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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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New boat - X-34 Makes a big "Hit" in its US debut
Sunny, 70’s, Very nice
10/06/2008, Annapolis, MD

Guests (ducks) for breakfast (no I didn't feed them)

After coffee we noticed a dingy heading towards us and I thought "man that looks like Mike and Kathy" LOL - it was. They're back and invited us over for a beer at 4:00pm. After they headed off to town, we headed over to where we were originally anchored to chat with Simpatico and Dove - we wanted to let them know we weren't deserting them - just moved to a mooring; and invited Jo & Greg over for cinnamon rolls and fruit salad tomorrow morning. The Harbor Master called us and left a message wanting to know what our intentions were - that we were supposed to be checked out today! What?!?! We paid for a week... We called back and got that straightened out (thank god for receipts!) then it was into town do catch up on our laundry.

We got a little turned around with our directions at Church Circle and State Circle but saw the post office and stopped in to see if they had any mail for us yet (they didn't). I thought that the Post Master might know where the Laundromat was and while she was giving me directions another customer said he'd show us - he lives above it. So we got a mini-tour of the state capital grounds, legislator, and a few other historic buildings along the way. Once we got there I noticed a couple inside the Laundromat that were in the post office too. They're also in our anchorage on the sailboat Jockslodge (Iain and Jan). They hail from Canada and we sat and talked about politics and where to go and where to avoid while doing laundry. They're probably heading Cuba way but gave us tips on where to go (St. Mary's for Thanksgiving - I guess it is a huge thing with cruisers - They supply the turkey and everyone contributes a dish). Very likable people. After laundry we got back to the boat and while I was making a chicken spread to go over to Sapphire, Jim from the Sailboat Timeless yells to Wayne "did you see that?" "A sailboat ran into Raksha and then just skiddaddled through the bridge while it was opened and didn't bother to check to see if it was alright or not". The sailcover on the boat read X-34. Jim got in his dingy and just as he was untying, Iain and Jan came by in their dingy so I asked them if they'd check Raksha since we knew that Pierre and Françoise weren't aboard. There was damage. We hailed the harbormaster and told him what had happened and he went and chased the X-34 down on the other side of the bridge and brought him back. They notified the DNR, and took down all the guy's vital statistics for Raksha. The guy is a captain transporting the boat to the boat show and didn't think anything of it - just wanted to make the bridge before it came back down or some nonsense. Makes me wonder about these guys that transport boats! That was just wrong, and rude... After that we headed over to Sapphire. What a pretty boat. We had a nice time chatting with Mike and Kathy & they were quite informative too. It sounds like they've got a full schedule. Madcap's coming to stay with them for the boat show (another Bayfield 36) and I think there are a couple more B-40s here too. At 6:30 we needed to skidaddle back to the boat (no light on the dingy) and saw Pierre at Raksha and stopped and explained what had happened, and to let him know that he should talk to Jim, then zipped back to the boat for the night. I spent the rest of the evening trying to sort out what was wrong with my Sierra Compass - it wouldn't connect to the broadband - only to a very low wireless signal. I guess an automatic update screwed something up in the software so I spent over an hour trying to figure out what the heck was going on. My own broadband locked me out! Reckin frecking smecher!

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

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