Warm up at Wormley!

Wormley Creek Marina – Friday, 5/21 – Mark’s Birthday!

In the morning Denise went for a walk around the neighborhood surrounding the marina. The main road (Waterview Road) is a rural two-lane road with only a few streets off of it.  One forms a circle for about a half mile and there are houses on both sides. These houses range from older small homes and newer larger homes with nice landscaping. Also bordering this road are private drives that take you to houses on Wormley Creek, or north of the marina, on the south banks of the York River. 

After returning to the boat, having breakfast and getting showers, we arranged for our Enterprise rental car for the weekend.  They came to the marina to pick us up and 15 minutes later we were at their Newport News location getting our wheels.  We had decided to make this our “errand day”.   Having been in this area before, we knew what was available and roughly the location of each. With Google Maps at the ready, we headed out with a list of places to go, and a list of things for each destination.  First was Costco, followed up by Wal-Mart and then a few other stores. We even managed an early lunch at Chick-Fil-A; Mark’s request – after all it was his Birthday!

Lunch spot for MSG Bday

We returned back to the boat with our purchases and proceeded to find places to stow it all. Not surprising to us, it all fit somewhere. We then took care of a few business items in the afternoon, and talked with a couple of locals in the marina. Throughout the day we watched the marina move a fireboat that had been in the yard, into the big shed and begin taping it up. They were readying it for painting.  Naturally, Mark had to walk over to the worker and inquire on what was going on.  He learned they were simply repainting it and it would be back in the water for Memorial Weekend.

Mark talking to paint guy

Later that evening, we got back in the car and drove to Newport News to Schlesinger’s Steakhouse, a local’s favorite and recommended by Denise’s nieces. We had a delicious steak dinner to celebrate Mark’s big birthday.  The food was really great and the atmosphere we very nice. We just wished we could have had more people to celebrate the day with; maybe we can come back here in the fall with Denise’s brother (John) and sister in law (Cathy).

Wormley Creek Marina – Saturday, 5/22

Denise started the day with a run in the area around the marina. This time she started out heading north and running just up the bridge where the power plant has a cooling water basin which dumps into the York River. Along the way she spooked a few deer who took off running, then stopped, gathered a few others, then took off running again.

She turned back around, ran past the marina and further down the main road before turning back to the marina. In total she was able to get in over 5 miles, and saw more deer and rabbits than cars on the road.

Once back on the boat she joined Mark for breakfast and we planned out the day.  Our first stop was to the Yorktown Farmer’s market, right along the waterfront.  Even though we have been to this area, we forgot how many historic places there are here. In addition to the National Park, there are marked battlefields, cemeteries, buildings, the Victory Welcome Center, and the Yorktown Victory monument.

Yorktown Memorial

After walking through the Farmer’s Market, we walked out to the city marina (where we stayed in 2015).  Here we saw two Looper boats, and stopped to talk with them for a short time before walking back to our car.  We also encountered a gentleman on a Caliber Sailboat, which was similar to the one we used to own back in the 1990’s.  We could have stayed and talked longer, but we needed to get going as we had places to go.

We drove from Yorktown to Newport News to a softball game where we were able to see some of our family.  Shannon (Denise’s niece) is coach of her daughter’s (Harper) softball team, and on this day, her firefighter husband (Shawn) was assisting as he had the day off from his hero duties. Their other daughter, Macie was there too.  We got to watch Harper’s game and talk with Shawn’s parents (Robin & LF) who were also at the game.

During that time, we were in communication with Denise’s sister-in-law (Cathy), and made plans to meet up with her for a late lunch in downtown Yorktown.  We left the game and went back to the boat for showers, then met them at Water Street Grille.  Luckily Christen (Denise’s other niece) and her two boys were able to join us, and Cathy and her out-of-town friend (Mona) coordinated it all so we could be together for a short visit. This was great as we were not expecting them to be available to spend any time with us until Wednesday.

Mona (friend), Cathy & Denise

After our afternoon together, we drove to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church for the Saturday afternoon mass. We have been to this church several times and we have always been impressed with the Pastor (Father Mike) who is blind and uses a braille version of the Missal for saying the mass.  Unfortunately, we were disappointed as Father James was the celebrant instead. We still felt very welcome in this diverse church, who practiced social distancing but where we did not have to wear face masks! We felt liberated!

Since we had a late lunch, we were not hungry for dinner, but did enjoy some cocktails once back on the boat and streamed a movie before falling asleep. It was a fun-filled terrific day!

Wormley Creek Marina – Sunday, 5/23

This morning we decided to use the marina facilities and get a few loads of laundry done, while doing a little bit of future planning.  Our check of the upcoming weather now had us putting in place contingencies as it did not look like Friday would be a good day to leave and head north. Since it is still early and forecasts can change, we didn’t spend too much time on it. But it is a bit discouraging when the weather dictates the agenda and holds us up from going places; something those who are traveling in RV’s or cars don’t usually have to deal with.

