23 October 2013 | Hampton, Virginia
21 September 2013 | Coltons Point, MD
28 July 2013 | Hampton Roads, VA
26 June 2013 | Raleigh, NC
18 June 2013 | Washington, NC
20 April 2013 | Washington, NC
30 March 2013 | Washington, NC
20 May 2012 | Sunny Seymour, Indiana
13 May 2012 | Washington, NC
18 October 2011 | Washington, NC to Indian Island
04 July 2011 | Annapolis, MD
02 May 2011 | Washington, NC
24 April 2011 | Acme, Indiana
18 December 2010 | Seymour, Indiana
13 November 2013 | ICW
Capn B/ cold and blustery
October 24, 2013
Day 1 began with leaving Hampton Public Piers around 10:00 AM with a fresh outlook on going south. Met allot of snow birds there and I can not forget Jake the harbormaster. He always had a smile and some kind words to say.
Going south we were able to set sail under about 10 knots of wind and sail out of the bay into Norfolk. To see the massive container ports and wonder where all that stuff goes. We all buy it and they deliver it into ports like these then empty the containers to send to the stores and head back for more. Do we really need all that stuff or can we just have a simple life? I prefer a simple life and am trying to get there.
We came across a naval submarine maneuvering operation. Pretty cool cause we were like 200 feet from the sub along with coast guard escort to make sure all goes as planned.
Then we passed the new aircraft carriers being built plus destroyer ships along the way sitting at a dock. All this is pretty amazing when you look at it. We have a lot of money wrapped up in the protection of our country.
After that we went through the Gilmerton bridge. It is a timed bridge so we were early and had to wait about 40 minutes for it to open. We thought it was an on demand bridge opening. Oh well we will probably not see that one again for a long time.
After the Gilmerton bridge we turned starboard west towards Deep Creek and have spent the rest of the day and night there. Interstate is close cause I can hear it.
Oh and by the way we went aground today coming into deep creek. Luckily we were able to back out and try again. Another sailboat was close to us and tried to go in and found a five foot wide path to cross into this basin. There only only two kind of sailors, ones that have run aground and liars.
Food today was eggs and sausage for breakfast and special macaroni and cheese made in the thermo cooker. Very good meal lunch and supper.
Tomorrow is a big day. We will be going through two locks in the dismal swamp. Deep breaths!!!
Day 2 began with us getting up early eating breakfast then picking up anchor. First stop was Deep Creek Lock two miles away. Our second ever lock to work. It really went pretty well considering everything. We hooked up with loose end lines and watched the boats rise eight feet andwe were off to the dismal swamp.
First things first we had heard about duckweed and how it could clog up your cooling system. We saw some as soon as we went through the lock but after that everything seemed ok.
The dismal swamp is an interesting place. Mystery surrounds its entire area which covers parts of North Carolina and Virginia. George Washington owned shares in part of it at one time. Native Americans and escaped slaves hid in there from their predators. The canal that goes through it which is what we were on was dug by hand. It is just an interesting place and you wonder where the moonshine was or is at in there.
Going through there today made me remember the deliverance movie and the toothless guy setting on the porch playing the banjo.
The second lock was kind of exciting. RuthAnn and I got our wires crossed and both of us ended up off the boat and that is to suppose to happen. All I can say is we survived our third lock.
Goat Island is where we are spending the night. We had it to ourselves but now two more boats showed up. It is a peaceful place in the boonies but I can still hear sirens sometimes so we must be pretty close to civilization. I wonder what the stars will look like tonight.
Maritime mobile network is exactly that. It is for mariners of all kinds who want notify somebody of their position. I call into this at least a few times a week and let them know where I am at. Today I talked to someone from Titusville, Florida and was listening to people from West shores of Africa, Jamaica, Ecuador, and various other places. They offer this on 14.300 MHz from 12 ESD until 10 ESD. Another one I work with is e East Coast Waterway Network on 7.268Mhz. I try these guys every morning at 8:00am ESD.
