Lovely little town
06/20/2008, Oxford, MD
June 19th.... Solomons, MD to Oxford, MD
Our plan this morning was to pull into the fuel dock on our way out of Solomons and fill up with diesel and water. By the time we got our anchor up there were two power boats there taking on fuel so we drove in circles waiting for one of them to finish up. By the time we were off the dock it was 9am...but our tanks were full.
Once we got out of the harbor and into the Bay, we found the wind to be out of the north and on our nose. So we motored north trying to stay out of the way of ship traffic in the channel.
By the time we got to the Choptank River where we make a turn to the east and could take advantage of the wind, it was flat calm. We continued into Oxford where there were three different groups of sailing lessons going on in the anchorage. Between races we got our anchor down and set.
We took a nice walk around town, the highlight of which was the Hinkley Boat Company, and then took the dinghy into Town Creek where all the boats are parked. Oxford is a quaint old Eastern Shore town and the boats were amazing: work boats, picnic boats, fishing boats, sail boats. People here must try to one up their neighbors by having the best old boat on the block.
We split a steak for dinner and watched a movie later. (We really need to widen our movie selection)
....One of the things that we need to improve is the use of tidal current here in the Chesapeake. By leaving Solomons today at 9 when low tide was at 10:30 we motored into a knot and a half current for most of 6 hours. Instead of making 6.5 knots over land we made 5. If we had waited until 11:30 to depart or one hour after low tide, we would have gained that knot and a half. It was about a 30 mile trip so at 5 knots it took us 6 hours arriving at 3pm. By waiting until 11:30 and running at the same rpms, we would have arrived at 3:15pm. Or we could have lowered the rpms, run at the same 5 knots and saved between 1/3 and 1/2 half of the fuel for the trip..... and arrived at 5:30, and I(Kathy) am rarely opposed to a leisurely morning of coffee and crossword puzzles.
Nice clean boat
06/19/2008, Solomons, MD
June 16th... Solomons, MD
After coffee we hiked down to Boaters World and Food Lion which is a good walk and picked up some boat wax and another length of shock cord. We made a few purchases at the grocery and then hiked back.
There were more thunderstorms forecast for this evening as another front moves through the area so we moved Sapphire about 200 yards and anchored in the lea of a three story condo. The anchor held well when Kathy backed down...so we were set.
Kathy spent the day finishing the stainless and then began working on the gunnels, first using rubbing compound and then a coat of wax. It is a difficult area of the boat to address. I tore apart the toilet and found a part that had been mounted upside-down. I really think that it is made that way, but in our application the tolerances are skewed a little. Anyway, when I flipped the valve and reassembled, it worked.
The next task was to replace the shock cord on our "Lazy Jack" system which only took about an hour.
By then the day was about finished and the sky was beginning to darken so we quit and watched the storms approach. When the front hit we had wind gusts to about 40 knots but the thunderstorms missed us. We had a little lightening but were spared the worst of things. The most noticeable was the temperature change. We lost about 20 degrees in 2 minutes. Since most of the wind was deflected by the condo we didn't worry much about the second line of storms and went to bed.
June 17th... Solomons, MD
We started work early. First I used the stain remover on the forepeak to get rid of a year's worth of mud while Kathy continued her waxing. We mixed up a batch of "West Systems" and filled a few holes where some chain locks had been moved and also glued together one of our grab rails that has been cracked since we owned the boat.
The next area that needed attention was the blue stripe on our topsides which I scrubbed and then applied three coats of Poli-Glo, which seems to do a better job of keeping it shiny than anything else we've tried.
After lunch I sanded a few areas that needed attention and applied some gelcoat patch.
By about 4:30, after a two days working on her knees, Kathy finished the waxing of everything on deck.
We grilled some chicken and called it a day.
June 18... Solomons
With thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon and lots more jobs to do, we decided to stay another day. Kathy started applying a second coat of wax while I resealed one of our forward hatches. I also worked on a second hatch cleaning up a rusted hinge. With those jobs out of the way I shifted to waxing and by about 11 we had a second coat on everything.
I need to go up both masts at some point but put that job off for sometime when there are more people around.
We got cleaned up, packed up all our waxing rags for the laundry and our garbage and went to shore. Our first stop was a Bar B Que place for lunch. After we got the rags in the wash Kathy got a hair cut while I checked out the seafood market and the grocery store. We hiked down to West Marine to look for a clip to mount our solar lantern at night but failed. We did however find a replacement blade for one of our fans.
After folding the clothes we picked up a few items at the store and headed back to the boat.
We read for a couple of hours before steaming a nice filet of cod on the grill for supper.
We finally did get a thunderstorm later in the evening but it was of no consequence.
Work, work, work
06/16/2008, Solomons, MD
June 15... Solomons, MD
I was in the dinghy early to finish waxing before the day got too warm. Kathy was working again on polishing stainless. By noon we were finished with both jobs and Sapphire looks noticeably better. In the afternoon we worked on waxing the cabin sides ant other flat surfaces but by then we had to take lots of breaks from the sun.
Later we took a dinghy ride and explored a little more of the area. We found the "Old Town" area but didn't have any money. We'll make that trip some time when I remember my billfold (and shoes).
Tomorrow I have to fix the toilet. If we leave the seacock open it fills up with outside water. It shouldn't be a problem. I think that we have the part in question on board. I also need to rebuild the shock cord sections of our lazy-jack system which basically catches the main sail when it is lowered.
After that we'll look for a weather window to go explore the Chesapeake.
June 14... Solomon's. Md
We were off early this morning to beat the heat and walked a little over a mile to the Boater's World store and then to the Food Lion. With full backpacks and bags we made our way back without much difficulty.
After lunch Kathy started on the stainless while I began the process of getting the brown stain off our waterline. I think that the stain is caused mostly by the tannins in the water on the northern ICW and Dismal Swamp. Motoring through soot covered water probably didn't help much either. This junk is just a fact of life for folks who choose to travel the ICW and hang out in the Chesapeake.
The problem with getting rid of the stain is that when you're finished the wax is gone as well. Waxing becomes the next job. I am ¼ done with that task and will finish tomorrow...weather permitting.
I watched thunder storms form on the computer all afternoon and they finally hit us about dinner time. Although at times we swung close to a shoal, the storms were reasonably mild here.