We also took advantage of still having the rental car and wanted to do a few more errands. Mark needed a haircut and Denise wanted a pedicure, so once our laundry was done, we went to get these personal services addressed.  Within 90 minutes we had accomplished these and headed back to the boat for lunch. In the afternoon we took advantage of quiet and downtime and simply relaxed, reading a book (Denise) and taking a nap (Mark). This is what Sunday’s should be about, but rarely do we ever get to take advantage of them.

At this marina we have encountered several locals, who are very nice and hospitable. Most live in the area and either take their boat on the weekends, work on their boats (in water or on the hard), or just come down to the marina. Because it was so warm today, some were also at the pool, which has now been opened and has nice warm water; but it is still a little too cool for us Floridians.  All of these people have volunteered to give us a ride somewhere, offered to take us on their boats, or had suggestions for places to go or things to see.  It is a very friendly place and we have enjoyed it.

We still had the rental car and thought it might be smart to go out to dinner one more night; we will be eating onboard the next few nights so it made sense.  But, we were not interested in a big meal and opted for a light dinner at Panera in Newport News.  During the week this would have taken us 30 minutes to get there, but tonight it only took 15 minutes.  While dining we thought it might be a good idea to go to the grocery store, in case we did not have the opportunity until later in the week.  We drove to the Kroger and picked up a handful of things, including FRESCA (which Mark likes) and is not always available everywhere. 

One of the other things we remembered was to purchase any other “bottled” or “canned” refreshments here in VA because as we get further north they get more expensive.  All the other states charge a $.05 or $.10 “refundable” deposit on all such containers, but their recycle centers are not always conducive to marinas. Therefore, each one is just a little more expensive for us and they add up over time.  So we stocked up and when we got back to the boat, we literally were trying to find places to put it all……but we did.

Wormley Creek Marina – Monday, 5/24

Today was a work day.  We both had been putting off some work tasks and we needed to address these important things.  Mark spent almost all day on the phone or in web conferences.  Denise had to respond to an Orlando prospect that could work out perfectly if they string out their decision making to the fall; how perfect it would be to come back to a project kickoff in late October.

In mid-morning Mark took a break to return the rental car to Enterprise while Denise did a little advanced cooking and blog writing.  She posted the last update and began work on this post.

During the day we talked with Denise’s brother (John) who would be returning home on Tuesday from his out-of-town trip. We set some tentative plans in place for meeting up Wednesday afternoon, or definitely Thursday. Of course weather will dictate whether we leave on Friday, and therefore have a short visit, or stay through the weekend for longer time together.

Later in the afternoon we once again got an update on the weather and tried to formulate a plan. Right now it does not look like the upcoming Memorial weekend will be a good weekend to travel and we don’t want to go north only to get stuck somewhere for a handful of days when we could be here with family. We really have no plans; although we would love to go up the Hudson River in NY and be at the Shady Harbor Marina Pig Roast the weekend of 6/12. But, we know we could change our plans and not attend this event; we have too much big water to cross to be on a schedule.

Our evening was spent hanging around the marina and talking with a few of the locals.  We had a dinner of smoked pulled pork we brought from home (the last of it) from our freezer.  After dinner we went for a walk around the marina grounds and noticed the water level in the creek was quite high.  We are on a floating dock and don’t notice it as much when on the boat. But when we walked up to where the marina office and other buildings are, we could see the significant difference against the fixed docks.  The docks and water were almost one, and our gangplank which normally we have to walk up, we now had to walk down.  Come to find out Wednesday’s full moon is a “Supermoon” and we will have higher and lower high & low tides greater than normal.

Because of the high water, once back on the boat we were able to see over the embankment to our north which is the private property of a homeowner.  Here we could see the dock of the second house over from us, and discovered they have lighted decorative palm trees along their dock. We did not see them coming into the channel on Thursday, and only now got to see them illuminated.  It is clearly someone’s tropical paradise overlooking the York River.

Lighted Palm trees on dock

Wormley Creek Marina – Tuesday, 5/25

We woke up to cloudy skies and a temperature at 6:00 am of 64°; the warmest morning yet. Denise went for a run and actually wore a tank top for the first time since leaving on our trip.  On her return, she encountered a man and his two dogs in the marina parking lot.  After some small talk she discovered “Scott” lived two houses over from the marina, and it is his house that has the lighted decorative palm trees on his dock. She also learned he is an oral surgeon and moved here from Hampton three years ago, with his wife. He talked about the area and how much he loves his view of the York River and the bridge.  When she returned back to the boat, Mark was already up eating breakfast and ready to take on the day.

The intention today was for it to be a boat-chore day, and it was in a sense. We had a long list of inside and outside chores, but we also had to put more water on the boat, which required moving to the haul out area and again using two connected hoses to fill up the tanks.  We figured at the same time we could get a pump-out; even though the holding tank was not full, it would save us from having to do this in a few days.  All this activity had to be coordinated with the marina as they had several haul-outs planned for the day and we needed to make sure we were not going to be blocking the haul-out bay. 

Around 9:30 am we headed out of the slip and ventured to put the water on the boat.  This took us about a half an hour, then we moved to the dock for the self-service pump-out.  Once in place we started the equipment, but we were unable to get it working.  After several attempts we called the marina office and Doug (owner and husband of Pam), came down to help us out. After several more attempts, a discharge of the system and more attempts, we were unable to get it working. He was going to have to get their septic tank serviced and would let us know when it would be fixed. So back to our slip we went, burning nearly 2 hours and now getting back just in time to make lunch.  Our morning was shot and we had not accomplished much at all.

After lunch we both had client work to do, then we set about to do a few of the chores on the list. Denise also worked on this blog.  After the 3:00 updates were in, we looked at the upcoming weather.  Friday looks to be a good day to travel north, but Saturday and Sunday were awful and would force us to stay put wherever we are.  Unfortunately, Monday (Memorial Day) is also not looking great. This was disheartening as Denise really wants to spend more time with family but if the weather stays bad for a week we could be sacrificing our trip back up the Hudson River. But to cut our visit short after waiting since Norfolk to see family was also discouraging. We agreed not to make any decisions for now, and would see how the forecast holds in the next day or so.  Monday is a long way off for weather forecasts and anything can change.

One of the issues with staying put in this marina is the water situation. Normally if we had potable dockside water we would not care. But without it we are forced to use the water from the tanks, which require filling about every 3 – 4 days.  Plus, with it being in a rural area we are limited in where we can go unless we get another rental car.  We are looking forward to spending time at John & Cathy’s, and get off the boat for a few days. This will alleviate both of these concerns and allow us to also share some desired family time.

One of the interesting things we have not yet shared about this location, is its proximity to the US Coast Guard (USCG) Yorktown Training Center.  In addition to watching the USCG boats go out of the creek each day, we get treated to a few of their routines.  The first is at 7:55 am when they play a bugle tune over the campus that can be heard all around this area.  Then at 8:00 am they play Reveille.  In the evening near sunset, they play “Retreat”, then “Taps” at 10:00 pm; we figured out that one must be for “lights out” as it is officially used to signify “quiet hours”.  We have also heard them doing gun fire exercises or target practice.  All of this to keep us all safe, and to be there on the waterway when any of us need them. Some reviewers of this marina have made negative comments about these routines, but we consider these minor issues for a stay at this marina.  Besides, we love our Coasties and will support them in any way we can.

USCG leaving creek
Tonight’s sunset at WCM

Wormley Creek Marina – Wednesday, 5/26

We woke up to a nice breeze blowing this morning, but it was warm and we had the AC going.  After spending some time on emails and work items, we tackled some initial boat chores, including Mark changing out the engine and generator zincs, and Denise polishing some stainless steel and chrome. We also managed to go see the fireboat in the shed, now all nicely painted.

Fireboat all painted

After a few hours we noticed the wind had died down, so Mark suggested we use this opportunity to once again try for a pump out.  Doug (owner) let us know the equipment was back up and running and we were at a good transitioning point in our chores.  So, we untied from our slip, and moved the boat to the pump out dock to take care of business.  It worked much better this time, and within 30 minutes we were back in our slip.

Working the pump-out Equipment

We then did a check on the upcoming weather forecasts.  It did not look good for leaving on Monday, but Tuesday was shaping up to be (possibly) a good day to leave.  After a conversation with John, we decided that we would stay with him through the weekend and make plans to leave on Tuesday.  If things improved beforehand, we could leave earlier, but it was unlikely this would be the case.  We also confirmed with the marina we could stay on without issue.

Then it was back to our boat chores. We finished up around 2:30, then packed up some clothes, food and other items to take on our land adventure for the weekend.  At 3:00 John came to the marina to pick us up and 10 minutes later we were at his house in Seaford, VA. Clearly this was a good marina choice for being so close.

J&C’s home

We spent some time talking with John and Cathy (“J&C”) before John had to head out to help coach a softball game for Harper (granddaughter).  Cathy and Denise then left for Colton’s (grandson’s) baseball game, while Mark enjoyed some quiet personal time at the house.  It was hot and buggy and the girls ended up leaving the game a little early. On the way home, they picked up dinner (a pizza, salad and garlic knots) that Mark had ordered.  Once back at the house they ate dinner and sat around talking until John came home from his outing. 

Not long afterwards, a horrendous thunderstorm came through with violent winds and rain. It was short-lived, but was strong enough to knock out the power.  It was just one day too soon; J&C had already installed a whole-house generator, but it was not yet hooked up and the technician was coming in the morning to complete the process.  So there we sat with battery-operated lanterns illuminating the place while we continued our conversations.  Finally, we all went to bed hoping the power would come back on before the house got too hot.  The temperature had reached 94° today.

We will be spending the weekend with family in Seaford, VA, and will not post another entry until we have returned to the boat.

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