We decided to leave Charleston without fixing our autopilot because we had a good weather window to get around Cape Hatteras (notourisly dangerous in bad weather). We left Charleston Friday afternoon under a crystal clear, blue-sky. The harbor was dotted with sailboats and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge in the background. We sailed passed Fort Sumter and 2 tugboats pulling barges. The winds were mild and all was good. No one threw up on this leg, although I came close once. We sailed for 3 nights and arrived in Virginia Beach on Monday afternoon. We ducked into Wesley Lake (just off the ocean) to wait for the cold front to move through. In the afternoon, just after we fueled up and put water in the tanks, a nasty thunderstorm barreled down on us. We decided to stay at the dock until it passed. We were really glad we did, as this squall brought very strong winds (sustained 34 knots registered by our wind vane), lightning and heavy rain! The wind whipped our full enclosure from its snaps (we’ll have to repair that!). Since we were still at the dock, we took full advantage of the city water supply and took much needed showers! We anchored the boat, ate soup complete with focaccia bread from the St Augustine farmers market for dinner and hit the sack early.
The winds are blowing out of the north today (Tuesday June 26) just as predicted and it's much cooler. Offshore (in our path) the winds are 20-30 knots with 7-11 foot seas. We are going to sit tight here in our protected lake until the winds change and head out in the morning. It should take us 2 ½ days to get to Rhode Island from here (Friday).
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Riding on the bow in the harbor
Tug Boat pulling a barge