Monday, October 12, 2015

Last few weeks in the Chesapeake

Well, it’s been another really surprising busy month when I thought we would have nothing to do.   We did have 10 people for the SSCA luncheon.  It turned out to be lots of fun.  We met 2 new couples who are very excited about taking off cruising.  

SSCA luncheon at Leeward's Market.  Charlie and Sue on the left, were the first owners of our boat.  Amy and Ken on Marry T we met in Isla Mujers and she does documentaries.  The other 2 couples were new to us but we had a great visit with them.
The next day we took off with a very brisk sail (20 Kn) out of the north and went south to Oxford.  Oxford lies 35 miles south east of Annapolis and is a very rich historical village.  You can walk the town in an hour.  We had a ton of anchoring space, calm waters and a great view of the town.  Friends we had met in 2012 while we were cruising Maine, live in Oxford and were delighted to show us around and give us history and information about the town.  Bunny and Gary are very proud of this lovely area but said,  “most of the residents would like to build a fence around so tourists couldn’t come in.”  There are no typical tourist shops or gift shops you see in other towns but; it is definitely a boater’s community with 5 marines, a wooden boat building facility that is 300 + years old named Cutts and Case.  It is one of the oldest wooden boat building facilities in the country.  The town of 570 residents have beautiful “home and garden” type homes all about a block or two from any of the marinas.  It is definitely a place where you can get anything fixed on your boat.  We had a great lunch with our friends in one of about 5 seaside restaurants.  We met a couple briefly on a sailboat in our anchorage called First Edition who are commodores like us.  We all promised to get together at St. Michaels.

Me, freezing to death on the way to Oxford

This Robert Morris Inn is quiet famous and he found the town of Oxford.  Bunny and Gary on Rachel E.

Plaque about Robert Morris.  Not sure you can read it.
The next day we headed for St. Michael's which is an old waterman's town on the eastern shore of Maryland on the Delmarve Peninsula.  It's a beautiful old town with a rich history of crabbing and oystering and very different from Oxford. It is a boating town with tons of touristic type of places including gift shops, lots of restaurants, an ice cream shop ( not to be missed) and a fabulous waterfront museum.  We spent about 4 hours in the museum looking at historical boat building and the history of boating in the Chesapeake.  Lunch was wonderful but expensive at their famous crabhouse restaurant.  We met a lovely couple on a trawler in our anchorage.  As we were leaving First Edition pulled in, so we never did get together.  Example of cruising life.

Not much of a picture but you can see St. Michaels is a boating town

One of 4 screw in lighthouse used in the Chesapeake and now it is part of the museum.

Map of the Chesapeake with all the activities available.  It just looked like a fun map
We sailed back to Annapolis to get ready for Ruth and Jim, good friends to come and go day sailing with us.  We found a super anchorage area in the back of Spa Creek.  Ruth and I went to nursing school together 50 years ago and are still best friends.  She and Jim, who is an Annapolis grad, came for the day to sail.  Well, we really performed as the winds were 20 KN.  It was the first time in ages we had actually day sailed and not sailed to a destination so it was a lot of fun.  It was the last time we would sail on our old mainsail as a new one had been ordered and on its way to Sea Schell.  Ruth and Jim seemed to have a wonderful time.

My good buddy, Ruth and me having a great sail

Ruth and Jim, enjoying a day on the water

While in Annapolis, we visited a very moving war memorial up on a hill.  Something not to be missed

Harry's bar.  Had to take a picture.  

Cruising friends we haven't seen in ages.  So much fun to get together:  Stephanie and Drew on La Vita and Kathy and Kurt on 5 and Dime to the right.
Harry then left that week for a couple of days to finalize a sale on a boat in Brunswick, Ga.   It’s great to know money is coming in!!!   When he returned with a successful sale under his belt we took off for a hurricane hole in the South River, thinking at that time that Joaquin was on his way toward us.

See how secure we were with all those tall trees around.  We had no wind back there and it was blowing 20 KN

Another shot to see how far back in we were.