I wonder how many stars we will see tonight oh and one more thing. I think Ruth Ann is a better driver on the boat than I am. I hit a tree today but she ran aground. We are survivors and no damage!
Day 3- now Day 18
My wife informed me yesterday that this is not day 3 because we left heading south from Oxford, Maryland. Well she is actually correct again. So today is renamed day 18. Thinking back through our days on this boat since then I think we could have probably walked this distance two or three times. We are moving at a snails pace but we are retired and enjoying the scenery along the way.
Now yesterday we woke up to still water and the same two boats that anchored there with us the night before. The stars were beautiful that morning when I went outside. We ate french toast that morning and took it easy. We only had ten miles to travel to our destination we are at now which is Elisabeth City, North Carolina. What a neat place. It is sailor friendly for sure. We arrived early and had an easy docking. A lady by the name of Maja Trig and her dog Jetty walked by and I ask how she was doing. She went onto tell me everything. She grew up on an Iowa farm, moved to California as a vaudeville dancer, owned a 40 foot sailboat back in the day, was a half sister or cousin to John Wayne (I might have this wrong but it was something like that). It sounded as though she had filled her life up with what she wanted to do. An interesting lady.
Now in every town there is something unique about it. In Urbana, it was the drug store fountain shop and old homes. In Oxford, Maryland it was the picket fences, old homes and the boat builder Hinckley. In Hampton, Virginia it was St. Johns Anglican Church which was were Pocahontas was baptized. In this town It is the old homes and the size of them. Wow is what I can say. One house alone built in 1913 was around 10,000-13,000 square feet. Back in the day this was and probably still is a wealthy town. I read where this town and Plymouth were the most populous town back in the day. Elisabeth City is located on the Posquotank River just north of the Albamarle Sound. Today will be church, postcards, finish reading a book and some rest. Tomorrow will be a big day across the Albamarle Sound.
We went to church and normally we leave midnight leashed up outside the church. Today midnight was told to come into the church with us. So midnight got his religion as someone said as we left there today and the church has went to the dogs in a very good way. He got to meet a black lab there also. He seemed happy for his first church service adventure.
Day 19- the Albamarle sound was a smooth crossing so that was good for us. Sometimes it can be real choppy. We met up with some fellow snow birds at the Alligator River 64 bridge and travelled the next 15 miles alongside 10 boats. That evening we anchored at the bottom of the Alligator River at a place called logging camp. It was us and one other boat. Interesting part was that it ended up being an old from Chesapeake, VA that we had became friends with. They had purchased a new boat so we didn't know who it was until they hailed us. It was good to catch up with them.
Day 20 we had a Midnight over board because he liked standing out over the anchor so he fell in. We made him swim to us to learn his lesson. That day we motored thru the Alligator-Pungo Canal and made it to Bath, NC late that evening. Was hailed by Pixus along the way. It was Dave and Rose Ann Finch and they were going to McCotters Marina which is where we were heading also.
Day 21we arrived at McCotters Marina in Broad Creek off the Pamilico River to a good friend named Darryl Mumford waiting for us there and then we started work. We have been here for almost two weeks now and have finished a few things on the boat. A new windvane that will help us sail around without using any battery. We added a whisker pole for downwind sailing. This is a must for the trade winds. Our time is almost up here and it spit some ice here last night so am glad I got heater going.
Starting To Feel The Chill Of Cool October Mornings And Am Thinking Of Our Future With Short Pants And Flip Flops!
23 October 2013 | Hampton, Virginia
Captain B, cool and rainy
Well it has been an exciting summer. We have really enjoyed the Chesapeake Bay. As I look back what all has happened while here.
Several rivers along the way including the James, the Rappahanock, the Potomac, the Patuxant, the Little Choptank and several creeks up all these rivers. Call us River Rats if you want. We just enjoyed these rivers and the bay.
Now what all happened?
1. We had electric problems until we got into Colton's Point off the Potomac River. That was a good turning point because we added capacity to our house bank and bought a new starter battery. The crew at Colton's Point Marina are good people.
