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The Cruise of the Peking
IntraCoastal Waterway
11/06/2009, Maryland,Virginia,North Carolina

Intracoastal Waterway
The ICW is a different navigational challenge. The channels are narrow, there are areas that are shallow and sometimes the markers are confusing. An error means you are aground.
Well the first challenge is the bridges. They open on varied time scheduled. Some on demand, some on the hour, some on the half hour and some, it seems, when the bridge tender thinks it appropriate. We start the gauntlet. The first bridge opened on the half hour and we made the 8:30 lift. Then came the "miracle" of a tug and barge. Usually a tug and barge constitutes a hazard to beware of. In this case it was a benefit. All bridges open for commercial traffic. We closely followed the tug and made it through the bridges without a delay or wait. Finally the tug went into a gravel dock area, and we were left to confront the final obstacle of the day. It was the lock at Great Bridge. We had never done a lock before.
As we approached the lock Jerie prepared the lines. The idea is to tie your boat to the side of the lock and adjust as the water level changes. Well, we get into the lock, Jerie hands the lines to an attendant, and we wait the drop. I am in the process of explaining what she must do during the drop when the lock attendant announces the drop is over and we should prepare to leave. So much for procedure.
There is a dock at Great Bridge and we tied up for the evening. Other boats were already there and we began to meet the people who are going south. Mary Lou and Bob Cuthbert son who became friends, John a retired Navy senior chief, and Rick and Mary, a couple of cruisers who have already been around the world. We had drinks with Rick and Mary and they gave us a short course in single side band operations and cruising the islands of the Caribbean.
The next day we began the trip down the ICW. The good news is that the ICW is fascinating. Swamps and marshland with all the attendant wild life make the journey really enjoyable. We would go through small towns nestled by the banks and see isolated homes on the waterway. It is the part of the experience not to be missed. We anchored in a creek that emptied into the waterway. No wind blew and the night sounds that came to us as the evening wore on raised a new level of consciousness. The stars were glorious.
The bad news is that to navigate the waterway you have to be spot on the channel. In Virginia and North Carolina it gets real shallow only a few feet off the marked channel. Woe to the mariner who is not concentrating on his navigation. There were more than a few boats that "touched". At the end of the day, the crew is tired from the strain.

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Down the Chesapeake
11/01/2009, Maryland

Down the Chesapeake

We retraced out path to the Rhode River and to Solomons. Then we began the part of the journey through areas we have never seen before.
The weather was changing and we were concerned about getting south before the winter patterns set in. We made Deltaville, a pretty little town with a protected anchorage. Next was Norfolk. We were not prepared for the size or complexity of Norfolk. I was told it is the second busiest port in the world after Singapore. First comes the naval base. Huge ships of all classes line the Elizabeth River, cruisers, aircraft carriers, troop ships, cargo ships, and on and on. Then comes the commercial docks. Mile after mile dedicated to the transfer of all kinds of goods. Ships coming and going; tugs and barges looking for clearance, patrol boats, fishing boats. Norfolk has it all. We stayed at the Portsmouth Yacht Basin, immediately next to the dock used by Wal-Mart for major imports. All night vessels were unloaded and the warehouse area continued to process trucks. What an operation.

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Crab Pots
10/30/2009, Maryland

#$%@!^&*$# Crab Traps

A note about the rivers. Crabbing is not just a business on the Chesapeake, but seems to be a local pastime as well. Maryland DEP has declared a number of the rivers as "crab sanctuaries". The State puts buoys across the mouth of the rivers to show areas beyond which crabbing is not allowed. Soooo, the crabbers put so many traps across the river mouth on the permitted side that a crab cannot enter the river without climbing over, on or besides a crab trap. The crabs go from deep water to the rivers in spring and make the return journey in the fall.
Getting into Rhode River was representative of getting into most Maryland rivers. Jerie is on the bow, binoculars in hand, pointing out the traps. I am at the helm trying to keep Peking from getting tied up in the trap anchor lines. "Over on the left", "dead ahead", "look out to the right", "damn that one was painted the same color as the water" and so it goes. I can imagine a ship trying to get through a mine field in WW II.
We put "Spurs" on the prop shaft when we returned to Georgetown. Spurs are a cutting devise and will sever the trap line before getting tangled in the prop. Until we got the spurs on the boat, treading the trap fields was a stressful and challenging task. Lobster traps are similar threats. Since we got the Spurs it is still stressful since some of these crabbers use wire leads from the buoy to the anchor line (probably just to make the mine field passage a little more exciting)

