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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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Annapolis and settled in for a week
10/05/2008, Annapolis MD

Picture of our Dingy playing nicely with the other dingies at the dingy dock.

Slept in a little later today, I just couldn't get my butt out of bed to make coffee until the sun was up (after 7:00am). Sat and enjoyed the quiet morning and pretty houses here then started getting the dingy ready to scout into town. Greg from Simpatico dingied over to say hi at the same time as Larry from the Dove dingied over too. It was nice seeing Larry again - when last we met they were heading for Scotland but they're back and have been here since Thursday. They were anchored behind the powerboat last night so we didn't see them when we came in (IP 32). I guess there was a cruiser's potluck over at the park at 3:30. We were going to go but unfortunately didn't get back in time. After chatting with Dove and Simpatico we got into the dingy and noticed that there were available moorings - not just the private ones - so we high tailed it back to the boat after calling the Harbor Master and getting the go ahead from Linda to take a mooring -she told us to just bring in our documentation after we're attached. We also located Sapphire on a mooring. It was funny because Larry said they saw a Bayfield (same color as ours) on a mooring. They said it had to be our sister ship. They spotted it and went over to investigate, thinking it was us, but it wasn't. We went over expecting to see another Bayfield 36 and low and behold it was Sapphire - a B40. They're in Delaware until tomorrow I think. So one of our big sister ships is here - big and beautiful in the same anchorage. Mike and Kathy are from Michigan too. They're the couple that left last year when we were going too. It'll be nice to chat with them. We met them at the Chicago Boat show a few years ago and have been following their progress ever since. They also are part of the Bayfield group and the SSCA. We have similar affiliations.

After we visited the Harbor Master's office we went to a recommended pub ACME (beep beep) and grabbed a sandwich and Yunglings and dingied back and met another fellow Michigander/now Floridian on Maria (Ray). He's a live aboard that's working the show this year - setting up and tearing down. I guess cruisers come early to work the show as a way of making extra cash every year (a good point to stow away in my brain somewhere for future reference?). He was telling us about St. Mary's Georgia - a must stop by for Thanksgiving (bring a dish to pass), the skinny parts of Georgia and the Dismal Swamp. Sunset is beckoning me now...

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...

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