Back on Land

We are back in New Mexico now. We left on May 25 and returned July 8th. Outfitting the boat with our training Captain Bernie, doing some very basic practice moving the boat, traveling 854 nautical miles (982 statute miles) in 14 days through the Intracostal Waterway (ICW) and Atlantic Ocean between Jupiter, Florida and Gloucester Point, VA, spending a week waiting for approval from our insurance company for us to operate the boat solo and then traveling on our own around the southern Chesapeake Bay (110 NM, 127 statute miles) before leaving the boat in Deltaville, VA for some needed maintenance. Lots of change and different activities. Mostly a fairly stressful trip as we were on a steep learning curve. But, we learned LOTS and now at least have a sense for what we DO NOT know.

If you click here, you can see more details of our route from Florida to Virginia.

Every time we go somewhere in the boat, we still have to figure something out. Every day on the boat, there was something that broke, didn’t work, or we didn’t understand and had to figure out. Who will fix it, us or someone else. Where do we find parts? Can we use “regular parts”, or must they be marine grade? Do we have the tools to fix it? How do you install them, ….. Not a lot of relaxing this trip.

Should this be connected to something? There is LOTS to understand under the console in the pilot house. We’ve barley started.

But we did have a few days where we actually got to play, at least some, or the whole day. Rather strange in the Age of Covid however. Many places are still closed, or have modified schedules. At least there were not big crowds, but wearing a mask in 90 degree temps with 90% humidity is hard. Perhaps that is why folks in the south are not big mask wearers. We felt rather privileged to be at Yorktown on July 2nd, where the definitive battles that ended the Revolutionary War occurred.

At the Yorktown reenactment museum. Actually quite good. Informed staff and a very good museum.

And we also visited Jamestown, settled in 1607, one of the earliest European settlements on the East Coast of what is now the United States. So much to see and learn there. We had a 7-day pass that got us into both Yorktown and Jamestown museums, but only spent two days as we had no more time. Definitely need to return when more of the site is open and we have more time.

Construction began on this church in 1639. It is the oldest remaining structure from the original European colonies. Much reconstruction done, but remnants of the bell tower were intact.

We spent the 4th of July swinging on the hook on the East River in Mobjack Bay. There were lots of other boats there, both sail and power, including several from the marina where we had stayed in Gloucester Point. Thus, we got to know some of these folks a bit better during the 3 days we were there.

It looks like we were packed in, but it is mostly the illusion of a long lens. We wee glad though to be at the far end with no boats beyond us.
Social distance 4th of July dinghy raft. Just float along all tied together and if we get too close to something, someone starts their engine and adjusts the “flotilla.”

On the 4th, we loaded up our bikes (they came with the boat) into the dinghy (its maiden voyage) and went to the local town dock and rode the mile and a half into Matthews, VA. We had a nice lunch on the porch of a little cafe and visited the Maritime Museum which is only open on Friday and Saturdays and was open on the 4th! Yeah!

The bikes fit pretty nicely in the dinghy. Only a minor pain to arrange them to go for a ride.
As I have mentioned, we learn many things each day. The tide was high when we tied up. It had gone out by the time we came back. We were able to motor out luckily and the tide was not any bigger. One more thing learned from experience…
Although the local fireworks display was cancelled, the locals still provided a lovely show for us.

I also tried to do a little genealogy as Jim and I both have ancestors along the Eastern seaboard from Georgia to New York, settlers from the 1600’s on. I tried to do a bit in the southern Chesapeake, but found that I needed to sort my information further before I can really learning anything new. Some work to do back in New Mexico before we return east.

So, what is next? The boat will be in the yard for 6 weeks (or maybe more). It does not really need that much work, but the yard is short staffed and everyone is having work done. Partially because they are not boating because of Covid, partly because boat sales are way up (because of Covid?), partially because they are backed up because they were closed earlier in the year… because of Covid. Covid is impacing everything I interesting ways. Jim also needs to get his cataract fixed. He’s been waiting for Medicare as that changes to price from >$6000 to basically $0. August 1st is the date he will be covered. But, after surgery, he has to be around for 30 days. So, likely not back to the boat until mid-September. Arg! That seems too long! But, no option.

Here are more details of our first solo travels. Note the spot does not always find us, thus the straight lines across land. It also took a little car trip with us at one point too!

When we got back, we are planning to take the kittens with us and thinking of driving to make the transition easier on them. Then, poke around the Chesapeake more for a couple months. That gets us to early November. At that point, it will be getting cold and we either need to move the boat south, or winterize it. We really don’t want to leave it until Spring, so south it must go. But where??? South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, the Bahamas? But, now the car is in Virginia and the kittens and us are south. It is much easier to be full time boaters with pets. Lots to sort regarding cars, pets and when we head south, how to do that. Do we go offshore and blast south (faster), take the ICW (slower), or both? Then were do we keep the boat, what do we need to know about the Bahamas if we go there, etc. And, one needs to take Covid into account. We met several folks who had to wait and then either blast out or sneak out of the Caribbean as islands and counties were closing. Definitely don’t want to get caught that way. Lots to plan and think about.

A view of Put In Creek from Matthews. Kayaks can get from the East River, but our dinghy can’t quite make it all the way.

Some closing thoughts on this leg of the Rincon Feliz adventure. We are still figuring this out as you can tell. We definitely don’t have our adventure sorted in terms of how it all works. Do I get the “water dizzys” when we come to land? I did not for multiple days. But now being back in New Mexico, as I write, the desk and laptop are rocking. Very strange that it is so delayed. Our average speed over our 963 NM was 6.7 NM/hour or (7.7 statute miles/hour). Clearly life in the slow lane.

Rincon Feliz got her new name applied the day after we left. So, we’ve only seen it in photos.

It is good we came back to New Mexico. We’d been ignoring the neighborhood blog chat about being overrun with mice. Oh my, we should have been listening!

Folks in rural Virginia are clearly not concerned about toilet paper shortages. The public toilet in the town square in Matthews. They have had a very few cases of Covid.