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Tornado Ahead
Extremly Hazardous
07/14/2009, Annapolis MD

An hour after arriving in Annapolis we were beset by strong thunderstorms comming up out of the West. The hook was set well just off the Naval Academy and we were busy getting dinner ready when I happened to look up and see a huge funnel cloud forming immediately off the bow. This ring of dark fast moving clouds was turning counter clockwise at scary fast pace and as Jean and I watched it intensified. The sky began to turn an ugly green black color and the wind lept from a gentle breeze to well over 35 kts shutting down our wind generator. I told Jean to get below and keep the kids low, that I would be right after her and to try and stay away from the galley with the loose pots and can goods. As she turned to go below the funnel dropped suddenly toward the boat some 1500 feet. The winds increased and we began to get big drops of rain. Just as the cloud edged over the water it disintegrated as quickly as it had formed. We estimated it had been nearly a mile in diameter. It was a very close call.

Annapolis
Scott Trefethen
07/14/2009, Maryland

We travelled to Annapolis to get some work done on the boat. While there we had a number of wild adventures. But more on those to come.
We first anchored out off the main harbor. Cruisers with boats longer than 48' will need to anchor as the mooring field caters to smaller vessels.
For homeschool today we visited the Maryland State house home of the General Assembly and the site where George Washington gave is famous retirement speach as he stepped down as leader of the Colonial forces. The capitol was designed in Baroque style with two circles and a radiating fan of streets. One circle for the King the statehouse and the other for God with Church circle. It seems that separating the state from the church has been around much longer than most people I know fully realize. The downtown area here oozes history and the nearby Naval Achademy is a great tour.

Having a Bad Day?
Scott Trefethen
07/14/2009, St Mary's State house

Part of the historic site is this set of stocks and whipping post outside the State House. We can't remember what Jean did wrong but she seems to enjoy the punishment.

Maryland Dove
Scott Trefethen
07/14/2009, St Mary's MD

One of the oldest settlements in Maryland, St Mary's is a great cruising destination. St Mary's today is not much bigger than it was 300 years ago. The State has recreated life in the 1600's with numerous buildings, plantations, the original State house and a newly opening Catholic church. Maryland founded by the Baltimores and the Calverts was an early experiment in freedom of religion. Here all faiths were alowed to practice thier beliefs for nearly a hundred years untill the king of England declared that all Catholics in the colony could no longer attend organized mass.
This ship the Dove is a replica of one of two ships that arrived in the early 1600's and made numerous passages between the new world and England. The crew speaking old English instructed the visitors in the fine art of loading and firing a swivel gun.

Blue Water Sailing
06/16/2009




Cape Hatteras Graveyard of the Atlantic!
Scott Trefethen
05/30/2009, North Carolina

After three weeks of visiting friends in Wilmington we found our weather window to round Cape Hatteras. Most sailors avoid these waters like the plague. Thousands of ships have been lost here over the past few hundred years. See this site for details www.coastalguide.com/helmsman/shipwrecks-graveyard.shtml
In preparing for our trip we consulted the Navy weather site https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/public/ This site provided us with a three day window to make the passage. I wanted 48 hours to make the trip and an extra 24 hours just in case the low pressure system slated to come over the coast arrived early. We hit the window spot on. With a windshift in our favor at Cape lookout and again at Diamond Shoals. Thanks to the excellent forcasting by the above site we were able to arrive ahead of shedule and had excellent seas and weather.

Wrightsville Beach
Scott Trefethen
05/30/2009, North Carolina

We were only able to spend a single evening here at Wrightsville Beach. It is here I mispent a few years of my youth learning to sail and explore the islands and waterways. The Anchorage has great holding for the visiting cruiser but I have to say that the locals are very unfriendly boaters. Ski and small fishing boats pass very close with large wakes all day and evening on Banks chanel. What should be a world class stop for the cruising sailor in America is spoiled by the apperant shortsightedness of the town council in not establishing better no wake zones in the anchorage. And yet the beach is not to be missed. There is easy access to boating supply stores and groceries. We were there with a dozen other boats waiting for a window to open in the weather to head North. We did not have to wait long. Early Tuesday morning we were off for cape Hatteras.

Sunken Boat!
Scott Trefethen
05/30/2009, Carolina Beach, NC

This was a surprise for everyone here at the dock where we stayed. About 3am this yacht slipped beneath the waves at the dock where she was tied up. A fellow staying onboard his boat next door called 911 to notify authorities who arrived at the next morning. The mast can be seen sticking up from the harbor. A Tartan 37 sailboat owned by a local individual it had shown no signs of having problems the previous day. Fellow boat owners I spoke with were stunned to awaken to the sounds of workers trying to raise the yacht.
Sea tow responded to the emergency with numerous crew and loads of equipment yet the stubborn boat refused to yield held fast by the suction of the mud on the bottom. It would require 40,000 lbs of lift and 2 days effort to pries the keel from the bottom and get her afloat again. Surprising when you consider that she only weighs 17,000 lbs. It looked as if the problem was a rotted strainer in the generator raw water intake. A whole about ¾" in diameter sunk it in less than 5 hours. The boat may be a complete loss to the owner as it was submerged for more than 48 hours in the salt water. It was sad to see her come up full of mud and debris. The owner said he had wanted to sail her to the Bahamas next year. We wish the owner success in getting her restored to her former glory.

NC Friends
05/30/2009, Carolina Beach

They say you can never go back home. That it will have changed and never feel the same. I agree with some of that except when it comes to old friends. We had a wonderful time with Steve and Kelly at their Carolina Beach retreat. Angela and Ed Stilley, Steve's sister and brother in law came down to the boat for a visit the day the Tartan 37 sank and were as entertained by the efforts to raise her as we were. It is so great that our kids are getting old enough to play together and we can spend more time catching up. Angela, Ed and Steve starting from the left. The Stilley's son Nicholas was turning 12 that day and they invited Ben to go to the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial with them for the party. Ben had a wicked good time.

Day at the Beach
Scott Trefethen
05/29/2009, Carolina Beach, NC


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