Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Roughing It...



We have settled in our spot for the holidays along catamaran row. What a rough month it will be. Dave and I can’t figure out what to do each day. Should we work out in the fitness center, swim in the pool, enjoy the jacuzzi or sit in the sauna. Too much to choose from! (Needless to say this is the first marina with amenities we’ve stayed at.)

We will be out of touch from now until after the holidays. In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season and a great new year.

Dave and Joanne
12/16/08

Friday, December 12, 2008

Vero Beach...


Vero Beach is also known as Velcro Beach and now we understand why. The city has everything a cruiser needs and it all comes bundled with a great free city bus service so that everything is accessible. Dave and I even found a Panera Bread and I’ve enjoyed my first latte in the last 3 months. I think I am in heaven – 80 degrees, sunshine and latte. What more does a girl need? =)

The municipal marina is far different from anything we’ve seen before. They raft boats together on the mooring balls. We are joined with two other catamarans making for one wide load on the mooring ball!!

Next stop Stuart Florida.

The Admiral
12/10/08-12/12/08

PS: Happy Birthday Mom!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Daytona Beach...


Traveling along the ICW in Florida we saw some of the most unusual sites - Santa Claus lawn ornaments in the lawn. This just seemed so strange in a climate which does not get snow and where it is about 70 degrees currently.

We arrived in Daytona Beach – the home of SPEED – NASCAR SPEED. It was only appropriate that the boy’s got out their ‘wheels’ to tool around in. While the guys checked out the marine surplus store, the ladies began Christmas shopping along Beach Street. We went to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and picked up some of the great Florida citrus fruit available.

They had a Holiday parade the other evening. It was my first evening parade and was interesting to see all the parade participants try to dress themselves in lights for the evening event. Baton twirlers had batons which glowed at the ends. Dogs had been dressed in outfits which included Christmas lights. Fire and police cars came down the parade route with there flashers going and floats were all decked out with lights.

The Admiral
12/4/08-12/6/08

St. Augustine...



What a splendid walking city!! We walked the pedestrian streets, saw the old fort and had PIZZA!! I know, your thinking pizza big deal, but Dave and I had gone into pizza deprivation not having had one since mid October – yes you heard right. Even better it was the pizzas were ½ price and 2 for 1 drinks during Happy Hour. Can’t beat that!

Along our walk we found a doggie bakery and were able to pick up a few gourmet biscuits for Goliath – John and Mary’s chihuahua. He and I are now best buds.

The Admiral
12/2/08-12/3/08

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Florida at Last!


I know this sounds ridiculous but yes, the sun just seems a little bit brighter now that we have crossed into Florida. My imagination I know, but please, let me imagine!

Our first stop in Florida was St. George Island. The Island is home to the old Kingsley Plantation, now a national park. We toured the grounds which are known to have some of the best remains of old slave cabins but that was not the coolest part of the day. The coolest part, was that we saw armadillos. Yes, armadillos! In fact one walked all the way up to my foot, took one sniff of my tennis shoe and ran off in the other direction. Now what do you think that means! And please temper your comments!

The Admiral
12/1/08

North?











A bit of a departure, I know, but instead of heading south from St. Mary’s we actually headed north a few miles to Cumberland Island, Georgia home to the Cumberland Island National Park.

The island is home to Dungeness – one of the former Carnegie mansions. The mansion was destroyed by fire many years ago but much of the concrete walls remain. Also on the island are “wild” horses. For those of you (Amy) immediately thinking of mustangs running free along the beach allow me to put this in perspective. The horses we saw looked tired, some fat, some thin and none of them running but merely walking along the trails.

The beach, however, was great fun. Weather cooperated for the day and we were able to shed our coats in the warmer weather. We walked with friends John and Mary – who we will be traveling with for a while- along the beach. John is a shell aficionado and was able to explain the different shells we found. We also found the remains of lots of horseshoe crabs which as you can tell by the attached photo get pretty big.

We will be here a few days waiting for the next line of storms to pass. Then it is on to Florida!

