|S/V Northern Star in her slip at Bluewater Yachting Center|
We arrived at the Bluewater Yachting Center in Hampton, Virginia last week. Not knowing any better, when we were asked at the fuel dock if we had a preference for a slip, we just pointed and said, “Right over there is fine.” “Right over there” placed us at the far end of the outermost dock of Bluewater.
|Our meeting place at the marina|
|A full marina now|
|Salty Dawg hats|
There are sailboaters putting up new sails, divers cleaning barnacles off the hulls of boats (including ours) and riggers going up the masts to check for any weaknesses in the hard rigging.
|Our anchor disassembled for passage|
There are people scrubbing their decks, rebedding chain plates, examining the integrity of their lines, replacing worn cotter pins, and spraying teflon onto the slugs and travelers to ensure that sails are easily raised and lowered.
|One of the foreign boats; this one is from Sweden.|
Dinghies are being deflated and hauled up onto the foredecks by use of a halyard. They are then securely lashed down to prevent being dislodged if hit by a big wave. Every boat is provisioning in one way or another.
|Lots of lists. This one - Meats in the freezer.|
While most people are filling up their freezer and refrigerator with various cuts of meat, pre-cooked (as I have done) others are buying ready-made frozen dinners to feed a crew of 6, for ~$36/dinner. Shuttles are running three times/day from the marina to West Marine and grocery stores to help us with provisioning.
|This younger couple is traveling with their 3 pre-schoolers.|
People who have oxygen tanks for deep-sea diving have sent them to be filled in Norfolk. On Tuesday, our propane tanks will be filled and returned the same day. It is propane that fuels our cooking stove, our Dickenson wall heater and our barbecue mounted on the back of our boat.
|Milling about in between seminars.|
The Rally has even arranged for a veterinarian to be onsite to examine and verify the health of each of the 15 cats and dogs that will be sailing to Antigua. Yesterday, a representative from Garmin came to our boat and updated all our Garmin software on the chart plotter and radar.
|She and husband have sailed this Rally many times.|
|A beautiful boat that will be sailing with us.|
I was reminded today of an old trick to play on the boat’s Captain; the long and short of the trick is that after the Captain has ensured that every inch of his boat is tight and shipshape, one of the crew tosses a random cotter pin or bolt onto the clean deck. How hard will the Captain work to track down the origin of that cotter pin? Of course, the trick works just as well, when the random piece of hardware is tossed onto your neighbor’s boat.
|Salty Dawg flag, Seven Seas Cruising & Ocean Cruising Club|
|We filled a 10 gal. Ziplock bag with "snacks" for the passage.|
We are expecting another couple of boxes of supplies ordered through Amazon Prime before our departure. One more load of laundry will be done before we leave the U.S. The crew will move aboard on Tuesday or Wednesday in anticipation of departure November 2nd, if the current weather forecast holds true. Some final details will be shared with you just before we set sail. Stay tuned.