Making a Boat a Home

Ok, I know it has been awhile since I wrote. The trip from Florida was grueling and with each day, we became more focused on getting their and learning. We were just plain tired. But, we learned lots and feel ready to tackle our boat… mostly.

Although lots to focus on, A bit of how we felt, but learned so much.
Lots of flags along the way. We saw lots of Trump flags non boat and land in Florida and the Carolina’s and only a few Biden flags. I do wonder if the Biden folks don’t feel the same need to speak up.
I didn’t know there were giraffes in South Carolina.
Interesting art work at folks homes. Next door to the giraffe.
Oh, we did boat through (and anchor for the night) in Camp Lejune. Can’t leave the boat for many reasons.

The last couple days we had worse weather (although I think we had some rain (or LOTS of rain some days) every day of the transit north) with more wind and waves. We had several open bodies of water to cross (Albemarle sound and the Chesapeake) and the wave action was pretty wild, at least for us. The final day, we had the wildest waves with currents from one direction, tides, beam seas and 25 knot head winds all coming from different directions. They call this a “confused sea.” . At least we have some sense for what the boat can do.

We were all happy that no one got sick! The folks we bought Rincon Feliz from live on the Chesapeake and said the lower bay and the Albermarle Sound are known for some wild weather and we got so see them at their worst. Lucky us!

Is was rather uncomfortable so we diverted into the York River as opposed to continuing on to the Severn where we had planned to go. And thus, we found our first home, the York River Yacht Haven in Gloucester Point, VA on June 17th. Much nicer than where we were going to go.

The marina has it’s own dock Blue Heron. He walks the docks at night and perches on the pilings and squawks at who knows what. We also have barn swallows nesting in the bow pulpit of the boat next door. So, lots of birds to watch.

Bernie left the next morning. We had to stay put until Bernie wrote his report saying what good students we were and how much we had learned in boating school. This went to our insurance provider and with that, a week later they cleared us to operate our boat. As we’d moved from a much smaller boat to a much bigger boat, many insurance companies don’t want to take the risk. This company, with training will do so. Thus, on Tuesday we were cleared to operate our own boat without a Captain on board! Yeah!!!

A view of the marina at our temporary home in Gloucester Point.

So, for the past week, we’ve doing house and boat projects. Getting our boat router, internet and music working. Doing lots of organizing. Think of buying a house fully equipped. Now, you just have to go through everything and make sure it is where you want it. Boats have lots of hidden cubbies, and thus, we kept finding things. But, you also have lots of “boat systems”; an engine, generator, stabilizers, electrical systems, poop systems, ac’s, navigational electronics, etc. Each has a maintenance schedule. We have to figure these out, find parts and do the maintenance. Lots of projects and learning there. Not hard to keep busy waiting for our clearance.

Sorting some things in the ceiling of the pilot house. So much we don’t know. What is connected to what. This is the easy part up here. I’ll include a pic of under the console in the pilot house. The real rats nest.

So, with our freedom (and figuring out how to get a second navigational system functional), we’ve taken off on a long weekend, across the Chesapeake to Cape Charles. Only a 4 1/2 hour trip and the weather was the polar opposite of a week ago.

A pretty little town. Originally a railroad town, moving materials up and down the eastern shore and into Virginia. Lots of boats and activity and become more resort focused now that the rails are gone.

Finally, getting to use the boat in a more relaxed way!

A room with a view. The price is quite expensive, but worth it.

A quick update on boating in the age of covid. Being on the boat is very safe. Just us and no little covids can get to us. So, a good place to be. One can carry lots of food, water (can we can make it if needed) and fuel (1000 gallons; we’ve yet to buy fuel since leaving FL) and good poop storage (100 gallons goes a long way). So, one feels pretty protected.

Ha! Folks in Cape Charles are better at social distancing and mask wearing. And, the beaches wee not packed despite the lovely weather today.

Once we got to Virginia, few people wear masks. In the grocery stores yes, but elsewhere, we felt pretty alien. It’s funny that all the stores and restaurant are open (they do social distance somewhat and have the marks and signs for distancing), but you don’t often get the feeling of doing the “covid dance” with someone you encounter to determine the best distancing practices. So, we do the best we can and feel pretty safe in general. The hard part is, even though “everything” is open, most museums and the historic parks (we are in the heart of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown) are still closed, or mostly so. Puts a damper on the historic travel part. Dang. It will get seen!

We’ll be in Virginia for about another week, then take our boat up to Deltaville, VA for some work. We’ll then head home to New Mexico for a month or so while the work is done, planning to come back to the boat sometime in August.

Bernie kept talking about unicorns and rainbows to make the world all good. I’ve found the unicorn in Cape Charles. There must be a rainbow close at hand.