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The First Mate's Journal
Where to next?

Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Neptunes revenge continued
60s, winds E-SE 0-10mph, waves 1 ft
10/26/2008, Chisman Creek 37o11.077x076o25.388 to Hampton, VA 37o01.056x077o20.480

After sweet rolls and coffee, we drove across our anchorage area in a big X forward and back to see if our anchor was played out along the bottom. The hope was that we could snag the rope or chain with our anchor and haul it up. No luck. So we said adios to it and let Neptune have his due. So if anyone finds an anchor in Chisman Creek with a bent up fluke (that I did last year), give it our regards - it served us well...

Southbound again to Norfolk/Hampton.
It seemed logical that it wouldn't be to busy, Norfolk way, on a Sunday. Wow, the closer we got to the bottleneck area, the busier it was! Not with Naval ships though, but a large freighter (turquoise) came baring down on us blowing his horn and we weren't even in the channel. Just wanted to make sure we saw him I guess. We decided to go to Hampton, and the number of sailboats as we approached was incredible! It felt like heading into Annapolis for the boat show again! This time there were travelers south (like us), day sailors out for the beautiful fall day, racers, and as we later found out the Caribbean 1500 are meeting here to begin their trip to the Caribbean, the beginning of November.

We hailed the City Docks, no slips available, then tried Bluewater Yachting Center - nope can only give you one night - I don't have the authority for more than that until I check with the boss. Yikes! All these sailboats out here and no dockage available? That's how we found out that the Caribbean 1500 was coming to town tomorrow and the slips had been all reserved. The 1500 is a cruising rally that gets together and flies south (honk honk, onk) to the Caribbean from here and this year also from Charleston S.C. So our timing was perfect (hey we're Abens remember?). Last year they had 70-80 boats leave from here, I'm not sure how many are converging this year, only that when we came in, it was really iffy if we could stay more than tonight. So my nerves have been a little touchy today. Want to hear some of my cluttered thoughts?

Last nights subliminal 2:00 am thoughts: "Oh my gosh, what if we drag, if there's a storm, and we don't have both the anchors up front (illogical I know with a storm anchor sitting in the cockpit - but not attached to anything)"; "okay, where'd my blanket go, it's cold out here"

Today's miscellaneous thoughts: "trolling for anchors, let it be here!" "damn, it's not"; "Why is that blankity-blank freighter baring down on us - we're not in the channel.... Are we???" "Why are all these frigging racers and day sailors aiming at me?" "Why are all these huge power boaters cutting in front of me and waking me???" "Why doesn't Wayne like cake? I can't keep ice-cream on board." "oh oh, no room at the inn, we'll have to anchor out somewhere, lower the dink and go grocery shopping from... where? To.... Where?" "Okay, lie and tell them we're only here for a night, then we'll shop, get the lay of the land and anchor somewhere tomorrow until we're set to go...after we find an anchor" "how far to the nearest West Marine and can we carry an anchor, chain, and rode for 5 miles back to a dingy... that's anchored...where?" "Why can't we be part of that 1500 clan flying south... I feel like a renagade goose that can't join the larger v..."

Needless to say some thoughts have omitted to protect the innocent...

We pulled into the Bluewater Yachting Center, got the lay of the land (yes check out time is noon), got an adapter for 50 to 30 amps for the boat (deposit $175.00) so we have power. The "boss" called after, to say he can accommodate us and was asking where we were (um, oops, in the marina). He said he was going to put us somewhere else but since we were here, that we could stay where we were (A big loud YAYYYYY). We then got directions from the young lad that works here - Dan, and headed to the Food Lion Store just shy of a mile from the marina (he said it's mile, but when I mapped it out it said .8 miles from the road that enters the marina. Walking it with all the groceries, it felt more like 10 miles. This marina is a huge maze! We were huffing and puffing carrying everything back (and we're not done). There are no sidewalks, so we had to walk the road and keep leaving it when cars passed us (which they did a lot). As we finally got to the marina, our young hero showed up in a golf cart and gave us a ride to D Dock, then showed us where the dock carts were. I could have hugged that kid to death - my hands and back were screaming at me, and I know Wayne's knee was giving him hell!

Next up - putting all this stuff away into the little frig! Oh no, there's water and stuff in the bottom of it. Need to clean it out first, then put all the food in. Yikes, 2 broken eggs during the trip from the store. More clean up. Oh no - the large eggs are larger than large and don't fit into my egg protector... Clean up the egg carton and put them back into it! Okay... food is away and it's 7:30 pm... What next? Dinner? What, me cook now that everything just got stowed? Forget it... I'm calling for pizza... I wonder if they deliver... They do!!!

8:15, phone rings... Dialog: I can't find your house. What? I'm not in a house, I'm on D-Dock, slip 23... You're where? I'm in a boat, D-Dock, slip 23. I can see D Dock. Where are you? Oh oh... I don't know, I'm on a boat, on D-dock, didn't the guy I called tell you? Um hmmm, I didn't even know this place was here. Me neither LOL. Hang on, I'll talk with you and see if I can find you. Are you in your car? Mmhmmm.. lights on? Mmmhmmmm? Okay, look for me and I'll look for you.... Okay... What color car? Light blue... okay, I see a big building. Are you near it? Mmmhmmmm. Anyhow we finally met up, and this pizza was GOOD! Mmmmmm.... It even came with a dipping sauce. So if anyone ever wants good pizza and they're here - call Chanellos Pizza! Very good and they deliver to the boat (if they can find you), if not, they definitely deliver to the marina!

