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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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Yay - waterr again
Low: 38 this am; High: 70 this afternoon and sunny
10/21/2008, Yeocomico River, MD (38o01.815 x 076o33.969) to Cockrell Creek, Great Wicomico River, Reedville, VA (37o50.262 x 076o16.537)

Well, we anchored in the W. Yeocomico River near Kinsale Marina to fuel up this morning because it's supposed to be one of the bigger marinas here. At 8:50 we hailed them, no response. At 9:05 we hailed them, no response so we went to the next cove to White Pt Marina, no answer either on channel 16 or 68. I couldn't get my phone to work so couldn't call either place and had to assume they were closed for the season. With all the shallow water surrounding us and showing on the chart, plus all the crab pots, we didn't want to try and go in to either place without talking to someone first (we weren't ready to call Boat US again). So we moved on back to the Potomac to try elsewhere. As we approached the Coan River I noticed I had a bar on my phone so called the Coan River Marina (840) 529-6767 and got an answering machine saying he wasn't there but to leave a message or call his cell phone - so I called his cell phone. He said he wasn't there but he'd have a guy looking for us. Yay! It was tricky getting in there between the shallows, crab pots and oyster aquaculture beds, but he gave us pretty good directions, so we were able to fuel up and fill our water tank. Later he told Wayne that he'd forgotten that the markers had moved in the storms and was glad to see we made it in okay (Wayne told him - shhhh...don't tell my wife that).

I got a nice hot shower in our tub while Wayne handled the helm J. Ahhhhh.....

I should know this but don't. What do you call a family of pelicans? A squadron? There were 5 flying in formation - kind of interesting to watch them diving into the water (looked more like crashing into the water head first). One came up with a good size fish not far from where there were fish stakes standing up in the water (it looks like a bunch of sticks poking out of the water in 12-18 ft depths).

We put in for the day down the creek from a seafood place that processes various seafoods. There are huge ships there - looks like a rather large operation with a fishy smell as you go by it. We can't really smell anything at our anchorage though & we're anchored next to a crab shack that makes and sells crab cakes. They weren't open for business though - shucks. So I made steaks and salad for dinner instead of dingying over to the Crab Shack.

The winds are really howling this evening. We reset our anchor - it looked like we'd dragged a bit towards the Crab Shack (see the boat even wants me to have crab cakes!) and we figured do it now while we can still see. I hate how the days are getting shorter - 7:30ish sunrises, 6:30ish sunsets. Our dingy blocks our stern light so we'll have to do something about that if we want to do any late day traveling.

All the antennas - is it Seti?
Sunny, High-pressure, upper 60s, waves 1-3 ft.
10/20/2008, Mill Creek, Patuxent River, MD (38o20.10 x 76o30.162) to anchorage between Seldom and Sloop Points on the Yeocomico River, MD (38o01.815 x 076o33.969)

It got downright frigid last night - 37 degrees. There's condensation on all the ports and as I rub my sleeve across one window and look out, I see steam rising from sections of water portside, and a layer of fog blankets the water to the starboard side of the boat. The sky is pink where the sun should be rising and it is cold in the boat. Time to kick on the heat and jump back into bed for 10 minutes after pouring water into the coffee pot and lighting the burner... Brrrr. Watch out Wayne, here come the cold feet Ha ha ha...

After coffee we hoisted the anchor and I made grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches for breakfast (just because...) and we threaded our way back out of the creek to the Patuxent river, then back to the Chesapeake and headed toward the Yeocomico River. Destination roughly 38 miles.

Along the way we saw a huge group of antennas, radar, etc... and it turned out to be part of the Patuxent Naval Air Station. One plane doing touch and goes was a Naval mid-air tanker (the kind that refuels planes in the air) He came right over us very low one time as we approached the restricted bombing range and a fighter plane also left the base (very fast, very loud). It was very cool watching the trainers - kind of the next stage for the cadets we saw at the Naval Academy. We'd learned that the Navy actually has more planes than the AirForce does - imagine that!

Speaking of the bombing range - we saw our first pelicans today next to the bombing range! It seems mighty cold here still for pelican's to be showing up already! Hopefully it means we're making progress south.

