North American Tour 2017-2019

From Portland, OR through Panama Canal to East Coast of USA and back via Caribbean, Panama Canal, and Hawaii

18 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
18 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
16 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
14 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
13 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
10 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
10 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
09 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
07 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
06 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
02 September 2018 | Cheaspeake Bay, Maryland
02 September 2018 | Cape May, New Jersey
29 August 2018 | Port Jefferson, Long Island, NY
25 August 2018 | Block Island, Rhode Island
21 August 2018 | Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
20 August 2018 | Scraggy Neck, Massachusetts
16 August 2018 | Weymouth, Massachusetts near Boston
14 August 2018 | Scraggy Neck Bay, Massachusetts
12 August 2018 | Newport, Rhode Island
10 August 2018 | Pt. Judith, Rhode Island

Florence Has Passed

18 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
George Stonecliffe
Last night we had a thriller thunderstorm overhead in Baltimore. The remnants of Hurricane Florence as it broke up moved through our area and up through New England. As it moved into Monday night there were 13 tornado cells that were spinning near Richmond, Virginia. After we had gone to bed, this weather activity manifested itself as thunderstorms booming overhead about 1:30am. As I write this blog, the last of Florence is bringing 1-3" of rain to NYC and Boston. So Baltimore received some rain, but there has not been any storm surge in our marina. We are grateful for God's protection. Tomorrow we will be heading out to other parts of the Chesapeake Bay, continuing our exploration and enjoyment of the area. Our overall plan is to stay in the Upper Chesapeake, take in the Annapolis Boat Show (Oct 7-9), and the Cape May Bird Festival (Oct 19-21), before we continue heading southward.

Unusual Repair

18 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
George Stonecliffe
As we came into Baltimore, the top-loader refrigerator cover cracked. The cover was a tight fit. And as it was handled time and again, it finally fatigued on one edge, and an inch long edge piece cracked off. An interim fix was cutting a piece of Marine Starboard to the right size, and then using it until a fix could be obtained. Finding the right worker to make the repair was two-thirds of the challenge. When we showed the problem to her, she immediately said it could be epoxied back into place. No problem. The tight fit was resolved by taking off 1/16th inch off the width and length. Then those edges and the outer surface were varnished. After applying weather seal to prevent humidity incursion, the cover was ready for installation. It is now fixed!

Visiting Philly While Florence Rains Continue

16 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
George Stonecliffe
Baltimore has not felt any effects from Hurricane Florence so far. Sue and I took a rental car to Philadelphia Saturday, the 15th. We had heard that specimens from the Lewis and Clark Expedition were available to see at the Museum of Natural Sciences at Drexel University. When we arrived, they were kept in a library that was closed for the weekend! Ugh. So we walked through their other exhibits that were family friendly (dinosaurs, North American mammals, butterflies, etc.) Next we went to the Benjamin Franklin Museum of Science. Also family friendly, it had exhibits on the human brain, human heart, electricity, and we took in an iMax movie on the oceans: The Blue Earth. Finally, we took in a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies vs the Miami Marlins (Phillies won 5-4). We returned to Baltimore and Julia Max just before midnight.

US Navy Academy Chapel in Annapolis

14 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
George Stonecliffe
While visiting the US Navy Academy a few days ago, we toured the Chapel on campus. Originally built in the shape of a Greek Cross, it was altered to the shape of a Romanesque Cross. It's beautiful dome has a star-studded cieling above the altar. Three massive stain glass windows adorn the interior. Seating for 2200 includes in its midst a reserved pew with a 5' tall candle and decorated holder. This candle represents all POW/MIA's from Vietnam to present day. No one else can sit in this pew. In the basement of the Chapel is the sepulcher for John Paul Jones. Along with some appropriate mementos, there was a plaque with this message: "Every officer in our Navy should know by heart the deeds of John Paul Jones. Every officer in our Navy should feel in each fiber of his being the eager desire to emulate the energy, the professional capacity, the indomitable determination and dauntless scorn of death which marked John Paul Jones above all his fellows." President Theodore Roosevelt

Hurricane Florence Update on Thursday

13 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
George Stonecliffe
Although Florence currently is lessening in strength (115 mph) and changing direction as it approaches landfall on Friday morning, we are still on pins and needles. For us it will probably be a rain and surge event in Baltimore. We have double and tripled our lines and fenders at the dock. Talking with locals, if the surge rises 4-5 feet, the marina will shut off power and water to the docks which will be submerged. We have returned our Enterprise rental car, re-provisioned, topped off our potable water tanks, and supplied ourselves with days worth of reading material (newspapers, books, etc.) One of our big concerns going forward is what the condition of the Intercostal Waterway will be after the surge and floods have passed. We think the silting will be dramatic. So we will probably need to go around Cape Hatteras southward to Cape Canaveral bypassing the ICW all together. But before those decisions, we will be exploring Chesapeake Bay during the rest of September, attending the Annapolis Boat Show Oct 5-7, and taking in the Cape May Bird Festival Oct 19-21. We visited the Baltimore Aquarium a few days ago. Nemo made us smile!

Hurricane Florence Nears

10 September 2018 | Baltimore, Maryland
George Stonecliffe
The intense emotions that we share are only overshadowed by Hurricane Florence herself. This is Tuesday, Sept 11, and she will make landfall late Thursday in North and South Carolinas. At the moment forecasts have her possibly stalling just off the coast, dumping tremendous amounts of rain ashore, and then making her way westward into parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The forecasting models are still not in agreement this close to contact. Being in Baltimore at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay, the main discussion is storm surge, meaning a push of water up the bay and rivers. Some forecast 3-5', some up to 8' higher water levels. The marina dock system that we are on will rise with the water. The finger docks are tired and weak. We have bought additional hefty lines and ball fenders. We are in a single boat slip instead of a double slip; this is good. We anticipate losing electricity, potable water, and access to shore with broken docks. We will be provisioning tomorrow, laundering while still possible, topping off our water, removing our sails, our wind generator, and dodger. We want as slender a silhouette as possible to avoid the wind effect. One forecaster thought our area might be under the influence of Florence for as much as ten days! We know God is with us all, loving and protecting our preparations and movements. God bless you all!
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Float Plan: July 1, 2017 Leave Portland, OR; head south along US West Coast; leave San Diego 10/29/17 with Baja Ha-ha Rally; go through Panama Canal 3/2018; Florida 6/2018; NYC and Rhode Island 7/2018; Chesapeake Bay 9/2018; Caribbean 12/2018; Panama Canal 3/2019; Hawaii 7/2019; home 10/2019
Julia Max's Photos - Main
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