- Morning on the Indian River, Virginia, a typical
Chesapeake anchorage. May 25th. Its our 10th
wedding anniversary! Double digits.
May - Norfolk, Virginia
- Dinghied in to the Waterside Marina right off downtown
first thing in the morning and they allowed me to get online for
free, put me in in touch with a sail maker, and indicated we could
leave our dingy there whenever. Really helpful especially as
we are not, and at 1.25 per foot are not going to be,
customers. The anchorage is fine and not too much
current. Good holding. Most of the boats that were there
last night bugged out early this morning. Very transient.
back to the boat, took the main off, and had it in the back of the
sail maker's van by 1100. It will be ready by tomorrow
morning. That's progress. Spent the rest of the day
chasing health insurance, cleaning up the boat, and napping /
reading. Crappy weather. Heavy rains. Nice to be
May - Norfolk, Virginia
- Finally got around to doing some real boat work this
morning. Picked up the main (US$250 to fix - ouch), changed
all the filters, oil, and engine zinc, and topped up the batteries.
Whoa were we low on oil! Normally we have 5-6 liters in there
and I was only able to drain about 3. All this high-rev
running seems to really burn a lot more of everything.
the afternoon in the Nauticus museum which includes exhibits on
marine life, naval architecture, navigation, weather, and of course
navel history. I liked it a lot and ran out of time. I
plan to go back tomorrow to tour the Wisconsin - the largest
battleship ever built. After that we hit the mall and a movie
- haven't done that yet since we've been stateside. Norfolk is
a good stop as a) its a secure free anchorage, b) its easy to get
stuff done around here and c) there is a lot to do within walking
distance of the dingy dock. Strongly recommended.
May - Norfolk, Virginia
- May-Britt and our friends Rasmus and Kersten caught up to
us last night and anchored beside us. They were out when we
returned last night, so we dinghied over this morning and chowed down
on some of Kersten's yummy breakfast muffins and caught up.
hit the town together - I and the May-Britt crew doing the
Battleship Wisconsin tour and Colleen doing the mall and manicure
tour. I then headed back to the boat to put the main sail on and
finish yesterday's maintenance jobs while Colleen and the May-Britt's
spent the afternoon in the Chrysler Museum of Art. They were
happy and surprised to find that Wednesdays are free at the
I spent the evening at a sports bar indulging my own cultural impulses
- watching the Red Sox / Yankee game while Colleen, Rasmus and
Kersten went back to the museum for a free jazz concert in the
atrium followed by a nice dinner at the museum restaurant. They joined me
later and I tried to explain to Rasmus (who is Danish) how the empirically
boring game of baseball can be fascinating if you
understand the strategy and histories of the teams playing.
Not sure I convinced him. He liked the re-run however of the
1973 fight between the Yankees and Red Sox in which Graig Nettles
trashed Bill Lee's arm....
May - Indian River, Virginia
- Finally we made an exit from Norfolk. It took a
while to navigate out of the busy harbor channel. We
passed two warships that were being piloted in.
we are ready to sail with the main repaired, there's virtually
no wind. We motored all day with May Britt following us
to the Indian River inlet. Just as well, as our boat is
not ready for heavy sailing again after slothful days motoring
in calm weather along the ICW. We had fenders strewn
everywhere, not tied on, nothing stored and stashed as it
photo above shows one of the many "light house" markers in
the Chesapeake Bay. This one marks the Wolfs Trap
shoals. We arrived around 5pm in the anchorage. We were
looking for a restaurant that the guide book referred to where one
can tie up for free. We couldn't seem to locate it, so we went
to anchor in a small creek. Later we were to discover the
restaurant had been demolished.
went off for a nap and I went with the gang from May Britt to
venture into town for the supermarket. We were a bit low on
food, they were totally out of food. Our "nice walk"
back ended up being a bit more vigorous than I planned as we trudged
2 miles weighted down with groceries.
spent the evening over on May-Britt where Rasmus BBQed some
steaks. We brought the cats with us to let them explore a new
environment. They intently sniffed out every corner of May-Britt and ignored the aromas of our steaks.
