Friday, October 25, 2013


Saturday Oct 5

We motored back to the west shore of the Chesapeake, south of Annapolis, from St Michaels to Quiet Waters Park off South River on the southern side of Annapolis. Another warm sunny day, mid 80's. I was told later the temperatures were in the low 90's on shore. Quiet Waters is a popular county park, on Harness Creek and the creek it very popular and crowded in the summer with boaters. They have docks with all sort of water toys for rent. Well, since we are having summer temperatures without the bugs there is a fairly good crowd of boats. Most of the power boats left by dark and the cruisers had the place to themselves. In the evening I rowed up the creek and talked with one of the local homeowners on the creek who told me it was a popular Hurricane hole which I suspected.

Sunday Oct 6
We hiked through the park to West Marine and Fawsetts Marine (Kind of like Defender, much better prices than Worst Marine). I bought a part at West and then found it for 30 percent less at Fawsetts and found West was charging way over the list price. So I bought it and made the return to West. Ran into a Montreal couple who had walked from their boat in Spa Creek in Annapolis. We were in McDonalds and Linda noticed they had a folding cart like ours and of course they were catching up on the WiFi at McDonalds, obviously sailors. Their boat is called Lea-Lou.

Monday Oct 7
Rain is forecast for most of the day, looking forward to getting the salt washed off the boat. Checking the weather radar it looks like we have until about noontime, before it hits. We go for a morning walk and get back just before it lets loose. Tomorrow we plan to motor and/or sail around to Spa Creek in Annapolis to see if we can get lucky and pick up a mooring in Spa Creek by the draw bridge. Even though the mooring field is limited to 35 foot boats I hope our official length of 35' 8” will get rounded down.

Tuesday Oct 8

With all this great weather, I got a little complacent on the marine forecast, glossing over the potential small craft warnings and decided to continue towing the dinghy with the outboard on it.
Big mistake. As we left the protection of the South River we were exposed to 15-20 knots winds from the north with 2-3 foot waves. Our motoring speed greatly slowed down. The dinghy got some protection, being behind us as we plowed through the waves, but once we changed our angle to the waves on the last leg to Annapolis it was nearly leaping off the tops of some of the biggest waves. Finally we arrive at Spa Creek, just missing the every half hour opening of the bridge. Once through, we pickup a mooring at the St Marys mooring field next to the bridge. Soon after the harbor patrol stops by to collect for the mooring. They need our Coast Guard documentation number, we mistakenly hand him a copy of the Coast Guard registration. I had not notice before, but the previous owner had put the boat down at 36' 6” for length, can't round that down. We get kicked off the mooring, but find another further up the creek in a more protected area for over 35 foot boats away from the bridge and traffic noise. A lucky upgrade, much nicer spot. Once we get settled down the holding tank nearly full light comes on. We get on the radio and call the Annapolis pump out boat, they come to you, what a deal for only five dollars.

Wed Oct 9

We head for one of the many Annapolis dinghy docks. Many of the streets near downtown Annapolis that dead end on the water have dinghy docks for cruising boats to use. Our mission today is our first laundry since leaving Vermont and breakfast at “Chick and Ruth's” a local icon. Normally trying to walk through this place is quite entertaining since everything is so tightly packed in. Doing that trailing a cart with laundry was next to impossible. Upon leaving I had to ask a couple people to back out onto the side walk to let me and my bag of laundry out so they could reach a table. After breakfast we head for the laundry-mat. It is full of cruisers, not one local. An overcast dreary day, we had back to the boat, before it starts to rain.

Thursday Oct 10

Rained most of the night. The gas tank in the dinghy is nearly floating. Took quite a while to bail out the dinghy. Put on our foul weather jackets and met up with Vermont friends George and Deb Molla.

We have lunch at Chick and Ruth's and walk around town in the rain. That evening we go the Salty Dog Rally Party in Eastport for cruisers sailing From Norfolk, Virginia to Virgin Gorda in the BVI's around November 1. We finally meet up with Rock and Diane, who left Malletts Bay two weeks before us and are planning to do the Salty Dog Rally. After we walk back into town and get coffee and a donut at Chick and Ruths. Bail out the dinghy again and motor back out the boat. After 24 hours of rain we are starting to find a couple ports that are leaking for the first time in a couple years. Rains all night.

