October 2008

October 4, 2008. Cape May, New Jersey - Chesapeake City, Delaware - 60nm

0845 put up sails, yeah no motor, with current and 1 knot wind 8.3 SOG 7.2 knots -ended up motoring.

Chesapeake City – very busy but we managed to squeeze our way into the anchorage. Chesapeake City is on the south side of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal , at the foot of the Chesapeake City Bridge. The C&D Canal, a vital link in the ICW system is a safe, time saving passage between Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay. The 12 mile canal has no locks, no toll and adequate depth and width and a good deal of big ship commercial traffic.

The Chesapeake has approximately 4,000 miles of shoreline winding along coutless rivers, streams, bays and sounds, The Bay’s watershed covers some 64,000 square miles in six states: New York , Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. At its widest point, the Bay is about 26 miles across.

Boat work while underway

Haircuts while underway!

October 5, 2008 - Chesapeake City, DE to Rock Hall Harbor, Maryland -- 45nm

Tried hoisting the spinnaker but it was a fiasco.

More info on the C&D Canal: A vital link in the Intracoastal Waterway system, the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal provides for a safe timesaving passage between Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. The canal ios not particularly scenic, but provides pleasant stretches of woods and fields. It is 450 feet wide with a controlling depth of 35 feet.

Rock Hall was named for the jagged Swan Point Shoal - called "The Rocks".

October 6, 2008 - Rock Hall Harbor, Maryland to Annapolis, MD -- 19.32nm

Motored the entire way. Looked for mooring ball but there are none available so anchored in Naval Anchorage with many other boats, took quite a while to find something then bridle fell off 2 times aahh!!!! Anchored too close to a power boat so we moved. Finally settled in Annapolis. Annapolis is on Maryland’s Western Shore. Spa Creek, off the Severn . The west side belongs to the Naval Academy, the shops, the city dock and the city basin, called Market Slip locally known as Ego Alley. Annapolis is Maryland’s capital city, lots of shops, restaurants and the site of the us boat show every October. A walk along picturesque City Dock, overlooking bustling Ego Alley so brings you to a statue of Roots author Alex Haley at the head of the turning basin. It’s a jolting reminder that city Dock once was the site of slave auctions purportedly the place where Kunta Kinte was sold.

Having a nice stay here. Chris working more to install our new SSB radio .

Today we saw a dingy floating by the window while we were doing school, Chris went and recovered it and brought it to the harbor masters boat. We ended up meeting the people who owned the dingy and they thought the harbor master had taken their dingy so they were going around telling everybody how rude the harbor master was, we told them that we found their dingy floating by and we brought it over to him. Pretty funny.

We went for the guided tour of the US Naval Academy. The Navel Academy whose 338 acre campus provides a surprising number of attractions to the public. the chapel is beautiful, and the body of John Paul Jones, America’s first navel hero, lies in an elaborate crypt beneath it.

Then there was a Caribbean 1500 party (where we met another couple with 3 kids) and at the PDQ owners rendezvous we met lot of people.

We got locked out of marina where our dingy is. Chris broke in and let us in, no one saw, pretty funny.

More boat work: Second life raft had to be returned, waiting for third one tomorrow. Replaced anchor and tri light with new LED lights, up the mast, but lights didn’t work. Installing the life raft was challenging: we had to go into the dingy, try to lift it up, while Ryan and Andrea held a black tie to try to grab it, problem was every time we started to lift it up, the dingy would move under the boat and we would fall back, so we tied the dingy off and managed with all our help to get it up where we wanted it. There was no other spot to put it, PDQ did not have a place to put a life raft to so we had to make one up. Replaced all lights on boat with LED’s. Up mast again to take lights off, return them to the boat show. Back up the mast to replace light again they work this time!

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, Andrea was a little upset that she was missing the family annual Thanksgiving dinner and missing Grandma and the annual feast, she said all she got to do was walk around a boring boat show which made me a little sad.

Boat work: Rebuilt starboard head. Tried calling on Cruiseheimers net and they heard us!! Our SSB works. Yeah!

Boat work never ends - cleaning the fenders is a good job for kids

Taking a turn helming the boat taxi into shore

Ghost dingy!

Other PDQ/Antares - our sister ship

Tour of the US Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland

US Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis Boat Show

Finally secured this thing!

Checking out other catamarans at the boat show

Testing out the sailing dingys at the boat show

View from up the mast for the upteenth time.

Finally relaxing after all the touring, boat show craziness and boat work with my new purchase from the boat show!

October 14, 2008 - Side trip to Washington, DC

Took a bus to Washington, DC. We visited museums and monuments, then took the bus back to Annapolis, and finally out for a fun Mexican dinner. We actually felt like we were on vacation, took a day off from working on the boat and not thinking about the Atlantic crossing.

Visited the Smithsonian, the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History, which included a free live butterfly exhibit. The best part was, and I didn’t know this was that all the museums at the Smithsonian are free! I have no idea how they manage to keep this up. There are 17 Washington, DC area Smithsonian museums, as well as the American Indian Museum’s Heye Centre and the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.

Some memorials we visited were The Vietnam Veterans Memorial which lists the names of service men and women who died in the conflict or who remain missing. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial honors the women who served in Vietnam.

The Washington Monument which we declined to ascend. The Lincoln Memorial was designed in the style of a classical Greek temple. To make the memorial a more effective terminus to the Mall, the building was rotated 90 degrees placing the entrance on a long side, within the statue of Lincoln faces the Capitol.

The World War II Memorial honours the 16 million American s who fought in the most devastating war in world history. Gold stars on Freedom Wall revere the 400,000 Americans who died. The Memorial also celebrated the millions who supported the war effort at home.

Wow Look at all these Museums

World War II Memorial

Constitution Gardens

"In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever."

October 16, 2008 - Annapolis, MD to St. Michael’s, MD -- 26.44nm

It seems there is always something that is not working and needs fixing. On this little passage, the tracking is not working – time to call Raymarine while we are still in the US

We practiced reefing, we each took a turn driving the boat and then reefing the sail.

Miles to date, 2393 nautical miles.

Arrived 1345, tied up to the dock at St. Michaels marina to get water. We found a pool to swim in while we gas up and get water, but were told that we were not allowed to swim there, it was only for marina guests and hotel guests, so we had to get out. St. Michaels is one the Miles River and one of the most popular destinations on the Eastern Shore but we are finding it way too uptight. This is my slogan for St. Michael’s “Sign, signs everywhere signs”

Did not sleep, it was very windy at night, in the morning we hit bottom while at anchor. Good new thought is that our SSB worked, I was able to check in to the Cruisheimers net, We moved to a different anchorage which was more sheltered. Chris tried to fix the water maker, did not go so well. “Go with the flow” was the lesson of the day. Left boat at 15:00, girls and I went to bakery, groceries and post office. Chris took Ryan skateboarding found a park right here. Skipped the Maritime Museum, unfortunately ran out of time, leaving in morning town too touristy and too many rules, yuck, we are outta here.

Provisioning before leaving Annapolis

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

My slogan for St Michaels, Maryland - “Sign, signs everywhere signs”

My slogan for St Michaels, Maryland - “Sign, signs everywhere signs”

My slogan for St Michaels, Maryland - “Sign, signs everywhere signs”

My slogan for St Michaels, Maryland - “Sign, signs everywhere signs”

My slogan for St Michaels, Maryland - “Sign, signs everywhere signs”

This drawbridge once connected Tilghman Island to the rest of the world!

October 18, 2008 - St. Michael’s, MD to Oxford, MD -- 41.98 nm

1625 anchored in front of Schooners Landing, a fantastic day of sailing, had one wind gust up to 29 knots for a few seconds but the boat did nothing, which is reassuring.

Met another boat from Victoria, BC who were anchored in front of us. Invited them over for a cocktail but they were trying to fix something so they couldn’t come, they were taking their boat out at the boatyard and going home for a visit.

Went to the Schooner Landing for dessert, but he suggested that we go next door to get some homemade ice cream, we took him up on his offer and it was delicious, the owner just got back from Italy, and she is also an author and just released her 2nd novel.

Expecting 25 knot winds tonight but anchor set well the 1st time. Did some engine maintenance.

Oxford is one of the oldest towns in Maryland and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. A major port during the 17 and 18th centuries, Oxford was an important boat building and tobacco shipping center.

A chilly, windy sail to Oxford - reading a book is a nice way to pass some time while sailing.

Schooner's Landing

Looking nautical

October 20, 2008 - Oxford, MD to Solomons Island, MD -- 33.22 nm

Motored the whole way today. Today was Safety Day – Chris reviewed many safety procedures with kids and me while underway.

Once we arrived in Solomons Island, just to be on the safe side, we had a mechanic review our engine at Zahniser’s Yachting Center. While he was doing that, I took the children to the excellent Calvert Marine Museum which we enjoyed alot. The main museum building contains exhibit displays and aquariums. Kids played in the interactive Discovery Room, Went on the Marsh Walk to see a variety of birds, crabs, fish and plant life. and saw the river otters . Saw the Drum Point Lighthouse – the 1883 screwpile lighthouse was moved to the museum grounds in 1975.

Motored around the harbour looking for Catamarans restaurant, saw 4 Canadian boats. Went and said hi to everyone. One boat turned out to be the son and daughter in law of the older couple on a run down catarmaran.

Solomons, Patuxent River, Maryland. Solomans vast array of boatyards. All anchorages in Solomons, but especially those near Harbor Island Marina, sometimes feel the roar of navy aircraft taking off from and flying around the Patuxent Naval Air Station across the river. This is the Navy’s testing ground for new military aircraft, the most recent tests being the US military’s Joint Strike Fighter.

Solomons Island, Maryland

We look for a playground at every place we go!

Calvert Marine Museum

Calvert Marine Museum

Calvert Marine Museum

Calvert Marine Museum

A visitor to the boat this evening

October 23, 2008 - Solomons Island, Maryland to Deltaville, Virginia -- 58.82 nm

In the morning we decided to change course from Crisfield, Maryland to Deltaville, VA. We were the second last boat out of harbour, everyone left today. Quite the entourage. Having trouble with the generator today.

We made our way into town to search for boat parts. We ended up getting a ride into town, very nice people here. We found lots of stuff we needed. Bought the weather add on for our chart plotter and fixed the generator. The other job requirement today was to install the weather radar, so back to the hardware store. There are very high winds today, gusts up to 30 knots from the SW so we are staying here and will plan to leave tomorrow.

Deltaville is on the south shore of the Rappahannock, The town has 800 permanent residents and is now home to about 3,000 boats. Jackson Creek, at Deltaville is one of the southern entrances to Deltaville on the Piankatank River’s north shore.

Passage to Deltaville, VA - reading books in cockpit

Passage to Deltaville, VA - getting cold, brrr

Deltaville, Virginia - home to so many nice, friendly people!

Shopping for boat parts, not always the most exciting for kids

Installing weather radar

Installing weather radar

Keeping kids out of the way to while installing weather radar!

More new things for the boat - new solar rail light

October 26, 2008 - Deltaville, VA to Hampton, VA -- 45.40 nm

Hampton Virginia will be our final stop in the USA! From here we have joined the Caribbean 1500 rally. The ARC Caribbean 1500 fleet sails from the Chesapeake Bay to Nanny Cay on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Without a doubt the most difficult part of getting to the Caribbean is timing the weather window before departure. Fall on the East Coast is squeezed between late summer hurricane season and early winter gale season. We are looking forward to meeting the other cruisers heading to the same destination and of course to the warmer climate.

We left Deltaville at 0715, at 0745 we hit bottom and Christine just about went overboard! Always a reminder that while motoring out of a shallow anchorage to hold on to something!!

At 1500 we tied up to the gas dock at the Bluewater Yachting Centre by 1639 we were tied to our slip- this is where we will stay until the Caribbean 1500 decides the weather is right where we start our 1500 nm down to the Caribbean!!

On passage from Deltaville to Hampton, VA

On passage from Deltaville to Hampton, VA


The start of the rally is planned for November 3rd and we want to make sure we have plenty of time to make final preparations. We have been working non stop and spending money non stop since we arrived in Catskills, NY in the middle of September to outfit the boat. Stray Kitty was always sailed in the Great Lakes and did not have any offshore safety equipment. Well it does now!

Hampton Roads, site of the famous Monitor and Merrimac naval battle of 1862, continues today as one of the world’s greatest natural harbours.

Carousel Park on the waterfront is home to a large pavilion that houses a beautifully restored, old fashioned wooden carousel. Adjacent to Carousel Park is the Virginia Air and space Centre a large and architecturally significant museum displacing airplanes and space craft from Langley Air Force Base and the NASA research centre, as well as historical displays. The IMAX theatre . We look forward to checking it all out.

Halloween was fun for the kids, Trudy, from the City of Hampton, asked if the kids would like to go trick-or treating in her neighbourhood, so she came and picked us all up and drove us to her house, then she even bought us pizza because we missed the dinner at the marina!! She also offered me her washer and dryer. How nice is that?

The kids went around the dock for trick or treating then went on to the neighbourhood. Andrea was a little miffed because she only received about half of what she got last year. (Mom was quite happy!)

Caribbean 1500 get together

Making new friends on SV Imagine and SV Honeymoon

Making new friends on SV Imagine and SV Honeymoon

Life raft demonstration

Meeting the other crews

The kids with their new best friend Elizabeth from s/v Honeymoon.

Break time!

Halloween on the docks

Halloween on the docks

Halloween on the docks

Trick or treating in Hampton, thank you Trudy!