10 minutes to seven, evening of October 23. I am in bed warming the sheets while the Budget Committee, my overtaxed wife Connie, completes her evening ablutions.
Evening temperature here in Deltaville, VA, is sufficiently low that if we do not sleep together and closely we might both join Robert Scott, he of the Antarctic, in his icy tomb. No small measure of our level of exhaustion that I can barely keep my eyes open to see if she will make it to the V Berth and thus we both survive to strive another day.
An hour earlier we ran the gauntlet into Deltaville, a twisty macabre entry to a rustic little place, rife with illogical turns and the promise of "1 foot depths" if Meredith strayed even a millimetre off the narrow charted entrance. (Sorry for the shift in measurement units.)
Successfully entering the harbour we took the first right and tried to find a spot to anchor amongst a fleet of similarly challenged weary travellers who arrived before us today.
Thankfully the Budget Committee is a genius at finding holes amongst the masses. She can place Meredith in an overnight anchorage where I see nothing but a field of masts. My job is to stare down the disapproving stares of anal neighbours who figured they had strategically placed their boat in such a way as to preclude the incovenience of neighbours. On Meredith the tactic most used is a pleasant smile and a wave. Rarely returned. Like I care.
Old and good friends on Douce Folie V entered the anchorage. We take a moment to wave a weary "glad you made it". Ben, on the bow wearing his buggerlug earflap hat, lumberjack shirt and an old vest lifts his head as we pass and grumbles "Hell of a Day, that one". My ears to me complain that I do not have such a nice hat. I could have really used that today. Andre his wife, usually the energizer bunny, just stares, her eyes glaced and her face fixed. Her batteries had only sufficient energy to complete the task at hand. She had only attention for one job.
With anchor set Connie fixed dinner while I set up the enclosure. Realizing I had not put the cover on the main I turned to ask Connie if she would had it up to me. Catching a glance of her face at work in the galley I went down the companionway stairs to get it myself. She looked like I felt.
Today in concert with 40 other boats we ran down the Chesapeake today out of Solomons Island bent for Norfolk and warmer weather. Temperatures were in the 30's when we left early morning. Most sailboats have no heat.
Discounting hypothermia the 15 to 20 kn winds and 4 foot waves were trying enough although mercifully both were off the stern quarter. We were a sorry flotilla all expats who left home seeking the Caribbean and WARMTH.
Radio chatter was a window into the souls of the boaters: Virtually every boat set their destination as Mill Creek, a near at hand well protected anchorage in the Great Wicomico River. Storms are forecast for Friday/Saturday.
However each conversation offered the promise that if speed kept up then the conversants would shoot for Deltaville. We must make southing. Everyone was sick of the cold and the wind and the waves which have plagued us since Sunday.
Meredith was a bit more optimistic. We intended to go to Deltaville but set Mill Creek as our safety destination if conditions proved untenable. We sail a Cabo Rico and while we are often passed by smaller boats we find we always arrive in better condition having enjoyed a smoother less trying day than the speedsters. It suits us.
By the turn to Mill Creek conditions had smoothed and Meredith along with about 30 other boats all kept on going.
So here we find ourselves: each warming the other and each taking taking heat and comfort from the other. This bed is so comfortable and Connie is sooo warm and. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz