It was a lovely day together as a family, just the three of us aboard Equinox last night and this morning. We all pitched in to make breakfast: gloriously stuffed veggie and cheese omelets. Why is it that a leisurely breakfast aboard in morning always tastes so much better than one on land?? It certainly helped that it wasn’t pouring rain any more: the sun was shining in a classic, crisp October blue sky day. We spent the early afternoon walking about Annapolis, up around the State House, out to Main Street, up to West Street and back, enjoying the sunshine and the gorgeous autumn colors. It’s very pretty here; I will miss Maryland’s fall colors, but not its gray, damp cold winters!
Looking towards Church Circle from West Street
Ron and I attended to the last minute details to prep the boat for departure, specifically looking again at the weather and noting to our dismay, the weather forecasts are once again looking less than optimistic for going offshore. There is a combination of a coastal front and system lifting northeast from the Gulf of Mexico that will bring unsettled weather Tuesday and Wednesday, right about the time when we’d be rounding Hatteras. It’s rather depressing. While I wouldn’t mind 4-5’ waves, as Equinox can handle them, the forecasts are never all that accurate regarding sea state, and I’m sure if we’d go offshore, we’d see more than we’d want! A forecast of 5’-7’ waves really means 8’-10’ in my book, and who wants to go lumping along in that?? Been there, got that t-shirt, so no need to repeat it, in my view.
Finally, prior to departure, we tested the satellite phone again, to make sure Ally could get through on her new iPhone. For some reason direct-dialing didn’t work on her phone (while it did with mine) but when she used the Mobile Link connection, the call came through fine. Good!! Always nice to know she can contact us if need be, although....we’ll most likely remain in cell phone range if we’ll be on the ICW for the next few days.
We cast off the lines in Annapolis about 2:50 pm, with Ally waving away on the pier as we pulled out. It was hard saying good-bye, and odd not having her aboard, but Ally has to head back to Oldfields for the upcoming school week, per usual. Next weekend she is going to be visiting her friend Annie in Charleston, SC, for Halloween, so she will be busy then. We have about 10 days to get the boat south (a bit tighter time frame than we’d wanted, but....oh well!!) Delays with the hardtop were not anticipated, although we probably should have planned for it anyway!! There are ALWAYS delays with any boat project, I’ve decided! As it stands, we’d hoped to have Ally spend a long weekend with us aboard in the marina at the new condo, so made reservations for her to fly to FL on November 5th. If we’re not there yet, well....we’ll figure something out!
Tonight’s cruising plan is to run through the night down the Bay, aiming to reach Norfolk, VA by early morning, and get a start on heading down “The Ditch” at first light. Our friends Karen and Kerry aboard Concrete Idea are already in Solomons, MD, on their way south. They’d wanted to run in tandem with us down to Beaufort, NC and if the weather was nice, go offshore then. (They have a 56’ Carver, the same type of boat that we had prior to Equinox, so the weather for going offshore for them has to be pretty darn good.) But timing being what it is, we may as well run while we can and see how far south we can get by the 5th!