Aboard Cups Again in Chesapeake, Virginia

David’s three sibs trundled us off to the airport for a late afternoon flight from Las Vegas to Baltimore last week. After an hour’s departure delay, a 5-hour flight, 30 minutes waiting for luggage at BWI and another 20 minutes waiting for the hotel shuttle, we were thankful to collapse into our hotel bed around 0330 and catch up on some much-needed sleep. In all honesty though, travel is what it is … mostly we enjoy it and when we don’t, we whinge a little and move on. At least the plane landed in one piece despite T&L storms along our route.

It’s been wet and rainy in Chesapeake. Evidently David’s hatch repairs before we left were successful because we saw no evidence of leaks when we returned. Though a bit stuffy from being closed up for a few weeks, Cups was no worse for the wear and she seemed quite glad to have her family aboard again. She was no doubt intrigued when David moved his Father’s Day gifts aboard … a new buffer, a new angle grinder and another fan. Looks like several projects are planned in the near future.

 It's been wet and rainy in Chesapeake and part of the boatyard remains flooded.

It's been wet and rainy in Chesapeake and part of the boatyard remains flooded.

The weather here is sultry … a nice word for very hot and very humid. It rains with T&L events most every afternoon making on-deck chores a challenge. Without A/C aboard, the fans are going constantly and provide some relief, but most often not quite enough. It’s been uncomfortable sleeping since we can’t open hatches at night because of mosquitoes and rain. Daytime naps are sweaty, but offer a bit of relief from the heat and sleepless nights. There’s been so much rain, parts of the boatyard are flooded again and the river level is extremely high, sometimes overflowing its banks. 

Everything is green and lush here in the boatyard. Wildflowers are blooming in a profusion of color and variety … orange trumpets, Queen Anne’s lace, wild asters, buttercups and daisies. There’s a blackberry bramble near the boatyard bridge and I picked big, ripe juicy ones the other day to top David’s morning cereal.

 Wildflowers flourish.

Wildflowers flourish.

 Blackberries are ripe and juicy.

Blackberries are ripe and juicy.

On these hot days, the hum of the cicadas in the nearby woods is a constant reminder of the heat. Dragonflies flit around constantly. Spiders are busy on the docks and on the boats, spinning webs wherever they can … between shrouds and stays, on the lifelines, behind the deck boxes. One sure sign of summer is the multitude of wasps and hornets that are particularly active. One brazen wasp stung me the other day as I was reaching into a cockpit locker … the little bastard!

On our daily walks to the local Farm Fresh grocery store, between rain showers that is, we’ve seen bald eagles in the tall pines that surround the boatyard. Cardinals provide frequent morning song in concert with swallow tweets, the honks of Canada geese flying overhead and the local mallard ducks quacking away and swimming in all the oversize puddles that have formed in the dirt road that runs along side of the boat.

The Great Bridge Bridge, a double-leaf bascule bridge within spitting distance of Cups, took a direct hit from a lightning bolt the other night and was inoperable for awhile. The build-up of boats on the ICW trying to transit through the bridge and locks was significant. After some repair and two days wait, the bridge tenders were finally able to open the bridge manually and let the madding crowds through. For the next week or so, however, there are only two openings per day (0600 and 1900) versus the usual hourly scheduled openings. It makes for a mighty congested river with all the barge traffic and the plethora of boats heading north for the hurricane season.

 After a recent lightning hit, the Great Bridge Bridge only opens twice a day while repairs are still being made.

After a recent lightning hit, the Great Bridge Bridge only opens twice a day while repairs are still being made.

We are content and happy to be back and aboard, but look for an important news announcement at the end of the week that might surprise you.