s/v Skylark

It's Always An Adventure

27 June 2016 | Passage from Annapolis to Newport
27 June 2016 | MD, Handy's Point
25 June 2016 | C & D Canal 6/16
24 June 2016 | MD, Annapolis
24 June 2016 | MD, Annapolis
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
21 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
21 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
19 June 2016 | VA, Deltaville
19 June 2016 | VA, Deltaville
17 June 2016 | VA, Deltaville
15 June 2016 | ICW Northbound/Deltaville, VA
13 June 2016 | ICW Northbound/Deltaville, VA
11 June 2016 | ICW Northbound

En Route to Newport

27 June 2016 | Passage from Annapolis to Newport
Elizabeth
Last night when I thought about the passages still to be made on the way to Maine, it occurred to me that this is our last time offshore. The remainder of our trip between Newport, RI and Yarmouth, ME will be coastal, anchoring out each night in one cove or another. Our usual haunts, most likely. That was a sobering thought. I'll miss the sunsets, sunrises and the surreal feeling one gets so far from everything and everyone, on our own in the middle of an ocean. There is nothing like it. But we are both good with it being over. Our bodies ache, the boat gets turned upside down, we yearn for a good night's sleep and while we're both glad we pressed on rather than leaving Skylark in Deltaville, we don't mind seeing the end in sight.

It's been a pretty good passage all in all. We had two nights out once we left Handy's Point in MD. Ed handled the bulk of the Delaware River and I was impressed how calm he remained throughout that leg of the trip. I find it absolutely unnerving. He only became nervous once when he was unsure of his ability to maneuver out of a cargo ship's way that was bearing down on us with shallow areas outside of the unmarked part of the channel. When I was up for a couple of hours during all that I couldn't believe the amount of traffic both ways, radio calls and navigation lights backwards, forwards, beside us...yikes!

Newport is close by and we'll be glad to settle in.

Conversation with Luna

27 June 2016 | MD, Handy's Point
Elizabeth
Me: Luna, the sun is perfect for an early morning portrait of you. Can you please smile for the camera?

Luna: No, I don't like to smile for the camera. In fact, I don't know how to smile.

Me: Well, can you at least try to look friendly?

Luna: Not really, but I'll turn my face for a profile shot and stick my spotted tongue out just a little. Do you think that will look good in the picture?

Me: Ummm no, I don't think so. In fact, I think it looks a little dumb. Could you put your tongue back in your mouth just for a minute?

Luna: No, I like it like this. Sometimes I don't think you have the best photographic eye, Elizabeth.

Me: Oh Luna, how do we tolerate you?

Luna: What do you mean? I'm perfect, right? No, seriously, you're kidding, right?

Me: Yes Luna. You are perfect. Even when your tongue hangs out just a little, you are perfect and even if you don't know how to smile.

Correction to Last Post

26 June 2016
Elizabeth
Sorry for the confusion but I suddenly realized I wrote in our last blog post that we were going up the C & D Canal to Reedy Island to position ourselves to go up the C & D Canal. We went through the C & D Canal from the Chesapeake to Reedy Island in the Delaware River before going further down the River where the shipping traffic can get gnarly. I already changed the last post for any of those who might have read it and scratched your heads, my apologies. I wrote and posted in a hurry without editing.

It is just after midnight and we are in the Delaware Bay now, closer to where we meet the ocean and go offshore. It has been busy with lots of close calls on Ed's watch. My only close call was with a buoy that kept getting in our way because the current slid us over into it. I adjusted course many times over but there was a shallow area in the direction I was adjusting to. I did not enjoy that experience.

Fickle as the Weather

25 June 2016 | C & D Canal 6/16
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
We left Annapolis Friday morning spending last night in a quiet anchorage about 6 hours up the Bay at Handy's Point. It was our first time there and worked out well. We were ambivalent about leaving Annapolis because of the squalls all around (which were NOT forecast) but I pushed and Ed didn't resist and I think he just needed a little nudge. He is very weary of planning weather routing only to have everything fall apart time and time again. And neither of us want to be caught in a major squall so there is that. Maybe he just needed me to let him know I was game and he didn't have to carry the burden of responsibility if the proverbial shit hit the fan. I don't know but we left and motored through a lot of bad weather, including a squall just as we were approaching the anchorage but none of it was terrible. We were both glad to have made some progress.

