Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where are the Days?

(Warning: Very long post. With no internet on board, one must type when one can and then quickly upload once wifi can be found again.)

Many people have been wondering just where our travels have taken us thus far. Well, not far but nonetheless still enjoyable. We did not get to cruise the Chesapeake as intended 7/20-8/20 due to engine/transmission troubles and all the boat CHORES we failed to account for on our list. So, we are in the Chesapeake.

Our official departure date from Port Annapolis was Sunday, 8/23. Here’s where we’ve been so far with a little review. To follow will be a very tentative schedule on where we plan on motoring to in the future. I use the word motoring instead of sailing because we’ve been motoring quite a bit. Just no wind now unless of course a lightning and thunderstorm brew up and keep us at anchor. We are also looking into how to attach a Google map of where we are.

8/23, Sunday, Magothy River - Broad Creek - residential nook tucked back with a little island in the middle mostly wooded with a small sandy beach area - dogs loved running it, collecting sand, and shaking their bodies all over the boat. We loved it too!

8/24, Monday, Whitehall Bay - Rideout Creek - very settled with homes and private property no trespassing making it difficult to walk the dogs. Pretty spot but not a do it again. Had to walk dogs in marshy, buggy, mucky low tide spots.

8/25, Tuesday, Severn River - Weems Creek (Navy Hurricane moorings)- exposed and windy perfect for 100 degree temps and no storms. Great spot. Easy dinghy ashore to town. Also found yummy bagels at Naval Bagel in West Annapolis. Passed Naval Academy and YP (Yard Patrol) boats used to train midshipmen. Went under our first fixed bridge clearance 75 feet. Our mast is 49 feet but felt like we may not make it (see pictures). Complete silence until we glided under without a hitch. Phew! Ran into Marc (West Marine guy and cruiser of 10 years along with his wife Alison), a wealth of information. Has been kindly answering all our questions and even guided us toward FL domicile - woohoo! - no more winters baby. Hopefully, I won’t fall too in love if we make it up to Maine next summer when it’s beautiful.

8/26, Wednesday, South River - Aberdeen - a little too developed for our taste because again people don’t want an uneven tanned, young couple ridden with mosquito bites, bruises and cuts walking their peeing and pooping mutts on their perfectly manicured lawns. Not a do it again. Living on a sailboat is great but hazardous at times as we fumble our way around trying to remember where every cleat and block is even though we’ve practically ripped off toes on many previous occasions. Not to mention, having to remember when and where to duck your head and stop bashing shins on the winches as we climb up our 5’ freeboard out of the dinghy into the cockpit.

8/27-9/30, Thursday - Sunday, West River, Galesville - came here to setup for a crossing to St. Michael’s and potentially avoid Tropical Storm Danny weather. So far, no Danny but a nasty storm brewed in from the west on Friday to our surprise. VHF announced at 1:04 pm that a storm with gusts up to 50 knots was expected to hit GALESVILLE directly. It hit us at 1:36 pm just as we finished hunkering down below nervously as novices should be first time on the water in a boat bobbing around hoping the anchor would hold in 50 knots and if not reviewing procedures on what to do next as we sit off a rock wall in the harbor. What was the forecaster looking at the moving cloud mass that we also spotted which is why we turned on the VHF? They can’t accurately predict weather in the Chesapeake as we’ve learned over the past month in our secure dock. Good thing we’ve been reading books came in pretty handing with setting a proper anchor, letting out more chain, taking bearings, and securing all loose items. Oh and that big puffy building black masses in the sky mean bad weather! Not sure how strong wind hit us because tried not to go outside except to check bearings. At one point, saw 34 knots which tipped sturdy Prudence port to starboard quite a bit. But she bounced back gracefully.

8/30-9/8, Sunday-Tuesday, St. Michael's eastern shore (itinerary change-decided to stay a lot longer-love this town)

9/8-9/9, Tuesday-Wednesday, Knapps Narrows - Waterhole Cove

9/9-9/11, Wednesday-Friday, Oxford - The Strand, Town Creek, Plaindealing or may even splurge for one night of docking

9/11-9/12, Friday-Saturday, Little Choptank River - Hudson Creek

9/12-9/15, Saturday-Tuesday, Solomon Islands

9/15-9/16, Tuesday-Wednesday, Potomac River - Jutland Creek

9/16-9/19, Wednesday-Saturday, St. Mary’s City

9/19-9/21, Saturday-Monday, Potomac River - Branson Cove

9/21-9/23, Monday-Wednesday, Yeocomico River - Kinsale

9/23-9/24, Wednesday-Thursday, Cockrell Creek - Reedville

9/24-9/25, Thursday-Friday, Great Wicomico River - Sandy Point

9/25-9/27, Friday-Sunday, Piankatank River - Jackson Creek

9/27-9/29, Sunday-Tuesday, York River - Sarah Creek

9/29-9/30 Get into ICW

***We probably won’t make it to the ICW until mid-October. Planned arrival two weeks earlier to account for weather delays and us just plain liking a place so much that we stay a little longer.

