Cape Charles

Tall Ships. Fellow Sailors. Beer. Food.

There’s nothing quite so good.

Defeating the Arch-Enemy. Even better.

Video: Red Ranger in the Chesapeake.

It’s about 25 miles from Deltaville to Cape Charles. With a fair wind, it can be done in 4-5 hours.

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With a contrary wind, it can also be done in 4-5 hours, it just involves a lot more diesel fuel. 

The trip down had some favorable wind. Briefly. The trip back would have taken over 12 hours beating into to the 6 kt breezes from dead ahead.

(Our 60° tack angle means we sail twice as far when beating to weather: 50 miles at 4 knots.)

CA’s posing in front of the famous Picton Castle.

The town Cape Charles is impossibly cute. It’s a day sail from Norfolk. And a day sail from Deltaville. It’s a great resort town with some good restaurants, some shopping, some beach. 

We’ve been to Cape Charles twice now. 

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We’ve noticed something about the trip.

The Bay is getting smaller.

The same thing happened to 1065 miles of the ICW between Norfolk and Key West. 

After we'd seen it once, the second time around, it made more “sense.”  It begins to form an overall pattern. We suspect that the third and fourth times will get even smaller.

The marks are more familiar. The shape of the land — the shape of the trip overall — isn’t a stressful series of waypoints and timelines. It becomes “oh yeah, that mark,” and “oh look, Stingray Point already.”

The Arch-Enemy

CA’s Arch-Enemy are balloons. Mylar balloons, like all cast-off plastic, are an environmental disaster. See Balloons Blow and The Effect of Balloons on the Environment.

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Coming in to Cape Charles on Friday, we caught sight of what could only be the highly reflective surface of a mylar balloon out in the 3ʹ deep mud-flats that guard Cape Charles harbor. We couldn’t get close to it; CA was fuming that a balloon was loose in the wild.

Returning from Cape Charles on Sunday, I caught sight of a similar (perhaps the same) balloon out in the Bay.

I suggested we do  our COB (Crew Over Board) exercise.

CA suggested that we harpoon the thing: she’d be Queequeg, I’d be Starbuck and the mylar balloon was Moby Dick: she’d harpoon the thing and we’d bring it aboard to prevent any further environmental damage.

CA hooked it on the first try.

No Nantucket Sleigh Ride.

[Yes, stabbing a whale is gruesome. Stabbing a balloon is a benefit to everyone. I’m well aware that there are only vague similarities between harpooning a balloon and  the horrors of whaling.]

For a proper COB, we’d need to carefully walk it aft to bring it up the ladder. Or hook it with block and tackle from the mizzen boom to haul it up to the deck. In principle, an unconscious victim may require the dinghy with one tube deflated. More information on COB at Sailor’s Choice and RYA.

For hauling in the Arch-Enemy, she just flipped it up onto the deck, and then stamped on it to keep it from blowing overboard. Secure the boat hook and we’re back underway. 

One less mylar balloon to pollute the Bay.

A good way to close off a great weekend.

  © Steven Lott 2017