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Robin & Jim
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Posted By Robin & Jim

We wrapped up our chores and errands in Baltimore and the weather finally settled down so we could continue south, but not until we endured cold temperatures and a rain/snow storm.  At least we were in a marina with plenty of power for heat!  We left early on a dark, chilly morning and watched the sun rise over the busy Port of Baltimore.

It's nice to be in familiar waters - our cruising grounds when we were working and only had weekends to get out on the water - the Bay Bridge and Thomas Point Light are like old, familiar friends.

bay bridge

We stopped in Solomons for a day to visit Ted and Nancy - we had a great time and a lot of laughs!  From there we cruised down to the mouth of the Potomac River to Olverson's Marina (where we paused in the spring) to pick up my Sunfish sailboat.  It was two-fer night at Luna's Italian Restaurant, so we went to dinner with MTOA friends and had another great evening. 

The weather was changing fast, and we had one good day to travel before the winds would howl for a few days, so we decided to leave Olverson's at 0400 for the long trip down to Norfolk & Portsmouth, VA.  We got one of the last spots on the free docks in Portsmouth and settled in to enjoy the town while the wind blew.

We walked all around High Street, visiting the great little gourmet kitchen store to restock our favorite scone mix, and we poked around the little shops and galleries.  We explored the side streets with historic homes decorated for fall, and we went to a movie at the historic Commodore Theater.  In sea boots.  You see, the wind was so strong that it pushed a lot of water into the Elizabeth River and the docks flooded at high tide.  This photo shows water just covering the dock, but it was ankle-deep at the height of the tide cycle.  You could spot all the boaters in town by their tall rubber boots!

water over the dock

It's always so interesting cruising through Norfolk/Portsmouth, with huge Navy and commercial ships moving around, and a flurry of tugboats to help them maneuver through the tight spots.

We stopped for fuel - taking 600+ gallons to fill the boat, which will last us until we get to the northern end of Florida where we'll take on another 500+ gallons.

We've been surprised at the number of boats migrating south - usually most of the snowbirds would be ahead of us this late in the season.  While we were fueling there were 12 boats (from 100' down to 40') waiting for a bridge to open!

following the herd

Occasionally the waterway stretches are a little boring - just straight canals, with lots of trees and stumps along the sides - stay in the middle and watch for eagles and hawks!  Even the boring parts can be pretty - it's all about one's attitude.

trees and stumps

The nights have been cool but the days have been getting warm and nice.  Now we're taking a few days to pause in Morehead City, NC to do some chores, get mail, and see friends.