Jib and Jigger
October/19/2009, Tilghman Island
We sailed all day with the front sail (Jib or Genoa) and the Mizzen sail and with the help of the current we must have averaged 3kts. We are heading to Chop Tank River on the Eastern Shore. As we passed Poplar Island we decided to take a shortcut through Knapps Narrows to the Choptank River. We called the bridge tender on VHF Channel 13 to confirm that we would have enough depth to pass. As we passed under the lift bridge with Tilghman Island to our right, we could see that the waterman's way of life was still thriving. We thought it was beautiful.
October/19/2009, The Poplar Island Project
History: Poplar, Coaches and Jefferson Islands.
Westerly winds and waves have been wearing away Poplar Island's shores for years. In 1970 it was recorded that 1100 acres once held ground here but today the comprised acreage is only 70. This site "The Poplar Island project" is the site for the deposit of dredge material from the ship channels into Baltimore. It has been predicted that the islands will slowly grow back to their original size over the next 20 years. It seems to have worked. During Hurricane Isabel in 2003, even though three of the bulkheads were broken through, the planted marshes held their soil. As the project continues, this positive use for dredge spoil provides habitat for nesting and roosting birds and has also significantly alleviating the silting problem in Knapps Narrows to the south.
No gas – No Water!
October/19/2009, Annapolis City Marina
This is a Photo taken inside our full-surround of Weems Creek. It was so cold and wet we didn't spend must time looking out from here.
We pulled the anchor at 8 am today and headed down the Severn River towards Annapolis. The Power Boat show had just ended (yesterday) and as we entered Spa Creek, we witnessed a mass exodus of power boats of all sizes racing out into the Bay. The Chesapeake offered perfect conditions for them...no waves, calm seas and very little wind. We pulled in to Annapolis City Marina after waiting for the US flagged Jeanneau sailboat whom earlier had politely cut us off from pulling up behind Blue Blazes. Not only that, after circling about, we had to race in towards the dock as another polite US flagged Power Boat tried the same thing... What are we invisible?
The funny part about this morning's adventure is that there would be No gas - No Water for us today. We needed gas for the dinghy but the gas pumps weren't working (not our fault, eh!) and the attendant informed us that we would have to pay $10 for our water. Here, on a normal day, if another boat is waiting, you are only allowed to fill the water tanks as long as it takes them to fill the diesel tank. It was a no-brainer, we had approximately 30gals of water remaining in one tank so, we decided to forget about it and cast off.
I just thought I'd update the blog. It has stopped raining! Yippee! Check out Blue Blazes blog...Janice says it all. However, tonight we aren't wearing everything we own and we are able to walk around the boat with just a few extra articles of clothing.
Tomorrow we're heading out of here (like every other boat) and in our next anchorage I expect that we shall see laundry hanging from every line available.
It's not like the boat leaked, it's just that the boat dripped onto everything. I mean inside each cupboard, drawer and from the ceilings. Anything that touched the sides of the boat got wet..like the foam cushions of the bed and settee cushions, the books along side the shelving unit and anything imaginable. Everything is damp.
I am guessing that the same will occur when we are stinking hot inside while in the tropics. So, that's another story yet to come. Meanwhile, does anyone know if they sell dehumidifiers for boats? You know Steve wants me to go to Panama for the summer... and that's their rainy season.
Again..What was I thinking when I seeded this retirement option (of course back then we had money making money)..and I was probably drinking a Tequila Sunrise. Hey Heather coming back next summer to buy my condo or a cottage! I'm sitting here thinking...what am I doing... when interest rates are still 4 percent...and I need a home base.
It's so Cold!
October/16/2009, Stuck here still in Weems Creek
We bought these coats just in time.
We look at the weather each day and it still looks like we'll be stuck here until Monday or Tuesday (same thing.. wind, waves and rain). I think we may go into town today and get into a warm mall or something. The whole boat is sweating from our body heat. It's really very cold! We looked up Fishing Bay (Deltaville) and may head there after the Solomon Islands. We had hoped to cross the Bay and towards Chop Tank, but we'll see. We will will eventually head to Hampton... it's so cold I might just take a run for it... Steve say's not... he hates it when I put my racing hat on.
