N 37 41.5, W 76 21.3

May 19, 2001

Cape Charles, Virginia, to Indian Creek, Virginia

A light rain spattered the decks in the morning. Gray, overcast and with a promise for showers and haze the morning greeted us as we set out for points north. We did have a fair wind at least-southeast at about 10 to 12 mph. Over the lumpy lead colored water we rolled along making good time with our sails wing and wing.

On this somber not too warm morning yacht traffic on the lower bay was light. We passed a tug and a barge and saw no ships while crossing the main lanes. Soon the low lying eastern shore slipped away fading into the gray haze. We were out of sight of land with nothing but the occasional fishing pelican to divert us.

These odd birds are fairly common down at the south end of the bay (they nest on an island just south of Cape Charles). Their graceful strong gliding flight in single file just inches over the water made us think of sailing in the Pacific off San Diego. Later during the day's journey we passed through a school of fish and watched pelicans diving. They crash down into the water with bone shattering force, it seems. Then they bob up again looking very casual as they gulp something down. They are amazing fishermen.

Indian Creek
Near the hazy western shore and the mouth of the Rappahannock Chris got a call for some computer work from Calfornia. While we rolled along in 1 to 2 foot waves he went below taking advantage of digital cell phone coverage to get on the internet and analyze the problem. I was very impressed. While he was at the "office" he also checked the internet, no thunderstorms near by on the radar!

Indian Creek was ahead somewhere in the haze. We found one of the flanking markers for its approach and the entrance was very straight forward after that. We settled into Pitmans Cove for the night.

May 19 lay day

During the night a lot of rain, some lightning and thunder and not very much wind came through our creek. The forecast was for additional showers and light winds for Saturday so we declared a day at the office. We quit early enough to go explore with the dinghy though.

Kilmarnock Wharf
Like every other creek we've seen so far the Indian River has its share of recent residential development. But it is still pretty with many undeveloped un-bulkheaded stretches of shore. We passed a large deer skulking along the shore and lots of jellyfish in the water. We followed the creek past a small settlement, Kilmarnock Wharf. Once a thrivng little port it still has a marina and an old fuel oil depot and small functioning grain elevator. We gawked at the barges and tow boat up here parked by the elevator and wondered what and when a crop would fill them. Beyond the elevator the creek twisted and turned and branched off in three different directions. Lined with fine big hardwoods and pines it presented a waterway of quiet lush beauty. We followed one branch all the way up to the limit of dinghy navigation ( 12 inch depths or so) and then shut the outboard off. Warblers called, the chatter of a kingfisher and , surprisingly in the pine woods, the noisy flight of turkeys getting airborne.

We headed back to Titania quite impressed with the quiet beauty here. A large patch of blue sky moved overhead as we came back to the boat. Maybe better days for sailing lie ahead.

The tug at Kilmarnock Wharf

A view of a barge one normally tries to avoid

Pitmans Cove