Abeam the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Abeam the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

0230 EST. Four cookies and 23 miles to go – we’re about to have a cookie orgy! We really need the calories as it is 53 degrees F on deck. This is a good night for standing watch in the pilot house. Wind has gone light and directly on the nose – seas are calm.

The radar is alight with ship and fishing boat traffic, coming and going from the Chesapeake Bay. The VHF is going with comments between ships and pilots. And there are dozens of lights on the near horizon and on the radar.

While we’ve always picked our way through this morass before with paper charts – this time we have the MaxSea charting system running on our laptop. MaxSea makes things a lot easier! We’ve just finished furling the main – dropping is is more accurate – the days of actual furling sails are probably in our past (as are paper charts and a sextant except for back up). Uncoil and flake the halyard, and drop the sail between the lazy jacks. At night, when it is cold, and one wants to spend a minimum amount of time exposed to the elements, full battens and lazy jacks are the ticket.

0535 EST – Abeam the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Working our way through the many buoys and shipping which mark the entrance to the Bay. Listening to the pilots, tugs, and shipping agents working on VHF channels 10, 11, 13, 14. Interesting commentary and it keeps us abreast of activities in our area. Few miles to go until we’re anchored off Hampton Roads – for a nap and clean up before we go to customs.

We’ve been at sea 67 hours and have 712 miles on the log (which means we lost something in the range of 72 miles to current and/or chasing back and forth for the appropriate wind angles). Considering the weather the last few weeks, it has been an easy trip on Beowulf and her crew.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 14, 2001)

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