May 5-6, 2015 – Norfolk to Deltaville, VA to Solomons Island, MD.

Tuesday morning we left the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club headed for the Chesapeake Bay.  Our first stop would be Deltaville, Virginia, some 56 nm to the north.  By 7:30am, we were away from the dock and heading up the Lafayette River and out the Elizabeth River.  As we were exiting the Lafayette River, a dolphin swam under the boat.  I don’t think I had ever seen a dolphin in these waters all the years I lived in Norfolk.  It was quite a surprise.

Unlike yesterday, this time there was no excitement as we passed the Naval Base.  We were chased up the river by a large cargo ship, but we were going just fast enough to stay ahead of him.

By 9am, we were passed Thimble Shoal Lighthouse and into the Chesapeake Bay.  The winds were 10-15kts and the seas a little choppy with 2ft waves, but we were comfortable in Curiosity.  Katherine and I took turns driving.

At one point we were passed by a small Navy gunship that raced north and a few minutes later returned with two other boats.  They were totally uninterested in us but did manage to rock a few fisherman pretty badly; we could hear them complaining over the radio.

By 1pm, we were tied up at Dozier’s Yachting Center in Deltaville.  Dozier’s is a very nice marina but there is virtually nothing of a real town in Deltaville.

Dozier's

Dozier’s

We borrowed the marina’s car and decided to visit the Deltaville Maritime Museum.  The museum building had burned down a number of years ago, but has been rebuilt.  The current museum focuses on boat builders: their boats, tools, techniques and lives.  The museum is quite small and the quantity of exhibits was fairly limited.  However, at their dock, they had the F.D. Crockett, a historic 1924 log-bottom buyboat, a replica of John Smith’s Shallop, and an oysterman’s deadrise boat.  No one was at the docks but the person at the museum said we could just hop on the boats and explore.  So Katherine and I did.  It was quite interesting.  The museum ground also had a wooded park with a sculpture garden, with bronze statues of geese and cranes and other wildlife.

I then gave Katherine the exciting five minute car tour of Deltaville and then it was back to the boat for dinner, a short walk and relaxation.

Early Wednesday morning we pulled out of Dozier’s, headed back into the Chesapeake.  It was 7:18am and dead low tide.  Really low – only 6.2 ft at the docks.  The channel into Deltaville from the north side is quite narrow but deep in the center.  We were heading out but I must have gotten too close to the reds, because suddenly we were aground.  Fortunately after about five minutes of fiddling, I was able to ease us back into the channel and we were soon on our way.  I am getting to be a real expert at running aground.

The rest of the trip was dodging several lines of crab pots (some in 50ft of water) and avoiding the commercial traffic, which was present but infrequent.

Large Gravel Barge in the Chesapeake

Large Gravel Barge in the Chesapeake

By 2pm, we were tied up at Zahniser’s Yachting Center on Solomons Island.  We checked in and Katherine took off for a 2-3 mile run.  After her run and a quick shower, Katherine and I went for a walk down Solomons Island Road and then onto the Boardwalk.  It was a beautiful day for a walk.

Katherine on the Boardwalk

Katherine on the Boardwalk

On the Boardwalk

On the Boardwalk

For dinner, Katherine and I went to the CD Café, where she had a Fried Catfish Southwestern Salad and I had a shrimp sauté.  Both dishes were quite good.  For dessert, we had a Chocolate Key Lime Semi Freddo, which was excellent.

Tomorrow is the last leg of our trip.  We will be heading toward Annapolis and our home base at the Annapolis Yacht Basin.

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