3/11/12: aboard DW in Deltaville, VA Here we sit, awaiting the last of the remaining work to be done so we can be on our way and head south. Getting to know the Deltavville area has been interesting, but it hasn’t exactly been what we’d expected. We returned to Deltaville knowing that a few things still needed to be completed, but, as it turned out, nearly everything still needed work. The boatyard had more than three months to complete the work, but if you’re not there to gently remind the powers that be that your job needs to be taken care of, they’ll work on someone else’s job that’s just as important if that person is there to actually check in on the progress of his/her job. Some of the work couldn’t be completed sooner due to weather/climate, but it’s certainly been frustrating.
We rented the lower floor of a house for the first two weeks we were here. Paul had placed an ad in the local paper when my listing on craigslist garnered no responses, and he received two messages, the first for a vacation home where it was clear that pets would only be welcome if they neither shed nor got on the furniture (right…).
The second was from a woman who sounded warm and very “pet friendly,” and Paul told her we’d talk to her soon. She turned out to be every bit as nice as she’d seemed over the phone. A retired biology teacher from Richmond, VA, she had been an avid sailor, but as a single-hander, she’d had to give up her sailboat as she got a bit older. Although just a few minutes from the boatyard, it’s a good thing that she gave us good directions. It was down a road which turned to gravel, then dirt, and the house turned out to be right on the inlet, where she’d watched us and a lot of other boats go aground.
During the summer, the setting is spectacular with the beach on one side and a pond on the other, complete with two kinds of turtles (snapping and box) and all sorts of waterfowl. But it is a summer cabin, and even with space heaters (provided by our landlady, who lives upstairs), it was cold and damp.
We did get to see wild turkeys, which are beautiful but shy birds, and cardinals. We also had some good meals out, thanks to our landlady’s suggestions, as well as going to the excellent maritime museum here. Deltaville is a small community, but the museum, about the history of boat building here, is well worth visiting, even if your interest in boats isn’t high.
We bid our landlady adieu today and moved onto DW. OSD was very happy to move. Unlike CR and all of the various motel rooms we were in on our road trip last November, she was anxious the entire time. Our landlady does have two rather yappy small dogs upstairs, but even when they were all gone on a trip one weekend, OSD still seemed on edge. As soon as it became clear we were moving, she couldn’t wait to jump in the car and ride the 5 minutes to the marina so she could get on the boat.
OSC, in contrast, settled in just fine at the rental house. When we went aboard DW, he was encouraged to remain on board, then took a couple of short walks down the dock. Later, I took the trash out to the dumpster, OSD followed me, and when I returned, no OSC. I called him, but got no response, no yowling, nothing. We needed to make a trip to the store, so put OSD below. When we returned about 30 minutes later, as we got close to the dock, OSC was right there curled up on the dock next to DW. Smart cat!
3/20/12: Deltaville, VA (still …) Tomorrow there is some prospect that if the weather cooperates, we may get out of here. People in the boatyard and at the marina have been very nice, but we have been anxious to be on our way. The work on DW was finally completed today. Paul still has one (we hope) minor wiring problem to be sorted out with the new autopilot, but the engine has been tested and sounds great, the new sail is rigged, and the ice box (alas, still the same 30 year old ice box) has a brand new block of ice, so we hope to be on our way as soon as the fog/murk lifts tomorrow.
Although we didn’t plan to spend a month here, being here has had its pleasures. Today we discovered the seafood store, which we’ve driven by probably fifty times. Oh, if only we had stopped sooner to find out how good it is! Not only do they have fresh seafood (fresh fish, clams, two kinds of scallops and shrimp from smallish to large), but they also have items prepared in-house: wonderful shrimp salad, with cajun spicing, peppery tuna salad made from fresh tuna, crab cakes, coleslaw, and another half dozen salads we didn’t buy. Fresh seafood and ice only last so long.
We got to know the local area fairly well, as well as communities like Gloucester and Gloucester Court House, the evocatively-named Kilmarnock (don’t you feel like you’re in Scotland when you say it?), as well as the small towns of Ordinary, Ware and Mathews. We spent a morning exploring historic Jamestowne and the glassworks there, which was a lot of fun, and went to Williamsburg, not for their historic sites, but for their Trader Joe’s. Yes, it would have been great to have gotten an earlier start, but it was fun to get to spend a bit of time here
Boatyard and marina staff have told us that this should be a good time to head down the ICW, as it shouldn’t be too busy. Before we leave tomorrow, I’ll call to find out about depths (In some places it may be iffy with our 5′ draft, though the Dismal Swamp channel is supposed to be dredged to at least a 6′ depth, and the ICW even deeper.
May you all have fair winds! More soon.