Crap... they're playing "Jingle bells" on the radio.. but it's just a prank phew!
Life aboard Lion’s Paw
We have the heater on in the boat today and I'm trying to get the phone to work.
I walked up to the phone booth yesterday and phoned the AT&T place where I got the sim card and according to them everything is fine at their end. They think I have bought a bad phone. So I may have to go back to the Mall and Best Buy to try and get another phone which might not be so hard. It is raining, but maybe Janice would like to join me in another adventure to the mall.
On Monday we walked up and over a few blocks to pick up a free shuttle that took us down town for the sailboat show. Then we walked uptown and for a $1 each, we hopped on a bus which took us to a transfer station, transferred to another bus that took us to the mall. That's when we spent the day trying to unlock the phone Thera and Sheridan gave us (which never happened). After wasting the afternoon at the AT&T booth we decided to eat dinner. It was Harley's birthday and we didn't think we'd be sitting in a food court to celebrate, but that's what happened. To make up for it, I suggested that we have desert at the Cheesecake Factory (a huge restaurant just outside the mall), and like good cruisers, we ordered 2 pieces and shared between the 4 of us. The selection of cheese cake is vast and it is hard to decide which to order. Actually, we've all decided that we'd like to taste the "original" plain old cheesecake next time and we might be able to taste some cheese.
After checking out the Macy's store, we decided it was time to head home. That night, we found that we could take the bus back to town, but we could not get a bus back to Tuckers Landing where we parked the dinghy. So, we ended up getting a taxi from the mall back to Tucker Street and Weem's Creek and that cost $11.00 plus $1 tip. The taxi driver had a hard time believing that we wanted to be dropped off at the creek in the dark.
Janice and I took a walk-a-bout on Tuesday and found the mall that had the cleaners, a pharmacy (which also had wine, liqueur and beer for sale) and a grocery store. So, on Wednesday, we did two loads of laundry and I've discovered that I'm only missing 1 bath towel, 1 hand towel and 1 sock. Not bad eh! I'll walk up there today and see if I can find them and if not, so what!
The Annapolis Sailboat Show
October/11/2009, Weems Creek, Annapolis, MD
Steve and I don't need to buy another cruising book to realize that you should avoid going to "town" in order to stay within our planned budget. However, this was a planned stop and we needed to buy such items like a new motor for the dinghy (our car) and an EPIRB (a necessary gismo that sends out our longitude and latitude etc., just in case we need to abandon ship) properly known as an emergency position-indicating radio beacon. Other items bought were a folding ladder (so that we can get out of the water into the boat), a booster captains chair (so that I can see while sitting at the helm rather than standing all the time), 3 inflatable fenders (so that we can dump the deflated ones we got with the purchase of Lion's Paw), a salt water wash-down pump -we've bought a Johnson brand this time- (our Flojet FL40 which has already been replaced once has broken again - so it's junk as far as we're concerned), odds and ends like Garhauer swivel blocks and deck cleats and rope to hook up the Monitor Wind Vane etc. etc. My next job is to tally up all of our expenses since heading from Parry Sound and see where we stand.
October/9/2009, Annapolis and Weems Creek
We are now anchored in Weems Creek and use the dinghy to get back and forth to the show and like good cruisers, we pack a lunch and drink the freebee's given out.
We met up with a few sailors from the Midland area yesterday and today. It was too brief, but we really enjoyed their company and hugs. Cindy and George "Copper Penny" were there for some serious buying too. They may be following us sooner than expected and that will be great! Only regret, we wish we had a sim card for our new cell phone that Thera got us. We could have phoned them at the hotel to make further arrangements when we missed them on Sunday at the Maui Jim kiosk. Sorry we missed you guys, but we heard that you all hung around for a while enjoying the drinks (the girl remembered you Canadians) and we had a drink before moving on (to try and look for you in the street). Hope you get home safely and sorry we missed the adventure to Wallmart
October/8/2009, Annapolis and WRSC
Larry and Janet had to leave Thursday night to get home to Penetanguishene, so early Thursday (I was packing a lunch for four at 6 am..which I heard from a Brewer owner "the air doesn't even breath at that time"..ha!) we headed to the Annapolis Sailing Boat Show. Along the way we stopped and bought 6 new batteries for Blue Blazes and filled the trunk. It was VIP day so we had to pay $10 more to get in but little did we know that it was a treat to not have the crowds while surveying the show. We all went our separate ways. Steve and I had some serious decisions to make. The day went by quickly and Steve and I didn't even go through one new boat. It was all business and serious spending that day. After a drink and dinner out we headed back to WRSC and said our good-byes to Larry and Janet. Larry wasn't feeling that great, so I hope they made it back safe.
