20. Tangier Island to Colonial Beach VA

The trip up the Chesapeake from Hampton Beach described in the prior post was on flat calm waters. Not so much this trip. Waves were running 3-4’ from the south southwest. We were heading northwest from Tangier Island to the mouth of the Potomac River and continuing up the Potomac. That meant in the Chesapeake id be taking the waves directly on the port beam making for a pretty rolly ride. So I opted to do the first 12 miles directly towards the mainland so as to take the waves mostly on the bow. It was fairly wet on the bridge due to the spray. Near the lee of the mainland, the waves diminished considerably and the remainder of the ride to and up the Potomac was comfortable.

Somehow upon arrival at Colonial Beach I must have hit ‘delete’ instead of ‘stop’ on the NEBO tracking program so I lost the record of the trip. Below I’ve roughly sketched in the route for the day – about 50 nm.

The Potomac is a wide wide River and I encountered virtually no traffic.

This tug, “Capt Tim” and the barge it was pushing was about all I saw and the shores were too distant to see the homes and cottages. The shore visible here is the NEAR shore.

Probably 5 miles or so before Colonial Beach we entered the “Dahlgren Range”. The range continues for another 5+ miles beyond Colonial Beach. Dahlgren Range is a US Navy ground firing range – where they fire live ammo into their target range. You can hear the guns boom for miles as they fire 6-8” shells. Contacting them by radio confirm that the range was “live” and we received course coordinates kind of zig zagging between the Maryland and Virginia shorelines. Also discovered that the Navy knows how to fish. Lots of areas of floating fish dead from the concussive force of exploding shells. When we arrived at Colonial Beach we radio’d “thanks” for not hitting us. It was obvious from their transmissions that they knew exactly where Last Resort was at all times. “Pfew!”

We picked a marina at the far end of the Colonial Beach channel as it had the deepest slips/entrance. As it was we disturbed mud from the force of the props though we did not actually touch bottom. After tying up to the face dock assigned, it turned out the marina did not have a ‘combiner’ Y adapter (https://www.amazon.com/Marinco-50-Amp-250-Volt-2-30-Amp-Y-Adapter/dp/B009IJLVDO/ref=asc_df_B009IJLVDO/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312114712708&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13031553534397326631&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008159&hvtargid=pla-568663154100&psc=1 ) that would convert two 30 amp services into the one 50 amp I need. The combiner that I have on board together with my 50 amp extension kept tripping their breakers. So we untied and moved across the marina to a stern in slip that had a 50 amp pedestal. All was well.

Colonial Beach is a nice waterfront community and the marina was quite nice. The marina owner and wife live on a Chris Craft that was tied up next to us. The area was under a TStorm warning and the thunder, lightening and rain arrived soon after the boat was settled in. Just the right time for an afternoon nap.

When it was dinner time, the owner provided a golf cart and directions to the restaurant right on the channel point. Weds night is prime rib special. Half the price of the Coinjock restaurant and 4 times better. Actually, it was fabulous.

finished dinner, drove the golf cart along the shoreline back to the marina and got to within 5’ of the boat before the rain started again. Great meal and great timing!

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