May - Patuxent River, Maryland
- We had breakfast on May-Britt and then said our goodbyes
and got underway around 0900. Weather forecast was for 5-10
from the South East. After yesterday's calm, we expected more
of the same and left the dingy in. But as we made our way out
the Indian River and rounded the corner, the wind was already
blowing 15 knots on the nose (20 apparent) with choppy waves
stacking up over the shoals at the river's mouth. We hoisted
the main as we were heading out and were soon reaching towards the
middle of the bay under main alone with the wind gusting 20 and the
waves really hammering on the trailing dingy. Poorly stowed
junk sought its own level rather quickly.
a bit off shore, we were able to crack off roll out a bit of genoa
and enjoyed a fast 7-8 knot romp up the bay with following wind and
seas. Once, we hit 9.5 knots through the water with the wind
blowing up to 25. Nervous glances back at the dingy confirmed
it was still there.
we approached the entrance to the Patuxent River, we passed a large
restricted area with "targets" noted on the chart and soon
had Navy planes roaring and swooping over and around us in
formation. We found out later that these were the Blue Angels
performing for an air show at the Patuxent Naval Air Base.
in the shelter of the river, the waves eased but the wind started
gusting 30. I had heard some serious thunder storm warnings
for various counties in Maryland in the forecast, looks like this is
one of them. Ominous clouds blackened the sky up ahead, the
darkness often punctuated by streaks of lightening.
Great. We were able to tuck into a bay and get the main down
just before the storm hit. We had raised our friends Rob and
Christine (from Far Niente - they are staying with Rob's father Bob
and his wife Betty for a month) on the VHF and Rob and Bob came out
to meet us to pilot us in.
the heavens opened, we followed them up Cuckold Creek and finally
tied up in 8 feet of water off the end of their dock. Wet,
wet, wet! It is great to see Christine and Rob. We last
saw them in Antigua when we celebrated Colleen's
on Far Niente. We had also met Bob before in St. Lucia as he
helped sail Far Niente across the Atlantic with Rob. Bob's
wife Betty is the Betty Currie who gained notoriety as President
Clinton's personal secretary during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
you may or may not know, Betty has adopted Socks, the
Clinton's cat. Manuel and Polly came up to the house to
meet the famous cat and, more importantly, play with all of
his toys. Man does he have a lot of toys! People
all over the world continue to send him toys and treats.
Socks was not too impressed with the kittens. Manny went
right up to him and got a bit aggressive, but luckily the 14
pound Socks (official weight - I guessed 18) remained calm and
did not respond. See the photo
detailing the cats big adventure at the Former First Cat's
house. Hey it's our 10th wedding anniversary.
May - Patuxent River, Maryland
- Rain, Rain, Rain. Absolutely torrential. A
leak opened up right over my head at 0400 this morning through the
hatch. Drip, drip, drip. Chinese water torture.
Too tired to do anything other than put a bowl under it and scrunch
up at the foot of the bunk....
Animal Planet film crew came at 0900 to do a segment on Socks.
Apparently, they have a show coming up on "Celebrity
Pets". The angle is "how is Socks adjusting to life
after the White House". Apparently, the press
stories that the Clinton's gave up Socks because he does not get
along with First Dog Buddy are not really true. The real
reason is that Bill and Hilary are both allergic to cats and Socks
is really Chelsea's cat and as she is now at Stanford, where she
can't keep a cat, Betty offered to take Socks since she is a major
cat lover. The crew were at the house all day long and also
got in a few shots of the kittens.
did laundry while I cleaned the bilges and the inside of the
boat. Great to have unlimited fresh water! In the
evening, we went to dinner at some friends of the Currie's and
enjoyed first class "Beer Butt Chicken".
May - Patuxent River, Maryland
- Finally a bit of a break in the weather! Its only
raining about 20% of the time today. Spent the morning
cleaning up the boat and doing laundry, and then headed off to the
Navy Air show at the Patuxent Naval Air Base. Bob is building
an ultralight plane and was displaying it alongside finished
ultralights. Loads of people! Good cheap entertainment I
guess. We poked around numerous military craft and watched
them fly around overhead. The highlight was probably the
cats had fun running around in the back yard today climbing trees
and chasing squirrels. Be tough to keep them entertained back
at sea now.
May - Patuxent River, Maryland
- I cleaned out the bilges this morning and moved around
some of our "ballast" - extra ground tackle we keep in the
old water tanks under the cabin sole. We have sort of an
ongoing port list problem and I was therefore not surprised to see
that the chain had slipped to the port side of the tanks as we often
heel that way. In fact, on inspection, it seems that the tanks
extend further to the port side in general so perhaps this has been
part of the problem. I hauled out the chains, cleaned the area
out, and stuffed empty milk bottles on the far port side of the
water tanks and then laid the chains back so that as much of the
weight as possible will be on the starboard side. Seemed to
have helped a bit. We are constantly trying to keep the boat
trimmed properly by keeping the starboard fuel and water tanks more
full than the port ones. A thorough cleaning of the bilge was
much needed and hopefully it will smell a bit better going forward
when we roll around. Ever since we dumped 20 gallons of fuel
into the boat in St. Lucia the bilges have been a bit smelly.
in the morning, Colleen, Christine, Rob, and I piled into the car
and headed to Baltimore to take in an Orioles game and check out the
city. Fortunately, the weather cooperated. We had a fun
time at the game watching the Texas Rangers slip by the O's.
