Monarch's Big Year

03 September 2021 | Selby Bay MD
02 September 2021 | Harness Creek South River MD
01 September 2021 | Harness Creek South River MD
31 August 2021 | Harness Creek South River MD
30 August 2021 | Elk River, MD
29 August 2021 | North Summit Marina, Delaware
28 August 2021 | Chesapeake City Maryland
27 August 2021 | Lewes Harbor of Refuge, Lewes, DE
25 August 2021 | Lewes Harbor of Refuge, Lewes, DE
23 August 2021 | Port Washington Long Island NY
22 August 2021 | Port Washington Long Island NY
21 August 2021 | Port Washington Long Island NY
20 August 2021 | Port Washington Long Island NY
19 August 2021 | Port Jefferson Harbor, NY
18 August 2021 | Mattituck Long Island NY
17 August 2021 | Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT
16 August 2021 | Ram Island Mystic Connecticut
15 August 2021 | Three Mile Harbor Long Island, NY
14 August 2021 | Three Mile Harbor Long Island, NY
13 August 2021 | Three Mile Harbor Long Island, NY

03 September 2021 | Selby Bay MD
September 3, 2021 Friday

The cool beautiful weather continues as we moved the boat down to Selby Bay and anchored off the beach club to have close access to a beach for the dinghy. We'll anchor out here until Labor Day so we won't be taking up too much space on a holiday weekend on the fuel dock.

Today was spent running errands including getting certified checks and getting forms notarized to start a new mailing service, picking up some amazon packages, getting marine parts at West Marine for the fuel tank project, a quick lunch at subway, a trip to Verizon Store to buy a hot spot and sign up for a data service and finally filling a five gallon can with filtered drinking water. Our cellular data services had been spotty and we need more content so we went with a 100-gig hot spot. The Verizon salesman was good and we almost ended up with a hot spot, a smart phone and a cellular tablet for a few more dollars a month but we decided the long-term running cost would be far more having three devices rather than the one simple hot spot. We then went to the scuba store to get the air tank filled and the storage unit to swap out some northern cruising charts and guides out and pick up a few other things.

We were tired by the time we returned to the dinghy and headed back out to the boat but it was amazing how much more we can accomplish without the heat and humidity.

Since the next few weeks include a road trip to a family wedding with stops along the way to see friends and other family we're putting this on hold until we get back underway. Depending on how the projects, weather, and dentist visits go, we hope to be underway before the end of October. Thanks for your continued interest in Monarch's adventures.

Beautiful Day

02 September 2021 | Harness Creek South River MD
September 2, 2021 Thursday

Ida had left some damage within 5 miles of where we were. A house in Edgewater lost some of its roof and there was damage on West Street in Annapolis. But today was clear, cool, and beautiful like a perfect fall day. I took a row up the creek to enjoy the morning.

Sharon worked on her latest knitting project and then worked on editing a book our daughter is writing. I continued working on auxiliary fuel tank running the hoses only to discover I have the wrong size vent hose, ½ rather than 5/8", so I need to buy new hose.

I mounted the three-way fuel tank selection valves and ran the ¼" fuel hoses to the new tank. I need to find a way to pressure test the tank to look for leaks before I fill it with fuel and make the final connection. Like many boat projects I spend an hour getting out tools and moving stuff out of the way and then an hour putting everything back at the end of the day which is typical if you live on your boat while working on it.

I grilled shrimp and summer squash to go with a risotto that Sharon made and we had an enjoyable dinner in the cockpit with no other boats around. The peacefulness of the creek will all change this holiday weekend when the good weather will bring out a lot of boats ready to party away the summer.


01 September 2021 | Harness Creek South River MD
September 1, 2021 Wednesday

Eric came by in the morning in his power boat and picked up Sharon and took her to their house to visit for the day while I stayed aboard to work on the fuel tank project. With the serious weather coming in, Eric and I talked about moving Monarch up the creek and anchoring near the Quiet Waters Kayak Rental dock. A location that would be more protected and make it easier to pick Sharon up in the dinghy in case it gets too rough for Eric to bring her back up the river by boat and she could get back by car.