The Admiral
11/29/08 – 11/30/08

Thanksgiving…


Festivities in St. Mary’s continued to build throughout the week and just when you thought things couldn’t get any better – it was the main event - Thanksgiving Day. Between cruisers and residents they estimated 275 people were at the feast. That’s a lot of turkey, ham and all the fixings. Afterwards, Dave and I were stuffed and looking for a good nap – just like back home!

It was a big event and even included the local Jacksonville news. Our friends John and Mary were interviewed for the segment and Captain Dave even managed a cameo appearance as he went through the buffet line followed by a close up of his plate overflowing with goodies – why am I not surprised by this? The news segment was posted on-line if you’d like to look for it – www.firstcoastnews.com – look for the segment called Docked for Thanksgiving.

You’d think the party would have ended on Thursday – but no – we are cruisers after all. Instead there was a cruisers swap meet on Friday morning which included mimosas.

Then it was time to head out again. Next stop Cumberland Island.

The Admiral
11/26/08-11/28/08

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

St. Mary's, Georgia -Mile Marker 712





We arrived in St. Mary’s early Sunday evening. As for how our coastal cruising went…. depending on who you talk to you will get a different answer. I would tell you that although there was no wind and we motored almost the entire way that the trip was good since there were very limited waves. The Captain would tell you the trip wasn’t good with fairly big waves and no wind. So who to believe?

But that is the past. Let’s talk about St. Mary’s and the present! St. Mary’s is a great little town on the Georgia – Florida border. They are just finishing putting up the holiday decorations. All of the light posts are adorned with wreathes, garland stretches along the rails of patios and across the park gazebos and today the town Christmas tree is being put up on the waterfront.

Town has several great shops. We’ve already spent time in the both the bookstores. The used bookstore is particularly fun since it is just loaded with books of all kinds. We spent about 2 hours there yesterday just pulling books off the shelves and reading the back covers. They even had a small room with just nautical books that David took particular interest in and a wall where all the boaters sign in that they have been there. We will likely go back again to rummage through the shelves a bit more. There is also a submarine museum nearby – likely because of the nuclear submarine base on the outside of town – old churches, Orange Hall and plenty of restaurants to sample.

The boating community here has already put on a great program and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet! They have transportation available to drive us out to the larger grocery and laundry outside of town. We are also enjoying cruiser Happy Hours every night this week at the local tavern. Yesterday was our first. The tavern offers a cash bar and all the boaters bring a snack to share. Yesterday we made our spinach artichoke dip which got rave reviews. It will be a challenge to top it but we are going to see how crab and cheese pinwheels go over tonight.

More soon!

The Admiral
11/25/08

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Change in Plans....

Just a note to let everyone know we've decided to leave Charleston early. With my parents (The Admiral's) both suffering from colds, they have had to cancel their plans to meet us in Charleson. With the family plans cancelled we've decided to take advantage of a weather window and bump out from Charleston tomorrow - Saturday - and head for St. Mary's, Georgia.

We will be out of contact for the next several days but will drop a note on our return to shore. In case we don't have internet access for a while, have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Best regards.

The Admiral and the Captain
11/21/08

Charleston...


We are definitely getting acquainted with Charleston. Our first day touring the city we found ourselves on King Street, in the shopping district, and as we passed all the upscale stores asked ourselves where historic Charleston was. Well we were a block or two off but since then have found the Old City Market with its flea market and restaurants and the old residential community.

The houses are amazing and while the Calhoun Mansion boasts that it is the largest home in Charleston at 24,000 square foot, the reality is that it just seems a mere bit bigger than many of the other homes in the area. The gardens, even in the off season, are a delight as is the varying architecture.

We continue to be surprised by Charleston history and the its significance in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Thursday we toured the Old Exchange and the Provost Dungeon. The dungeon was used over the years to hold pirates prisoner until they were put on trial and later hung but was also used to hold captive those who committed treason against Britain’s Charles II. As an exchange it was the building which levied stamp and customs taxes. The proceeds from which were returned to Britain. With Charleston plantations flourishing, the taxes were estimated to represent about one third of the royal revenues. We often hear about the significance of the Boston Tea Party in our US history classes but rarely do we hear of other US communities rebelling as well – which is exactly what Charleston did. Pretty interesting stuff.