Larry and Janet "Star Shadow" had stayed aboard Lion's Paw with us for the Whitby/Brewer rendezvous held at the West River Sailing Club in Galesville, Maryland. We had a great time, met lots of wonderful people, participated in many lectures and discussions, talked to fellow sailors and cruisers and got to visit with the other boats that had arrived. For $80 we stayed on the dock with electricity and showers available for 5 days and most meals were provided along with the occasional beer and wine. Larry and Janet took us out around Galesville (where they had purchased their boat 2 years ago) and to the grocery and liquor store. Steve and I and Janice and Harley walked to the Post Office (where we picked up our Cruising Decal) and the weather was really nice until a gale went through on Wednesday. When we arrived back home from our little tour about town, we found that a Mason 43 Yacht had dragged it's anchor and there had been a rescue and she was now hooked on to a mooring ball, provide by the club.
Did I say mooring ball! Yes "Blue Blazes" was happily departing from her mooring ball (the line had severed where it had been joined to the chain) just as we sat down to eat lunch. All four of us darted from the picnic table to our dinghies (joined by Scott and Jeannie "Joie de Vivre", the youngest of the Whitby owners in attendance). Needless to say, we missed lunch but we saved "Blue Blazes".. Now that's an adrenaline rush when you see your home skipping across the water towards the shoreline.
West River Sailing Club
October/4/2009, South of Annapolis
We had a really great sailing day! That's 8.1 kts on the screen. I managed to sail wing on wing down the Patapsco River today. We had one reef in the main and a full (135) Genoa. As we rounded the corner to head dwon the Chesapeake we really sailed. We hit 8.2 but we have gone faster than that...but this was comfortable.
We are docked at the West River Sailing Club for the Whitby/Brewer Rendezvous. I'm about to download previous anchorages and info about Baltimore...so you'll have to scroll back to see what we've been up to. You would think that we could get internet in Baltimore (big city), but that was not the case. We had a wonderful time and hope you didn't worry too much. We have five full days planned at the rendezvous, so I don't expect I'll be on the blog for a while. We will attend the Annapolis Boat Show at the end of the week. Hopefully we'll run into some of the people we've met along the way but we are looking forward to seeing sailing friends Larry and Janet and George and Cindy from Penetanguishene.
Three days in the City of Baltimore
Thursday, October 1st, Friday October 2nd, Saturday October 3rd
What can I say? We've thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
On Thursday, we thought we'd be able to go grocery shopping and exploring and then hit the National Aquarium...NOT. After going to the visitors center, we spent the day exploring the city, looking for a grocery store or market and somewhere to buy beer. We found "Little Italy", one market and one grocery store; bought some smoked sausage and 2 dozen oysters and enough groceries between the four of us that we had to switch bags every now and then, to ease the heavy load.
When we got back to the boat, Steve shucked a dozen oysters and Janice got to swallow her first oyster about the bow of "Lion's Paw".
This morning after going to the visitors' center, we checked out the Inner Harbour Marina ($1.25/ft) and while there we met Denise and Andrew from "Samaria II". They had noticed our Whitby 42 anchored in the harbour and invited us for a drink aboard their beautiful yacht for 5 pm today. It was already five o'clock. Needless to say, all four of us were a little late arriving, but were welcomed aboard and ended up spending the evening with them. After cocktails we all went to UNO's on the waterfront for a pizza. Not the best pizza but a great evening!
On Friday, Janice, Harley, Steve and I went to the National Aquarium ($30 each). We hesitated, but fortunately we decided it was worth a try. Well! What a treat that was! We started with a 4-D movie that moved us to squirm, scream, laugh and giggle. It was wonderful. For the next 4 hours we walked and looked, listened and read. It was Fantastic. We are so looking forward to seeing some of the creatures we encountered today, but not behind glass. We're thinking the Bahamas.
