The Covid Black Hole

Someone sent us a photo of Highwind at anchor!

We worked our way north with a couple of long legs since I was recovering from COVID and would not be able to do anything in towns. We had a night in Swansboro were David grabbed takeout and I stayed on the boat. For the next few nights we stayed on anchor.

We had also been watching the price of diesel rise and had made plans to fill up in our normal spot – Top Rack Marina, which is just south of Norfolk. However, as we began to pull in to the fuel dock, the attendants told us they had no more! As it turns out, any marina that had a reasonable/cheaper price for diesel was out of supply.

We’d run the boat to almost empty since we were anticipating a complete fill which would get us all the way to New York if we slow boated through the Chesapeake. Yikes! David quickly found an alternate fuel option in Norfolk to pick up a couple hundred gallons to defer the problem until later.

We decided to spend the weekend in Hampton, a small town just north of Norfolk. By this time, I was feeling completely better, but still testing positive. We decided to go for a short scooter ride to Fort Monroe, and since it was completely outdoors and nobody else was there, I was able to visit too. It is an enormous stone fort facing the entrance to Norfolk, and took us a couple hours to walk completely around and explore, which was fairly brutal in the 90+ temps of the weekend.

On the way back to the boat, we saw a cider place with an outdoor seating area out back and a free table far away from anyone where I could sit. David grabbed a cider flight while I stayed outside. We quickly decided that mid 90s was too hot to exist outside, though, and retreated to the boat.

We left Hampton and headed for Dare Marina, where we had planned to pick up some additional diesel. Our new plan was to keep doing small fills in the hopes that prices would eventually go down, but as we were filling up, the attendant warned us that his price was about to jump again in the next few days. Having called a dozen marinas that morning, every last one of whom were already 60-80 cents a gallon more expensive than the price survey from 3 days earlier, we were inclined to believe him, so we decided to fill all the way to nearly 1000 gallons. Then, pocketbook empty, we spent the night on anchor just outside of the Marina.

As I started to feel better, David unfortunately felt the first signs of symptoms and spent the next few days feeling unwell and the next morning tested positive for Covid himself. We spent the next few nights on anchor and arrived in Solomons, a favourite spot of ours, in time for the weekend. Our original plan was to meet up with Jan and Jim for the weekend, but unfortunately David was still testing positive and we decided not to risk seeing them.

Now our roles were reversed and I ran errands and picked up food, including the most delicious key lime pie, while David stayed put on the boat, and worked on some projects including the wiring the watermaker remote and the installation of a new backup radio antenna. I also had fun with my sourdough starter and made cinnamon rolls and pizza dough along with a loaf of bread.

We had also been trying to see some of David’s extended family on Tilghman Island, but due to timing and covid, we were not able to make that happen. We finally both tested negative! We spent the night in Knapps Narrows and tried to go out for happy hour, but since it was mid-week everything there turned out to be closed!

Cause for celebration!

We headed to Annapolis and were finally able to see Jan and Jim. We realized that Annapolis is actually closer to their house than Solomons, and decided this will be our new meeting point with them :). We had a lovely meal where we completely forgot to take any photos…of course!

We would have some friends visiting us for the next week and had decided to take the next week as vacation. On Friday evening before they arrived, we walked to a nearby wine-bar where it was standard procedure to buy a bottle of wine to drink while you waited for a table. We played some Hanabi outside while we waited.

It was Pride weekend in Annapolis, so on Saturday morning we did a scooter ride into town and wondered around. We also checked out the Benneker-Douglass Museum, which was small, but very well done.

We really enjoyed spending a weekend in Annapolis, and it has a bunch more stuff to explore on future trips.

Posted on Categories Trip Log

2 thoughts on “The Covid Black Hole”

  1. Now you have me wondering, how do you measure fuel efficiency in the boat? Gallons per nautical mile? Gallons per hour per engine? And how many [insert unit here] do you typically get while on the move?

    1. Lots of different measurements depending on what you’re going for. The raw number is gallons/hour, but you’re aiming more around optimizing nm/gal. But that optimization will change based on current/wind/etc. If you have 3 kts against you, going 8 kts is suddenly less appealing than jumping up to a high-consumption 15 kts, since the relative cost is suddenly much lower.

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