Wow, Can You Believe It?

A post!  A post! Yeah, it’s been entirely too long in between posts, but things have been so hectic since we returned that I just haven’t had the gumption to sit down and bang out a post. As I said in the last post, the transition from cruising to earning money for the cruising kitty is not an easy one for me. Imagine for months that your all your time and schedule belonged to you. You chose when to get up, when to move, where to go, how long to stay, etc. Then in a matter of a couple of weeks toss all that freedom out the window. All of a sudden running 10 minutes late somehow equates to a serious offence. Lunch at noon whether you’re hungry or not. You slowly hand over pieces of your freedom until the day is so full you can barely manage a post like this.

If this sounds like bellyaching, it’s not really, it’s just the process of acclimating the first couple of weeks back. Since we’re not wealthy people this is the process that keeps us cruising in the winter and we accept that. If we have to sacrifice a little freedom in the summer to continue cruising in the winter, so be it.

Almost as soon as we were back we found out that Pier 7 Marina had been sold and sold to a Sail Away Catamarans competitor at that. So, since ya can’t have a Chevy dealer come and plop a bunch of Fords on the same lot, Sail Away is in the process of moving across the river to Liberty Marina. We moved across last week and so far have enjoyed how quite it is. The company that I welded for last year welcomed me back with a new truck and welding machine. I actually preferred the old one because there was never a worry about damaging it. :)

So, with all of the above going on it felt really good to leave the dock yesterday, (Friday), to spend some time at our favorite place, which is “on the hook”. The location we chose was the Magothy River which is just north of the Annapolis Bay Bridge. Once inside we took a turn to starboard and went past Gibson Island to a spot by Cornfield Creek. The trip up was a combination of sailing, motorsailing and just plain motoring, which I guess most trips are. At one point on the trip up I hear this popping noise and wondered what the heck it was. Seconds later it made itself know as the starboard genoa line snapped. The initial noise was I believe the outer covering giving way leaving the inner core exposed. It got a little hectic as it was blowing 15-20 knots but I was able to temporarily replace the line with a spinnaker line I had onboard. Having misjudged the distance and time it took to get here we arrived slightly after dark, which was no big deal since the anchorage here has plenty of room and decent holding. Later today Tommy Smith, ( our great friend and sales manager at Sail Away Catamarans), has invited us to a Moroccan themed party at one of his friends house which is close by the anchorage. So we’ll dinghy over and check that out, should be great fun!

And that kinda, sorta brings us up to date with what’s been going on around here. Sorry it’s taken so long to post and thanks for checking back for new ones. The next post will be sooner…:)

P1040789Aaaahhhh, to be sailing again. Headed up the ChesapeakeP1040790Michele grabbed this shot. I thought it was beautiful!P1040799It’s not so unusual to see a barge on the Chessy…butP1040800to see the gulls hichin’ a ride on the barge is…P1040796One of many large ships on the bay that day..P1040802The Annapolis Bay Bridge..P1040814Another shot Michele grabbed…P1040816The anchorage here on the Magothy River…


Until then….

Busy, Busy Busy

Wow, it’s been a little crazy since we got back to Pier 7. It’s a good thing we decided to jump up the bay in one hop. The next two days it rained like crazy and with the shift in wind the temp dropped at least 30 degrees! It would have been a wet, freezing and rough ride up the bay on those days. Three days after we got here I had to fly back to Myrtle Beach and pick up the car we bought there. That meant spending a few more days with Genne, Zach and Eliana. :) Tuesday drove the car up and now we’re all running around trying to get ready for the Annapolis Boat Show which is this weekend. I’m still adjusting to being back and all that that entails. If you picked up our journey after it started, we travel south in the winter and come back to the Annapolis area in the summer to help one of our daughters with babysitting while she finishes school. We also use the time to work and recharge the cruising kitty so we can do it all over again. The transition between play and work can take some getting used to though….

Until then….

Up The Chesapeake

Almost as soon as we set the hook in Mill Creek we both took a nap trying to cram in some sleep to make up for the sleep loss we knew was coming. After the nap, had some dinner and watched a little tv, while at the same time the listening to the wind speed increase hourly. At eleven o’clock we started preparations for the journey and by eleven thirty the hook was up and we were out of Mill Creek and headed toward the Chesapeake.