Prudence in Galesville

But last night skies were red!

We came here to hide from Danny and all we got was this mess...

3 minutes into our departure taken by our new friends Oli and Eli from NZ and Argentina respectively
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Dead Silence

Made it!

Thomas Point Light. Screwpile Design.

Whistle while you work
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Me and Sarah, shirt b/c very sunburned

USNA "YP" boats.

First Bridge, will we make it?

Charts say 75', or was it 57'? AHHHHHHHH
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Sarah's favorite Spot

Prudence in Aberdeene Creek (Keep the Duck Blind to Starboard)

Pretty in Pink

Amanda Adams' First Snapshot
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Hardest working Crew

Cool Glass house on the Magothy

Good thing we didn't close the hatch

These must be for me.....
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Storms kept us in the dock

Heavy D in the Cockpit

Breakfast down below due to rain

Dog Days of Summer
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mud and Spiders and warm beers

Hello all. We are tucked into another anchorage for the evening and currently stealing this wireless connection from one of the fancy mansions we are anchored within!

That said, amongst fancy mansions, there is no real place to bring your dogs for a "doggie break" except the low tide, spidery, mucky shores. The dogs don't even want to go there.

The "warm beer" portion of the title is because when it is 100 degrees, and you have to dinghy a mile to shore, walk 2 miles and pick up ice, it is nothing but water when you get back. Terrible cycle, so I am currently without my daily cold cold coors light. I tried to build a net for it and submerge to the cooler water (water temp as per our machine is 89 degrees) but all that did was get me warm, salty, slightly muddy beer. I'll pass.

The view is really nice though. We swim every night so far as it is still hot. We've got our eye on Tropical Storm Danny, but the VHF radio takes some getting used to so if you hear that it is headed towards us, feel free to call as we rarely get internet access and the first I heard of it on the VHF was today.

Dogs are great. Amanda too. We will give a full review of the week once we are in St. Michaels, which we excpect to be arriving on Sunday.

Our sail today was fun but not really windy. We rounded Thomas Point Lighthouse, which is a screwpile lighthouse for those who care. Very nice, but it is tough to take nice pictures as you are staring at an unfamiliar shore and wondering what kind of dangers the lighthouse is warning you from!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hello from rain land

We are vindicated with our decision to sit tight today. Since our decision to stay put, it has been beautiful here. kind of a kick in the pants but we decided it is better to expect bad weather and get good weather than the opposite. Either way, it's pouring now so we win.

We serviced the winches (just like cleaning a gun I would assume) and amanda gets VIP by cleaning the head top to bottom. She won't talk about it, like a vietnam vet. She has the 1000 yard stare.

Another lesson learned is not to cook when you have the whole boat closed up. It is a bit condensated in here.

I went to a Head Repair Class today at West Marine and feel confident that I can tackle that job when/if it comes up. Funny note, people suggest you do it naked as you won't want any clothes you had on anywhere near you when you're done. If not naked, they suggest the full painter outfit. It is 199 degrees here so that isn't an option.

Our blog posts will most likely become a bit more spotty starting tomorrow as we head up to Magothy river tomorrow. Then off to Rock Hall, then up the Chester river to check out Chestertown. Gonna weather Labor day in Gailesville and then work our way to the Eastern Shore after Labor day. We are being cautious with crowds as our anchoring skills are a tad unproven as of yet.

That's the back of the napkin version. More posts soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sarah says let's head north to the snow

Amanda hard at work

Dillon doesn't need a compass!
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Hail! Thunderstorms! Lightning! Delayed!

So much for departing this morning. Weather forecast looks nasty straight through Saturday evening. We've extended our slip stay until Sunday morning when the sun will shine, the temps will decrease, and a sail will be most pleasant.

Sarah's no longer limping. Dillon is helping with navigation. Still 128F!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Great Day Sail, Stormy Eventful Evening

All fixed up so took her out for a sea trial late morning to avoid predicted afternoon thunderstorms. Back by 1pm without a hitch but melting in the 100F humid weather. Threw the dogs and us in the a/c rental car to run last minute errands before our Thursday departure. On deck, showered and having cocktails by 5pm. What a great day!

As a special treat, Ryan offers to take dogs for a quick walk while I relax reading a magazine. Splash! All on deck except for Dillon and Ryan. Yup. Dog overboard so human overboard. Dillon sunk like a ton of bricks but luckily Ryan managed to scoop him up. Of course, this meant Ryan jumping into 10ft. of water, a 4ft. drop from the dock. Did I mention we're currently docked in Back Creek referred to by locals as Bacteria Creek! Rinse Dillon. Hand Ryan shower gear and new outfit. Up to screened in gazebo for cards and dry out period.