After I moved and re-anchored Monarch I went to work on the 1.5" rubber fill hose for the additional fuel tank. It was hot and humid and I as I struggled laying out the route for the hose, running up and down the companionway to make sure I had the angle right before I drilled a diagonal hole in the bottom of the lazarette. While I was struggling in the heat with the hose and drill, rain squalls started to roll in forcing me to shut the hatches and ports to keep the rain out. The marine radio weather alerts that had been alarming since yesterday with flash flood warnings now had severe thunderstorms and tornado watches.

After lunch the weather alerts were coming almost constantly as I continued to work while trying to keep track of the storm warnings. A warning came in for the South River very near me so I scrambled to get everything secure including the tools and supplies I had in the cockpit; caulking, screw drivers and a hammer, hose clamps, head lamp, hose, shop vacuum, drill bits and cordless drill. A weather alert reported a tornado was on the ground somewhere in the area and a thunderstorm that could produce a tornado was in Londontown which is just up the river from my location but was moving North-east away from me I hoped.

I called Sharon several times to see what her radar app was reporting but it was clear the time delay was too much to help me in this fast-moving situation. I turned on the boat's radar and was able to see the storms but not the intensity. I assumed the worst and braced for the next storm as the wind was gusting 20knots in this very protected creek. The rain became torrential but not a lot of close lightning. The worst had passed before I picked up Sharon at the kayak dock.

The weather alerts slowly came to an end and the storms that rolled through were just rain and an occasional burst of thunder. The worst of the remains of hurricane Ida had passed by four in the afternoon. Tomorrow is promising a cool north wind and clear skies.

Back in the South River

31 August 2021 | Harness Creek South River MD
Monarch clad in her tarps waiting for Ida. And note the return of the "mustache" om her bow even after the recent scrub in Lewes.

August 31, 2021 Tuesday

We headed south on the Chesapeake at first light to catch the outgoing tide which took us all the way to the Bay Bridge before we hit slack current around noon. We had a little help from the sails in the beginning but the wind soon died out. We wanted to get someplace safe before the remnant of Hurricane Ida impacted the area with a lot of rain and thunderstorms but today was the hot and humid calm before the storm.

We anchored in Selby Bay and retrieved our car from the neighbor who had looked after it this summer. The car was a little hesitant to start but it finally did and we headed out to pickup our mail from this summer and to buy some groceries. Back at the marina we made arrangements to get a dock after the Labor Day weekend and we said hello to several friends but we didn’t stay too long due to the heat and humidity. We’re hoping for a C-dock gathering when we’re back after Ida!

We pulled anchor and headed up the South River to anchor in Harness Creek to stay until the storm passed on Wednesday and Thursday. We then launched the dinghy and motored about a mile to our friend’s house on Lake Hillsmere where we took a swim in their pool and had a great welcome back dinner.

Late in the evening Eric towed us back to Monarch in his power boat along with several packages from Defender Marine that we had delivered to them while we were away - replacement solar vents, some tools and the hoses I needed to finish the installation of the second fuel tank.

Tides and Fog

30 August 2021 | Elk River, MD
August 30, 2021 Monday

To get out of the marina and over the high bar across the entrance (the woman at the marina said the channel had been dredged but mother nature kept putting it back) we had to do it in the early morning before the tide dropped or in the afternoon when the tide was coming back up. We needed plus 2’ to get over the entrance bar. I awoke to fog and called the Canal Authority on the VHF and was told the canal was closed due to fog. I expected it would stay closed until around nine and that would be too late so I went back to bed.

When we did get up Sharon rode a bike to the nearby campground and visited again with Uncle Dave and Aunt Suzy while I went in search of the swimming pool. The pool was closed and after some research, phone calls and personal interviews we discovered it was not likely to open anytime soon as the life guard staff had all gone back to school.