Friday Oct 11

Wake up and it is still raining. We get ready to head to the boat show. Thinking about taking the water taxis, so I don't have to bail the dinghy again, this is getting old fast. I called the Water Taxi, but half an hour later, no water taxi, so I bail the dinghy again. I was thinking to call the pump out boat to come pump out our dinghy. We finally get to shore wearing our foul weather gear. I wore sandals, so I didn't have to care about getting my feet wet, since there were puddles everywhere. The rain did keep the crowds way down at the boat show. We met up with John and Genie at our usual Boat Show lunch spot, but usually have a hard time finding seats. No problem today, the place is empty and rather soggy in places. After the boat show we met up with Deb and George and head to the Rams Head for what we were told was a great happy hour. On the way there we run into Rock and Diane who had recommended the Rams Head and were on their way there also. One of the best happy hours I have been to. Beers on tap for $2.75 and with each beer you get two coupons each for a plate of wings. No need for dinner after that. They had a Caribbean themed band playing on the outside patio. Just as some of our group starts dancing the rain lets loose again, party over. Of course on the way back to the boat we stop in for coffee and desert (donuts) at Chick and Ruths, with George and Deb. And then one more time I bail the dinghy to get back to our mooring in the dark.

Saturday Oct 12
Get up in the morning and bail the dinghy again so we can meet John and Genie at the head of Spa creek. They have kindly offer to drive us around to do some shopping. Then after lunch we check out boats at Annapolis Marina in Back Creek. That evening we are invited to dinner at Richard and Lynne's home, who live in Annapolis and are long time friends of Bruce and Pam Foshay, Bob and Judy Chase, John and Genie, who are all there. Had a wonderful dinner of crab cakes. Of course it rains most of the evening. John and Genie take us back to the dock where our dinghy is, for more bailing before we motor back to the boat. Fortunately, there is just a light rain and the next down pour does not commence until we are back on the boat. It could not possibly get any damper in our boat, even notebook paper is limp and nearly impossible to write on. Wood is starting to swell so cabinet sliding doors stop working. Hang up a towel dry in the morning and it is damper when we return at night. Many other boaters are complaining about leaks they never had before.

Sunday Oct 13
Rained all night, this is getting real old. Bail the dinghy again, are we having fun yet! Head in for another day at the boat show. Rain stops early and we have a fairly dry day. Met up with John, Genie and Judy Chase for lunch. Bob is to busy buying stuff to stop for lunch. We walk over to Eastport to the Boatyard Restaurant for dinner with John and Genie. And then one last bailing of the dinghy before heading back to the boat for the night.

Monday Oct 14

Get up late, then meet John and Genie to check out a couple more boatyards. I am always looking for good ideas to use. We talk with a Catalina 32 owner who made a couple unique modifications to his boat that we could use. It is a nice sunny day. Late in the afternoon we head to the Fleet Reserves (Bar) by the Boat Show to watch the break down of the boat show after closing at 5:00 o'clock, which is signaled by the firing of a cannon. Amazing how fast they can move the docks and the boats out of there. Head back to Eastport to another unique neighborhood eatery, “ Davis'”, found by George and Deb. Cream of crab soup, excellent ! John and Genie drop us off at a dry dinghy, things are looking up.

Linda and friends
Tuesday Oct 15
Met George and Deb for breakfast at another unique place they discovered in Eastport, Leeward Market. Great breakfast and very fast WiFi. Paid for “Annapolis Wifi” when we first arrived, but it was so slow that it was useless. We head to a local Yacht club to use their shower facilities, I try not to drain their hot water tank. After showering with finite quantities of hot water on our boat this is a luxury. Linda and I head back to do some more laundry and I later take the bus to one of the local malls to buy some equipment. The plan was to meet Deb and George back at Rams Head for Tuesday Happy hour, free raw oysters with your $2.75 beer. I get back too late and George has eaten all the oysters, by the time we get there, although I do get a couple $2.75 beers even though we get there after the 7:00 PM witching hour.