Wow, that afternoon thunderstorm never hit us. Just then, a dark cloud just to our port drew nearer. We sat there and discussed how we thought it would pass. No line of reasoning could support such a conclusion. This dark cloud spurting out streaks of lightning covered a mass all the way to the horizon and obviously was coming right at us rain, thunder, strikes and all. Our only excuse was we hoped it would pass. No such luck. I stayed with dogs while Ryan ran to close hatches and put in screens. Storm grew worse. Ryan ran back to put in doors and take out screens. I called him on cell to tell him storm escalating, soaked in gazebo with dogs, bring rental car keys! The night progressed similarly with Ryan having to keep returning to the boat. On his final return to the car, he's wearing his foul weather gear. I couldn't help but laugh - "Why are you wearing that now when you're all wet underneath!"

Inside now with semi-wet dogs. Still plan on departing Thursday without the security of the gazebo and rental car :-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Key fixed, engine aligned, Sarah broken, Dillon Itches

Engine is up and running. Phew! That's how we get from place to place. We don't need no stinking sails.

Sarah limping this morning. good thing we have a rental car so we can go to the 24 hour vet clinic and have them tell us she may have hurt it but don't worry. This cost us the equivalent of 32 months of ice! But , we brought Dillon along as he was scratching a lot and they gave him some drugs to combat it. Too hot here for huskie mutts I guess. Amanda says we still love them. I am not so sure.

Had drinks for the first time with our boat neighbors, Judy and Nancy. They served Landshark beer. Good and Cheap. They have a refrigerator so I may sneak on their boat tonight and go to sleep in it! It is about 100 degrees and 121% humidity. Swampy.

boat chores coming along. We change the hailing port tomorrow. she is documented out of annapolis so on paper, we will look like we know what we're doing.

Every chore brings 2 more chores and as of tomorrow we are without a car so hopefully we can walk where we need to go.

we can always Dinghy to Davis' Pub.

Haven't seen any Mid Shipman from the Academy but I know they're out there. I am jealous that I didn't even try to go there. I don't think they would let me perfect my shot-gun drinking skills as I did at Lehigh. Such is life.

Amanda is the best cook in the world. She has been working her magic with the pressure cooker to make sure it isn't too hot down below. I've been putting Old Bay Seasoning on my toothpaste. That stuff is great.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

more pictures, new dinghy, sarah on the cockpit,

Lists of lists

Thursday, still working on getting the boat ready. Amanda did the remainder of our car chores as we put that sucker in storage on Saturday.

We had a mechanic show me the ropes to the diesel engine. Not scary anymore. Just dirty.

Still trying to get our alignment aligned. Baby steps. Dogs doing great. Big high tide last night. We hung out at a bar called "Davis" in eastport. Classic dive, right on the water, 2 beers (coors light can for JRD and Amstel for Ms. Fancy Pants) and a basket of fries with old bay seasoning. Cost = $9.00. Free dog water too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hello, quick recap...

Hello, we invited you guys to this blog. Please let us know if you hear from someone that we inadvertantly left off..

so far, here is a recap of our "sabatical"

We have moved out of the hotels, and into the boat full time for the last week. Weather has been HOT, very hot. We've been doing a lot more boat chores than we expected but so far so good.

Our biggest adventure thus far was our first anchorage a few days ago. When we went to put the boat in reverse to back the anchor reverse. No forward! Only a gut wrenching screech coming from below. No worries, just turn on the Anchor lite and ride it out. NO Anchor light! That's ok, the weather seems to be holding up. (fast forward 2 hours) Torrential downpours with lots of lightning.

So, needless to say, we needed the transmission key that was sheered off somewhere along this day. We have people fixing it and is seems somewhat common, but scary none the less. The best part was our "tow of shame" when BOAT US towed us in and we missed our slip so we had to get towed back up the creek, for every tsk tsk boat owner to see. Live and learn.

Dogs are doing great. They rule the dock thus far. Dillon runs away from me and stays up on the deck full time. Sarah is a bit more cautious but still seems to be enjoying it.

The meals, thanks to galley slave Mandy, have been great. We are fairly certain this kitchen is bigger than most of our NYC kitchens.

That's it. We'll keep you posted.

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The tough life....

Hey Sailor

My First job. Tucked back in the lazarette.

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Testing New Blog

Here are some pictures of our new adventure.

Please check in over the next year and a half as we get better at....
High Pressure Dog Walking via Dinghy
Head/Diesel Engine repair......