Camden Yards is a great ball park and tickets are about 1/2 the cost
of those at Fenway. Pretty good food too I thought.
After the game, we walked from the Yard along the harbor
front. Quiet day (Memorial Day), but looks like a pretty city.
at the homestead, where Bob and Betty were taking care of RC and the
kittens, it seems like all went reasonably well. Except Polly
went into the neighbor's yard and would not come back nor allow
herself to be grabbed. Betty was worried she would get lost at
night, so just before dark, Bob set out a folding crab trap for her
and lured her into it with a toy on a string and then pulled it
shut. Gotcha! They were both asleep on the boat when we
May - Patuxent River, Maryland
- Gassed the fridge this morning. We still have a
slow leak and the compressor was starting to run a bit hard so I
figured it was time to see if I could remember how to use the gauges
I bought in Puerto Rico to test it and top up the gas. It took
awhile, but we finally got it.
then did a moderate shopping run and I bought a fishing license for
the Bay. Six bucks for five days. Not bad. Bob
gave us a big scary looking day- glo lure that is supposed to be
good for Striped Bass. We'll see.
the afternoon really cleaning the outside of the boat, fenders,
dingy, etc. The waterline of the boat and area where the bow
wave wets the hull was dark brown from the ICW. Apparently,
the tannic acid from tree bark in the water creates its dark color
and staining qualities.
and humans spent one last evening chowing down a great dinner on
land and taking in a VCR movie. Gotta get moving
tomorrow. We had expected to depart by now, but the company,
hot water, hot food, free phone line, and soggy weather kept us
here. Its been a great stop and hopefully we are now pretty
re-charged and ready to start pushing North again.
May - Hudson Creek, Maryland
- One last e-mail download and breakfast with the gang up
at the house. Then we slipped the lines and, waving good bye,
putted out into Cuckold Creek and towards the Patuxent River.
Another gray day and there is a bit of bite to the wind.
Blowing 15 from the NW - just the direction we need to go.
Great. On the way out to the Bay, we stopped for fuel in the
Solomon Islands, and then finally nosed back into the
Chesapeake. The morning gray burnt off, but the wind built and
we soon had 20-25 right on the nose.
just motored into it making 4-5 knots. Not great, and after a
few hours, the seas built and we were taking every other one over
the deck, and our speed had slowed to 3-4 knots. Not bad, but
not enjoyable. We got a late start and at this speed, we won't
make Annapolis before dark.
a bit more slogging, we decided to pull into an anchorage off the
Choptank River on the Eastern side of the bay about 20 miles North
of the Solomon Islands. It took about an hour to wind our way
around the shoals and into the Little Choptank River, but when we
finally threaded our way into calm and protected Hudson Creek, we
were happy to be able to drop the hook and enjoy a quiet
afternoon. Swans feeding along the shore. Crabbers
passing to and fro in the channel. The wind is supposed to
ease off overnight so we should have a nice trip up to Annapolis
tomorrow. Why bash now?
the way in, we caught a small bluefish. I was excited to poach
it for dinner, but yeach - soft meat and not too good. The
cats ate what they could and we dumped the rest. Early to bed
as we hope to get moving at 0500 tomorrow if the wind abates as
May - Annapolis, Maryland
- I woke up at 0500 to the alarm. The coming day was
heralded by a bright red florescent strip in the East.
"Red sky in morning sailors take warning".....? And
just go back to bed? I think so. Its still blowing 15
from the NW and its supposed to ease throughout the day, so we'll
leave a bit later.
got going at about 1000. The other boats in the anchorage (all
two of them) had already left. Wind was down to 10 to 12 knots
and, once out on the bay, we were able to make 5-6 knots towards
Annapolis now only 30 miles away. As the day progressed, the
wind dropped further as advertised and fell to about 5 knots by the
time we were approaching Annapolis, though it remained right on the
we entered the Severn River, we could see the dome of the US Naval
Academy ahead and hundreds of sails in the river. As we got
closer, it became apparent that there were three fleets of small
boats racing. Lots of cruisers and sport fishers coming and
going as well. Leaving the Naval Academy to starboard, we
entered the yacht basin to wait for the bridge to open so we could
pass into Spa Creek. This is the first real "yachting
center" we have been in since the Caribbean. Loads of
racing boats, cruisers, and liveaboards everywhere. Cutesy
re-gentrified tourist restaurants line the harbor side.
we passed through the bridge during its 1630 opening, we wound our
way up Spa Creek and finally anchored in about 8 feet of water near
the end of the creek just across from a small public park and dingy
dock. So pretty here. Beautiful houses on both sides
with docks on the water, ducks all around, lots of trees.
