I will admit that, at first glance, there doesn’t appear to be much in the area … except marinas. Within one mile of where I am sitting now, there are ten, count ‘em, ten marinas. Where there are a lot of marinas there is a lot of competition; and a lot of competition means … you guessed it, reasonable rates. Let me give you a couple of examples. In most basic marinas along the intracoastal (basic means clean heads, good water, decent power and at least some Verizon connectivity), we paid a minimum of $1.00 per foot – and we only found a few of those. Usually we paid nearer $1.50 per foot; and believe me, there are more expensive ones out there. Nicer marinas, of course, cost more. At the Morehead City Yacht Center, we got a special deal because we were staying a full week. For seven days we paid $8.50 per foot plus metered electric. So, without the electricity, it cost us about $442 for seven days, or about $1.21 per foot per day. In Deltaville, we are staying at one of the nicer and more expensive marinas in the area. There is a swimming pool, two courtesy cars we can borrow to go into town, beautiful grounds, and coffee and pastries every morning – in addition to clean heads, good water, decent power and some Verizon connectivity. The cost? For one month it is $624 (plus metered electric), or $12 per foot. If you do the math (and believe me, I have) it works out to 40 cents per foot per day. For waterfront property and all the amenities, that is not bad, eh?
The second reason we are here is because we need to make some improvements on the boat. I will go into great detail on these improvements in my next Blog entry, but for now, let me say that – for the most part these are not repairs – they are bona fide improvements so we can cruise longer and in greater comfort. Anyway, in part because there are so many marinas and in part because there doesn’t appear to be too many other ways to make a living, Deltaville and environs has more well known and respected boatyards than you can shake a stick at. The marina we chose is right next to Zimmerman’s Boatyard, which has probably one of the best reputations in the business. Plus, because there is competition among boatyards and because in and around Deltaville the cost of living is just a tiny bit lower than it is in northern VA and most of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina the labor rates appear to be pretty reasonable. So, we have given Zimmerman’s about 10 projects to accomplish on the boat. We’ll see how things go.
The third reason we are in Deltaville is that … I know you won’t believe this … within an hour (or so) drive of our boat, there is actually quite a bit to do. Okay, Okay, it may not be Washington, DC, so let me put this in context. The first weekend we were here, our friends Dave and Joan Wolf brought us our car, so we have wheels! With wheels we can travel to Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and West Marine. (Did I mention that, as small as it is, Deltaville has two West Marines – currently being consolidated into one West Marine Super Store?) As you can see, having been cruising for six months in places where we would have killed for a chance to go to a grocery store or even a 7-11, we have lowered our expectations on places that offer “a lot to see and do.”
That said, as we learned our first weekend here, there is quite a bit of history around Deltaville; Jamestown (first permanent English settlement in North America), Williamsburg (of colonial Williamsburg’s “living history” fame) and Yorktown (the final major battle of the American Revolution) are all within an easy hour’s drive. There are also some lesser known destinations. Stingray Point, where John Smith was stung by a cow ray in 1608 is one, Urbanna, a quaint little town that was incorporated in 1680 is another. Moreover, in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula (as we Vahginians call the area – no, I didn’t misspell it, that is how it sounds here in this part of Vahginia) there are about 20 local museums. Anyway, there is quite a bit of colonial and pre-colonial history in the area. We have only been to a few places, but are looking forward to getting to more.
So, those are our reasons for being here. All in all, those are some pretty good reasons, huh? Oh, and with our car we can get to the DC area, both to visit friends and to go to medical appointments – as we all have to do as we get … er … less young. Anyway, I thought I would write, first, about some of the things we have what we have done and where we have gone in the two weeks we have been here. Then in a separate entry, I will tell all you gearheads about the improvements we are making to Traveling Soul
The first week we were at the marina, we borrowed the courtesy Mercedes to go the grocery store and to both of the West Marines in town. So you are thinking, “Courtesy Mercedes, huh? This must be one hotsy-totsy marina!” Well, you would be wrong. The Mercedes is circa 1970 and I am sure became the owners’ tax deduction in about 2010. In fact, although we are pretty sure the car had shocks, we bounced enough going to and from that we are not going to swear to it. Anyway, the grocery store is one of the “Great Value” chain (yea, I hadn’t heard of it either), and was reasonably well stocked. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t a Wegmans (or a Trader Joe’s, Fresh Fields, Publix, Safeway, Giant, Harris Teeter, Piggly Wiggly, or a Harris Teeter for that matter), but it had most of what we needed. Then we went to both of the West Marines. In all of Washington DC and its suburbs there are two West Marines, one in Woodbridge and one in Alexandria. In Deltaville – with a population of 1,626 – there are also two West Marines (Actually, at this instant there are three. They are consolidating two into one – but there are three West Marine structures.) We bought just a few things; just enough to keep going.