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07/02/2011 | danny
Hi, I'm enjoying your blog. I will have to make time to read all of it. I know what you mean about the crab traps. I bought my boat in Georgetown and ran the crab gauntlet most of the way to it's new home in AA county. LOL Best of luck to you
Georgetown, Maryland
10/15/2009, Maryland

During our stay in Georgetown to have the thrust bearing fixed we were impressed with the competence of the marina technicians at Georgetown Yacht Basin. Jim Nafzinger, Henry Long and the other technicians really knew their business. Ford and Ralph Hall were not only gracious hosts, but Ford, an engineer by training, lent technical assistance to us in placing our stabilizers.
There is only one problem with Georgetown Yacht Basin; it is close to NOTHING. The nearest town, Galena, has a food store, a liquor store, gas station and a tattoo parlor, plus three or four other small shops. It is three miles away.
The work took three weeks to complete. During that time I needed a passport photo and the closest place to get the photo was Middletown Del. It was 17 miles away. Jerie and I decided to ride our bikes over to Walgreens for the photo. Well 24 miles of biking is a real workout. Folks at the marina were of two minds on the trip. One group thought we were nuts. The others were impressed that we could do it.
We made some real friends at the boat yard, and when the job was done we were sorry to leave. Rick did a great job with the stabilizers; Mark got the salt water wash down installed so we can wash the anchor when we raise it. Henry got the fuel tanks secure so we will not be dumping costly diesel fuel into the water and Jim Nafzinger did a yeoman's job on the electronics, and all other items we needed. I am certain that Peking is finally ready for her extended voyaging, and I thank the Georgetown crew for the job.

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10/03/2009, Solomons. Maryland

The weather before the show was clear and warm. We anchored in the west river three days before the report day. Jerie and I spent the time getting Peking shiny, and clean. We scrubbed, washed, buffed and polished everything.
The report in day came and I decided to go to a local marina to get some diesel fuel and to have the waste tanks pumped out before we tied up for the show. We pulled up to the fuel dock. I was in charge of getting the fuel; Jerie was in charge of pump out.
Usually, I would open the tank with the the tank key to the attendant and they would do the , get the pump from the attendant and do the pumping. Well, on that day the attendant passed the pump to Jerie. She took the key, opened the tank cover and was rewarded with a brown geyser of foul water. It seems that the tank had gotten under pressure. This brown water got on her, got on the boat and ran down the dock into the river. Immediately, the dock crew began spraying some "green stuff" into the water and all over the "brown" part of the boat. They did not spray Jerie with the "green stuff". Jerie got the pump in place and began the draining process.
Now, the boat needed to have her decks cleaned, Jerie needed a shower and we both wondered if all the work we had put in was wasted (no pun).
We went back to our anchorage, got out the scrubbing equipment and began the wash ritual all over again.
We finally tied up at the show dock, wiser, clean and tired.
The show lasted three days and we met a lot of people who were interested in the trawler lifestyle. We met some old friends, and Dean Phelps, owner of a Diesel Duck 382, helped us show the boat. We met cruisers, people who have web sites to inform the cruising community, and yard operators who support the technical aspects of cruising. The evening dinners were sponsored by Passagemaker, and were fun. We enjoyed listening to sailors telling stories, some of which were probably true, most were tall stories and bare fabrications. Good times.

