This weather pattern has to break sometime!...I hope. For the last three years, we've had nothing but flooding from late April to early June, then just about the time the water clears up...BOOM temps in the mid to upper 90's without a breath of wind! This year has been no exception, well except for the ridiculous boating ban in March through June.
Some good news on the saltwater front, I managed to snag a job with Newport News Shipyards so we'll be moving to the Hampton Roads area in a couple of months. I just have to wait until my security clearance comes through. While there is a small pay cut involved, I should be able to make it up and more within two years according to a couple of retirees that I talked to. The only obstacles are that we have to find a house in a tight market and the wife has to find a good job.
Well, I'm here! We bought a house in Carrollton and now am just waiting for the temps to get above freezing at night. There are quite few ramps around that I can use. One right in Newport News at Huntington park on the James right by the shipyards, and if I want to fight for a parking spot there's always Lynnhaven in VA Beach about an hour away. And if Lynnhaven is stupid busy, I can go on down and launch out of Rudee Inlet or cross the bridge/tunnel and fish out of Kiptopeke.
Another crazy year. Back in May I was prepping the boat for it's maiden voyage down here when I noticed that the drive oil reservoir was very low. No problem, went to the garage, got some Merc juice and filled it up. The next day when I was changing the oil I noticed that it was empty again. Odd, I filled it up again and it was empty the next day. So after having to wait for three weeks, off to the marina (well boat repair shop) it went. Turned out that the drive shaft bellows was defective and had been letting water in and after sitting for over 18 months the rust had taken out the driveshaft seals, U-joints, input shaft, bearings and the input gear. While the drive was off and "we were in there anyway", I went ahead and replaced the impeller, water pump and thermostat along with the tilt & trim sensors. In the four months it took to for all the parts arrive and to be installed I had an inch of pitch taken out of the props and a leaking fish box sealed up.
For her maiden Virginia voyage we put in at Huntington Park (which has a great ramp) by the the James River bridge and ran down river to the Monitor Merrimack bridge, then to the Middle Grounds light house & reef to fish for a while. After playing with the spots and croaker for a while we hoisted the anchor and ran on down to the HRBT. I was seriously giving some thought to sticking my nose out in the ocean, but the tide had turned to the incoming and the wind was picking up out of the west-north west and the radio was forecasting a 2-4' sea in the lower river, so I decided to headed back. Getting back to the MM bridge/tunnel was pretty smooth so I put out a couple of spoons on in-line planers out and made a couple of laps around the Middle Grounds light house & reef where I managed to get a few small blues and a dink Spanish Mac.
However that time would have been spent heading back and the seas had picked to the 2-4 footers that had been forecast. If that wasn't bad enough, they were very close together and had steep faces. While the ride was quite rough going into that rough head sea, the boat and I handled it much better that the other half who kept asking why we just could slow down and troll back (about 10 miles). I told her that if we dropped off plane the ride would be even rougher because of the nature and shape of the waves, plus it would be well after dark when we got back and that I really didn't feel comfortable navigating the narrow channel and opening into the breakwater area where the ramp was in the dark...especially since this was our first time out of there.
Other than the rough ride back, it was a great first trip in our new waters. The boat performed flawlessly and nothing broke. So now I'm just waiting for the fall striper season along with the trout and Spanish Mac runs later n the month!
Last Edit: Oct 7, 2021 20:37:52 GMT -5 by Wingnutt