The Admiral
11/16-11/20

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mother Nature...


Mother Nature reminded us who was boss this morning. We left Georgetown mid morning yesterday and dropped the hook in a low lying marsh area around mile marker 435. While we thought we were about as well positioned as we could be given the options, about 4:00am this morning the winds pick up and told us otherwise.

Dave and I had been up checking on the anchor and our position twice in the morning but around 4:00am we felt the winds shift and the gusts grow more intense. This caused us to get up and check again and within two minutes of doing so we found ourselves dragging anchor and at peril for hitting another sailboat. I am sure you have never seen two sailors leap for the ignition of the engines as quickly as we did. We successfully started the engines, hauled up the anchor and moved out of harms way.

But that left us in darkness with 30 mile an hour winds and no ground tackle down - a bit intimidating even with two 30 hp engines purring beneath us. Nevertheless, we did get the hook re-secured. Of course with the adrenaline rush of the incident neither Dave nor I was ready to go back to bed. Instead we sat up in the cockpit making certain we were not going anywhere (again). While on watch we observed 3-4 other boats in the basin also start to drag - just not a good night for remaining in one spot on the hook.

Given our morning and the knowledge that even worse weather was approaching, we made a bee line for Charleston today to get a dock. The ICW has been incredible the last two days as we’ve observed spots of extreme low water where the channel markers have been on land and extreme high water as the channel markers have been nearly underwater. Just amazing. Notice the attached photo of a dock that is all but a dry dock!

We will be in Charleston the next 2 weeks playing tourist. Unfortunately, the camera has decided to quit working so I am not sure if we will be able to get photos in the near future but we will certainly try.

More to come.

The Admiral

11/15/08

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mile Marker 403...Georgetown, South Carolina


Ahhh….it is sunny and in the upper 70’s today. Dave and I have been anchored in Georgetown the last two days taking a break from the ICW traffic and enjoying the small community. The town is lovely with its 4-5 block downtown area. A great opportunity for window shopping. We found a local bookstore which has become a favorite pastime to just go in and browse. We also discovered a seafood market where the fish has come in just off the boats and you can buy it by the pound. We’ve been trying several of the markets offerings but our favorite so far is the shrimp. Though, admittedly, we haven’t sampled the soft shell crab or the grouper as yet.

Our next big stop will be Charleston where we plan to enjoy Thanksgiving. We will be leaving Georgetown today - Friday - and take a slower approach over the next several days toward Charleston a mere 70 miles away.

So until Charleston - enjoy.

The Admiral
11/11-11/14/08

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mile Marker 261...Wilmington, North Carolina


What a difference 200+ miles makes! The weather has improved dramatically. We are now seeing palm trees – admittedly planted in the front lawns of homes but nonetheless, palm trees – and we’ve seen porpoises. So how exactly did we get from mile marker 50 in Elizabeth City to mile marker 261? Well let me tell you….

Wednesday evening the weather finally cleared. So we headed out early on Thursday morning from Elizabeth City across the Abermarle Sound and into the Alligator River. We were making great time as the winds had shifted and we were once again able to hoist the spinnaker for a nice downwind run. That was until the winds picked up and split the spinnaker in two. No more Nestles Crunch colored spinnaker – oh my! At least not until we get to a sailmaker. We finished crossing the Sound with the main and jib and made our way down the Alligator River. We were surprised by our progress ending the day at mile marker 127.

Friday and Saturday were more of the same. Motoring down the ICW and sailing when we could. In the evenings we’d drop the hook in a creek or basin somewhere along the route.

That brings us to today – Sunday. Unfortunately, no sailing today but we have found a nice little anchorage in Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington. We made the three mile walk to a quaint shopping area which includes a West Marine (Dave’s favorite store), a grocery, a cafĂ© (with wireless) and more. After several days on the water it is nice to stretch the legs and be on land again.