This time we invited Denise and Andrew over for the rest of the oysters, hosted aboard "Blue Blazes" whom were now on the dock just in front of "Samaria II". Again, we were late! After cocktails, Janice cooked us up a real nice meal, while we watched as "The Pride of Baltimore" moored beside them. After they had tied to shore they began to tidy the sails...now that's work. If you check out the photo album you'll see some photos of her.
On Saturday, we decided to take our dinghies down the river to the other side of town, where we had walked on our first full day to try and find the West Marine store. We noticed that the Fell's Fall Festival was in full swing and we decided we should really take a look. We sampled free food and picked up some free loot. It was in full swing and encompassed several streets. It was another bright sunny, slightly cooler day. After today's excursion, we sat back and watched the dragon shaped paddle boats as they surrounded Lion's Paw in the anchorage. It was different, but oddly we enjoyed every minute in the City of Baltimore.
October/1/2009, Baltimore City
Thursday, October 1st, Friday October 2nd, Saturday October 3rd
What can I say? We've thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
On Thursday, we though we'd be able to go grocery shopping and exploring and then hit the National Aquariun...NOT. After going to the visitors centre, we spent the day exploring the city, looking for a grocery store or market and somewhere to buy beer. We found "Little Italy", one market and one grocery store; bought some smoked sausage and 2 dozen oysters and enough groceries between the four of us that we had to switch bags every now and then, to ease the heavy load.
When we got back to the boat, Steve shucked a dozen oysters and Janice got to swallow her first oyster about the bow of "Lion's Paw".
This morning after going to the visitors' center, we checked out the Inner Habour Marina ($1.25/ft) and while there we met Denise and Andrew from "Samaria II". They had noticed our Whitby 42 anchored in the harbour and invited us for a drink aboard their beautiful yacht for 5 pm today. It was already five o'clock. We were a little late arriving, but were welcomed aboard and ended up spending the evening with them. After cocktails we all went to UNO's on the waterfront for a pizza. Not the best pizza but a great evening!
Photo of Fort McHenry
That one is for the McHenry's back home.
We're off to Baltimore! We left early in the morning because it is to become much worse by the afternoon. We headed across to the western shores of the Bay. It was to be NW winds today and we hoped to be further protected by the land. The waves and winds were kinder today. It only gusted to 24 knots. We sailed today but tacked back and forth waiting for the NW winds as promised...not! It was mostly W today, but we managed to head down the bay towards Patapsco River, which leads to Baltimore.
I can't believe it... we are right down town Baltimore in a free anchorage... oh yes I can believe it. We are anchored in Baltimore's Inner Harbour, right beside the World Trade Center and the National Aquarium. There's a submarine "Torsk" on one side of us and on the other side we have the "Pride of Baltimore" and the warship "Constellation". It's a beautiful spot to be. Every 5 minutes the submarine shouts through the speakers "Clear the bridge, dive, dive!" Ha!
We plan on staying here until we have West winds and we can have a gentlemen's sail outta here. We need to clean the fridge and provision with fresh seafood, meats, cheese, fruits and veggies.
Oh here we go again; "Surface, surface, surface!"...o-ya. .it's gonna be a long night.
History: The name Baltimore is a anglicized version of "Baile and Ti Mhoir", a Gaelic phrase meaning "town of the Big House" and referring to the seat in County Cork of Lard Baltimore, for whom the city was named in 1729. One of the city's most historic events was not so much the defence of Fort McHenry during the battle of Baltimore in 1814, as the fact that it inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" here.
September/29/2009, Still Pond Creek
We left the Sassafras River only to hit ON-THE-NOSE winds and 3-4 foot waves crashing down upon us....again. That's the last time Steve and I will leave when they call for small craft advisory. We had gusts up to 35 knots and only until we rounded the Sassafras River, did we get the full force of what was to come. Unfortunately, we had already gone 10 miles to get out of the River and it was only another 10 to the next preferred anchorage at Worton Creek. That soon became not possible, so we headed for the nearest anchorage, Still Pond Creek...
