Chesapeake Bay Sailing: Deltaville, VA to Onancock, VA

Dulcinea at anchor in Onancock, VA. 
5 loud honks. The international signal of imminent danger. We'd anchored in Onancock, VA on the DelMaVa peninsular. It seemed like we were well out of the channel 5 minutes ago, but now the barge is approaching us on a dead on collision course. The anchorage is thrown into disarray as the alcohol soaked 5 powerboat raft up behind us frantically disassembles with equal amounts of giggles and swearing. 

We're totally safe out of the channel (right?) but decide to fire up the motor just in case. First crank. Nothing. Old engines, they're the best! Second crank. Nothing. Third times the charm? Nothing. Sad faces. Fourth crank. It's not funny anymore. "You know, I turned off the engine last". Ah! Lucy's engine off procedure involves turning off the fuel and leaving it off. Matt likes to turn off the fuel and then turn it back on. Problem solved. Engine starts.

By this time, the raftees are driving around us (now just giggling), assuring us we don't need to move. But the fire drill has started, so we're in it to win it and pull one more boat length forward. Now it's time for the anchor down / survival beer. (Haha-the pretty bar on the water with outside seating? refuses our adorable 14 yr old dog. We didn't want their overpriced beer anyway). 
Barge Crisis Aftermath. 
Chesapeake Bay Shake Down Cruise Day 1:

What worked: 
  • the stack pack! all zipped up in just a moment. 
  • the original sails! We sustained 7 knots of speed with a reefed main in 12 knots of wind on a beam reach.
  • the autopilot! We thought it was broken, but just had to be reconnected.
  • the toilet! Some Negative Nancy told us we couldn't use a composting toilet when heeled? Weirdos! 
  • actually stowing belongings before heeling over!
  • the dinghy: it took us about 8 minutes to inflate and launch the dinghy. It's fine.
  • Dulcinea, overall: fantastic sail boat. We love her. 

What we learned: 
  • Docking at a fuel dock can cause sudden windiness to appear from nowhere.
  • Fuel comes out of the overflow vent before the tank appears to be full.
  • Don't let the dog stand under the fuel overflow vent while fueling.
  • Undocking a full keel boat with full power forces boat to cooperate but terrifies the crew. 
  • Always reef early when a small craft advisory is called. This will ensure the wind speed drops to 8 knots and will give you a lovely day on the water.
  • Sunblock is good.
  • Seriously, stay out of the channel in Onancock.   

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  1. LOL - the power boat people (who were in the channel) warned us as we came in - and it is totally mentioned in the Waterway Guide. There's really no excuse!


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