07/17/2008, Harness Creek, MD
July 11th ... Harness Creek to Annapolis
After coffee and a bite to eat we tied up our dinghy at the boat rental concession, picked up a map of the park and started off to the grocery store. It happened to be the same Giant store that we had hiked to from Spa Creek a week ago. This time we were coming from the south and our walk would take us mostly through the park.
We passed ponds, playgrounds and a sculpture garden and finally ended up on a paved trail that meandered through the woods and swamp. It was a wonderful walk of about 3 miles. The trail ended just across the street form a West Marine so we stopped in to take advantage of their air-conditioning, then went on to Giant.
Although we are getting much better about purchasing what we can carry, today's load was pushing the limit with the heat and another 3 mile walk back to the boat. But with plenty of water and the shady path it seemed much easier that our last long hike.
As we were putting things away back on Sapphire, Dan called to say that our sewing machine and foam had arrived. Had some lunch and weighed anchor for the sail around the lighthouse to Annapolis where we anchored just off the Navy Yard.
When things were shipshape, we lowered the dinghy and motored in to the Sailrite store. Kathy got a good lesson on the operation of the new machine, which turns out to operate much the same as the old Kenmore.
The foam for the cushions came in a box about 6 feet long and the sewing machine weighs in at 53 pounds so the dingy was full on our return.
By this time it was late in the day and we spent the evening watching boats and eating dinner.
Mike and Kathy
07/12/2008, Harness Creek, MD
July 10th... Galesville MD to Harness Creek, MD
Happy Birthday Claire!
Hoping that the free pumpout boat was going to be working, we wasted some time in the morning before making the short run up to Harness Creek. The trip was all of 6 miles so it didn't really matter when we weighed anchor. Unfortunately we never saw the pumpout boat so will have to wait until Annapolis.
Harness Creek flows into the South River and is the southern edge of Annapolis. Quiet Waters Park, which is about 400 acres, includes all of the eastern shore of the creek and is a great place to anchor. There is lots of water which makes it ideal.
By 11:00 we were anchored and while the engine was still warm, I began the process of oil changing. Oil changes on Sapphire are really not that bad. The only pain is that the port side mattress has to come out to access a panel in the wall that screws out to get to the oil filter. For I think the first time, the oil change was accomplished without spilling a drop.
(For those non-boaters out there) We have a vacuum pump that looks similar to a garden sprayer but instead of creating pressure when it's pumped creates a vacuum instead. A small tube is then inserted into the hole where the dip-stick would normally be located. (Or in this case a remote line to the very bottom of the oil pan.) As the vacuum is generated, the oil is sucked into the holding tank.
The oil change was my only job for the day and since conditions looked favorable, spent the remainder of the afternoon catching crabs. Although I was successful, the vast majority were too small and went back. I only kept two and since two are not worth the effort of steaming, they went back as well.
Before dinner we explored the Creek and found the correct place to either dock or beach our dinghy when we go ashore tomorrow. We plan on checking our the park and a possibly hiking to the grocery store. Best Buy called to say that our radio was fixed and then Dan called to say that our Sailrite order had also been delivered, so we will head over to Spa Creek tomorrow collect our things.
A day off
07/12/2008, Galesville, MD
July 9th West River, Galesville, MD
With a front blowing through today and tonight we decided to stay here a day and do nothing. We both had good books and just sat around and read. By early afternoon I was going crazy so I decided to service the batteries which hadn't been done all winter. Our house bank consists of 6 group 31 deep cycle batteries which have to disconnected and removed in order to check them properly and add water without spilling everywhere. It's about a two hour job that is miserable. They were found to be in very good shape but I topped off the solution anyway since I'd taken the trouble to dig them out.
Kathy cleaned the "garage" (the spare berth) and did some cleaning.
Later we went to shore for a walk, mailing a letter on the way and picking up a bag of ice on the way back.
The highlight of the day was the sailboat races in the evening. At about 6pm racing boats of all sizes began to congregate in our area of the river. By 6:30 there must have been 50 of them in a reasonably small area tacking back an forth through the anchorage. The start / finish line was about 100 yards to the north of our position so it was fun to watch them jockey for position before the start of each race. There were about 5 different classes racing so a group would take off every 10 minutes.
Because of this staggered start it was impossible to tell which boats were the winners as they crossed the finish line. The small J boats with open sterns and hydraulic bow pulpits seemed to do the best... as expected.
We sat outside as long as we could but were chased inside about dark by a thunderstorm....the first of three during the evening.