Thunder Storms and Virginia Heat

In the words of the wise Taylor Swift, “I don’t necessarily know about you, but I am currently feeling twenty two due to my date of birth.”

I celebrated my birthday today by putting some new clamps on the stuffing box in the engine compartment, while also soaking in the Virginia sun. Sometimes I will turn to Matt and say, “Matt… we are in Virginia. We sailed here… this is crazy.”

It really is crazy. Here is a bit of a recap from the past few days. We stayed in Lewes, Delaware for a couple days in order to avoid severe weather. Finally, the winds changed as did the weather patterns beside some isolated thunderstorms expected. After some much needed sleep and maintenance, we set out of Lewes and adjusted our sails for Virginia beach and the Chesapeake Bay.

Ten miles into our voyage I looked up from the radio and explained every time I listened to the NOAA forecast, something bad was announced weather wise. I laughed and switched on the radio.

“Severe thunder storms off the coast of Delaware. Seek shelter immediately.”

Here we go again. We lashed down what we could as we expected winds of thirty three knots. The storm was traveling fast, and I knew it would catch up with us within the hour. I will just say being in a lightning storm in a sailboat is not fun and no joke. The closest lightning struck about a mile away, and the flash appeared like a spider’s web across our bow. I hope to never repeat that experience.

The sun appeared, however, and the weather as well as our luck changed completely.

We powered up the motor and made excellent time, traveling over a hundred and fifty miles straight.

The sunrise was amazing and we were overjoyed to have our first chance of sailing with the sun no longer hidden by the clouds. After over two weeks of battling cold spells, I don’t think I had ever been more ecstatic to rip off my coat and feel a warm breeze. The look on my face pictured below is one often compared to pure joy. Life is good. Rain or sunshine life is good, but life is MUCH better with a warm breeze. It is a scientific fact.


When we reached Virgina, we found an amazing marina at Hampton Public Piers. Before we had reached the Chesapeake Bay, I was leaning back over the rail of the boat when I heard something slide out of my pocket. It was my phone of course. My phone plunged into the dark depths of the ocean.

If this trip was the Fellowship of the Ring, this would have been the moment Gandalf was pulled into the abyss by the Balrog in Helm’s Deep as he whispered, “Fly, you fools!” I know it may be weird to compare my Iphone 4s to Gandalf, but my reaction was extremely similar to that of Frodo’s when Gandalf was lost. Needless to say, I have no phone now, and I am working on getting  a replacement thanks to my awesome friend and brother Aaron Sandford!

We have docked the boat and I am taking a four day leave to gather supplies AND more importantly to be a groomsman in my cousin’s wedding! If you read this Doug and Ela, you should know it takes a lot to pull me off the ocean, and I am absolutely honored and stoked to be in your wedding!! I would swim back if I had to.

But now I am talking about people I love and not the boat tasks at hand. Today we worked on the pulley system for the halyards and spent some time at a beautiful restaurant called Marker 20. After having many GPS dreams and nightmares, I enjoyed dining with a more relaxed GPS and Navigation theme.

IMG_20150608_205432166Right on red returning. It will save your boat especially in a night sail. The weather is warm, and despite some setbacks with the galley stove and some food poisoning, things are clearing up and looking more and more promising. If you haven’t checked it out yet, check out the film I posted in my last entry. Whether people donate or not, I really want people vested in this journey and sincerely a part of what we are doing. BUT, if you do want some sort of trinket or postcard or t shirt from the Bahamas check out our funding page!! The rewards will get mailed overseas to your doorstep!

That is all for now, but I look forward to continuing this journey and pushing onward towards the dreams that I have clung to with tooth and nail. Sail free or die hard! Check out some of Bobby’s fantastic photos below! Getting a new phone tomorrow!

IMG_20150606_111939038 IMG_20150606_120553946 IMG_20150607_054359716_HDR


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