We awoke at 7am in Harve de Grace, to....guess what....more rain!!!! Walked to a beautiful old church and were warmly welcomed by the minister and 10-parishoners!! Enjoyed coffee and were given coffee mugs as a gift!! People truly do embrace cruisers!! Ret'd to boat, w/all intentions of paying for our 2-nites at dock, at which time we realized we were NOT at the supposed marina but at a private marina owned by condominiums!! Oh well...2-free nites did wonders for our boat budget!! We waved our good-byes, crossed the Chesapeake to the Eastern shore and up the Sassafras River. For 7-miles we navigated the most gorgeous (yes, even in the rain) serpentine river, to the bascule bridge. The river, as everything in the Chesapeake, has such wonderful history...certainly a paradise for a history buff!! Its' name denotes all the sassafras trees lining its' shores. We found a wonderful marina - the Sassafras River Marina - and again were warmly welcomed. Jim did not feel well, and one of the employees gave me a ride to get him medication!! Jim slept until he felt better, and we walked to the "Kitty Knight House" for a delicious dinner (and dessert!!). Kitty Knight was a fiery red-head who refused to leave her home during the 1812 war...and has pretty much been immortalized for her ferociousness against the British troops. I am not a history enthusiast but could have spent hours in her home soaking up the history. Apparently, the head of this river (Georgetown and Fredericksburg) were the ports for British supplies. The bascule bridge...we are on a dock almost abutting it...is only 5 feet so it is opened frequently for boating traffic...The weather has not been cooperative...it is 54 degrees and raining...and had this been a 2-week vaca, I'd be on a plane heading home!!!! Alas...tomorrow's weather is forcased more of the same...but we are going to cross over to Baltimore (we think!!). ..there is a movie theater and aquarium to get us out of the rain!!
Thank God Jim installed a fireplace and a reverse cycle airconditioning/heater!! It would be a hotel for the night without them!
10/01/2011, Havre de Grace, MD
Havre de Grace is like East Greenwich on steroids! We wandered around the historic Layette Trail-saw some old houses ate a fantastic long lunch -looked in a bunch of antique shops--basically just 'hung out'. I guess at one time this little city almost became the nation's capitol instead of Washington--it lost by one vote!! Its sure is a lot safer at night than DC!!!
Tomorrow we are heading out toward Baltimore. Weather is for more NW wind, more clouds and rain and 55 degrees. Might as well be in a big town -with a movie, aquarium , USS Constellation and a Dunkin Donuts!! etc.
PS here is a photo at the Condo Free dock!
09/30/2011, Harve De Grace, Md
Well we have been a miss with this blog -because we have been very busy. We decided to take our own advice and not hurry and wait for a good weather window. We moved off the Cape May dock and went back out to the anchor around 11 am on Thursday. We ate lunch and then went exploring in the dingy.
The tide was dropping and we decided that if the sun stayed out and the wind stayed out of the south we could actually get going at the ebb tide around 5 pm. Well the sky opened up with a series of squalls that went past on the east and the west -but missed us. At 4 pm we decided it was clear to the south and the west and we could get going through the Cape May canal and up the Delaware River. (see the photo in the earlier post)
We caught the ebb just perfect and flew through the canal. On the other side- Delaware bay -it was still sunny but the wind was gusting at 20 kts. And out of the NW- NOT a good direction!! Wind over the tide made a very uncomfprtable ride. Water over the bow - SOOOO we fell off, headed up the NJ shore side and made a direct run to the Maurece river - 14 miles up from the canal on the NJ west coast. It was a VERY bumpy ride -wind gusting up to 25 and shifting north. We finally made it to a little river that goes into a small oystering town of Bivalve. The sun set and it was pitch dark as we threaded our way into a 150' wide 6' deep winding channel. An hour and half later we found a dock and tied up -well tried to tie up. Dede took a line to the dock to secure the stern -however it was not attached to the boat!!! I drifted back out into the 5 kt current and upstream with Dede yelling "COME BACK". I re rigged a couple of lines and made my way back to the dock. I got the bow on and Dede grabbed the stern and we were almost in. However--the bow pulpit was stuck under a set of dock stairs -that we managed to dump overboard! A bit of rigging and pulling and we recovered the stairs from the current! We retired for the 'eventful' evening at 11pm!
Friday morning at 5 am the wind was out of the south at 5-8 kts and the tide was just finishing its ebb and about to turn north in the Delaware River!! Perfect -we were up and underway -I can't believe we found our way in there at NIGHT!! When we gt to the Delaware things were perfect! WE made the passage up the river at 8 kts with 10-20 kts on the quarter and 2 kts of favorable current. We arrived at the entrance to the C&D canal at the beginning of the West Ebb -we ran through the C&D and then up the Sassafras's River to Havre De Grace MD. So here we are! Moral of story--take mine own advice and wait -for the right weather and current -patients makes for a safe an pleasurable passage.
Oh - by the way - our credit card number was stolen - an attempted online purchase in Germany of $13, 952!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness we had notified our credit card company of our whereabouts - of which Germany was not on that list!!!!! So, a new card is being fed ex'd to our son in MD!!!!! Same place we had the water pump sent to--they are becoming our traveling warehouse.
Rented Bikes and visited Cape May. Old Town shops and USCG Boot Camp.
Managed to get laundry done and have a nice dinner out.
Spent an evening in Atlantic City. Took a walk from the Coast Guard Station into the nearest casino -the old Trump Tower is now the Golden Nugget. It is being rebuilt but open -it's a pit--smelled like stale cigarette smoke! I managed to lose the shoes off my feet!! Yep Dede got a whiff of them when we got back on the boat--overboard they went -with a promise to get me a new pair at the boat show next week. So now I'm a bare foot boater!!
Tonight we are in Cape May and it is still very foggy. The trip down was very comfortable with a long 2foot sea swell and 5-10 kts of SE wind. We held one tack at 6 kts for the whole passage. Only sad part was we turned at and saw the sea buoy at Atlantic City and the sea buoy at Cape May -no visibility in between or in either harbor. Thank God for GPS/AIS and Radar.
We are snuggled in at anchor in front of the USCG Boot Camp -brings back fond memories?!
The replacement water pump is in at our son and daughters home in Severna Park MD. We might rent a car and take the ferry to DE and across to Annapolis to pick it up tomorrow or thursday.
Spent last night in Manasquan Inlet. Had a delightfull dinner with cousins "McCourt" 9 in all. We stayed at the Coast Guard Station and met a great group of coasties. Tonight we are at Atlantic city USCG Station --nice guys but we did not get invited to dinner!
Tomorrow on to Cape May for a couple of days of R&R