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Southbound for winter sunshine

by SV Crystal Blues on 26 Nov
A Chilly Arrival In Hampton Roads SV Crystal Blues
With the thermometer dropping to Zero degrees centigrade in Reedville, Virginia, one evening, we really needed to head south for the sunshine. Local friends spoke of early season snow in New York and they didn't need to remind us that the creek we were in often freezes over in winter - time to move.



So ten days ago we fare-welled our gracious hosts in Reedville, Walter Keith & Mary Frazer, and sailed south down Chesapeake Bay towards the Atlantic Ocean. That was possibly the coldest daytime sail I've ever made, though we did manage to cover 60 nautical miles in the shortened winter daylight, anchoring overnight in Hampton to allow the weather offshore to swing in our favour.

The next afternoon we sailed out of Hampton Roads, around Cape Henry at nightfall and proceeded southward toward Cape Hatteras in 25 knot winds and boisterous seas. A useful counter current helped us along, staying inshore to avoid the Gulf Stream, and by lunch the next day we had rounded the cape and were positively zooming south west towards Beaufort, North Carolina.



So much for our carefully calculated voyage plans - it looked like it would have to be a night time approach into Beaufort.... Sure enough, midnight found us motoring toward the shipping channel while trying to decide on an anchoring point - for such a large port, this place has very few credible anchoring locations. We did find a safe place just west of the entry channel and caught some sleep before motoring into a welcome marina berth at 7:00am the next morning. Beaufort will be our provisioning port as we prepare for the next few months offshore in the Bahamas and Cuba, and we're hoping it will be quite a bit warmer.

This article has been provided courtesy of the SVCrystalBlues.

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