Monday, May 26, 2014

Getting in the groove

 We’re slowly getting in the groove. After five days motoring south down the Chesapeake Bay, today is Day 1 on the Intracoastal Waterway. We’ve had fantastic weather so far, fantastic for us, that is. Flat calm with no wind. I feel bad for all the sailboats slowly motoring through the calm. But for us and our gas guzzling engines, we love the flat calm. Even when the Chesapeake Bay is calm, however, it’s still a little rough and rolly with little kids, especially a little one that is just barely learning how to walk. So it is a welcome relief to pass through Deep Creek Lock and enter the Dismal Swamp Canal and the ICW.
Going through our first bridge opening: Gwynn's Island near Deltaville, Va.

The generally very protected waters of the ICW mean a couple things for us: 1) it will be easier to move around on the boat for us and for the girls; and 2) we’re running only one engine today in an attempt to get better gas mileage. The gas mileage is a little embarrassing (about 1 mile per gallon), but we’ve set the money aside and are combining relocation expenses with a great three-week vacation.

We did this trip twice before: south on our sailboat in 2006 and then north again in 2009. As is the case in our relationship in general, we worked as a team. We took turns steering, navigating, talking on the radio with bridges and boats, anchoring, etc. We’re working as a team again, but in a different way. Hans is the definitive captain of Rhumb Line and I’m the first mate. We’re both insanely busy; it would be great to have a third crew member. Hans is constantly at work steering and navigating; I am constantly at work taking care of the girls, keeping the boat ship shape, and preparing and serving food. At the end of the day we’re both tired and thirstily gulp down our sundowners. 

Entering Deep Creek Lock, just south of Norfolk.
Here we go...down the Dismal Swamp Canal

I’m striving for more taking turns instead of division of labor. I need to drive the boat more and get more comfortable with more than just steering in a straight line. It’ll definitely be easier now that we’re in more protected waters--winding creeks and rivers and canals, with a few stretches of sounds and bays to cross. The motion of the boat is minimal and the engines are quieter.
Matilda kissing the baby doll.
Happy, face painted Freja

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