I made the decision to run both engines with no sails on the overnight portion of the trip. The reason for this was that lower bay can get crowded with cargo ships, tugs and various other traffic, not to mention fish traps and crab pots on the way to deeper water. In this way I could concentrate on avoiding the above mentioned and not have to worry about the sails being ok. As I turned up the bay, avoiding a tug towing a barge 1800 feet behind it, our speed was 7.8 knots. The night was bright with a full moon and with following seas, the ride smooth. About two hours, up a cruise ship headed south passed by and wow, the thing looked like a small city on the bay it was so lit up. After that one small tug went by and then no more ship traffic.

About an hour after daybreak Michele took over helm duty and I unrolled the genoa. There just wasn’t enough apparent wind to raise the main so I didn’t. The speed increased to over 8 knots and I went inside to sleep. After a couple of hours or so of sleep, I asked Michele how things were going and she said fine, that we were regularly surfing down the swell at 9-10 knots and at times touching 12 knots. Turns out the we managed the fastest speed we have seen on El Camino at 14.4 knots! That was surfing down a particularly nice swell. And that’s how the rest of the trip went, motor sailing with just the genny and surfin’ down swells.

Now that we are tied up here at Pier 7 the weather reports says that tonight and tomorrow will drop into the low thirties. Wow. I still don’t know how Matt and Deanna, of Suburbs to Sailing, managed to spend the whole winter onboard. It’s raining as I write this and I guess that’s a good thing because the boat was absolutely covered in pollen and the water here at the dock is not on yet. I have never seen the boat so yellow in pollen. It really needs a good wash…any takers..:)

P1040648This is the free dock on the south side of Great Bridge. There is another one on the north side.

P1040651 P1040652When we biked to the post office at Great Bridge we came across these sculptures scattered about this yard…

P1040689Coming up the Chesapeake..P1040692The entrance to South River..

P1040693Pier 7 Marina..Home for awhile…

P1040696 P1040695Rain and cold..

Until then….



Great Bridge to Mill Creek/Fort Monroe

We knew todays run would be an easy one because the anchorage at Mill Creek is only about 25 miles from Great Bridge. There are however ,one lock and a few bridges to open along the way. The lock at Great Bridge is fairly easy to enter and get tied up. The lock has line handlers that take your dock line and loop it around the mooring cleat. Notice I said “loop” it around. The other end comes back to you and you make that end fast to your cleat. In this way when leaving, all you have to do is take your end off your cleat and pull the line in with no help needed from the handler.

After the lock there’s a couple of bridges and two railroad bridges that are usually open. This time through the Beltline Bridge was lowered for a train to pass over. The train was long and slow, slow to the tune of a wait of over an hour. After the Beltline….NO MORE BRIDGES! :)

As we looked at the weather this morning it was apparent that on Wednesday and  Thursday the Chesapeake was going to have north winds in the 15-20 mile range and gusting higher. Since these were planned travel days up the Chessy and not wanting to bash our way up for two days in a north wind we decided a change of plans was in order. So the new plan is to leave tonight around midnight, give or take, and go straight through overnight to Edgewater. This way we take advantage of the south winds that will be heading up the bay with us. It should be a 17-20 hour trip up the bay that will be infinitely more comfortable then if we waited for the winds to change. Once on the South River we’ll drop the hook in Harness Creek for the night and get some rest. Pier 7 is only about an hour up the river from Harness, so that will be an easy run. So, that’s the plan, we’ll see how it unfolds…

P1040655The new high rise bridge being built at the “Steel Bridge”. That’ll be one less bridge ta open….

P1040658 P1040663 P1040667 P1040665Parts of the navy base at Norfolk. This crane has to be one of the largest I have seen. Look at the size of the cars in relationship to the crane…

P1040674P1040675 P1040676The battleship Wisconsin on display in Norfolk..

P1040679 P1040680The bow wave off the large cargo ships always impresses me…

Until then….