I told you I was going to defer discussion of our improvements until the next blog entry and I am. However, I hope to whet your appetite, let me describe our first experience with Deltaville repair people. Most of you have seen boats like ours and know about the clear plastic-like glass that usually surrounds the flybridge or the cockpit. It rolls up and down and should be clear enough to see through. The basic material is called “eisenglass,” the slightly higher class material – that is supposed to be somewhat clearer and should last somewhat longer – is called strataglass. Traveling Soul’s eisenglass has been an embarrassment since we bought the boat. It is very foggy and when steering the boat from the flybridge, I cannot see through it very well. In fact, the glass is so scratched and foggy that, when there are crab pots in the neighborhood, I have to lean to one side and then the other to see them – because I cannot see through the eisenglass. Anyway, one of the first things we decided to do was to have it replaced. So we asked around and found the best canvass (and eisenglass) people in the area (called Canvass Connection) and called them. They were at the boat the following day and we told them what we wanted. Two days later we had an estimate.
Before I go any further, I have to tell you that we have dealt with canvass people before. We had several things done on our former boat, Sans Souci, but invariably they told us the job would take a month or more, and, in reality, it took about least twice as long as they said. Even worse, it was not done to specifications and, even when we had them do it over, the quality wasn’t that good. With that as background, we were floored when the Deltaville people told us they thought they could be finished in a week to ten days. Now I will say that the job wasn’t cheap, but they were finished in what we considered record time for canvass people. If this job is indicative of what we can expect from Deltaville people, then we are in the right place!
The first weekend we were in Deltaville, our friends Dave and Joan Wolf not only came to visit, but they brought down our car too … we have wheels!! While Dave and Joan were here we went to Walmart and Lowes in the morning, but we went to Jamestown in the afternoon. If you haven’t been you should go. They have done everything they can to explain what Jamestown was, why it was located where it was, what happened in the first several years and how the colonists lived. They have even done some forensic archeology, and have, based on their skulls, reconstructed the faces of many of the first settlers. In short, I think we all agree that it was very interesting, fun and informative. We have not yet been back to Williamsburg and Yorktown, but it is certainly on the agenda.
We also took part of a day and visited Urbanna, Virginia. In 1649, a man named Ralph Wormeley patented 3,200 acres on the Rappahannock, including the lands a native American tribe, the Nimcocks, had cleared for their settlement and crops. Initially, Wormley shipped his tobacco from the small port where Urbanna is now located, not worrying about sending the product through the official ports where it could be taxed. In 1680, an Act of Assembly at Jamestown put an end to that practice. It authorized the creation of 20, 50 acre port towns in Virginia for 10,000 pounds of tobacco each. Urbanna was one of them. So when you come to see the “City of Anne,” you're visiting one of the oldest towns in America. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Urbanna is only 42 years younger than Jamestown. Even more importantly, it is a cool little town with several restaurants, a coffee shop and other stores located within a five block area. I could go on, but I think you get the idea; we kind of like Urbanna.
We haven’t yet been too many other places around Deltaville, but are looking forward to doing so when we get back. Where are we now? We are in Tucson, AZ seeing our mothers. (No, we didn’t bring the boat. It is still at Zimmerman’s Boatyard in Deltaville.) On that note, I want to get this thing to Ann so she can write her notes and we can get in underway.
ANN’S NOTES: First let me apologize for the lack of pictures in this section of the blog…I thought I had brought any cord I needed on this trip to Arizona. Just a few examples…
· Cell phone recharger cord….check
· Bluetooth recharger cord….check
· Nook recharger cord….check
· I-pod recharger cord…check
· Make sure Michael has all the same above cords because our phones and such are NOT the same.
Ok…OK…I forgot the cord that links my camera to the computer…Sorry…next addition will have pictures.
Deltaville is an interesting place and there is a lot of history. We have taken the time to do some exploring, and having our own little car is great. I have mostly seen the inside of West Marine and the local hardware store. I have also seen the inside of our little car. In order to keep our medical appointments we have to drive three hours to keep them. It makes for a very long day. I stay overnight with Tim, Carrie and family. Not only do I keep my appointments, BUT as an added bonus I get to see my grandchildren!!
The boat improvements are going well…a little on the slow side but that is normal in the boating industry. Traveling Soul is going to be even more wonderful to live on once all the boat units have been spent and we have recovered from the price shock.
That is all for now…