Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rock Hall, MD - at a slip

Escaping the storm!

We saw the forecast for this morning, Saturday, at 10 kts of wind and set out at 7:00 am. At 7:30 am, a small craft advisory was issued with winds of 10 to 15 with gusts to 25 and 3 to 4 ft waves. However, we had already left our anchorage and pressed on hoping that by the time we rounded the cape and headed north with the wind and waves behind us, the ride would improve. On the way out, it didn't look so good. We were slopping around 30 degrees or so with waves hitting us broadside and the gusts further pushing us over. However, when we finally were able to turn north, everything quieted down.

Norfolk Botanical Gardens aren't the only ones with beautiful roses! These were at the marina. 
We were tracking the storms on NOAA radar and saw that most of the reds and yellows were south of us and as we continued our northward march, the winds and waves gradually lessened. We were lucky to get out of the Solomons when we did. If we had heard the weather forecast before we left, we would still be in Solomons at anchor.

And, one more example
Having the favorable tide with us (we were doing 8 to 9 kts!) and with the lessening winds and waves, we decided to press on to Rock Hall and we're glad we did. The winds eventually dropped to less than 10 kts and now we're well positioned for the jump to Chesapeake City on Sunday. However, the weather for the trip up the coast does not look good. There's mostly 4 to 6 ft seas and lots of wind, not nice for a calm ride with only two aboard.

So we'll reach Chesapeake City on Sunday and then take stock of our chances for going outside for the trip up the coast. The longest leg is from Atlantic City to Atlantic Highlands, an 82 mile jaunt. That's long even for our 7.3 kt average speed. Even the leg from Chesapeake City to Cape May is 64.3 Nm! The timing on that leg is such that we would not be able to take the Cap May canal to the anchorage and would therefore have to go around the cape (we would hit the canal at high tide, not good for our 55 ft mast). So there's lots of things to consider which we'll do when we reach Chesapeake City.