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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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Happy Birthday Lonnie from the Choptank River
High 64 Cloudy, Drizzly
10/17/2008, Annapolis 38o58.388 x 76o29.222 to La Trappe Creek, Choptank River Behind Martin Point 38o38.975 x 076o07.185

mmmm. 6:00 am - the clang, clang clang of the bridge began. I woke up out of a haze thinking that it was 7am and jumped up to see what boat was leaving next, but there were 8 hard hats up on the bridge looking at things and testing the equip. Clang, clang, clang the bridge rises and they look at it, then lower it back down, clang clang, clang... They threw me off my stride - I thought I really slept in (yawn). Hash Browns, eggs and sausage for breakfast this morning (I was feeling ambitious I guess). It feels like we're leaving home again after 2 weeks. Cool morning out too. I was thinking about our visit to the Naval Academy yesterday while making eggs this morning and I'd forgotten to mention the 12:00 assembly of the cadets for the mid-day meal. While we were standing there waiting for it again, we noticed a group of kids on tour there collecting to watch it. They were all in school uniforms of blue blazers, oxford shirts, very clean cut. About 11:45 another group of kids shows up - my kids basically, inner-city minority mixtures in sags, t-shirts, girls showing off the curves. Their tour leader talked about what was going to happen and I was checking out the kids - some not paying attention at all but some listening, eyeballing the cadets beginning to collect, but paying attention. I thought "how cool, these kids could use this kind of exposure" positive images of what teamwork and cohesiveness could look like in a "positive gang type atmosphere". Gangs are a family like military is family. Loyalty, duty, honor, etc... Within 5 minutes, they hustled the kids away before the formal sound offs and parade into the building. They were told about it but not allowed to observe the formations and assembly. The kids that got to stay to observe it - the private school kids. Who needed to see and "experience it" the most? The ones that were shuffled off, that it could have had a large impact on. It angered me to think that they brought those kids on a fieldtrip of this magnitude but didn't let them observe the gathering and formation of the cadets for the mid-day meal assembly. Read between the lines here - It irked me.

The work we did on the dingy yesterday? The rubber cement stuff worked 50/50 which is to say... it doesn't work... We dingied our garbage to the dumpster then got back, hooked the dink up to the davits, hoisted it. It wasn't high enough. We started playing around with the straps to see if we could raise it higher, and while pulling it one came undone. So much for the straps that I worked on yesterday and so much for the cementing of the D rings onto the dink. I could have just sat back with a cool one and said "ahhhh". Such is life... We then attached the dink to a short painter and the back of the dink near the motor. Not good. We then took the motor off, and the last strap (uh huh) and hooked the davit to the dink itself near where the motor was, and to the front strap on the top of the dink and it held up pretty good today. We didn't need to do anything yesterday. I guess it was a good brain exercise - what works, what doesn't.

While sorting all that out the Harbor Master came by to see if we were staying longer. Nope. But it took us until 12:00 until we got it all sorted out, engine running, unmoored, and through the bridge. Sad leaving Annapolis, it's one of my favorite places, it really could become home quite easily. I love the old houses, waterways, Academy, etc... there's so much history just viewable in the structure of the streets and brick and cobblestone sidewalks, granite buildings and slate & copper roofs. Onward...

We motor sailed down the Chesapeake about 28 miles and then eastward on the Choptank River (made famous by James Mitchner in his novel Chesapeake) to the La Trappe Creek. Kind of cold out today. Wayne had on 2 sweatshirts and a fleece and I had on a t-shirt and 2 sweatshirts. Still chilled. Made hot chocolate to keep warm and put together a meat loaf for dinner since it looked like we were going to cut it close getting into the creek before dark. It wasn't to bad below deck thanks to the oven, and I got the meatloaf together and into the oven by 5:00 so it was ready at 6:30 and on hold while I made the cheddar/garlic potatoes and corn to accompany it once we got in. We just barely made it to anchor before dark 6:30ish and this time no cannon going off to signal sunset like at Annapolis. Did I forget to mention that every night they shoot off a canon and a trumpet plays taps at sunset? Oops, my bad. Dinner was good; we could hear the rain as we ate below with our oil lamp on the table for ambiance. Now that I've made a meatloaf in the oven, I guess this is officially home LOL. It's supposed to go into the 30s tonight so the peepers I'm hearing as I type this might get silenced Brrrr.... The cold is starting to catch up to us at last and we're looking to get to lower latitudes a bit more quickly than we were.

Annapolis is starting to feel like home!
80's sunny, 70s rain & cloudy
10/16/2008, Annapolis, MD

Okay, today - we trashed the boat... Tore the boat apart to get at the sewing machine which was at the very back corner of the garage (back berth). Then we both realllly needed a shower, then to the Naval Academy for those missing clams... Ran into Greg & Jo (Simpatico) - they were going into the Officers Club as we were leaving. The crab soup mmmmmmm.... Divine. Wayne doesn't like soup, but he agrees, it was good - lotsa crab in a tastey, rich, creamy base. Went to the hardware to replace things that go overboard, then we were going on a beer run but it started raining so we scrubbed that and went back to the boat and finished working on the dingy and davits. I got the straps sewed up, we hooked them on the davits and tested them out for reachability. Tomorrow morning when we take off, we'll see how good of a job this rubber cement stuff is... It'll also be a test of our creativity in putting those davits up. It looks pretty good right now though...

Now to put things back so we can take off tomorrow... Where? Not sure, but the eastern shore of the Chesapeake is probably where we'll end up (somewhere around the Choptank River).

Staying Busy Today
Sunny, nice
10/15/2008, Annapolis

Bitter Sweet day, I already mentioned that though. The rest of the day today:

Breakfast - sausage, eggs, toast and homemade jam. Staying busy today. After breakfast and cleanup we headed for the dingy dock to cut the stainless steel tubing, then brought it back to the boat, fitted it, refitted it, adjusted the hole Wayne drilled, then headed to the hardware to replace the set screws we lost. Then it was grocery-shopping day before the powerboats take over.

Stocked up on groceries, and pop, and I thought I was going to die carrying it back to the bus stop. 3-12 packs of pop, plus all the groceries in the big bag (Steph's bag), plus Laura's bag, plus our back packs. The Navy Blue bus was irregular today, and I started worrying about my meats and milk getting warm but we managed to get back and stow stuff. Huffing and puffing. These 80 degree days are nice unless you're doing heavy lifting and working.

Finished putting the crosspiece up then dinnertime. Meatballs, salad, and hard crust rolls. Awesome meatballs...

Interesting observation. The Harbor Master is still working, but not working. We, are not working, but working... does this make sense? We're retired he's not. He's puttering around on his boat, and we are working on our boat... hmmm...

Called Aunt Joyce and checked in on her. She went to the Casino today and won :) Yay! That would have made mom happy :)

The picture is of the mooring/anchorage on Spa Creek taken from the bridge. Note the pretty Bayfield 32 & we're to the left of it.

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