The Potomac is much bigger than I pictured. At the mouth it appears to be about 10 miles across, and it snakes up quite far. Captain Wayne would love to take our little boat up and park her near some monuments if we didn't have the cold weather barking at our heals. There's a lot of history and area to explore that we're just passing by. The Chesapeake alone is 200 miles long, and there is soooo much to explore. It's a veritable gunkholers heaven passing through 3 states, with tons of crab, oyster and fish boats to watch, and now looking at the Potomac and thinking about it's history. Amazing to visualize the British sailing ships moving up these same waters that we're passing through on this beautiful fall afternoon.

We pulled into the Yeocomico River towards the marina for gas at 4:01pm and hailed the marina but got no response. They either closed at 4:00 or are already closed for the season I guess, so we went to the next cove up between Sloop and Seldom Points and dropped anchor. It's beautiful here. The trees are in color, the peepers are chirping, a blue heron is fishing on the shore and a king fisher is hailing another in a tree branch on the water's edge. The bottom of the cove is a very fine black silt that the anchor doesn't want to set well in, but it's so calm and protected, Wayne doesn't think we'll have a problem in here. There's a chill in the air but the smell and crispness reminds me of home. Maybe it's the trees along the water and the color change too.

The oven cooperated nicely this evening in reheating the meat pie from last night. Much better now that the alcohol in it has been replenished. Wayne just finished reading me an article on a couple transiting the Southern Ocean, and it's time for bed (I want to get under the covers). After listening to him, now I'm really cold.

So much for hot cocoa
42 last night, 60 today 15-20knot NE winds gusting to 35.
10/19/2008, La Trappe Creek to Mill Creek Patuxent River

Wow - ccccold this morning. Got up kicked on the heat, turned on the coffee and jumped back into bed until the heat came up. Then made sweet rolls to go with coffee, which had a double bonus of adding heat to the cabin as well as making it smell a sweet cinnamon/orange. Heated up another pot of water for the day since that worked well yesterday. We had hot water all yesterday in the large push top carafe for hot cocoa, and tea to keep warm, so it was really a good purchase.

We headed for Solomon Island (38 miles) and it was a very cold, brisk wind that had the waves kicked up until we were able to turn south and run with them and the current. Motor sailed with the headsail and we actually got up to 8.6 knots between the engine, sail, current, and tide. What should have taken us about 8 hours took us about 6 woosh.... It was a cold, wet day but at least it was sunny out! The waves were rough at times and I heard "crash" down below. When I went below, my large carafe was on the floor with water and sparklies all over the place. The inside glass had shattered, and what I thought were sparklies were little shards of glass. What a mess. Hot water and glass all over the sole of the cabin in the galley and at the bottom of the steps! Cleaned that up and went back up top. So much for marvelous hot cocoa to stay warm (it's that peppermint cocoa that I'd buy for the kids at school during the holidays ymmmmm). I need to find another large push top thermos server. I liked that one.

Instead of skirting in to Solomon we went a little further to the next creek on the Patuxent River past the 100 ft bridge. Mill Creek - a very nice isolated spot that we're sharing with 2 motor boats (1 large) and a couple of fishermen. This area is known for its Ocean Miocene fossils 10-25 million years old. I need to refrain from collecting (there's no room on the boat). The cabin has stuff strewn all over from being tossed about today & I was looking forward to warming up with a warm shower - only.... We appear to be out of water... Weird because the gage says we should still have tank (50 gallons) but when I kick on the pump, it just keeps pumping air... oh no.... Now we'll have to find somewhere to replenish our water. Did I say replenish? I mean't replace - we have none except what's in my bottle.


Okay, next up is dinner. I'm making a beef pie right now that appears to be taking over 2 hours. I chopped up the vegi's, added the meat, mixed the cornstarch in for gravy, put it in the crusts and threw it in the oven only for some reason my oven isn't coming up to temperature tonight. 1 hours and its only to 300. I checked twice to see if it ran out of fuel but the fire is there! Wow. Temperature in the oven was now down to 275... Shades of an Arizona Thanksgiving (LOL). This meat pie is going to be a marathon cook like Thanksgiving day... Only I doubt it will taste as good as my all day Thanksgiving meals... actually the one in AZ was scrumptious - later...

Hm, it actually wasn't bad. The crust could have been a little better cooked but overall quite eatable, with my side of peaches J

Army blanket is on the bed tonight - it's going down into the 30s tonight.

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