Last year I was making plans with Rick from Middle Bay Sailing to meet up in Deltaville when he attends the Watkins Owners get together, but last year I still had not gotten the water pump fixed.
By happy coincidence our neighbor had just bought a used Bristol and had moved into Stingray Point over Memorial Day and I was dying to check it out.
Jean and the kids had plans and I was thinking about doing the trip single handed, when Edward called to let me know that his plans had changed and his wife and kids had gone down to Norfolk to stay with family, so he was available.
Seemed like a weekend cruise was on the cards.
Deltaville is about 17 miles down the Rappahannock from Urbanna on the mouth of the bay, and is the biggest boating hub in the area. Personally I am not keen on the place due to the lack of a town but the people are nice and the services are good, except for a surprising lack of really good restaurants, but it is a great destination to meet and sail from. All the Marinas seem to well run with friendly staff but I got a slip at Doziers as that was the location of the Watkins meet up.
After a Friday night aboard we set off around 930am to catch the tide down river. The forecast was for 5-10mph from the North which would give us a nice Broad Reach all day. The wind however was pretty nonexistent, and we drifted along quietly.
Mid afternoon I was able to get Rick on the VHF. This was the first time that i had used the new Simrad VHF in anger. I went with the Simrad RS35 as it had AIS, was NMEA2k, and had this remote handset available which meant that I could use the VHF from the helm without running a speaker and cable etc. The AIS hook up was easy once I had the backbone in place.
Finally I got a visual on Cay of Sea as we were all running back to Deltaville with some big black storms following. After we tied up and inspected the boats we inflated the dinghy for a tour. Rick and Ruth were off to dinner with friends so we went looking for my neighbors Bristol 41.
These Watkins owners are a hardy bunch, they came from all over the bay for their get together in pretty rough conditions, 4-5′ swells are no joke on the Bay and they must have gotten beaten up pretty badly.
Karen and Daniel’s Bristol is a gorgeous vessel. They have the aft cockpit version, full of varnished teak and mahogany.
I can’t wait to do some cruising with them this summer.
After a nice Thai meal in Kilmarnock in the evening we hit the sack.
The following day we had to head back to Urbanna, the forecast was for SE 15-20, right up the river. Leaving Deltaville always seems to be tricky for me. The narrow channel has shifted some and I seem to touch bottom each time I leave at low water. This was made worse by the 3-4′ swells coming off the bay, and the almost complete lack of wind. the only way to stop the rolling was to motor for a while. As we approached the bridge the wind started to build and soon we were running down wind at 5 knots with a 2′ swell.
This was the first time that I had used my life Jacket/ Harness in a while. the deck was so roll it just made sense, I should use it more often…
Overall it was a great weekend trip, and we were back in Richmond by 5!