It feels great to have made such progress. We are now about two days away from the South Carolina border…and then Georgia.

Stay tuned.

The Admiral
11/6-11/9/08

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Dismal Swamp Route…



I know some of you were actually wondering if I, the Captain, would ever write something, well here it goes…

We started out of Norfolk a little later than most of the other boats and went through our first opening bridge (of many more to come). This is nothing new to us, as we have bridges at home, but hearing everyone calling the bridge tenders on the VHF by bridge name I was wondering what bridge we were approaching. After successfully making our way thru the initial maze of bridges – 5 bridges in 7 miles - we approached the split of the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway) to either take the Virginia Cut or the Dismal Swamp Canal. We had already decided to take the Dismal on the way down, so we made the sharp right turn and headed for the canal. The first thing you run into after about 4 miles is Deep Creek lock. After that you get to a little draw bridge and then about 20 miles of motoring STRAIGHT down the canal, which is only about 60 foot wide at it’s widest, with only one turn about half way down. You have to constantly pay attention because there are stumps and logs floating in the canal which can do quite a job on the bottom of your boat and overhanging trees which can rip off your masthead wind instruments. We didn’t see much in the line of wildlife but the leaves were changing colors. We spent the night at the North Carolina visitor center dock with most of the other boats which locked through with us. The next morning we continued on to the lift bridge and lock on the south end of the canal. After that, we wound down the Pasquotank River into the town of Elizabeth City a most welcoming community. We were even greeted by the Mayor and they had a wine reception for all the cruisers. The weather has turned bad here so we have been waiting it out for a couple days. As you can see from the mileage board, we have a long way to Key West!

Well now you can see why I don’t write many of these because I just ramble on and on….

The Captain
11/2/08 – 11/5/08

P.S. You can check us out on the harbor web cam at http://www.discoverelizabethcity.com/, we are the last boat you can see.

To Norfolk...





















We motored across the Hampton Roads basin to Norfolk Saturday passing lots of commercial and naval vessels. The boats are enormous. Just imagine how many washing machines one of these boats could carry!! One of the commercial vessels shows trucks on board in open containers. The trucks look like Tonka toys amidst the other cargo.

The air craft carriers were amazing. I find it hard to believe they don't capsize with the size of the deck. We were also fortunate enough to see vessels in a floating dry dock. Quite and engineering feat!

We have now passed red buoy “R36” which is the unofficial Mile Marker Zero for the Intracoastal Waterway. We are here – FINALLY!

The Admiral
11/1/08

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Virginia...


As expected, the storm kept us in Solomons Island for two days. It was good we decided not to continue on as we heard reports of 50+ mph winds in some regions of the Chesapeake. With the storm passed we made our way further south over several days passing the mouth of the Potomac and finally crossing into Virginia waters.

Virginia has already proven to be a bit different than Maryland. The other night we anchored in a small river which also happened to be the backyard of Langley Air Force Base. We saw fighter jets coming and going throughout the day but the unexpected treat was that in the evening we heard a trumpet playing taps over the base loudspeaker. Of course, in the morning (a bit early by my account), we also were greeted with the same trumpet playing revelry. Nonetheless, a nice acknowledgement that we had arrived in Virginia and a US military area.

Of course that was nothing compared to our arrival in Hampton Roads. Hampton Roads is the bay entrance to Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth and the community of Hampton. Norfolk, being the most significant as it is home to the word’s largest naval base. As we entered the area there were naval vessels, big and small, in the area as well as the normal commercial traffic. Additionally, we saw huge helicopters flying overhead. Quite exciting!

We opted to tie up at the docks of Hampton. Hampton is a wonderful community away from the hustle and bustle of the naval base. Its downtown is lovely with Victorian homes, the Cousteau Society and the Virginia Air & Space Museum. The oldest building in the town is St. John’s Church. There we are reminded that we are now in the south as the cemetery includes a large monument commerating lost Confederate comrades. Finally, as if we were expected, the town held a parade!! The occasion, the Hampton University homecoming. Their mascot, a pirate – what fun!!

