Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The waves crashing over the hood, we press'd on through the gale. In my imagination, anyway

Still preparing for the crossing of the Chesapeake...

So the road trip to Kiptopeke went very well. There was a very fresh gale blowing on the bay that really whipped up a good chop. It is quite amazing how visible the shoals are in weather like that - because of the shallow depth the chop picks up into a regular broil over them. We observed 6 to 10 foot seas much of the way, and to some degree wished we were out there. And then we got out of the car at an overlook. The temperature in the 30s, the winds were positively stinging. Brought back some memories of being off Norway.

We arrived in Kiptopeke without much trouble, and found a gorgeous park where a great deal is going on. There's construction going on throughout, and many of the buildings look like they received a face lift recently. Getting down to the water, we found the facilities much better than we expected. The boat ramps are gorgeous and the beaches North and South of them arc in gorgeous curves of broad sandy grades, perfect for landing. Stands of pines just beyond the beach could provide adequate shelter for our tents if the weather picks up. And - as the crew will no doubt appreciate - there are heads, showers and a snack stand near our landing. The concrete ships are much closer to the shore than they seem in the pictures, and are much more interesting. But then again that might have been the huge waves breaking over and between them too. They do their job well - making quite a lee.

The two rangers we met with, the park manager and assistant manager, were very friendly and excited about the venture. We'll be working closely as things progress, and I'm sure I'll be writing more about them soon.

After our meeting we returned to the south side and scoped out our departure site at Lynnhaven Inlet, and there we may have some changes. There isn't enough parking and the weekend of our transit there is a major fishing tournament that will undoubtedly make the launch area congested. So standby for word on that. Right now we're considering First Landing State Park as a suitable alternative.

In other news, we received some feedback from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. We'll be meeting soon to discuss our partnership for the event, but they are very excited. Their annual "Clean the Bay Day" has been a great event for Navy personnel and Ches Bay area residents for years - I've been going for the last three. And the opportunity to help them out with our programming is a great prospect. Again, more on that as things develop.

So, a very good day - some great planning and lots of new connections. And now that my report is done, I've got to get back to seaming the Monomoy's sail - working on the last full panel seam now.


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