After we entered the tight well buoyed channel, we grounded in muck four times. It was approaching low tide. Our Whitby reversed each time off the sludge and eventually we were able to turn around. Steve decided to throw the hook down near the entrance and re-group. A crabber came on channel 16 and warned us of the strong current and told us that we just couldn't stay there. Steve re-assured him that he was just re-grouping and asked if we could anchor near his part of the bay. With the crabbers guidance we dropped anchor again. Now you have to imagine what its like to bring the anchor up covered in sludge... and that's not he end of it...we dragged twice more and had to re-anchor. . that's three times!
After having lunch, Steve and I decided to go just outside Still Pond Creek and try our luck near a small bay I spotted on the way in. We dropped anchor again.... We dragged... I lifted it again.. not like the old days... we have a windlass (a motorized chain pulling thingy at the bow". Finally, we were out of the wind and we enjoyed another beautiful evening. Martini's were served on the bow deck and we could hear the waves roaring on the Bay side and hear the wind rustling through the tree tops. It always amazes me how one can have such a different experience, just by being on the wrong side of the island or heading upwind rather than downwind.
September/28/2009, Sassafras River
Breakfast fit for a king...Steve's in the kitchen again, this time even doing the dishes as I write this. Am I ever glad Steve and I spent 1-1/2 boat units to acquire all the various maps and guide books. One would truly be lost and miss a lot of what each area has to offer. I'll have to write out a list of the books we've purchased, which ones were necessary and which to forget about for any future adventurer's out there.
We went right into the back to the river, just before Georgetown and found an open but safe anchorage. We went over to Blue Blazes with some cheese & crackers and our martinis. We were having a great time until I suggested that we listen to the weather report....well we all noticed the dark clouds coming in. It turned out to be a good wash off for the boats. Yes, we had Gail force winds in the anchorage, but we all held well and before you knew it was Bahamas midnight and we all slept well.
September/27/2009, Veasey Cove
Still here even though Steve suggested he'd like to travel down to "somewhere else".
Three to One vote...we are staying.
We had Janice and Harley over for dinner tonight. They brought another great bottle of wine and the evening went by fast. Earlier, during martini/margarita time we went over the possible anchorages we could try tomorrow and we decided that we'd all like to go to Baltimore next. They have a Fell's Point Festival the first weekend in October and can be a madhouse at the time,so we've decided to arrive by Wednesday and just enjoy what Baltimore has to offer.
Tomorrow we'll cast off and head down the Chesapeake Bay towards Baltimore. We hope to try out one of the many anchorages along the way and throw down a hook.
Notes: Bohemia River joins Elk River and offers the first taste of typical Chesapeake Bay scenery. Tree-lined heights, gently rolling green shores and beautiful modern homes and extensive farm estates overlook the waters. Best of all, jellyfish free swimming in the freshwater Bohemia. We've all gone swimming (bathing).
C & D Canal
September/27/2009, Veasey Cove, Bohemia River, Chesapeake Bay
Trip 61.3 nm
Today we decided we must carry on. The SE winds were not in our favour at the anchorage, but in our favour for traveling down the Bay to the C&D canal. The dividing point between the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay is 42 miles above the Delaware Capes. The line, defined arbitrarily by the legislatures of Delaware and New Jersey, extends from a monument on Liston Point, Del., to a similar monument on the south side of the entrance to Hope Creek, N.J.
As we headed towards the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal the Salem Power Plant was in full view. We had spotted it yesterday as we headed up the bay. Steve thought it might be a Fire and I thought Industry. It was and easy sail up the Delaware Bay to the Delaware River with the power plant as our guide.
*2-The Salem Power Plant is located at the extreme north westerly portion of Delaware Bay where Delaware Bay turns into the Delaware River. The area in the vicinity of the prominent power plant is designated as a Security Zone. "No person may enter or navigate within this security zone unless authorized to do so by the U.S, Coast Guard or a designated representative."*
I never took a photo of the Salem Power Plant, but we sailed right through the designated Security Zone.