Wednesday Oct 16
Back to Leeward Market for another breakfast with George and Deb before they leave for New York City to visit with their son. Linda and I finally walk to the super market to buy grocery’s and also stop by ACE Hardware for a few items. Linda and I make one last trip to Rams Head for our last Happy Hour, roast beef sandwiches with our beer. It's a good thing we don't live in Annapolis, I would be on the Rams Head Happy Hour Meal Plan. We walk back to Ego Ally site of the Boat Show, now totally cleared of docks and new boats. We have never seem this creek in it's normal state after years of only being in Annapolis during the boat show. End the evening with a dry dinghy ride back to the boat.

Thursday Oct 17

We get up early and prepare the boat to leave early to catch the 9:00 AM bridge opening. Three other boats have the same idea and we have a boat parade. We stop to fuel up, water up and start heading to Cambridge on the eastern shore.

Leaving Annapolis

Saturday, October 5, 2013

St. Michaels

Tuesday (Oct 1)

Motored over to St Micheals on the east shore. Very little wind. Had full sail up for about an hour, but wind faded. Arrived mid-afternoon and headed into town for a walking tour. We walked by the Blackthorn Irish pub and they were having their Tuesday happy hour, 25 cent oysters on the half shelf and three dollar beers. We quickly turned around and took an outside table. Obviously this is an off season special, hardly anyone was there. Unfortunately after my first 8 oysters they ran out. Linda reminded me that she told me I should of ordered more, oh well. Linda got one of their ½ price appetizers. I forgot what they called it, but it was basically an over size German Egg Roll, a Rubin, with a wonton wrap, fried. Very good. Didn't need much for dinner that night when we got back to the boat after sundown.
A local fellow sitting next to us told us this is the best time of year to sail on the Chesapeake. Summer is hot in the 90's, crowded anchorages, no wind, and lots of biting bugs and further more, added even the butterflies bite. I can't say much about the wind or lack off, but there have been no bugs, have not even bothered with the screens.

We have been wondering when we will have our first night on the boat with the front hatch open all night. Well, this was the night, temperatures got down to only 68 F.

Wednesday (Oct 2)

We spent a good part of the day at St Michaels Maritime Museum. We first headed to breakfast at Carpenters Saloon, by name, not the place you would think of for breakfast. Excellent breakfast, but strangely they don't open until 8:00 AM. Not a problem for us arriving around 9:30. Then we headed for the Museum. Enjoyed watching volunteers finishing up the rebuilding of an old Skipjack. Excellent view on the history of the Chesapeake, not as big as Mystic Sea Port, but you can still spend most of the day there.
Note the fine woodworking tool
 After a long day at the museum we hit one of the local ice cream parlors, definitely not Ben & Jerrys, apparently they don't like a lot of stuff in their ice cream down here. Then we did some provisioning at the local supermarket, before heading home. Fortunately, I had previously bought a folding wheeled cart to get everything back to the dock. Thanks to John Soboslai, I re-read their blog on their first time to the Bahamas to see what items they picked up along to way that they wished they started with.

Wednesday evening races

Thursday (Oct 3)

Slept in late and planned on working on a few things on the boat and then heading into St. Micheals for lunch. Nothing ever goes as planed. Head clogged, so I had a new morning project, fun. We then headed into the “Town Dock” for lunch. There was only about 6 people in this large restaurant on the water. After lunch we walked through town on many of the side streets admiring the many beautiful old homes.

Each day here keeps getting warmer. Water temperature is 70 degrees, would love to jump in for a swim, but the bay is full of nettles (jelly fish to us New Englanders) which sting.

Friday (Oct 4)

Hung out on the boat for the day, working on various projects. Temperatures in the mid-80s. After a couple two blanket nights on the Hudson we now are sleeping under just a sheet. Temperatures will be back to the high 60's next week. Washed the boat. The port side was especially dirty from our transit through the locks.

Saturday (Oct 5)
Another sunny morning, was up for the sunrise. Our daily early morning visitor, again came by. A local crabber lays down his crab line around 6:00 AM. His ¼ mile long line has a buoy on both ends and a series of baits hanging off the main line. Every ½ hour he comes by and runs the line up over a roller of the side of his boat and nets any crabs hanging on to the bait. He services a couple other lines in the area and he usually quits around noon time.

Later today we plan to head north to South River, south of Annapolis to anchor off Quiet Waters State Park for a couple days.

Crabber sunrise