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100 Days
John and Jerie
08/20/2009, New England, China, Chesapeake

The First One Hundred Days
I find it hard to believe that the first hundred days have passed since this Odessy has begun. The initial part of the cruise divides into several parts or phases, and I shall use that format in describing the events we have encountered.
The Getaway and the Wedding
The trip began on June 27, 2009 with a short hop to Port Jefferson. We had installed a new anchor and this was the first time we had the occasion to use it. In the past we have had some issues with the anchors being attached to the chain. We found the anchors were very hard to set. The new Rocna set on the first pull and held well. We were off to a good start. We spent a few days in Port Jeff working on the boat. There were a number of small repairs we needed to do and have been putting off for a while.
We brought the boat to New London and then went to Shanghai for the reception for Joshua and his wife Molly. They had been married in February in Shanghai. The fortune teller advised them that a February wedding was filled with good fortune for them. It was really inconvenient for all of the family members. So it was decided that we would have the reception in Shanghai on July 4th.
Jerie, Sarah and I flew to Shanghai and the show began. We stayed with Molly's parents. They have a three story town house beautifully furnished. The only problem is they do not speak English and we do not speak Chinese. So, if Josh and Molly were not around communication would remind the casual observer of a varsity session of Charades. Try communicating " two eggs over easy with whole wheat toast".
The reception was a celebration of the traditional Chinese wedding. The groom showed up at brides the house with the best men. He then had to plead with the bridesmaids for entry, and in doing so assert his love for the bride. Pretty funny when he was doing it in English and the neighbors were watching.
Once allowed in we then went to the bride's chamber and re-proposed to her, and even sang a song. The only one Josh could remember at the spur of the moment was "Margarettaville". Ever the romantic. Next, the couple went to the bride's parents and conducted the "tea ceremony" in which they serve the parents tea This symbolized that they will care for the parents in their old age. After that ceremony they come to the groom's parents and repeat the same ceremony. Following that, all meet and celebrate the family unity. Next, the bridal party headed off to the next wedding event; pictures in the park
On the way to the park the photographers, who were charged with capturing all on film, pulled up next to the bridal car, slowed traffic on the equivalent of the FDR in New York while they took pictures of the couple in the limo. We backed up traffic for about two miles and did not get caught. We got off the highway before the cops showed up.
The park was lovely and under the supervision of the photographers sat through an endless number of posed bridal pictures; it was 95 in the shade.
Finally we arrived at the Marriott in "Tomorrow Square" in downtown Shanghai. Really up scale. The guests were all Chinese and I have no idea what they said, but everyone smiled.
Josh and the best man were at the edge of a stage. Molly and her dad came in and her dad presented Molly to Josh. The two went up on the stage. There, in front of the "official witness", they repeated the wedding vows in Chinese and English. Her dad made a speech in Chinese and I made one in English. Everyone smiled and applauded, so I guess it went well. Food was then served; excellent Chinese cooking and, because of the 4th of July... hotdogs.
New England
We flew back to New London and on the 17th of July began the trip in earnest. We made the run from New London to Point Judith and stayed in the Salt Pond on the inside. We liked the area and spent a couple of days there. While at Point Judith we changed the generator diesel fuel filter and the oil. Must have done it correctly since the generator ran well after the changes. I am beginning to think I should have taken some shop courses when in high school.
From Point Judith we went to the Sachuet River just east of Newport. The wind had picked up and the waves built to a couple of feet, but aside from that the passage was fine. We found an anchorage inside the river not to far from a public beach. We arrived around 3:00 pm, and by sundown a number of other boats came in for the night. The State Police harbor boat came over to us, looking very official. We thought he would ask us to move, but he was only curious about Peking. Peking gets a lot of attention because she is cute.
We were on our way to Fairhaven to get a water maker installed, and our next port was South Dartmouth. The trip over was fine and we anchored near the breakwater. That night the wind picked up big time and shifted to the north east. The anchorage was exposed in the direction from which the wind was coming, and again we were relying on our new anchor. It held beautifully and our faith in the anchor system has since grown to confidence.