Entering the C& D canal (Chesapeake and Delaware) was a breeze. We had no large traffic to contend with. Our only concern was a lift bridge and it was open. We contacted Blue Blazes several times throughout the day. They found safe refuge the night before and were also heading up the Delaware Bay.
Our first hopeful anchorage was at Chesapeake City but it was a tight anchorage and not to our liking. We headed to our next choice at Veasey Cove and worked our way in to the anchorage (anchorage meaning any shore line that serves to diminish the on-coming forecast winds, which has the proper depth for ones boat, as to not go aground).
Harley and Janice came over for a drink (even thought it was raining cats and dogs) and we shared our thoughts and stories from the last 2 days events. It's great to get together with those whom have just gone through the same events as one self. The excitement mixed with anxiety and pleasure to celebrate one more accomplishment (in our mind) achieved. We are now in the Chesapeake!
Delaware Bay & Delaware River
September/26/2009, Nantuxent Cove, Ben Davis Point
Photo of the cannister I thought I would avoid.. which turned out to be a Pelican
Friday: Anchored by 2pm. Washed the salt off our glass and asleep by 3 pm. Awoke at 8:30 am Saturday.
Good morning Vietnam! What an anchorage. Wide open and surrounded by fishing buoys. Nothing like G. Bay.
The North Atlantic Ocean – New Jersey Coast
September/24/2009, Sandy Hook Bay
Okay, so we left our Anchorage in NJ, rounded Sandy Hook (Blue Blazes fought with only one tanker as we left) and we all headed out to sea (4 boats). Actually, we headed along the coast towards Cape May. The coast of New Jersey extends in a general southerly direction for 44 miles from Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet, then south-westerly for 66 miles to Cape May Point. We had a wonderful bright sailing day.
Along the way we noticed jellyfish, pelicans (that I mistook for large canisters floating in the water), big and small seagulls (Steve keeps commenting on how different the seagulls are) and large pools of swirling waters (which turned out to be huge schools of fish, some thrashing about as they passed our boat).
Before we left, we took another weather report. Everything seemed right, and like usual, we didn't get the stronger winds that we'd hoped for. We sailed most of the day, then motor-sailed and then as the afternoon passed, the winds picked up again and we really sailed. In the evening, we passed Atlantic City, the realization that we would arrive too early became evident. We had a little handkerchief out for a head sail and we were still doing 3.2 kts. As we approached Cape May (in the dark) we plotted our course. We decided to take the Cape May Channel which is 1 mile southwest of the cape and an unmarked passage between shoals, with depths from 2-4 feet on either side. We stalled and waited for the sun to rise and for the predicted 7 am tide to flow.
Now as you will read below, Delaware Bay is not to be taken lightly...*1,2 - quoted from Delaware Bay-Chapter 6-page 207
*1-The Delaware Bay is a large, open bay that is subject to confusing, and sometimes dangerous, sea and swell conditions due to a large fetch, strong currents, and numerous shoals. Also, it has very few harbours of refuge between the entrance and the C&D Canal. Vessels transiting the area are strongly encouraged to navigate as appropriate by monitoring current weather conditions and forecast, and filing a float plan.*
Did you read...navigate as appropriate by monitoring current weather conditions and forecast... well it's just like Canada when it comes to forecasting proper weather...They were wrong (again).
As we rounded the cape we faced heavy chop and winds from the North. . . against the South flow .. what would one expect?
There was a moment when it seemed pointless to continue. We were heading almost straight into the waves and winds and it knocked us back hard, but as soon as we headed up towards the channel, the Genoa came back into play and we took off. I noticed Blue Blazes was falling behind and they hugged the shoreline. They decided to do what is best for their boat and headed back thru the Cape May passage to their starboard and seek shelter. We continued on. We sailed all day up the Delaware Bay. At one point we let go of the wheel and Lion's Paw was so well balanced she continued to sail on her own.. not such a wise thing to do.. so we threw on the Auto Pilot. Gradually, through a mine field of fishing buoys, we made our way to the anchorage Nantuxent Cove. It was 2:30 pm. We slept until 8:30 am the next day waking only to check the anchor at 6 pm and downing a Sinutab (which seems to have become a ritual for me - headaches from allergies that I can't seem to shake. .oh well). That's 13 hours of zzz's. I guess we needed it.