Next stop – the entrance to the Intracoastal Waterway!

The Admiral
11/01/08

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Surfin!!!


WOW!! What a phenomenal day! We woke to quiet weather and wondered if there would be sufficient wind to sail but the northerlies began to build and shortly after breakfast we put up the spinnaker and left Whitehall Bay. That was it. No tacking. No jibbing. Just a straight downwind sail – I mean surf - past Annapolis to Solomans Island. Conditions were awesome! Currents and winds in our favor, we flew down the bay. Much to David’s enjoyment we passed every monohull and catamaran within our general vicinity as we peaked out at 13.6 knots and averaged 9-10 knots the whole way. The attached photo shows the rooster tail effect of all the water passing behind the boat as we scream passed. Just incredible!

Tonight we are tied up at Calvert Marina in Solomans. More rainy weather is passing through and we will likely be here for two nights until the weather clears. But no matter. The town is compact but includes everything a mariner needs for provisioning. Additionally, the marina offers their patrons the use of a courtesy car – an old Mercedes of all things. So this evening we made a beeline for the local Ace Hardware store to buy a small propane heater. The result – no more chilly evenings!! The heater is keeping the main cabin nice and toasty.

More soon.

The Admiral
10/27/08

Where'd the Dock Go?

On Saturday we waited for the storm to come through. The weather worsened throughout the day and by Saturday evening the worst of the storm arrived. The combination of the high tide, the wind blowing water up the river towards us and the rain resulted in the water level rising above the docks by Saturday evening. We were happy we had decided to wait out the weather.

Sunday morning was clear and sunny. The waves on the Chesapeake were mild as were the southerly winds. We sailed, through intermittent winds, south of the Bay Bridge and spent the night (once again) in Whitehall Bay near Annapolis. Tomorrow we will traverse new territory, continuing the southerly trek down the Chesapeake.

The Admiral
10/26/08

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Haul Out...

So after less than a month, the boat was out of the water again. A series of tests were run but we couldn’t identify the root cause of the problem with the sail drive. Everyone admitted the oil looked strange, but pressure tests suggested that water was not the source of the problem.

Our choices were to continue with further testing ripping away part of the fiberglass enclosure for the sail drives. If we did this, it would be highly unlikely that we would be able to launch again and our trip would be scrapped for the year. Option 2 was to purge the oil of the unit, run another batch of oil through the system and purge it and then fill it again with fresh oil. David would then need to check the oil as we headed south and if signs of problems persisted we would need to seek additional assistance at that point in time.

We have chosen option 2 – head south. So after spending a good portion of the day hanging in the cradle of the boat lift, Tropical Breeze once again found water under her hulls. We will remain docked here through Saturday, to allow for the coming storm to pass through and then take off on Sunday and head south – again!

The Admiral
10/24/08

Friday, October 24, 2008

Northbound Day 2...

What a difference a day makes. The winds having died down overnight calmed the seas of the bay. Now in the early morning the winds were picking up again but the calmer waves provided much improved overall sailing conditions. We traveled north returning to the Sassafras River and reaching our destination.

While it was nice to be back to familiar territory and familiar faces, we realize that when we depart again we will need to push to get down to the end of the bay. We have no deadlines, but the weather continues to turn cool and it is becoming more and more nippy in the evenings.

The Admiral
10/23/08

Northbound Day 1...















Our great day of sailing from the day before was due to the brisk northerly that had built in the Chesapeake. Yesterday’s great sail would become today’s upwind battle as we spent 10 hours with water smashing against the hull, wind in our faces and a constant tacking back and forth across the bay. In all we traveled about 50 miles and made good progress back to our northerly destination.