Fairhaven and the larger community of New Bedford are considerably different from the quaint towns we had previously visited. Fairhaven is a service town for the fishing fleet and New Bedford is the main port for the fishing operation. The emphasis is entirely on that industry and, though there are "yachty" facilities, it is clear that the place of the weekend sailor is low on the totem pole. We arrived at the Fairhaven Boat Yard and except for a handful of sail boats the rest of the docked vessels were fishing boats either waiting to leave for sea or awaiting repairs. On the land there were a number of fishing boats being serviced. No sail or recreational power boats were among the number. Up close the boats looked like they had been worked hard and not cared for particularly well. The hulls were rusty; the paint that was on them was old and dull. The fishing gear looked old and tired. I was asking one owner about his boat, a trawler used on the Georges Banks, and he told me the only reason the boat was in for a paint job and systems upgrade was because there had been a grant from the Bureau of Fisheries. Without the grant he would be fishing the boat without the improvements. When asked about the condition of the hull he simply shrugged his shoulders and said that the boat passed the insurance survey.
Fairhaven has a downtown of modest shops and the residential inventory seems to be two family homes built in the early 1900's. It is reminiscent of Bridgeport without the factory buildings. New Bedford also reminds you of Bridgeport with the factory buildings.
Our next port of call was Onset, located close to the entry of the Cape Cod Canal. A storm was due in the next few days and Onset has a very protected harbor. We anchored in the center of the harbor. The harbor has a couple of islands and is really pretty. The town, though small had pretty good restaurants, was active but not overcrowded and was fun to explore. It is a little off the main sailing routes for summer cruisers but well worth the trip up, particularly if there is a storm predicted.
Our next port of call was Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard. We (I) thought I had calculated the current correctly for slack at Woods Hole. Well, not such a good calculation. We approached the entrance at what we thought was high tide. As we began the trip down the channel the speed over ground began to really accelerate. By the time we were in the Woods Hole itself we were doing nearly 12knts; that for a boat that usually is pleased with 6 knots. The hole itself is much like a rotary with a shallow center and shallows all around the navigable ring. One problem is picking out the proper aids to navigation since viewing them in an irregular circle can be confusing and an improper turn puts you on the mud, hard on the mud. We were able to follow the buoys and made an exit from this circular whorl pool. The balance of the trip to Vineyard Haven was uneventful.
Vineyard Haven is located at the end of a V shaped cut running south from Vineyard Sound. It has a long history as part of the fishing industry and more recently as a destination for the summer cruiser and vacationer. Exploring the town is fun, with a number of shops and restaurants. We took the bus to Edgartown and spent one day at this delightful town. The only event to mar this idyllic stop was a northeaster that blew in. The outer harbor is protected from all directions but north. Well the waves got so large that people with dogs on board could not get into their dinghies to take the poor animals ashore. The wind kept up for the better part of the day and I can only sympathize with the dogs. By evening it was over, a relief to all.
We left the Vineyard for Dutch Harbor, an anchorage on the west side of Jamestown Island near Newport. We left a sunny and clear Vineyard Haven but by the time we cleared Gay Head island the fog set in big time. With radar on, fog horn blowing and constantly monitoring the radio we got to the west entrance of Narragansett Bay. As we proceeded up the channel we met a power boat coming down. Visibility was perhaps 100 yards. The power boat cautioned us about a sail boat regatta being held in the fog directly in the center of the channel. Well, we avoided the sail boats, the fog cleared and we anchored in Dutch Harbor. The reason we came to Dutch Harbor was the Newport folk festival. We were to meet Dave and Ginger Kauppi who were coming with their sail boat and Jim and Kathy Breyers were guests on Peking. We were going to the Newport Folk Festival, this year featuring Pete Segar, Joan Baez and Judy Collins. We walked across the island to the ferry to Newport each day and thoroughly enjoyed the festival. The weather held, it was not too hot and the music was superb.
On the Monday after the festival we took Peking to Block Island for an overnight, then on to Montauk for a few days stay. Of course, there was fog all the way over but once we got close to shore the fog lifted and we entered Montauk Pond where we anchored.
The next day Jerie and I decided to take our bikes to Montauk Light. Only six miles by land from the anchorage. Well, it was a very hilly six miles and by the time we got to the light we were ready for a rest. We toured the light (could not see far because of the perennial fog) ate lunch on the park grounds then rode to the village of Montauk. (Up hill both ways it seemed to me) No, that that was enough, we then went to the fishing piers at the end of the point and made arrangements to go out in a head boat for a fishing trip the next day. (Head boats are local fishing boats that earn their money by the number of "heads" they take fishing.) We then biked back to the beach next to Peking. We slept well that evening. Up early the next day, took the dinghy to the wharf and went fluke fishing on "Lazybones" for half a day. We caught some fluke but they were not the right size and we let them go. We ended up buying some fluke at the fish market.