Picture of Quiet Waters Park where we hiked 4 miles.  It was right next to the anchorage and a gorgeous park.  A very upscale place.
 We were so comfortable in this hidy- hole but the next day when the threat was over we left in pouring down rain, 20KN north winds and motored to the Rhode River for our annual SSCA Annapolis Gam.  We thought ourselves a little nuts to venture out when we were so comfortable but being the social animals we are, it was a must that we go.  It was bitter cold, and continued to rain for 2 days.  We were freezing on the boat to the point that I got my flannel pajamas out.  Why I even have them on board, I don’t know and haven’t worn them for 13 years but boy did they feel good.  We were in our full foul weather gear to dinghy into Camp Letts where the Gam was being held.  Of course every other cruiser  looked just like us with all their foulies and boots on. 
A selfy before we left the cockpit to get into cold windy rain.
The Gam (old whaling term for social gatherings in the 1700’s) was wonderful.  We had over 200 cruisers there for 3 days of education, fun and comraderie.  We saw cruisers we haven’t seen in years and met many new people who were there to learn and met other sailors.
Herb Weiss celebrating his 97th birthday at the Gam.  You would never know he was 97.  He and Ruth are still cruising the eastern US.  What a guy.
Harry and I did a presentation on Sunday about different passages to the Caribbean.  By Sunday the weather had cleared but still fairly chilly.  Rich on Kelly Rae, who we had met in Colombia and hung out with in Panama and Guatemala suddenly pulled his boat up right next to ours and anchored.  We were shocked.  We had lost track of him when we left the Rio Dulce.  It was great to see him and after the Gam we spent a great pizza night on his boat getting caught up.
We said our good-byes and took off the next day, very excited about using our new mainsail.  We put it up first thing planning to sail down the Chesapeake all day.  Rich even took a picture of the sail.

Our new mainsail with the Tayana logo at the top.  We never had that before.
Well, much to our chagrin, no wind all day.  It just sat there looking pretty but doing nothing.  Talk about disappointment.  So the next day, we tried again but once again, no wind.  In the meantime, friends of ours on “I Wanda”, were a day ahead of us and kept texting me that they had great wind.  Were we on the same planet?  Don’t think so.
So day 3, same thing, no wind but there she hangs.  What’s the saying:  Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  We call the sail Mildred, after Harry’s departed Mother who left us enough money to pay for her.  Mildred looks great but not doing anything.
We really wanted to take the boat outside around Cape Hatteras, but the weather is not cooperating so we will motor inside on the ICW to Beaufort, NC.  We anchored at hospital Point in Norfolk.
This container ship was only about 100 fee from us.  Pretty intimidating.  That's like the one that sunk in Joaquin.

As you enter Norfolk, it is pretty scarry with all the ships coming in and out.  These are typical ships anchored there.  We had a huge war ship announcing his entrance into the harbor but never did see him.
Norfolk picked mermaids for their sculptures or whatever you call these things.
 A  very frequent anchorage for cruisers.  We decided to stay a couple of days and get off the boat so we walked all over Portsmouth.  It is a beautiful historical town with huge big old homes built pre civil war.  Tons of naval history there both Am. Revolutionary and Civil War.  Had lunch had the best German restaurant called “Bier Garden”.  All German menu.  A German couple came over in the 1960’s and then the husband and son started up the restaurant 20 years ago.  It is so cute and so German.  I felt like we had stepped into Europe.
We took a ferry to Norfolk and walked all over the waterfront and area.  It is also very pretty and renovated.  We spent 6.5 hours exploring the Nauticus Naval Museum.  The first 2 hours we walked from stem to stern on the USS Wisconsin, commissioned in 1944 and fought in WWII, Korean, Vietnam and Desert Storm.  It is one of the 4 Iowa class battleships built and is really magnificent.  If you ever get to Norfolk, do not miss it.  We walked 3 levels of the museum including aquatics, sharks, fighting battles and watching videos.  We only left because they were closing.  It is a fantastic place.
A view of the waterfront in Norfolk as you get off the ferry
One shot of the USS Wisconsin.  It's hard to get the whole ship at once

One of 3 turrets with these enormous guns starring right at you.

The next day we did 50 miles motoring to Coinjock, North Carolina and treated ourselves to a slip and fantastic steak dinner at the Coinjock restaurant.  We have been going past their off and on for many years and never stopped.  People rave about the restaurant and the food, so we decided since this is probably our last hurrah, let’s treat ourselves and we did.  It was great. 

On we go down the ICW through NC.  It’s a long trip with several stops.  We will visit friends in Oriental and then in Beaufort and then go outside to Florida.  Stay tuned for the next chapter.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Melinda and Harry! Wow, what a crazy experience, glad it worked out ok. We are now in the V/I.'s loving our new lives. It was great to meet you both in Oriental. I'm wondering if you would share a bit of info (again)... you told us about a LOCK that was great.... ours is freezing up with the salt water and we are going through lubricant like crazy.... thanks for your help and we'll hopefully connect again some day soon. Kathy and Jim / S/v Inishnee