The outcome, however, was two very exhausted sailors. We tied up in Rock Hall Harbor at Waterman’s Restaurant. This is where we’ve historically enjoyed our crab feasts but tonight we were too exhausted to tackle any crab. As we enjoyed our dinner, the restaurant felt like it was rocking – another sign of a long day on the water. Admittedly, I was feeling a bit like a wimp, not tough enough to endure fall Chesapeake sailing, but as David and I enjoyed our meal and we listened to the local conversations around us I began to feel tougher. The hostess indicated that diehard patrons who always made the trip by boat for the oyster buffet cancelled their reservations for today – weather too challenging. Further, patrons were cancelling reservations for the weekend as the weather was supposed to deteriorate further. We even overheard a fisherman indicate that he hadn’t braved the weather to go out fishing today.

Feeling a renewed sense of Midwestern sailing gusto – or stupidity – we returned back to the boat. Lying in bed that night my brain kept telling me something was wrong. It was. The winds had died and we were tied up to a dock in the well protected harbor. All was silent. After a day of constant motion, water slamming and winds hollaring the silence was eerie. So with the peculiar silence, I fell into a well needed restful sleep.

The Admiral
10/22/08

The Good and the Not...

We left Annapolis today and experienced our best sailing day yet. The winds, which had been inconsistent, filled in nicely and we had 15-20 mile an hour breezes across the bay. Near the end of our day the breezes picked up further and we dropped the spinnaker and chose a heavier sail to complete the journey into Kent Island Narrows.

There we met up with John, of Chesapeake Yacht Systems, who completed our corrosion survey. This was his last marine job before retiring. We opted to have this additional survey/assessment completed after we discovered, in July, the sail drives were corroded and needed replacing. The survey would confirm whether or not the problem related to electrolysis or if the problem was (as we suspected) and incompatible metal paint being applied to the sail drives. The great news was that John was able to confirm that the problem had not been electrolysis and he was even able to give us a few pointers on how we could further protect the electrical system of the boat. This was great news!

The bad news was that John and the Captain discovered that one of the new sail drives had, what appeared to be, water in the oil. Not so good for a mechanical part that is supposed to only have oil in its guts. This is certainly an unexpected problem and will require us to return north for diagnostics and a fix. Ugh!

The Admiral
10/21/08

Monday, October 20, 2008

Annapolis...





All the cruisers we spoke to insisted that we haven't seen Annapolis until we've approached it by boat. They were right. The quaint historic city is home to both the US Naval Academy and boasts that it is the US Sailing Capital. This combination makes for great scenery as you come up the Severn River. The Naval Academy emerges on the right with its blending of modern and french style architecture. The tallest building on the Academy grounds being the Chapel with its dome.

Beyond the Naval Academy is downtown Annapolis. When Brother Matt was visiting us last month he said he couldn't understand why I was so insistent that we go into Annapolis. He expected just another downtown - but Annapolis is not just another downtown. Instead Annapolis has mantained its historic brick architecture through its buildings and streets combined with the local stores which take on a charm almost like Mackinac Island absent most of the fudge shops.

We had a busy day in the city. Between picking up supplies at the canvas shop, the chandlery, hardware store and a few provisions we were on the go. We sat down to have lunch and I realized it was 5:00 - oh my! I am really not certain how the days are getting past us so quickly and those that wondered if we would get bored I promise there is no boredom setting in yet. We will keep you posted should that change.

The Admiral
10/20/08

The Bay Bridge




We continued our journey down the Chesapeake on Friday. Our trip included something new for me. In all the years Dave and I have sailed the Great Lakes together I've never been onboard when the spinnaker was hoisted. Well Day 2 of our journey included downwind spinnaker sailing. As you can tell from the first photo looking up at the Bay Bridge as we sail underneath the color of the spinnaker keeps with the red, white and blue theme for Nestle's Crunch - what luck!

As we approached Annapolis we realized that it was a beautiful Friday and it was the weekend of the power boat show. Taking these facts into consideration we opted to not go into Annapolis and instead anchored just north of the city in Whitehall Bay for several days. The bay is well protected from the Chesapeake with mature treelines and a few very nice homes on its border. A great spot, but unfortunately no access to internet, hence the delay in this posting.

Next stop Annapolis.

The Admiral
10/17/08 - 10/19/08

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Underway...




