Day 40, Year 1: Finally . . . We made it to Hampton, Virginia
Date: Saturday, November 26, 2005
Weather: Freezing and Overcast Early, Warming in the Afternoon
0700 Weather Report: 32 degrees F, winds 3 to 5 knots, SE, blue skies and sunny
1700 Weather Report: 50 degrees F, winds 5 to 10, E, blue skies and sunny
Water Temperature: 53.7 degrees F (leaving Deltaville)
Location: Hampton, Virginia

It was another chilly morning with more frost on the deck than yesterday even though the temperature was three degrees warmer-if thirty-two degrees can be considered warm. But once again, the cockpit enclosure served as a sunroom and we were shedding coats and sweaters by 9:00. Yesterday at that time, we were adding layers to keep warm. A few degrees and less wind sure do make a difference. We enjoyed the motor sail to Hampton watching the sea gulls dive bomb into the water and emerge with breakfast. As we got closer to the Norfolk area, the water and air were filled with pelicans. They are such prehistoric looking birds, not pretty, but interesting to watch. The approach to Norfolk and Hampton is also marked by the presence of many military ships. We have been here by boat a few other times. Things looked the same today, but we felt very different. We had planned to be here by October 28, and just the fact that we actually made it helped us to feel that we have made a big step forward. It was certainly a welcome sight.

The rest of the day, as well as yesterday, were spent in preparation for departure tomorrow. My mother is no longer living, but Ollie Martin would have been proud of me. It always drove my father crazy that mom could never leave on vacation without cleaning the house from top to bottom. Well, that is what I embarked on as soon as we reach the dock at Bluewater Marina. Yesterday I had defrosted the freezer and gotten the inside of the boat ready for departure. Today, I hooked up the hose and cleaned the outside of the boat. I gathered every last bit of dirty laundry and organized the bags of notebooks we have with us filled with medical information, financial statements, boat information, and on and on. While I was doing the laundry, Mark was successful in getting a Wi-Fi connection and he gathered as much weather information as time allowed. He spent much of the day on the radio learning how to check into the various networks where fellow sailors share weather information. The intense boat work of the past month left no time to learn this new skill, so he put himself through a crash course today and we will just have to learn as we go.

We are both filled with conflicting emotions as departure time grows nearer. We feel the boat is ready, and we are ready for the challenges and adventure that loom before us. We are truly looking forward to exploring places we have never been. But facing our first long distance crossing alone is a bit daunting, and saying the last farewells to close friends and family has been particularly difficult. We love you guys and promise to be careful. We look forward to hearing from you as we travel on and count on your tremendous emotional support. I will continue to share with you our daily adventures and feelings as the trip evolves through these travel logs. Right now, we know it is time head out of the Chesapeake and on to the Caribbean. Next stop–St. Martin in the Leeward Islands.

051126 Day 40 Boston to Norfolk, USA–Bluewater Marina in Hampton, Virginia