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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Worton Creek to Annapolis
10/04/2008, Annapolis MD

Cool morning. Sky is blue, fish are coming to the surface creating little circular ripples where they scour the surface for food. A crab boat pulled out this morning, nice and early with someone up top banging away at the bait (I assume) on the way out, all the pots/cages empty and ready to cast out again. There's a blue heron across the way standing in the water looking for his breakfast in the sandy water below low tide level. The trees behind him are tinged in color. This place will be stunning in another couple weeks when all the maples and trees come into full color. There are so many leaves on trees that I don't recognize here. The water current is flowing in from the Chesapeake so the tide must be rising. What they call creeks here amaze me. I'd call it a good size river at home. Worton Creek is very good size, and quite pretty. I could visualize a house here easily. Herons, eagles, all manner of sea birds, fish, crab, woods. I wouldn't mind living here. We need to see if they have some charts of this area before heading out to Annapolis this morning. I never thought I'd like being "up a creek" but I like this place.
While making coffee this morning I heard a bunch of geese flying over - honk, onnk... onk, onk... as they were heading south from their Canadian, Artic-breeding grounds. There used to be millions of geese in the Chesapeake at one time, but over the centuries hunters, and locals for whatever reasons (food, sport, pest control) have thinned them out, just because... I can imagine the great traffic jams in the sky and on the bays and creeks here. Phenomenal. But slowly, over time, since this area was settled, the habitat that supports the great birds and other wildlife has dwindled, as people have moved in, filled in the marshes and creeks and generally polluted large areas before realizing the impact that they were having on this treasure we call the Chesapeake.

Coming into Annapolis was.... Holey cow I'm lost for words... amazing... incredible... Holey cow I'm still lost for words. I've never seen so much boat traffic. The amount of sailboats was incredible! Sailboat races, boats coming in to the various rivers, creeks, boats going out, power boats, freighters traveling the channel highways to Baltimore, etc... Everywhere I looked, there were sails. Traffic was heading every which way in a confusion of weekend travelers (us included). I have a feeling that coming into Annapolis on a weekend is not a good idea. Coming in the weekend before the boat show realllllly not a good idea. We motored around for a while looking at moorings and possible anchoring spots. The only available moorings were private ones (hence not available) Yikes. Entering Spa Creek - the place was packed. We came up to the bascule bridge and hailed them. No response. I called him on the phone and he said they open on the hour & half hour. Would I like for him to open it on the hour? Yes please. Boat's name? Kolibrie. Spell that? K-O-L-I-B-R-I-E. Okay then. Click. Before I could ask him about anything else. Soooo... Forward, backward, forward, backward for 20 minutes while boat traffic started piling up behind us also waiting for the bridge to open. After we entered Spa Creek we started looking for somewhere to anchor. The place was packed. So after motoring about for awhile we finally anchored in for the night after 3 tries where we were to close to everyone (it was uncomfortable) then a homeowner came out and told us we needed to move after we swung around pretty close to his dock (we were going to move as we'd already noted that). We finally settled next to Simpatico (a 35 ft O'Day) from S. Dakota. Hopefully we'll get to meet them tomorrow. They told us that they had set a Bahamian anchor with 2 anchors, so we followed suit. Since it was getting dark we decided to call it a night. Tomorrow we'll try and settle in better. It's pretty calm tonight so no worries. My cell service is working again - got a message from Laura & called her back - they're off to Disney with the little ones for a week (how fun J I miss doing that kind of stuff). I also have internet access again YAY! It was good to see that Sister Patti and my weather guru Bob found us (go Bull Dogs!). Bob - if we make it to the West Coast - I still owe you and the Mrs a beer and maybe dinner J

Rogues Harbor to Worton Creek MD
Sunny, High Pressure, 60's
10/03/2008, Worton Creek Marina, MD

Man it got cold last night. 40 brrrrr.... Something tells me we're not but a step ahead of the cold weather. I'm sitting here at dock in the marina watching the geese v-up and listening to them honk at each other. We got in, gassed up (26 gallons) refilled the water tanks (at the end found out they have very irony well water - shades of home), pumped out and then tied up at berth 51 at the end of the T on the B dock (I like). The woman that helped us gas up and pump out asked me if we were heading south & I told her yes. She asked if it was our first trip and smiled at me when I said yes. It was sweet because I felt like we were part of a flock heading south like the geese that I see in the skies above. I hear the same people calling each other on the radio all the time. I don't know them, but know that they're heading in the same general direction as us. It's similar to the geese that fly in huge V patterns. They join each other along the way and separate along the way. Freya calling Briar Patch; Southbound calling Freya; Felicity, Cambia, Abigal, Whippoorwill, Vertigo, calling... It reminds me of the geese calling out to each other, signaling what they're going to do. They have a cute little marina here - Pool, marine and food store, restaurant, laundry, showers. Needless to say we both headed for the showers. On the way back from the shower I looked up and thought I saw an osprey. It wasn't an osprey but a big beautiful bald eagle flying over me, and me without my camera! It was beautiful. Then I looked down into the water and saw several small jellys pulsing along in the water. It surprised me because I hadn't expected to see them here in brackish water but one of the boat owners said they're starting to appear because the salinity level is going up, there hasn't been a lot of rain lately. Hmmmm....

I was going to try and connect to the internet - thought it would be no problem but my broadband wouldn't work - strange because it had the right color to connect then changed... I hope it wasn't the spilled Merlot last night (a glass got spilled in the dark on the table where the computer was)...

It's been an exhausting few days, the 24 hour run, then crossing the Delaware (another 12 hour run) sleepless nights... Signing off... Theoretically if the Chesapeake is calm tomorrow we'll cross and go down towards Annapolis. Between the currents, winds, and shallow conditions it can kick up to wicked conditions (I'm catching on quickly to that).

Wish I could check my email and send one to Sapphire to find out where they are...

Chesapeake City, MD to Rogues Harbor, MD
Sunny, 20-25mph winds, wicked waves on the bay
10/02/2008, Rogues Harbor, MD

Well we started out to go to Worton Creek (about way to Annapolis) but the winds were working against the current and building some good size waves. After we passed Turkey Point we turned around and headed for a spot where we saw some boats anchored, in what looked like still water. They were boats on private moorings, but there were some boats anchored a little further up, at Rogues Harbor so we dropped anchor there for the night. Whenever a freighter or barge comes through the channel we get wake but it wasn't to bad.

Made BBQ Ribs and broccoli slaw for dinner and then played dragon lady during the night. We set the anchor alarm (remember the freighters passing us in the channel?) and it went off several times during the night. It was hard to see at first but little by little we seemed to be getting closer to the group of 4 boats to the North of us. Nothing to get alarmed about but then our depth alarm went off too (I have it set for 8 feet). We were reaching low-low tide and our reading went from 9 ft to 7.5 ft. but whenever it hit 8 ft an alarm went off so I turned the thing off at 5:30 in the morning (after checking our surroundings and depth once more). Between the anchor alarm and depth alarm it was an interesting night. We had enough water under us and around us, but each time something went off you had to get up to check. Hence - Dragon Lady (Dragging Lady) throughout the night...

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