06/27/2008, St. Michael's, MD
June 26th... St. Michael's MD to Annapolis MD
We were off at 8am and worked our way back to the Choptank through lots of watermen. Broad Creek was rough and we toyed with the idea of finding a place to spend the day and making the trip to Annapolis tomorrow but by the time we got to the Bay proper, conditions moderated and we had a nice trip sailing part of the time and motoring when the wind died.
Mike made a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs with the crab they caught yesterday. Yumm.
Our friends Jim and Beth on "Madcap" were also heading to Annapolis and we ended up both taking moorings just off the Naval Academy in the mouth of Spa Creek. After taking care of the sail covers and getting everything put away, Kathy and I went to the dinghy store where they sometimes have used inflatables. As most of you know, the time may be close at hand where we may need to purchase a replacement for our 1991 Bombard.
Throughout the winter we've been talking to cruisers about dinghies. Every time we tied up to a dinghy dock we'd take an extra minute to check out the different brands and models and by now have a reasonable idea of what we want.
The place we went to also sells used dinghies which we would consider if we found the right one. Unfortunately, the only used inflatable they had on their books that met our criteria was in Rhode Island. After spending some time with the salesman, who was pushing a brand that we hadn't considered, we talked to the owner of the place. We had been thinking about going down in size from 10 feet to 9 but learned from him that with our present outboard it would be difficult to get up on plane. So downsizing isn't a real god idea.
We left the place without making a purchase but planned on going back tomorrow.
Jim and Beth came over for shrimp and snacks later. Although we've been keeping up with each other's travels we hadn't seen them since northern Florida.
Another couple, Lenny and Ciel, who were moored next to us last fall here in Annapolis stopped by to say hi and gave us a couple of other ideas about dinghy shopping.
We had a nice evening answering Trivial Pursuit questions in the cockpit.
06/27/2008, St. Michael's, MD
June 25... Oxford MD to St. Michaels MD
We pulled out of Oxford around 8am and motored to St. Michaels via Broad Creek and arrived to find crab line running through our desired anchorage. At this time of year most crabbing is done by laying down a line that is baited about every four feet. Many of these lines are 500 yards long. The watermen then put the line over a roller on the side of their boats and drive slowly while the baited line is lifted from the bottom. Crabs hang on to the bait all the way up so it's a simple matter of netting them as the bait reaches the surface.
We dropped anchor in the middle of the creek until the guy picked up his line and then moved out of the main channel to re-anchor.
After a snack we dinghied to shore and tied up at the public dock where most of the watermen keep their boats. From there it is about four blocks to the downtown area through a very pleasant residential area.
Debbie and Kathy shopped for a while Davey and I stopped at a nice air-conditioned bar for a quick beer.
Our main goal for the afternoon however, was a meal at the Crab Claw where they paper your table and dump on the steamed crabs. So once the ladies found us, we were off for the waterfront.
The meal was excellent.
Before we left town we stopped at Big Al's for some shrimp and the gdrocery for some chicken necks for bait.
Our evenings entertainment was crabbing. Davey and I tied chicken necks to four lines and lowered them to the bottom tying the other end to the life line. Every few minutes someone would slowly pull up the lines and check for crabs. If one of the lines was heavy I brought the net and scooped. We caught three nice ones which were steamed and picked before I went to bed. It was great fun.
Seeing some Chesapeake
06/27/2008, Oxford, MD
June 24th...Herrington Harbour to Oxford, MD
Kathy and I were up early and off to the laundry to get a couple of loads washed before we left the dock. It took a few last minute trips back a forth to the car but eventually we were ready to head out. It took all of us to back the boat out of the slip and get it headed the right direction but our plan worked to perfection and we were on way. Once out of the channel and around a shallow point off Deale we hoisted sails and had a nice down wind sail in about 15 knots across the bay.
Our goal for the day was St. Michael's but we ended up changing our minds and sailing to Oxford, leaving St. Michael's for tomorrow. We ran the engine for an hour in the Choptank to charge the batteries, but with that exception sailed the entire route.
We had a nice walk around town in the afternoon and ended up "Schooners" on Town Creek for beers and snacks before heading back to think about pounding conch, which had been in our freezer since Manjack Cay.
In order to serve cracked conch it needs to be pounded to break down the fibers that make it so chewy. I made a dipping sauce, tossed the conch in some flour, salt and paprika before sautéing for a couple of minutes. Kathy make a salad and we cooked some broccoli to round out a really good meal.
The evening was spent going through our mail, listening to music and finally some video before turning in for the night.