On our way home on Thursday.

It’s Wednesday morning and I am here in Hampton VA aboard Pandora, preparing for our last 350 mile run home.   It looks like we are going to have a good run as there will be brisk SW winds that will carry us the whole way to Essex.  We arrived on Monday evening after a terrific visit with our son Rob and his family.   Yes, we could leave today but the winds were out of the east and right on our nose leaving Hampton and then no wind for much of the overnight hours so we’ll wait another day.

I haven’t worked out the speed assumptions in detail but I expect that with a foul tide and wind verses solid winds behind us our actual arrival time won’t be much different so a Thursday first light departure it is.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that EVERYONE is pining for a current picture of our granddaughter Tori, so here goes.  Yes, yes, I know…. She’s so cute that it hurts.   “Bob, Bob, did you take that photo?”  I did, thank you.

Ok, I got that out of the way so now I’ll talk a bit about water in fuel.  Nice segue, right?  Recall that when I was running from Tortola north last month, I switched fuel tanks about 500 miles from shore, and discovered that I had picked up some water along with fuel, I think, in NC.   Well, what a mess.   I had the three fuel tanks cleaned and he found several gallons of water in the offending tank and a little bit in one of the two others.  His rig for filtering the tanks was pretty neat but it did look like quite the Rube Goldberg contraption.   For those of you who are too young to know who Rube Goldberg is, here’s a link to the Official Rube Goldberg society website.  So, the hoses ran down into the cabin and into the fuel tanks via an access port. A powerful pump sucked fuel out of the tank, through a filer and squirted it back into the tank, stirring up any water and sediment that might have collected.   What the heck, go ahead and trash the cabin.  Everybody else does.So, some 6+ hours later, three clean fuel tanks.  Wasn’t that easy?

And, remember the failed chart plotter?  Well, I put in the “new” one that I purchased from a local electronics dealer.  It’s in too but, wouldn’t you know it, the “new” plotter is running on an older version of the software verses my “old” one so the network won’t communicate.  The fix will be simple when I get home but I’m not home. However, we were able to put in a sort of “work around” so I can get most of the information I need between the two plotters.

As I mentioned, we are sticking around Hampton for two days prior to heading out which isn’t so bad as it’s a nice little city.  Yesterday we visited the Air and Space Museum and if you haven’t been there, it’s worth a visit.  I did a post about the museum when we did our first trip south in 2012.

Pandora is in a slip in Blue Water Yachting Center is an excellent facility and the dockmaster Dave is a very nice guy.  He has worked with the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, the folks that do the Salty Dawg Rally to Tortola each November, and offers a very nicely discounted rate for dockage, if you stay a month.   The amount you save for a month here will more than pay for the SDSA membership.

There is a very nice waterfront restaurant and they even have pool.   And, shocker that it is, they actually have terrific WIFI at each slip.  I am on one of the furthest out slips and it comes through full strength.   I say shocker as most marinas boast wifi but it’s terrible.  Good job Dave.  Very nice facility and it’s a short walk to a grocery store. Huge long fuel dock. This morning a lovely crabbing boat.  I think that these are called Chesapeake Deadrise boats.   And Hampton University in the background.Along my walk earlier today I spied this little cottage with great gardens.  Clearly, the owner doesn’t spend much time on the water given the extensive gardens that surely need daily attention. So, here we are spending yet another lovely day in Hampton.  Perhaps we can carve out some time to visit the local brew pub on the waterfront.  Yes, I suppose we will as the marina runs a water taxi over to the the town pier where the pub is located.  Besides, it would almost be sinful not to spread some “green” around town before we depart.  Right?

Oh yeah, don’t forget to follow our progress on “where in the world is Pandora” on this homepage.  Unless it’s terribly “sporty” I expect to post each day as we make our way north.

Keep those cards and letters coming.  Oops, time for lunch, well almost but it’s good to think ahead.

Did I mention that our granddaughter Tori is just so cute?

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