practice.
A lift bridge…
A friend sighting…
And the one-two punch of passing through a lock and then another bridge…
And we were safely tied up to the free dock in Great Bridge, VA.