From Montauk we went to Shelter Island to visit Phil and Diane Bailey. We were fortunate to be able to use the mooring of their friends, Jim and Barbara Preston. Life if fortuitous. It seems that on Saturday evening there was a gala fund raiser for the local hospital. Two patrons could not attend, and Jerie and I got to go to the party. We had a really good time, the food was excellent and there was an open bar. Jim and Barbara were gracious hosts and fun company. Phil and Diane are really al lot of fun and we hope to have them journey with us during part of our island trip.
On August 10th we left Shelter Island for Essex. We were thinking of spending the night in Hamburg Cove, but it was crowded and we spent the night on the river bar directly across from the Town of Essex. Bill Hanson from Staten Island called us on VHS. He had seen us in the Sound while he was in transit to Greenport. There had been an illness in his family and it was not likely we could meet up.
On the 11th we went to Port Jefferson, one of our favorite harbors, and spent a couple of days, working on the boat and visiting the local restaurants. On the 15th we went to Oyster Bay, again another of our favorite haunts and this time took our bikes to Sagamore Hill, the home of Teddy Roosevelt. It is a remarkable place and highlights a remarkable man. Well worth the effort to see how the Roosevelt's led their private lives.
We then returned to Stamford for a couple of days, then on to City Island. We anchored off one of the yacht clubs and had settled in for the evening when the squall line showed up on the horizon. Soon the sky became dark and the wind went from nothing to formidable very quickly. We were swinging near another boat and to relieve the strain on the anchor I started the engine and motored slowly back and forth. The guy behind us was relieved when the storm passed and we re-anchored further out. Rest of the night was peaceful. Also remarkable in that we were so close to the bridges and the City. Tomorrow was the 79th Street Boat Basin.
We have driven down the West Side Highway on a number of occasions, and saw the boats moored at 79th Street. Only at the end of last year did we learn that the moorings are available on a first come basis. Now was our chance to get our New York City fix before we leave the area. They put us on the largest mooring they had and we spent two really great days seeing the sights, and at night, on returning to Peking, we had the best waterfront location of all. Glorious.
All came to a screeching halt due to hurricane Danny. The problem was Long Island Sound. If Danny blew into the Sound it would raise the Hudson 2 feet. If the Hudson went up two feet Peking would pull the mooring right out if the river bed and that would be a bad thing. So, we left for Liberty Marina across the way where there is a protected dock. On approach the dock mistress told there was no problem with a slip. We described Peking to her. When we finally arrived her comment was that we would not be happy with our slip assignment. I turns out that to get to the slip I had to maneuver down a narrow channel. Make a tight corner, go down another narrow channel and turn 90 degrees into the slip. Oh, the channel was lined with boats costing big bucks. Well, as we started down the channel word spread quickly that a trawler was coming in. Boat owners came out, looked at us, and scrabbled for any fender they could find. The navigation gods were with us, however, and we got in without mishap or injury.
The marina is pretty neat, and for its head, shower and laundry facility the use an old light ship. It is really fun to wander on the light ship and see, first hand, what the crew must have felt like on board for extended periods.
We were lamenting our departure from 79th street when there was a knock on the hull. Paul and Dawn Gudelis, friends we met on a cruise last summer, were docked two slips down from us. Paul worked for one of the companies responsible for the Liberty PGA golf tournament. They had two extra passes and we got to go to the 2nd round of the tournament. I will not presume to tell you that Jerie and I were giving tips to Tiger Woods, but we were close enough to do so. We had lunch in the magnificent club house overlooking the Statue of Liberty. Not a bad substitute for a day in Manhattan.
We then left Liberty marina and went to Atlantic Highlands for fuel, spending the night at Sandy Hook. We left at dawn for Atlantic City and pulled in at the State marina around six in the evening. We had dinner at the Trump Tower, and returned to the boat.
