Sunday, 25 June 2017

Southern Hospitality

Here in Virginia, we've been blessed by southern hospitality - on arrival we were hosted by family friends (thanks Lael & Katherine!) who have a dock in beautiful Horne Harbor, a small tributary of the Great Wicomico River. Horne Harbour is a recognised Hurricane Hole, with steep forested banks plus a few homes peeking through the forest on the ridges above. Miles from the nearest town, it is both natural and rural. Otters and beavers live in the creek, there are deer and squirrels on shore, bald eagles and osprey nesting along the banks. It's a perfect anchorage, though the shallow entry needs a rising tide for safe navigation.

Horne Harbour - Peaceful, Pretty & Protected
After 10 days there we moved down river to Cockrell Creek, in the town of Reedville, staying on another private dock, this time as guests of Walter Keith and Mary Frazer who are, like us, members of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA). Walt & Mary volunteer as "cruising station" hosts for the area. We joined the SSCA about 18 years ago, and it has taken until this month to meet members on their home territory - what a great welcome they delivered.

Crystal Blues At Rest, Walt & Mary's Dock, Cockrell Creek

Rocking Chairs On The Balcony, With Walter & Mary

On Horne Harbour we were able to relax and enjoy the local environment, plus start a series of jobs on our maintenance list, including the removal and refinishing / bedding of another deck hatch.

Those jobs were completed on Cockrell Creek, with great assistance from Walt & Mary, who provided transport and a vehicle when we needed it.

They also managed to ramp our social life up by several notches, with sundown drinks on the balcony each evening, beautiful meals together and an introduction to the local community, specially through the Reedville Fisherman's Museum. The museum is only 100 paces from Walt & Mary's front door, and is an important social connector in the area. Members gather every second Friday evening for a pot luck sundowners session at the museum. Our first Sunday in town the museum also hosted a New Orleans Blues music event, with a great local band headlining - check out the Adrian Duke Project. With all that hospitality we felt quite at home in Reedville, also hosting locals onboard Crystal Blues.

Cockrell Creek Mast Work - A New Windex Instrument Installed
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings the wooden boat workshop at the Museum is in action, attracting a keen group of local volunteers, restoring vessels and building new ones. I was of course invited - its a great way to spend a day.

I think it's a little unkind for the local ladies to refer to it as the retired men's club - but whatever fits! The shed smells exactly like a wooden boat workshop should and is very well equipped.

These guys do great work - evidence is floating at the museum docks, with beautifully restored and maintained fishing vessels, both power and sail.

Our own work included removing the washing machine from the lazarette space, so it could be repaired on deck - this provided great entertainment for the locals. The machine has done great service since we installed it in Singapore 8 years ago, but the refit in Trinidad almost killed it - the exit hose was choked with anti-fouling paint. We also installed a new long range wi-fi receiver, in reality a wireless bridge, to replace our older Wave WiFi device - but that's news for a future story.

Reedville offers visiting cruisers a friendly and peaceful home, with several good restaurants and countless quiet and sheltered anchorages. Three local marinas can provide fuel, water and dockage if required.

Check the link below for more images of the beautiful Reedville village.

Millionaire's Row, Reedville

Millionaire's Row, Reedville

A Modern Development, Across The Creek From Reedville

Local Farmhouse & Corn Almost Ready For Harvest

Millionaire's Row, Reedville

On Millionaire's Row, Reedville

Corn Is The Big Local Crop, Plus Wheat In Some Cases

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