Okay, tummy feels better; mind feels better... time for sleep... Tomorrow is a new day and the search for West Marine. I forgot to mention we called them and they stashed an anchor for us to pick up tomorrow. Theoretically, there's a shuttle van going to operate from here to West Marine for the Caribbean 1500 members. The guy at West Marine (Bill) said there would probably be room and they probably wouldn't know if we were 1500 or not so to just jump on in. Think they'll recognize us as on of their flock or will they peck us until we leave? Stay tuned... honk onk onnnk... two lone geese in the middle of a flock and what a marvelous flock they appear to be...

Updated - King Neptune's revenge
Cloudy, 70, rain/drizzle most the day
10/25/2008, Chisman Creek, MD

Captain is taking today off. Happy Saturday...
Here's a picture of both of us with our catch yesterday...

Remember that anchor that King Neptune gave us???

Well I guess he didn't like that we either took an anchor that belonged to him, or didn't like it that we didn't keep it. Either way, towards evening tonight, we discovered we were an anchor shy. Our 45 lb danforth anchor was gone!!! It must have taken a jarring during our passage yesterday and came loose sometime during the trip or last night...

By the way Capt'n says thank you for all the well wishes on his 69th trip around the sun ;)

The one that didn't get away!!!
Cloudy, Lower 60s, E to SE Winds 11-15 , Waves 2-4 ft
10/24/2008, Fishing Bay, (Piankatank River) VA (37o32.409 x 76o20.190) to Chisman Creek, VA (37o11.077 x 076o25.388)

Friday, October 24, 2008

After coffee we went up to weigh anchor at 8:00 am and leave by 8:30 am but couldn't seem to break anchor. Forward, backward, spin in circles - no luck, didn't matter. At times between the windlass and the motor the bow was being pulled down, so we had to very carefully rethink our tactics to get unstuck! Wayne chided me for worrying about dragging during the night... We weren't going anywhere... Finally after maneuvering forward, backward, circles again, with the bow bending down to try and pull whatever was there up, we could feel a mighty weight being pulled to the surface. Wayne thought it might be an old mooring weight, but as he lifted it higher with the windlass, it was our anchor... attached to....another anchor. A monster anchor covered with clay, oysters, and other materials. The anchor was better than 6 feet in length. Wrapped once around our chain and snugged into our anchor. I kidded him that he really shouldn't have thrown out 2 anchors last night, just a little more rode. This anchor was a beauty - a better than 6 ft long Herreshoff anchor (the old Popeye type anchor). The ketch next to us (Grand Eagle) radioed us that they had bolt cutters if we needed them and offered assistance. I didn't want to cut it free, I wanted to drag it up and keep it!!! Oh boy! It would look great on our front lawn. Only problem was, how do we get it up? Then, how do we get it aboard. Then, will it fit in one of those one price mailers that the post office offers??? It was longer than our bow or the topside of our deck... I asked Grand Eagle "would you like an anchor?" LOL, they responded back that they already had four of their own. I radioed back that we were trying to figure out how to keep it and get it up and they suggested going dockside and trying it there - so we did. As we pulled up, one fellow came to help us in to the dock."Look what we caught!" He looked stunned to see what we had attached to our anchor, while helping us tie up. Then a voice came from above. What can we get for you, what do you need (we'd pulled up to the gas dock)? Um, help getting an anchor up? What? What can we help you with, what do you need? We picked up an old anchor in your bay with our anchor and can't get it up off ours... No response. Wayne finally went up to the marina office, I think they thought we were kidding, and I just looked at the anchor trying to figure out how we could ship it home. I couldn't figure out any way that the anchor could leave with us and had to come to grips with leaving it - donating it to the marina. Fishing Bay Marina was going to be the proud owner of our anchor . I walked up to the office too and the dock master said a couple guys were going to come look at it and help us. One sight of the anchor had them drooling too. Yes! We'll help you! Yes! We'll take it off your hands! They had us pull into their dock area where the travel lift was and ran and got their hoist. Fastest I ever saw dock hands move - they were afraid we'd change our minds and want to take it with us I guess. We wanted it bad. So did they. They won. We had no room anywhere. So we caught the big one. Fortunately not the ship it was attached to. Unfortunately we had to let it get away. Fortunately we didn't lose our anchor, or our bow, or our boat from the strain of lifting it... Damn I really wanted to keep that piece of iron! Needless to say we didn't leave the harbor until 10:00 am and I guess we were lucky to have left then. Wow...

Windy and wavy we proceeded down the Chesapeake to Chisman Creek. This is a snug little creek, not much room to error here, depths change from 8-10 ft to 1-0 feet pretty fast, but bad weather is predicted for tomorrow so hopefully we'll be okay. We're anchored by a small marina and next to another sailboat from Canada in the channel by a red buoy. Made excellent time, anchor time 4pm. 33.5 miles in 6 hours. Beef in gravy over garlic mashed potatoes for dinner. Hopefully no "anchors away" tonight...

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