The next day we were en route to Cape May. The wind had picked up and Jerie wanted to try the jib. Well the hardware was not fully installed. We got the jib up, the wind continued to blow harder and getting the sail down resulted in me getting a beating by the jib sheet. We have not flown the jib since and at Georgetown Yacht basin we finally got the rig revised but I get ahead in the story. Cape May turned out to be a real adventure. Entering the harbor you must pass between two jettys. When we arrived six other boats decided to also enter. One schooner (sail boats have the right of way) two sport fishermen (they believe they always have the right of way) two sail boats ( see above) who thought it would be fun to sail into the harbor, tacking all the way and finally us. What a mill drill. Boats going every which way, the waves cresting on the bar and everyone close together (though we did not plan it that way). Once inside it seems they were dredging the channel, and Peking and another boat went on the wrong side of the dredge. Needless to say there was a lot of yelling and arm waving before we got turned around and got back out. Nerves a little frazzled.
We had called Canyon Marina for a slip, described the boat and were assured "no problem". We turned into the marina and there was a problem. There was a VERY narrow fairway and we were assigned a slip that did not leave us with room to turn. We asked for the pier at the end of the dock and while waiting for approval, the wind caught our bow. The bow thrusters were not able to push the bow against the wind and we caught a piling causing a gouge on the bow. We backed off and as we made the turn into what appeared to be open water inside the marina area we found that in fact it was just 5 feet deep. We draw a little more than that and pushed our way through the mud to deeper water. Nice of the marina to mention the shallow part of the operation near the fuel dock. In any event, we got through it and finally docked on the end of the pier. All night long I wondered how we would get off the dock and turn Peking without running into the shallow area. Next morning, as soon as there was adequate light, we backed off the dock, made the u turn so that the bow was pointing to the channel and left the marina for the Chesapeake. One marina to scratch off the "to visit again" list.
The Delaware Bay can be a dangerous stretch of water but on this day it was relatively tame. It is long, however and at our speed of six knots it takes a while to get across. There is a power plant at Avery Point. The steam tower is visible for miles, and once you see the steam you feel like you should "be there soon". You aren't. Three hours later we pass Avery Point and then turn into the C&D Canal. The canal is usually busy, but during our transit we only saw a police boat busily running up and down. We pulled into the Sassafras River at around 5:00 PM looking forward to the gunkholeing from spot to spot that this area is famous for.
We spent the next three days on the Sassafras enjoying the beautiful scenery and working on the boat for the Trawlerfest boat show . Trawlerfest was the reason we have to be in the central bay by September 29th. It is a boat show featuring boats like ours. We are representing Seahorse Marine, the manufacturer,
On the morning of September 11 we were planning to go to Annapolis. As I raised the anchor we caught an old line on the bottom. After some maneuvering we got the line free. Jerie put the boat in gear and the line was caught in the prop. Damn. I went into the water using a special knife that a friend had given us and ultimately cut the line free. Not fun. We then got the anchor up, put Peking in gear and she sounded like a washing machine with an unbalanced load.
We moved her forward to clear the area of the line, re-anchored and inspected the drive train, it seems that the thrust bearing housing had cracked. The thrust bearing in a boat is used with the propeller shaft. The shaft runs from the engine, through the bearing to the prop. The shaft has a small lip on it which turns against the bearing, As the propeller is turned by the engine it creates thrust. The thrust is directed up the shaft to the thrust bearing and the thrust bearing is the point that pushes to boat. If it does not work you do not go. It did not work and we did not go.
We called a friend, Ken Chumbly (owner of Mosey) and he suggested that we con tact Georgetown Yacht Basin. They could accommodate us, and we got towed into their facility. It seems that the shaft, bearing and bearing assembly bolts were improperly assembled when the shaft was taken out for inspection two years ago. Jim Nafzinger and the staff did a superb job. A week later we left Georgetown with a new bearing, and an appreciation for the work they do. We decided to have them install our new electronic components.
We met Dave and Ginger Kauppi at Dobbins Island on the Magothy River on Sept 19th. They are good friends and we have sailed with them before. We got to Dobbins first and had the drinks ready when they arrived. We went, the next day to Annapolis.
Annapolis is a huge boating center and has the Naval Academy. This means that there are loads of sail boats together with the Navy training boats running around the harbor. We did not want to anchor in front of the Academy since there is a large stone seawall there and if the anchor lets go you are on the rocks. We tried to find a place to anchor in one of the side rivers but could not get space so there we were in front of the Academy. Avalon, Ginger and Dave'.s boat was small enough for a mooring.
The weather was settled and being in front of the Academy was fun. The football team was practicing, the band was rehearsing and the big floodlights kept it all in view. We later went to town, met Ginger and Dave, walked around town and had a delightful time.