Quiet. I took the cats ashore for a walk in the park which
they enjoyed, though they still get nervous getting in and out of
and I then took a jog into town. Looks really nice. Be
tough to make this only a one day stop.
June - Annapolis, Maryland
- Another rainy day on the Chesapeake. We headed into
town to make a few calls, and poke around, and spent most of the
time dodging in and out of shops and restaurants to keep dry.
We toured the Naval Academy and its (free) museum as well.
Looks like a good place to go to school - especially if you are a
sailor! If you can get in, full tuition and housing free plus
a salary and loads of boats for racing. Only catch is five
years of Naval service on graduation. Really pretty
town. The red brick State House is one of the nicest capital
buildings I have ever seen.
a great (and inexpensive) Mexican Lunch, we started walking out of
town towards the mall district to Kinko's to get on-line.
Based on the map we had, it looked like a nice 2-3 mile walk.
It turned out to be about a four mile slog along wet highways with
limited sidewalks. Colleen turned back early, but I pushed on
and was soaked and muddy by the time I got there. Oh well, not
much else to do today anyway. Got on-line and schlepped back
to the boat, arriving back at around 1730 soaking wet.
as I reached the dock and called out to Colleen to come pick me up,
she indicated that Carl McHenry and his wife had just arrived by car
and were just now parking nearby. Carl is the owner of a KP46
and has been following our website for some time. We have
exchanged numerous e-mails about the boat and cruising life and had
been trying to arrange a meeting in the upper Chesapeake area (his
boat is in Baltimore) over the past few days. We spoke on the
phone this morning and he was going to bring the boat down, but the
weather was so crappy they decided to drive instead.
and I went over Redwings stem to stern outside in the
drizzle comparing notes while Colleen and his wife chatted below
with Colleen passing on the real scoop on the pros and cons of
long-term cruising. It was great to finally meet them and had
fun chatting and getting more info on how best to tackle the next
leg up to New England. I was tired and thirsty and chugged a
couple of large bottles of apparently-too-well-aged ginger
an empty stomach and found myself taken by surprise and virtually
under the table by supper.... whoa. The evening ended rather
weirdly. As I left Redwings with the McHenry's,
Polly started mewing like crazy and was straining after us at the
rail. When we were mid-channel, she fell / (jumped?) in and
started paddling right towards us and the shore. The McHenry's
quickly jumped out and said their good byes and I turned back
towards the moving and mewing white spot on the water. Luckily
I was able to grab her on the first try and flip her into the
dingy. What's up with that? Very strange. I guess
she really wanted to go ashore after all of the fun they had at the
Currie's and in the park yesterday. I hope this is not the
start of a pattern.
June - Annapolis, Maryland
- We had planned to leave this morning, but first needed to
confirm with Robbie, a woman we met in Savannah GA on "The
who lives in the Annapolis area, whether or not she and her husband
would be coming to visit today to do a radio interview with
us. When we met her in Savannah, she took some videos of us
and the cats and was very interested in our story. She and her
husband have a media company and put together radio and video
programs and are working on various pieces related to their trip up
the ICW. They seemed pretty tied up when we spoke with her
yesterday and did not expect it to happen, but when I called she
said "yes, we are coming, I've been up since 6 am printing out
your website". It was another gray day and I was still a
bit wiped out from the previous evening so in fact welcomed the idea
of staying another day.
Mousehouse gang was not coming till 1600 so we took the opportunity
to dingy around to the next bay where we were told we could tie up
our dingy and walk to a supermarket. In my mind, that meant
the supermarket was, like, right there. But in fact it was
over a mile away so we did not buy much as we had to lug it all the
and Richard came by as promised in the afternoon just as the sun
came out and it turned into beautiful day. It was nice to see
them again and we "did" our interview with Robby. I
guess it turned out well, though it seemed a bit brief. They
may come up to Maine later in the summer to flesh it out with more
audio and video. It was fun to do and will be nice to have a
tape of whatever comes out.
to Previous Log
to Next Log
©2001 All Rights Reserved by Aaron Henderson and Colleen Duggan