2. Our Jib sail came down from the top. We still don't know exactly what happened but we know the winds were too high for the amount of sail I had out. What was my learning moment? Reef the sail as the winds picks up. The way it came down is still a mystery to both of us. I had taped the snap shackle so it could not open up and when we fixed it the next day the tape was still in place. Must have been a ghost.
3. We purchased a washing tumbler and ringer for washing our clothes. No need for quarters for the laundry anymore. It actually works pretty good.
4. We sailed six hours through near gale winds which were 27-34 knots that brought us 5-8 foot seas. A good experience for the both of us. We will be doing more of this in our future I am sure. We did a lot of reefing that day but the wind was exciting.
5. We actually drug anchor and figured out there are better places than an intersection to anchor. It was interesting cause I had never seen a barge here but one Saturday morning at 5am one comes by and his powerful thrust just picked our anchor right up and let us drag but not at that moment. I thought all was good so I went to make coffee and as I was walking up through the hatch I saw another boat at a dock that we were only 10 feet away. Moral of the story is stay away from channels and intersections and use two anchors if you are wondering and watch out for turning tugboats.
Towns we enjoyed were Urbana, Virginia, Solomon's Island, MD, Oxford, Md where Hinckleys are made. I could live there. Also in Oxford we felt at home, St. Clements Island where people from Maryland first set foot, Hampton, Virginia where we attended a snowbird rendezvous with other boaters. All these people along the way have been fun to meet. I have no idea what most of them did but now they are boaters.
As I look back on the past two months I ask myself would I change anything? The answer is probably not change anything except for talking to more people along the way.
The Chesapeake will be a not so distant memory in a couple weeks as we begin our voyage south. Oh but that will bring more adventure and luck to talk about as we sail on south.
Cap'n B and Admiral R
Going Through The Shakedown In A Big Bowl Of Water
21 September 2013 | Coltons Point, MD
Cap'n B/ weather is nice
Well another day another port. Since the last time I wrote on this blog we have done several things and been several different places.
While in Hampton Roads, VA we spent some time working on the boat from changing oil pressure switch to varnishing two more coats of bright work again bringing us up to six total so far. The food was great there. We ate at the Surfside at the Blue Water Marina a few times(best seafood around), the barking dog and many meals on the boat. Plenty of seafood to go around. We went to a church there that was the oldest Anglican church in America. We learned that Pocahontas was baptized there.
After leaving there we sailed to Deltaville, VA. and worked on plumbing. Everyone said we needed to go to Deltaville. Well we ended up working on plumbing there. One mile from a hardware store and a West Marine was helpful. Not sure what else was around there but plumbing was my job while there.
Ruth Ann has started making me take off a day a week now to do nothing but rest. This was needed so the days dont run together. That is probably a good thing seeing how I am suppose to be retired. I think if somebody ask me to go to work for them I would have to say I am too busy and don't have the time right now. Come back and talk to me in 10 years or so and we will see.
Going up the Potomac was not as fun as we wanted. We decided after dropping a sail in the water at Quantico, Virginia that we had seen enough of the Potomac and it was time to head back towards the Chesapeake. Our plans was to make it to Mount Vernon but that was all that we were going to see and it was another days sail to get there and we decided it was not worth it. Plans are made to be changed.
We are in Maryland now. There is a lot of history here. St. Clement's island is where the first people for Maryland landed. We anchored out and dinghied to the island probably just like they did when they landed here. What a neat little island it is.
Right across the Potomac river from where we are located is Popes Creek, Virginia and where George Washington was born and lived his first three years. It was a fun place to ride bikes to and visit.
What have we learned so far?
1. Listen to the wind cause it is letting you know your next move.
2. Fix little problems before they become bigger problems.
3. Watch out for the crab traps. They are everywhere.
4. Enjoy yourself and take days off to see something.
PS: we are having fun and have not watched the news in four months.
A turn of the World brings new foresight and adventure!
28 July 2013 | Hampton Roads, VA
Cap'n B/wonderful weather
So here we are!
