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Sloop Les Miserables
Two Confused Old People

Yes, we were 2 confused old people as we tried to navigate our way into Deltaville without going aground. The entrance into Deltaville is shallow at points and there is a narrow entrance - which we did navigate after finding and following buoy markers. When entering the entrance to the channel we were given directions from Dozier's Marina where we would be staying... and promptly went a different way. The kindness of Chris, the marina manager, he gave direction so explicitly that yes even the 2 "confused old people" found their way into the marina and dock. The Dozier's Marina is owned by the people who publish the Dozier Waterway guides that we reference every trip to decide upon a marina or anchorage. They are invaluable. The Marina offered private bathrooms, a pool, a gorgeous deck overlooking the waterway, Franken bikes, a courtesy car, barbecue area, and again some of the nicest people around. We were stuck... we were able to shop, enjoy the sights, and finish up some boat maintenance. We had perfect early fall weather- sunny and in the 70's. We went to the Holley Point Seafood and Art Festival just up a short bike ride from the marina. On tour bicycle trip on the way back we had a bald eagle fly just over our heads. It was the closest either of us have been to seeing a bald eagle in nature. We once again met some kind and generous people. Marty generously took time to take Wiley over to pick up some diesel and gas for our jerry cans. We enjoyed a 'sundowner' with Marty and Stan the evening prior to leaving.

10/13/2011 | Kay
Just checking on you! The stars sound beautiful...I hope your wine reserves are holding up. I love that you named your anchor Bruce! You are building many memories for your dotage.
Gorgeous Anchorage

Sailing magazines often share photos of beautiful isolated anchorage where mariners are surrounded by nature. We had hoped that we would eventually find such a place and our anchorage in Mill Creek off of the Great Wicomico River did just that. We were surrounded by trees, in a mostly quiet anchorage, and loved the tranquility. I say mostly quiet anchorage because we did have to re-set our anchor after initially selecting a spot that had a boat not too far away from us that was running a loud generator. However, after settling in at our spot - a glass of wine, an orange-purple-red sunset, and an evening full of stars we couldn't have asked for anything more beautiful. The stars were so bright we could pick out the constellations with no problems. Jupiter appeared to glow brighter than we have ever seen before. Earlier, while at our first anchorage, I lamented that we had yet to see porpoises or dolphins or other "exciting" wild life - as Wiley had promised me. So, Wiley took be over in Dimples to check out what was living nearby on the jetty. Lo and behold he did find some fascinating wild life for me to document - be sure to see the photos of the snails!

10/12/2011 | Brodi Cole
It looks like you two are having a great time! We can't wait to follow in your path in a couple years!
10/18/2011 | Anonymous
It seems there are two reoccuring themes in you blog posts... the enjoyment of fine wine, and running aground... any correlation?
We've got that queasy feeling - going to Solomon

We headed to Solomon Island in some challenging seas. The boats round bottom, rolling seas, and winds from behind us (beam reach) had us both feeling a bit queasy. We generally chart a course that allows us to sight buoys that confirm our position and sometimes this requires more time at sea than may actually be needed. We are improving our navigating skills and using way points or 'bread crumbs' to keep us on track. We use our Plotter and GPS but truly rely on our own navigation plans just in case we should lose power to our instruments. It is a bit more challenging to know where you are when out on the water so our Captain's coursework is paying off. We motor sailed to Solomon Island and ended up staying at a lovely marina Zahniser's marina. It was a bit tricky going into the harbor as there is a large shoal just outside of the harbor entrance and 3 different rivers to travel once into the harbor. We were able to enjoy the Lighthouse museum and met some gentlemen who were carpenters volunteering their time to build a historical fishing ship - a "Bug-eye". We had a lovely dinner overlooking the harbor. We look forward to heading to a Mill Creek anchorage off of the Great Wicomico River as we head down the Chesapeake.

