Our hearts are heavy now. Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria have all created havoc with places we know and with people we love. Sympathy and hopes for quick recovery are sent to those in Texas for all of the flooding and damage caused by Harvey. Galveston, which suffered greatly due to the hurricane, is a special place for us as Jeff, our youngest son, attended and graduated from college there at Texas A&M Maritime Academy, Sarah, his wife, studied medicine at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and they were married there 10 years ago. We can only hope things quickly improve for Galveston Island and for all of the other areas so hurt by that horrible storm. As for Irma and Maria, words just can’t express how we feel seeing our beloved islands in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Turks and Caicos so broken and battered. And then Irma turned on our home state of Florida, making us worry for everyone we know there, for our old neighborhood, and especially for Jason and his family who live in New Port Richey on the west coast and for Kelly and her family that live in Jacksonville. Both kids did fine, but for the state and those that did not, we are speechless, truly speechless.
So, what do you do when you live on a boat and there are unpredictable monster storms in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Gulf of Mexico? Basically you hide out. The Chesapeake Bay is filled with rivers and creeks that make for wonderful hurricane holes, so, as we just haven’t been confident in the turns that weather forecasters have predicted, we wait and see what happens. We are anxious to continue our journey south, but once we leave this bay and head back into the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), we will be back in the low country; that is not a good place to be if another storm decides to roar its vicious voice.
Our first stop in this segment of our journey was in Onancock, VA. We enjoyed our visit there last spring, and this time we had an even better reason to cross to the Eastern Shore once again. Our good friends, Becky and Judd Everhart and Donna and Gary Rosenthal own homes in Chincoteague, VA and they were going to be there for Labor Day Weekend. We have seen Becky and Judd occasionally over the duration of our trip, both in Connecticut and when they came to spend time with us in Grenada last year, but we hadn’t see Donna and Gary for about six years. We all have such a wonderful time when we are together and making the trip across the bay where they could drive down and see us was high on our priority list! On September 2nd, the four friends found us at our dock in the afternoon and we spent a glorious time catching up, laughing, and talking about old times, and finally having dinner at Mallards, the restaurant at the marina. The time passed far too quickly; we look forward to seeing them all again sometime in the future.
On September 4th, we crossed back to the Western Shore and started our travels up rivers and creeks to avoid any chance of meeting up with Irma. We found a safe anchorage in Jackson Creek near Deltaville, VA, then we moved up the Rappahannock River to the Corrotoman River and then to Meyer Creek for a couple of nights. All of these anchorages kept us about 20 miles up the Rappahannock River on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay, far from the Atlantic Ocean, in case Irma decided to skip the south and skirt on up to the Mid-Atlantic.
At the Bridge Marina in Urbanna, VAScenes about town in UrbannaHere, oyster shells abound!The yacht club on the hill.Scenes from a dinghy ride around UrbannaLook who is waiting ashore!
Continuing to stay out of Irma’s reach, we found ourselves at a lovely marina in Urbanna, VA. Urbanna is a quaint little town that is in easy walking distance from the marina. There are restaurants, shops, and a nice grocery store nearby. The grocery store was close, but not close enough to walk from carrying groceries, so I asked Don, the dock master how he would suggest I could get back with some provisions. His answer was kind and generous. He handed me the keys to his personal car and sent me on my way. We stayed in Urbanna two nights before moving to Yopps Cove nearby. Here we began our Jose watch.
A beautiful sunset on the Posquoson River in Fish Neck, VA
While we weren’t too worried about actually being hit hard by Jose, we knew that the water would probably be high and rough on the bay. We also knew that Maria was following close behind, and we wanted to be well prepared for anything that might happen. From our Yopps Cove anchorage we moved to Fishing Bay, again near Deltaville, and then on September 14th, transitted the Mobjack Bay, to the York River.
Duck blinds on the way to Yorktown. They seem other-worldly to me.At the dock on the Riverwalk in Yorktown, VAThere is a lovely beach in Yorktown, and I made sure to spend time there.Along the RiverwalkThis bookstore was like something out of the 1800’sA little library outside of Ben and Jerry’sAt the farmers’ marketAnother scene at the Riverwalk.Along the Historic Main Street in Yorktown. These homes are now privately owned.Yorktown’s Victory Monument which celebrated the surrender of Cornwall’s army at Yorktown.There are 13 women on the monument. They symbolize the 13 original colonies. They are all holding hands except two, who are shoulder to shoulder, signifying that there was room for more colonies in the future.The Alliance and The Serenity on an evening sail.
The nights of the 15th and 16th were spent in Yorktown, VA at the Yorktown River Landing on the Riverwalk. This is a lovely place to visit. There was a wonderful farmers’ market, a trolley that takes visitors around Yorktown to the battlefields and other sights, a free concert in the park on Friday evening, which even Kirby got to attend, and a nice walk through Main Street, Yorktown’s Historic District. We were docked next to two lovely green sailboats, the Alliance and Serenity, which conduct cruises for passengers. Kirby’s greatest joy was hanging over the edge of AfterMath and greeting all the people going by, and mostly they all stopped to give him a pat. If we had more time we would have taken the free transportation to Jamestown and to Williamsburg, but, as we had been those places in the past, we decided to forego the trips and to move to a protected marina across the river to wait out Jose and to figure out what Maria had in store for the east coast of the U.S.
York River Yacht Haven Marina, here in Gloucester Point, VA, is 33 miles away from the Atlantic. The docks are lovely, there is a great restaurant here, and they have a courtesy car that has finally allowed us to get to a groomer for Kirby, who was sadly in need of a haircut. In fact, so sadly in need that he had to be shaved down. So, while we wait for Maria to figure out what she has in store for us, we also are waiting for Kirby’s hair to grow! We have enjoyed our time here, though. The Alliance and Serenity moved here on our dock for a couple of nights while they were also watching Jose’s progress, and the Coast Guard comes to join us almost daily in their training boats and for lunch or dinner. We love talking to the Coasties and they too stop to give Kirby a pat or two. There is a pool here and, while the water is cooler than I normally like, I’ve been in each day for a soak and a relaxing time on land.
We expect to leave York River Yacht Haven soon, but each day seems to still bring some uncertainty with the storms that have been so damaging this year. In the meantime, we send our love to everyone who has been without electricity, who has spent time boarding up their homes, who has had to prepare for storms that may or may not have come their way, and, especially, for those who have lost property and possessions or worse, whether in the states or in any of the beautiful islands so bruised this year. Once again we are reminded that life is for living. Look for the beauty and take it in whenever you can. Hug those next to you. Do what you can to be safe, but don’t be afraid to take a chance. Help others when you are able. Life only passes us by once; please, make the most of it.