Chesapeake, VA at the Atlantic Yacht Basin. Looks like a top notch full service facilit if anyone needs work done. We arrived unexpectedly on July 5 after a two day shakedown. We found a few things with the boat. First things first, somehow the fuel tanks were marked wrong on the boat and we were trying to even out the fuel for each side cause we had been running out of one tank for a while while the other one was staying full. Needless to say the engine ran out of fuel. As some of you know when a diesel runs out sometimes they might not start back up with out a good priming. So here we are floating around in the water and I am trying to get the motor started. A huge barge is coming down the canal. The big barge always wins. Needless to say we finally got the motor started and made it here to the Atlantic Yacht Basin where we were sequestered for three days now waiting to haul the boat out of the water just one more time to repair I hope to be the last and final small leak.
During all this our cap'n Walt had fell and cracked a rib on our boat. Not a good way to start on a big trip. Spent a couple days just getting him ready to go home and then we needed some rest.
Plans are made to change and so we are changing them. We have decided to spend some time in the Chesapeake Bay instead of going towards Cape Cod. A little safer and plenty of water to get our sea legs and experience we need.
Between bridge crossings, barge encounters, Walt's broken rib and our shakedown findings we made it to the James River where we found Fort Eustis where the Navy stationed our old decommissioned warships waiting for them to be cut up. It was an interesting sight to see 14 of them all tied up together floating in the river and wondering about all the stories that could be told about them.
Sometime last week we were anchored at Fort Monroe, Virginia. It is an old Army post that was decommissioned a couple years ago. It is just east of Hampton Roads. This is the place that Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis spent some time after the civil war was over. Not sure where they were buried but this was their imprisonment for a few years after the war.
A couple days later we left and went sailing for the first time in a few days. It was an interesting day to say the least. They were calling for waves from 1-3 feet and winds at 10-15. Experienced sailors we are not. The harbor master told us before we left that it might be a little windy today. He was right! Winds kicked up to 25 plus. Adventurous we are so we got to experience a little bit of what the Atlantic can throw at you. We are right at the mouth of the Atlantic. We had water spray everywhere but it felt good. A good sail day it was but probably a little bit too long for what we are ready for. Need to build up endurance for our future sailing trips.
I finally thought of the best analogy of this boating adventure. Consider us like kindergartners that skipped the first six grades and began class in grade seven. An eye opener it is for sure. Now enjoy the ride!
Still in the learning mode!
Bitter sweet in the final days of preparation
26 June 2013 | Raleigh, NC
Captain B / beautiful
Yesterday we left Seymour, Indiana for the first time without a car. Instead we drove a U-haul truck loaded down with furniture and boxes for Skye's new house she is signing for this week. Big things are happening this week. Skye will have a new house, Moriah is taking care of Indians, Elias has South America cotton harvest covered and we are going to the boat without a car. Yes, no car this time. We will drop the U-Haul off on Friday and either have someone take us to boat or we will ride our bikes there.
The bittersweet in this is that we want to leave on the boat to start a new life but we are leaving a life and friends back home that we have been glued to our whole lives. That is hard but hopefully our friends will come and visit us along our journey. Can't wait to see the world from a different point of view.
If you don't know chaos you could have found it at our house the day and week before we left without a car. I figured out in my life that when your surroundings are in complete chaos it is about time to start something new.
I remember the day that our first was born. During the hours before Skye came out I was nothing but a no good son of a bitch in her eyes cause I am who got her pregnant. This week during chaos I think was similar except I was told I never listened to her. Chaos it was but stress brings these times on and I believe without a little stress we don't grow and growing is what we are doing. Keep moving on!
Next week hopefully we will sail towards Cape Cod from here in North Carolina. The gulf stream is awaiting us along with all the chaos that will come along with it. I wonder what it will be like! I am sure that we will laugh about all this down the road. Just need to keep calm for now, move forward and enjoy the ride.
Until next time we meet fair winds to all,
remote blog entry test
19 June 2013 | my office
This is our first test to see if this blog will work remotel