Sunny, windy and cool (60's).
10/07/2011, Onto Solomon Island

We woke up at our anchorage to scenery was very beautiful, although we were both disappointed that we did not see any dolphins anywhere near the boat. The anchor had held all night without moving an inch. Unfortunately, when Wiley tried to pull the anchor up it wouldn't move an inch. We got the anchor chain to the vertical position off of the bow and then ran the boat forward with the engine at 1800rpms, and it finally came up with the chain forming a great muddy mess on the foredeck.
We were underway for what turned out to be an unforgettable sail. The wind was between 14 and 18 knts out of the NE and gusts to 20+, and we screamed down Chesapeake Bay at speeds of 5- 6 + knts - which is fast for our little boat. However, with Wiley's adult ADD, Wiley is not at his strongest when steering the boat on a run or broad reach. On three occasions this resulted in accidental jibes with the boom and mainsail crashing from one side of the boat to the other. However, with our Bimini between our heads and the boom crushed skulls were never an issue, but it is a tribute to the boats mainsheet, traveler, and hardware that nothing broke. Nonetheless, Merry's nerves were a bit shattered and she is reconsidering allowing Wiley to steer when the wind is from this direction. We covered 42 miles in what seemed no time all in 3-4 foot waves before turning up the Pautuxent River and navigating up the channel to the harbor on Solomon Island.

10/08/2011 | Brian
In Wiley's defense, I am (almost) certain that MANY, MANY people who have been sailing for over 30 years accidentally jibe their boats ALL the time. C'MON SON!!
10/18/2011 | Brian
I just realized that Merry could use a stout piece of line either as a preventer, or to tie the absent-minded helmsman into a fixed position.... just tryin to hep :)
Rhode River

We had come to really love Annapolis, but we had to evacuate our place on the town wall to make room for the HUGE Annapolis boat show. We therefore set out early Sunday morning proceeding down the river into Chesapeake Bay all the way to the famous Thomas Shoal Light House. It was cold, and we both wore 4 layers under our foul weather jackets. Apart from a near collision with a fast 42 foot Catamaran which approached us from the stern our voyage was uneventful, we proceeded only 12 miles down the bay before entering the South River by mistake. We were looking for the West River to get to the Rhode River and an anchorage. After taking 8 hours to cover the 12 miles, we finally found our spot and dropped our huge 37 pound Bruce anchor for the first time in Chesapeake Bay. The temperature went down to 44 degrees that night, but we gained some warmth from our new alcohol stove. Fear of carbon monoxide poisoning caused us to turn it off when we went to bed however our sleeping bags and 2 layers of blankets prevented hypothermia and on the whole we had a good nights sleep. We had only moved a short distance south, but at least it was in the right direction. When we woke and exited the cabin - we could see our breath, our anchor had held, and we tightly gripped our hot cups of coffee. We pulled the anchor up out of the mud and were once again off down the Chesapeake to the Solomon Island.

Washington D.C.

Being directionally challenged and finding parking that would not be parallel parking in Washington D.C. (this is just another of many challenges we try to avoid) - we decided to take a commuter bus from Annapolis - (a bargain at $4.50 a person). Barack and Michele had to cancel their lunch meeting with us so we had to make do by looking around at all of the fabulous monuments, soak up some of the history, and dine at a fantastic restaurant about a block or so from the White House. We waited for them to join us for dessert - but they never showed!
We knew when we started out that we would only getting a 'sip' of Washington - and even thought it was but a sip it was certainly a "fine wine"! It is so overwhelming to process so much information - especially when you are traveling with a historian. There wasn't a building, monument, or street that Wiley was at a loss for an anecdote or historical lesson!
We went back the following day to tour the Capitol, take in the Air and Space Museum, and visit the Art Museum. We were both so tired from trying to absorb so much that on the bus ride back to Annapolis Wiley did not have it in him to provide any more history lessons and Merry could not longer nod her head showing that she was, of course, listening! We were delighted that we had time, even though it was short, to go to Washington D.C. Words cannot express what it feels like to stand where Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream..." , or where so many Presidents and First Ladies have been, or knowing the possibilities of all that can be accomplished through our government. At a time when our country is so divided the visit was a reminder of who we are and what we can accomplish when we finally do find common ground. E Pluribus Unum!

10/10/2011 | Craig Erickson
Just thought I would let you know that I had my boat trucked to Pittsburg and am heading down the Ohio to the Gulf. We met in Gasport on the Erie Craigugip

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