By now I was very hot as the heat wave had come back in full so I retired to the restaurant to use their WiFi to download magazines and enjoy their air conditioning and a cold beverage. Sharon caught up with me later and we shared a very good club sandwich and headed down to the boat.

The sky was full of threatening dark clouds as we cleared the sand bar and headed west on the canal against the current. I was tracking the thunderstorms on the ships radar while Sharon tracked the storms on her smart phone. We decided we would go into Chesapeake City’ harbor to wait out the storm but after a little rain the lightning and thunder went two miles to our north so we kept going.

Trying to decide how far to go this afternoon was a challenge. We wanted to make as much distance as possible due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida coming in to the area on Wednesday balanced against being protected from the west wind this evening. We decided to play it safe and just anchor near the mouth of the Elk River and make the final fifty miles tomorrow. At anchor we watched several large storms go to the north and south of us as we stayed dry the rest of the day.

Sharon prepared a vegetable mix in foil which I cooked on the grill with two chicken breast and we enjoyed our dinner in the cockpit watching the many billowing clouds go by.

Suzy and Dave!

29 August 2021 | North Summit Marina, Delaware
We forgot to take pictures when we were together.

August 29, 2021 Sunday

It was a short trip back on the canal to the east to get to Summit North Marina, only about four miles, but we had to time our trip so as to arrive at least two hours after low tide to get over the sand bar at the entrance to the marina. We waited until one in the afternoon to pull anchor and we still touched bottom coming into the marina at 2’ above low water having to power up to push through the low spot. We proceeded all the way to the back of the large marina to the fuel dock for fuel and a pump-out and then into a nearby dock to spend the night. The dock hands were very efficient and friendly as well as the woman running the office who took our money for one night stay.

Sharon’s Aunt Suzy and Uncle Dave were at a nearby campground in their new RV and they soon came by to take us out to a late lunch at the “Grain H2O”. The Grain restaurant is next to the marina making for a short ride up the hill. A band was playing outdoors making it way too loud to have a conversation so we picked an indoor seat in the nearly empty dining room that was better except when the doors would open. The food was very good and we did our best to catch up over the noise.

After lunch we got a tour of their new RV and heard about the issues they have had getting it commissioned and everything running right. Just like a boat, I thought, with all the same systems, a boat just having a few different ones like marine radio and anchor equipment. Their biggest challenge has been the refrigerator which had already been replaced and is still not right when running on DC.

We retired to the picnic tables down by the water which was much quieter than the restaurant and continued our catching up until the mosquitos chased us way and we ended up down below in Monarch and talked late into the evening. Suzy brought a peach pie and some special orange juice adult beverage they made and both were terrific, along with some tomatoes from their garden! In the quiet of the boat, we were able to share a lot of stories about the good and the sad that we have experienced since our last visit before the Covid Pandemic. Suzy and Dave live on a large “gentleman’s” farm in Pennsylvania and I look forward to getting to see the place where so many of their stories take place.
Vessel Name: Monarch
Vessel Make/Model: Hunter Legend 40 1988
Hailing Port: Mayo Maryland
Crew: Mike & Sharon Crothers
About: We left our jobs and have headed out to explore, starting with the East Coast of the US in our sailboat.
Extra: We are looking forward to exploring towns we have never been to or seeing familiar places in new ways, having conversations with strangers and making new friends, seeing natural and man-made beauty, history, and life.
Monarch's Photos - Main
20 Photos
Created 15 January 2015
Coast of Maine, Islands, Towns, Acadia, Bar Harbor
No Photos
Created 27 August 2014
20 Photos
Created 1 May 2014
Leaving, Galesville, Wye River, St. Michaels, Solomons Island, Reedville, VA, Put-In Creek off Mobjack, Norfolk, Dismal Swamp
14 Photos
Created 1 May 2014