Today begins with haze, light fog and a heavy layer of dew on the deck of Cutter Loose. The anchor is up at 8 AM in Jackson Creek. The wind today is out of the east at 8 to 12 knots. Cutter Loose is sailing south on a beam reach towards our destination of Hampton Roads. By mid-morning, we leave Wolf Trap Light astern , enjoying the relative silence of making 6 knots of speed over ground. The Chesapeake Bay ship’s channel is located well to the east of our position. Navigation is made easier today because there is little traffic on the western shore of the Bay.
At 11:15 AM, we are treated to our first pelican sighting of the voyage. As if on cue, four brown pelicans fly across our bow in perfect formation. We believe they are encouraging our southerly migration.
At Thimble Shoal Light, we douse the sails and motor west just outside of the Thimble Shoal Channel. Big ship traffic is everywhere. Soon Old Point Comfort appears on our starboard side. This is the home of Fort Monroe. This six-sided fort surrounded by a moat remained active as an Army post until it was decommissioned in 2011. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned here. A reuse plan for this historic site is underway.
Cutter Loose is at anchor in the shadow of Fort Monroe. Tomorrow morning, we will take a slip at nearby Hampton Public Piers where we will remain until we depart for Tortola on or about November 4th. This marina is the official staging site of the Caribbean 1500.
Hurricane Sandy is weighing heavily on our minds this evening. One forecast model calls for the storm to ride the Gulf Stream north along the east coast, then veer to the northwest, making landfall just north of our location in Hampton. In any event, strong northerly winds in the 40 MPH range together with storm surge appear to be likely here beginning Saturday through Tuesday. Stay tuned as we follow the progress of Sandy.