09/16/2008, Solomons, MD
September 14th... Solomons, MD
As I hobbled to the cockpit this morning with my coffee there was a splash close by which turned out to be a porpoise... with about 10 friends. They played around for a few minutes before heading up-stream.
We left our anchorage at about 7:30 and on our way out the Wicomico, were entertained by our porpoise friends for a mile or so before they tired of our company. We had great wind for a while but were forced to turn to a down-wind heading in an hour. ... or end up in the wrong place. We poled out the jib and prevented in the main in the opposite direction and for a couple of hours were looking good wing on wing.
NOAA promised 10 to 15 all day but by about 11am the wind calmed and when we fell below 4 knots... started the engine. Rounding Smith Point (southern side of the mouth of the Potomac) we changed course, reset the sails on a port tack, and turned off the engine. This was to become the pattern for the day... good wind for a while and then nothing. The last two hours were great with about 18 knots just abaft of beam.
The area that we like to anchor in the Solomons was quite full but we found a spot just behind friends on Fawkes, and settled in for what looks like a couple of days. They stopped over on their way to dinner and wanted us to join them but we're saving our pennies. (Since its last repair work, I am just about at the point where I think that our dinghy might last another season but Kathy says no... so were saving our pennies for the dinghy fund.)
It was 85 and sunny on the water today... a wonderful day to be out there. Up stream here in our anchorage it has been over 90 until about 7:30pm. With the breeze, it's been comfortable.
Anchored on the Great Wicomico
09/16/2008, Great Wicomico River
September 13... Wicomoco River
We started the engine at about 7:40 to leave Deltaville. Neither of us had slept very well and were up early. As I began the process of retrieving the anchor, and turned on the wash-down pump there was nothing. I could hear the pump running but it wasn't pumping. Without the time to spend fixing or replacing it, I got out our bucket on a rope and 30 minutes later had the rode up and somewhat free of mud.
For about 2 hours we had a wonderful sail with 10 knots of wind from the north-west. Then it was calm. We motored sailed for a while but when there was little hope, furled all sails and motored into the Wicomoco River at about 12:30. Our first attempt at anchoring was a failure... the bottom was hard and the Bruce just bounced along. We found some deeper water with the hope of better holding and on our second try made the thing stick.
Our anchorage is a cove on the south side of the Wicomoco, a little up-stream from Reedville. It's a very pretty anchorage. We didn't really need to go to town and thought this might be a place to repair the wash-down pump.
I had removed the pump while under way and it looked older than the hills. I took the end off the pump and applied some electricity and everything seem to work alright.. After lunch I attacked it in earnest. First replacing everything and tightening all hose clamps and then testing with Kathy on the foredeck activating the switch. As it turned out the problem seem to be that the pump which is supposed to be self-priming ... isn't. It only has to lift water a few inches but... just can't seem to do it anymore.
Rather that try to resurrect the dead, we'll just get a new one in Solomons.
The other problem that we noticed on the way north was that our hot water heater ... which I had repaired a while ago, seems to be have the same problem as last time. I'll have to grind my failed repairs away and try again when we stop for a day or two.
It was a beautiful day here with temps in the 80's. It clouded up in the evening and there were thunderstorms in the vicinity .. but for us the night was quiet.
Leaving the ladder behind
09/16/2008, Deltaville, VA
September 12... Deltaville, Va
There is no rhyme or reason that I can see to the launching of boats here. I told the office we wanted to splash on Friday, but our friend Mike drives the travel lift and seems to have the final say. I had told him the middle of the day but that could mean anything.
So we took down the tarps that had seen reliable service keeping pine sap and other debris off our clean canvas. We gave one to our neighbor who is alone with a baby and a 4 year old for 28 days at a time while her husband is at sea. The other we rolled up and will keep as a shade for the cabin in weather that is too hot.
Kathy took a shower and I washed the decks since we have unlimited fresh water for the last time in the foreseeable future. After taking the hoses apart and stowing them, we had a late breakfast ... with toast from our camp toaster... which started a small fire of crumbs in the galley and had Kathy momentarily glancing at the extinguisher.
As we were finishing our brunch, Mike headed up the road with the travel lift and signaled that we were next. The process is relatively simple. The lift which is U shaped pulls up straddling your boat and two very large straps go under the hull. Mike lifted the boat while Will returned all the jack stands and wooden blocks to the trailer which is towed by a smallish John Deere tractor and follows the travel lift wherever it goes.
Before he drove away, I cleaned and painted the spots on the keel where we had been sitting on wooden 6' x 6's.
After lowering us into the well we jumped aboard, started the engine and drove about 100 yards into Jackson Creek where we anchored for the night. There are small craft warnings on the Bay until 10 pm and we didn't want to bounce around that much.
That's about when the bilge pump went off... actually it doesn't go off it starts pumping ...but I wired a buzzer into the line so when it is in fact pumping, we can hear it.
It was not a good thing. After scrambling around checking all thru-hull fittings, we deduced that our problem was over-filling our water tank by a few gallons and once we pumped it out everything was back to normal.
It was pleasant being back on the water.