|Sunset in Great Wicomico River|
Saturday, November 7, 2015
An Easy Ride to Reedville, Virginia
posted by Ardys
We pulled anchor at 0700 this morning, motoring south at 7.19 kt (knots) or about 8.27 mph toward the Potomac. When we got into the current coming out of the Potomac, our speed increased to 7.7 without changing the RPM. Gotta like that. Yes, we are motoring. No wind to speak of, but again, a beautiful day on the water. Jax is particularly happy when the boat is level. He’s less happy when we’re heeling so this is just the right kind of “sailing” for him.
Solomon’s Island is across the Rappahannock from a military base called the Naval Air Warfare Center: Aircraft Division. Several fighter jets were flying as we arrived two days ago, and we also heard a Naval Warship broadcasting “All mariners are required to keep a 5 nm distance.” No problem there, but kinda makes me wonder what they were planning on doing out there. I spent some hours today studying and learning how to use the electronic charts on our new Garmin chart plotter as we were underway; something which my husband has already spent hours doing. The chart plotter identifies any vessels that are broadcasting AIS, plus we see all vessels around us on the radar overlay which is very handy.
I’m noticing lots of notations on the charts in this area— “Hazard,” Obstruction”, “Wreck”, “Foul Area” and there are “Restricted Fish Trap Areas and Structures” extending out into the Bay up and down both the Eastern and the western shores of the Chesapeake. I was surprised however, to find one teeny, little, rectangular area near the navy base marked “Fish Haven.” Really? Has anyone told the fish? The area surrounding the naval base is marked “Prohibited Area” of course, no surprise there. But some of the areas demarcated I was surprised to see. There's a "Danger Zone” which extends from the Naval Base on the Western shore and aims in an ever widening swath across to the Eastern shore, terminating at a little island called Barren Island. To me, it looks for all the world like a trajectory. Hmmmmm. But the best of all the notations that I was surprised to see were: “DANGER UNEXPLODED BOMBS AND SHELLS” (presumably they want to keep them that way), “BOMBING AREA” (no one told me we were bombing the Chesapeake) and the one I found the most curious was “LOWER DANGER ZONE.” Lower than what? Do they mean, "No unexploded bombs here--as far as we KNOW!" Is that supposed to put us at ease? Is it like a challenge--"you can go through here if you WANT to, but I wouldn't do it."
Other than these multiple, mostly unseen things to maneuver around, our trip to Reedville Virginia was uneventful. We read on Active Captain* that there was a floating dinghy dock at the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum (I’m seeing a theme here for small towns on the Chesapeake Bay) and one at a restaurant on the water’s edge. Neither was open and the dock at the museum was actually not floating. It appeared to be stuck in the mud at the shoreline presumably due to the low tide. We managed to climb up onto a dock belonging to the museum—it was not pretty. There were no ladders. It was no problem for Jax, however.
*Active Captain is a crowd sourced app that marries up with the Garmin Blue Charts which is loaded on our chart plotter. Sailors can add their own information onto the Active Captain site, which is a great way to learn about an anchorage and local information, such as fuel docks, laundry, shower facilities, dinghy docks, dog friendly places, etc. Some anchorages have none of those things, but they may be desirable for their protection during heavy weather. Now that we’re moving, we may add our information to Active Captain as well.