The Adventure North East
11 April 2016 | Herrington harbour South, Chesapeak Beach, MD
Catching up (haven't posted since our arrival in DC - how time flies)! Since last posting I have retired after 30 years as an Army Officer and taken a job in the DC area since the Admiral has not yet permitted me to make her "my hobby." She remains busy running her successful company (based in Tampa but now run from our fully equipped, corporate support facility - the boat).
The "Adventure to the North East" was a blast and a terrific learning experience! After considerable planning, we decided to sail Take Me There from Tampa to Ft Pierce, FL around the Keys. We hired a Captain to transit with us up the Atlantic Coast (great decision) and made some awesome friends of Captain Marlena and Captain Toby through this endeavor. We took a total of 21 days to make the trip. 8 days to sail around the Keys visiting quaint stop-overs along the way and then 5 days to sail (offshore) from Ft Pierce to the Potomac. The balance of the 21 day excursion was spent in port exploring or waiting on weather.
We dropped the Captains in Norfolk after opting for the ICW (Hatteras was projected to be ugly) from Beaufort to Norfolk and resumed our "self-cruising" routine into the Chesapeake and up the Potomac to our final marina just south of DC where we would spend the next 24 months as live-aboards.
In the past two years we have made some nice improvements to the boat including a wind genny, new AC unit, AIS, Ultra-sonic hull anti-fouling units, Satellite supported TV, internet and Inmarsat. We refurbished the crew cabin with new upholstery; installed electric hatches and a propane heating system (for power outages at the dock). We have experienced snow loads (up to 24 inches), ice up to 4 inches (in the marina) and an excursion to Alexandria (Old Town) in the boat. Alas, the Potomac is not the optimum place to sail a boat of this size so there was no sailing!
After experiencing the "close commute" (for the last 2-years) to DC and yearning for real sailing for way too long...we have moved the boat to the Chesapeake (I have embraced the 45 min commute) and are now able to get our boat out to stretch her legs on the bay with nothing more than a "let's go" and a quick trip of 1000 yards out of the marina fairway to herring Bay and SAILS UP! We are very excited!
Location = SAILING. Our marina on the Potomac suited our needs well (quiet, relaxing, private) but sailing is what we have a boat for! Hell - I'm retired! Although I work because I want to...We also want to smell the "sailing" roses - hence our move to the bay. Embarking upon the move to the Bay from the Potomac was just another part of our "North East Adventure."
Marina Amenities: The difference between our marina on the Potomac and the new one now is SERVICES! Getting marine services "inland" is a challenge with a big boat. Haul out facilities, mechanics, marine craftsmen...even travel to marine chandlary or even West marine was a hike! In a full service marina (now) we have this problem no more!
Conveniences: Floating docks, shore water (all year) and near-by shopping, restaurants, hardware stores...etc...are important for daily life. There are trade-offs. We moved from floating to fixed docks (bummer) and our new marina turns the dock water off NOV - MAR (bummer again). However, we have adjusted to fixed docks (only a 2ft tidal range) and the new marina has farm hydrants that are active at the access pier entrance (only 100 ft) so filling tanks is still a "hose" affair versus hauling water jugs! There is a pump-out boat here (happy about that) and we have lots of neighbors that own boats that actually move! In our last marina, the average live-aboard community marina member couldn't crank their boat in a pinch ... hell, most of the boats weren't even registered!...and two actually sank in the slip! Whew - out of the trailer park and into the lap of luxury we have gone!!!
We are now situated, fully integrated into the new marina rhythm and ready to sail on a whim!
Sailing and Crew: With the Admiral traveling for her business and completing her dissertation for the PhD this year...she is busy!...but we will take advantage of "us time" to sail together and the boat is set up for the two of us to handle. However, when she is out of town - I need crew since I do not sail alone. I reached out through a variety of sailing websites on the Chesapeake to make new friends and assemble a community of folks that might like to sail with us/me. Recently I met several sailors that I look forward to inviting aboard to get the "big girl" out of the slip. The April schedule is set - now as long as Mother Nature cooperates...sailing is about to re-become a reality! After inviting over 25 "crew" ad folks, I have actually met 3 and hope to meet a few more with some committing to some April date windows. People are busy...and have their own lives. Just because you have a boat doesn't mean crew will beat down your door to sail on it! You gotta work at it. My approach has been - make new friends. If they are interested in sailing on our boat - BONUS! If not (or they can't due to "LIFE" commitments) still BONUS!...we have new friends! I've met Captains as well as newbies and am excited about each opportunity to meet, learn, teach as opportunities present themselves! The new Marina is JUST starting to come alive with the "spring thaw" here. Again - we are looking forward to the social experience in our new "resort."