We've officially been headed enough now that the Chesapeake Bay is out of the question. In Lunenburg, we plotted two routes on the chart, for each scenario, and had always kept the Delaware option in our back pocket. I had a hunch that south was key in this leg, so we kept going that way and I'm glad we did.
Isbjorn is about level now with the entrance to the Delaware Bay, 130 miles offshore, and we are barely laying the course. The wind is up to 18-20 knots, but the sea is sell relatively calm. It's hot & humid down below with all hatches shut. We're sailing under the small genoa and 1 reef in the mainsail. Isbjorn is quite happy under this rig - we're able to steer about 35 degrees off the apparent wind, footing off ever so slightly in the bigger waves to keep our momentum up, making about 6.5 knots through the water. She's heeled 20-25 degrees, and the gravity down below has increased substantially. Completing even the most mundane task - getting a drink of water from the sink even - has become a real challenge. The physical effort of doing ANYTHING when sailing to windward in even a slight seaway is impossible to explain to someone, even a sailor, who has never done it. You've simply got to experience it, a full 24-hour cycle of living on the boat in these conditions to fully appreciate it. Dan even joked that boat shows ought to deliberately heel the 'offshore' boats to 25 degrees to get a feel for them at that angle. It'd be memorable anyway.
So instead of beating to the Chesapeake, Isbjorn is Delaware bound. With luck, we'll be able to lay the course and make it on this tack. Time will tell.