At 11:15 this morning we left the docks on the Sassafras River and headed out toward the Chesapeake. A mere 10 minutes into the journey I heard a bird cawing and turned to find a big black bird sitting at the top of the mast. Then turning to the stern I realized the big black bird had pooped all over the back of the boat. My initial reaction was frustration as I had just scrubbed the deck the day before. But giving it further thought I decided it was just Mother Nature's way of initiating us into her environment. So having now been accepted as a part of her world we went out into the Chesapeake taking photos of the Sassafras River as we went.

The day was very nice. Winds at 8-10 knots. Mid 70's for temps. Slight waves. We sailed down to Middle River and are now planning to spend our first night at anchor in Sue Creek. Tomorrow we will make the rest of the journey to Annapolis.

We celebrated my birthday this evening with a great birthday dinner and for dessert - Klondike bars. I know it doesn't seem exciting to all you land based folks but we are absolutely smitten with the fact that the freezer can keep ice cream.

More to come.

The Admiral
10/16/08


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Final Sassafras Sunset...


Well with the gear stowed and tanks filled I think we are finally ready to shove off. Before we do that, however, we wanted to enjoy one final sunset on the Sassafras River. The sunsets here are just stellar and tonight's viewing is spectacular as well.

Next stop? Somewhere closer to Annapolis. If the northerly winds come in as expected we may make it to Annapolis tomorrow. Otherwise, we will anchor somewhere overnight and finish the journey the following day. After all, what's the hurry?!
The Admiral
10/15/08

PS > For those wondering why I am not posting excerpts pertaining to the big birthday I had today its not because I am trying to ignore the event. With all the final activities going on today the Captain and I agreed that we would celebrate the big event tomorrow where we hope to have new sunset viewing to enjoy.

Holy Crab!


In celebration of Tim's last evening in Maryland we did what every good tourist should do - crab dinner! I know - your all thinking, didn't we just see a crab dinner several postings ago. Yes you did, but I continue to be overwhelmed by the sheer mass that the crabs present on the platter. I think Tim was pretty shocked too.

The Admiral
10/14/08

Captain Crunch?



The Captain has been having difficulty adapting to his new lifestyle. We, brother-in-law Tim and I, decided to give him a helping hand in transforming him to his new sea based life. Our goal was to turn him into Pirate Captain Crunch. It was a challenging task but we finally succeeded. If interested in turning yourself into a Pirate I suggest the following:

1) A dockside haircut to leave those land based cooties behind.
2) The hoisting of the new colors....in this case Red, White and Blue for Nestles Crunch! (Thanks Sabine and everyone from the office)
3) The eyepatch - because every well known Pirate in history had one.
4) The smoking of a cigar to enrich the senses.....and finally
5) A champagne toast (thanks Nancy) because its always 5 o'clock somewhere!

With the ritual complete, Captain (Crunch) Dave appears to be easing into his new dockside responsibilities of chief mechanic, bartender and grill chef - I mean bartender, grill chef and chief mechanic. Stay tuned as the Captain will add the responsbilities of helmsman and navigator once we leave the dock!!!

The Admiral
10/14/08

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Boat Show...



Today we enjoyed the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD. The weather was just perfect - sunny and in the mid to upper 70's. The show held several surprises including new catamarans that we had never seen before as well as the absence of several catamaran companies who have gone out of business or have chosen to focus on power cats vs sailing cats. One such surprise was the spotting of Chesire Cat in the show. We had a few minutes to talk with Mike T., Chesire Cat's Captain, who indicated that his cruise thus far has exceeded expectations. Very good news to hear given that Captain Dave and I will be pushing off from the dock sometime this week.

We are anxious but not so much so that we are going to leave before making sure that some of the all important small tasks are completed. Tomorrow the Captain and brother-in-law Tim are painting markings on the anchor chain so that as we let out chain while at anchor we know how much is out. The Captain also has one more trip up the mast to install the new anchor light bulb that we picked up at the show. All little things, but little things that will be very helpful while underway.

More to come.

The Admiral
10/12/08

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