Ingram Bay Marina – near Reedville, VA (Thursday, 10/12)
As planned yesterday, we checked out of the Buzzard Point Marina at 8:00 and made preparations to leave. As we were pulling away from the dock we chatted with “Dee Gee V” and told them we where we were headed and wished them luck on their travels south.
We slowly made our way through the no-wake zone and out of Cockrell Creek, bypassing the town of Reedville and eventually the Omega Protein Fish Processing plant. Here we saw two crew boats working to transfer the fish nets off one boat and on to another, even though the wind was blowing and there was a bit of a chop.
We headed out into the Great Wicomico River inlet where the wind was blowing and there were 1’ waves coming out of the northeast. Fortunately, we only had to go about a mile before turning up the channel towards Towles Creek and then the wind would be behind us. We could see the waves from the Bay crashing on the shallows outside the inlet, and we could not believe we saw a sailboat leave the inlet and head out in such conditions. Some people are just seaworthy enough for any kind of weather!
We turned south and headed through a very narrow breakwater that was only 75’ wide and had waves crashing against both sides. Mark did an awesome job of piloting Island Office through the narrows and into the bay that formed a great shelter from the wind.
We contacted the marina, got our slip assignment and were met by “Billy Jr.” – son of the marina owners – to assist us with the tie up. We were grateful for his assistance and he provided all the information we needed to get securely tied up and settle the boat for the terrible weather.
We had a chance to talk with Billy for a while and were very impressed with this young man. We learned he is currently a student at Texas A&M Maritime Academy where he is studying to be a commercial ship captain. He is home this semester because he worked on a ship for 4 months this summer and it conflicted with the start of fall semester. He will be returning in January as a junior. In the meantime he is assisting his parents with running the marina, and is the first mate on his dad (Billy Sr)’s charter fishing boat. Additionally, he is in the Navy ROTC Reserves and we can attest he is one of America’s finest!
During the morning the sailboat “Dee Gee V” come into the marina. Ed and Donna said they took our lead and decided to come here for the same reason as us. There were no other transients here and all the other boats are either permanent slip holders or seasonal renters. Although just as remote as the marina we both came from, this one has much nicer accommodations and had a working Wi-Fi. It took Mark some tweaking to make it more strong, but it allowed us to get some work done and for Denise to upload pictures and the texts for a blog update. We also had a better cell signal, although still not strong.
The wind howled all day long, but Billy Jr was still out working hard around the property doing chores. In the afternoon he brought the loaner vehicle (a pickup truck) down to the docks so we (and “Dee Gee V”) could use it if we wanted to. Donna & Ed took it for a while and when they came back we took it out to the closest town and that was Kilmarnock.
Our first adventure was for dinner at “Anna’s”, an Italian restaurant that Mark chose because they had garlic knots. Of course they were not as good as Antonella’s in Winter Park – the standard by which all others are judged. The rest of the food was good and affordable and we had leftovers to take back for another meal.
We also discovered a “Dollar Tree” right next to Anna’s where we popped in for some needed paper plates and dish detergent. We then drove through the parking lot to the Walmart Super Center where we bought milk, juice and new light bulbs for the lamp in the main salon that had burned out.
Truth be told, it was great to just get out and get off the boat. By the time we got to Anna’s it was raining and we were feeling a little cooped up from being sequestered in the boat for two straight days. We drove back to the marina, stowed our items and looked at the weather to determine when we might be able to leave. For sure it would not be tomorrow, but possibly Saturday or Sunday.
For our evening entertainment we were able to stream “Hidden Figures”, a terrific movie about African American women in the early space program. We had seen it before but enjoyed watching again as the acting was terrific and it is a good story.
Ingram Bay Marina – near Reedville, VA (Friday, 10/13)
We slept well last night despite the howling wind and sporadic rain. Although it was not cool, we still put the blankets back on the bed, but did not run the heat nor the AC for a change. Denise wanted to go for a run, but the wind was still a bit blustery and any minute it looked like it would start to rain again. Needless to say she did not go, but instead enjoyed several cups of coffee.
Early on we examined the weather and realized we were not going to leave anywhere today. While the wind had died down a bit, it still was blowing enough to keep us in the marina for at least one more day.
Denise hunkered down with boat chores (window washing) and getting all the writings ready to post to the blog (now that we had a somewhat reliable internet connection). Meanwhile, Mark spent the morning first on a conference call with a client and then he successfully replaced the generator impeller and got it running again. After lunch he did some adjustments to the davit system for the dinghy so as to minimize the now deflating tube that has been damaged.
During the afternoon two other boats came into the marina. One was a large catamaran sailboat that came in for fuel and to fix and fuel line issue. Once resolved they returned back out on the Bay to head south. They were all experienced off-shore sailors from Canada and had a schedule to keep. The other boat was a 38’ Sabre who came in for the evening. Mark was able to meet the two men aboard “Bluebird” who are and heading south to Norfolk and would most likely leave in the morning. Billy Sr. confirmed to both “Bluebird” and Mark that tomorrow morning between 8 am to 9 am would be the time to leave, and as a local charter fisherman, we felt we should heed his suggestion and planned accordingly.
In the evening we joined Ed and Donna (“Dee Gee V”) aboard their Catalina 38’ sailboat for drinks. We discussed cruising the ICW south as it will be there first time to do so as they have plans to winter in Fort Pierce. We also talked a bit about the aviation industry as Ed worked in it for a while, first as an airplane mechanic, flight instructor and eventually as a pilot. It was fun to finally socialize with another couple as we have missed this aspect of cruising by ourselves and not with a group.
We returned to our boat for a dinner of leftover fajitas and then to get some last minute office work done. We ended the day watching the movie “Unforgiven” and thanking God for our new found friends and many blessings.
Tomorrow we will head south to Poquoson, a 50 mile run that should take no more than 3 hours and bring us close to our nieces. The wind is supposed to be out of the southwest, which should be mostly blocked by the land, and hopefully provide a tolerable ride.
Here are some pictures of the grounds around this terrific family-run and friendly marina: