I got going in the morning and started motoring south, I'd checked in with Chris Parker and also with Dave Skolnik and if I could depart the mouth of the Chesapeake and head along the North Carolina coast until turning across the Gulf Stream at Cape Hatteras (see the chart plot below) it looked good for a weather window to the Caribbean. As I motored down the Chesapeake I didn't see much, if any, traffic and with the autopilot doing the work I got the boat ready for sea. I put all my papers and money and some emergency rations plus water into a 25l waterproof "grab bag" and stowed the lines and fenders. Since I've been motoring I've used more fuel than expected but still had sufficient for the crossing, although it feels wrong to leave land on an ocean voyage without topping off on fuel and water. But there were no marinas for me to stop at on the way and any additional delays would see me lose my weather window.
My galley is electric and power is supplied either via the generator or via the big Victron Quattro inverter. The wiring is such that the generator supplies 230VAC to the Victron, which then passes it on or inverts it when the supply voltage isn't present. That means that if the Victron breaks there is no power, despite the generator producing it. And unfortunately that is exactly what was happening. The Victron would sporadically shut off and refuse to either invert or pass voltage through. If the "switching" of generator current had been working I wouldn't have been worried, but as it was there was a good chance that I'd be eating my cold food and perhaps my MREs which I have as emergency rations on the passage and that wouldn't be any fun at all. The electrical issue coupled with my fuel burn and the worsening weather picture (the cold front had sped up and was producing stronger wind and waves than expected on my route) prompted me to change my mind and anchor off Cobb's Marina in Norfolk for the night. I arrived in the dark and anchored close to shore. I'd been told that with a wind from the south it was a comfortable anchorage despite being a roadstead (open) anchorage; that was true until about 02:00 when the wind and waves shifted and it became a bit rolly and choppy, but still tenable.


Departing the docks at Solomon's Island Leaving the docks in the morning and heading south for the next part of the journey to the Caribbean
[38°19.2501027'0"N 76°27.1656566'0"W ]
Departing the docks at Solomon's Island
Zanshin departing Solomon's Island The docks are behind me and I'm about to enter the wide channel leading to and from Solomon's Island
[38°19.2501027'0"N 76°27.1656566'0"W ]
Zanshin departing Solomon's Island
Just south of Solomon's Island I've just left the entrance/exit channel to Solomon's Island and am in the Chesapeak proper. No traffic in sight.
[38°13.8951277'0"N 76°14.4492476'0"W ]
Just south of Solomon's Island
Motoring in the Chesapeake No traffic in sight on this huge expanse of water as I head towards the mouth of the Potomac and then Norfolk and Hampton in the south.
[38°13.8951277'0"N 76°14.4492476'0"W ]
Motoring in the Chesapeake
Waterproof grab bag The Grab Bag contains passport, papers, money, VHF, water, first-aid-kit, flares and emergency rations and is packed beforehand and ready to grab when leaving the boat in case of an emergency
[38°4.9756263'0"N 76°9.9173873'0"W ]
Waterproof grab bag
Looking north on the Chesapeake Looking back north while motoring south. The Chesapeake is truly a huge expanse of water and it was hard to believe that the day before I had breaking waves against me while today things were dead calm
[37°53.2152839'0"N 76°9.5119938'0"W ]
Looking north on the Chesapeake
Chartplotter details The detail on the chartplotter is impressive and shows me everything I need to know while I'm motoring southbound past the Potomac and towards Norfolk
[37°53.2152839'0"N 76°9.5119938'0"W ]
Chartplotter details
Passage planning Setting up my wapoints for the upcoming passage south
[37°53.2152839'0"N 76°9.5119938'0"W ]
Passage planning
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291 views since 2020-01-06, page last modified on 2020-01-22.