This morning we motored across the Chesapeake/Delaware Canal toward the Delaware River and Reedy Island where we've been many times before. We set the anchor and planned to spend the night, leaving at the break of dawn tomorrow (Saturday) to complete our Delaware River leg of the trip. We are trying to beat another nasty weather system forecast to hit Newport by Tuesday afternoon. We commissioned the dinghy, took Luna for a walk, did some boat chores and then Ed said, "Want to leave tonight and get a jump on the bad weather, getting to Newport Monday afternoon instead of Tuesday morning?" I asked what the downside of that option would be and he said we'd transit the shipping lanes at night rather than in daylight. Not our favorite thing to do in the Delaware River It's busy, narrow and can be harrowing if there's strong wind which although was expected tonight, doesn't seem to be the case when we looked at the gribs this afternoon. I asked how we would manage watches since I didn't have my afternoon nap which enables me to stay up on the first long evening watch. He suggested we wing our watches until we get through the shipping lanes. I said, "OK, let's go!" And that's what we did. We are now on our way at 17:55 (our Spot tracker is on if you want to follow us) and we are feeling as fickle as the weather.

More importantly, it feels like maybe we have our mojo back.

View of the Mooring Field

24 June 2016 | MD, Annapolis
Elizabeth
Skylark is on a mooring ball in the center of this photo. Her bow is facing forward so she's hard to make out. We hope to leave today but I'm not at all sure we will. It's 0700 as I'm posting this and we are in the process of reviewing the gribs. They are, which comes as no surprise changing minute by minute. That's a bit of an exaggeration. They do, however look different from last night's gribs. We are slowly getting used to this although we don't like it one bit. Nothing to do but wait. The frustrating thing is all the planning we do with routing, currents, etc. only to have everything fall apart before the next day's dawn. Over and over and over.

Annapolis Visit

24 June 2016 | MD, Annapolis
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
We have been to Annapolis with Skylark many times since we started this cruising life; it's one of favorite places. The boating life bustles all day and night with sailboat races, clipper ships, water taxis, coast guard, naval academy men and women (so young they are more like children) in their starched whites and always something to see and do. We also have family living in the DC area, just 45 minutes from the center of town. This is a photo of my brother Jon whose website is on our Favorites list under Jon Haberman Cabinetworks. He's a master craftsmen and a special guy. We had lunch on Skylark and while the rest of his family wasn't able to make it out for a visit, it was great seeing him.

A Plug for Zahniser's

22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
We have used Zahniser's Yachting Center as a landing point several times and have never been disappointed. In the past we anchored (muddy bottom, good holding if you get dug in properly) and used their grounds and dinghy dock only but this time we picked up a mooring ball ($30/night) which enabled us to take advantage of their modern facilities. They have a great swimming pool, large and clean restrooms/showers and laundry area, a free shuttle van to the local shops (West Marine, Food Lion, liquor stores...what more does a cruiser need?) and a friendly helpful staff. We hear it's a great place to haul a boat, too. And get this, in one of the restroom areas there are individual rooms with toilet, sink and get this, a bathtub! If it hadn't been so hot, I might have had to get in one of those things which I haven't seen in a very long time.

On the Move Again

22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
We are currently underway to Annapolis where we'll wait out another round of nasty squalls, some packing a punch like last night's before continuing on our way toward Newport, RI. The weather looks clear on Friday but with a north wind and that won't benefit us. Saturday, Sunday and Monday are good for traveling and that's when we'll be on the move but we are shocked (though we shouldn't be) to hear just now on Chris Parker's report that yet another Lo is forming next week, making conditions questionable for boats moving along the East coast. Unbelievable.
Vessel Name: Skylark
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 41.1CC 1985
Hailing Port: Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Crew: Ed Easter, Elizabeth Meadows and Luna the dog
About: Ed, Elizabeth and Luna the dog lived for many years in Charlotte, NC. They started their live aboard experience in Charleston, SC in June 2011, cutting the lines one month later. They have been living the cruiser's life ever since.
Extra:
Skylark is a USA documented vessel and is legally identified by her name "Skylark" and hailing port "Boothbay Harbor". Since our purchase of her in 2008 she had been moored in Tenants Harbor ME '08, Rockland ME '09 and Charleston SC for the 2010 and early 2011 season. After that follow the blog [...]
Skylark's Photos - Delivery South - June 2010
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Added 13 June 2010