Dave and Ginger left to visit their daughter and we spent the morning on a tour of the Academy, including seeing the crypt of John Paul Jones. That afternoon we went to the Wye River across form Annapolis. What a beautiful spot. It is a nature preserve and it is spectacular. The weather cooperated. We spent a day working on the boat getting it ready for the Solomons Trawlerfest boat show. The weather was glorious. Definitely a place for all boaters to visit, and not disturb.
The next day we met up with Ginger and Dave. They wanted to move to a different part of the Wye, and Jerie and I wanted to see St. Michaels. We agreed to meet later at Division Creek.
St Michaels is a delightful waterfront town with a museum concerning the Chesapeake and its maritime history. We docked at the museum dinghy dock and spent time touring the exhibits when we came upon the reconstruction project. A man and woman were planning boards for use in rebuilding a schooner. Wood chips flew everywhere and the boards were coming out ready for final cutting. We noted that the young lady seemed to be working much harder than her male counterpart.
They stopped working, picked up some hand held nets and preceded to the docks. We followed. It seems that crabs will climb the pilings. The couple checked the pilings and if a crab was sighted, it was netted. and their lunch was at hand.
After the museum we went shopping for odds and ends then returned to Division Creek on the Wye. We had dinner with Dave and Ginger on Avalon.
We returned to Annapolis and Marydele, our friend in Maryland, drove us to Baltimore to get our maritime identification cards (TWIC). We were told the application process was a real hassle. Not true The interview took all of about 10 minutes. The application forms asked such questions as:"have you been convicted of murdering anyone in the last seven years" or "have you been convicted of aggravated assault, rape or armed robbery in the last seven years". Of course, if the answer is "yes" they ask you to explain. It seemed that such conduct eight years ago was not an issue. Jerie and I were rather dull; all answers were negative so no exciting tales to tell the feds.
We came back to Annapolis and the Peking. After dinner we were watching a movie and I decided to "take a look around". The wind had risen to 30 MPH. Whitecaps everywhere. Then I saw the tragedy. Four sailboats had pulled their anchors and had crashed onto the Academy wall. There was a sailboat named "Silver Lynx", properly anchored and with its crew aboard. There also was a sailboat named "Peacemaker" which had no crew on board (they went to dinner) and the boat had pulled both its anchors. It crashed into the Silver Lynx. The effort to disentangle the two boats and save the Peacemaker began in earnest. The Coast Guard showed up, the police boat showed up but neither of them was much help. Finally they got separated, when out of the darkness came a 72 foot cruiser also aimed for Silver Lynx.
Of course, everyone on the cruiser was out for dinner unaware that their boat was destined for either contact with Silver Lynx or "The Wall". A fellow from one of the sailboats got on board the cruiser and started the engines. Two feet from crash the cruiser was driven off and the day was saved.
When the owners finally returned they were neither apologetic for putting people and other boats in danger nor did they thank anyone for saving the boats. The rest of the night Jerie and I sat anchor watch to insure that Peking was in good shape.
On Sept 26 2009 we left Annapolis and went to the trawler show in Solomon's, Maryland. More in the next report.

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11/09/2010 | Allen Jones
Quite a story about the crashes and near crashed in Annapolis. Not surprising though. Annapolis is insane with boats. From idiots sailing in circles everywhere to a harbor where you can barely navigate between the docks an people anchored or on moorings everywhere. And for what??? So you can go to an outdoor Mall??? My advice - avoid Annapolis. Too many boats- too little space.

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The Cruise of the Peking
Who: Jerie & John
Port: Southport, Ct
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