Friday, September 27, 2013

Deltaville Boatyard

We hauled out last Friday - first thing in the morning.  Poor Hold Fast was covered in barnacles.  It was quick work though - with three of us scraping we knocked them all off in 25 minutes.  The boats in the yard are blocked two and sometimes three deep.  We are in the immediate access row, which feels like the middle of the road.  At least twice a day the lift goes by with only inches to spare from our steering vane. 

As soon as the hull was dry on Friday, we commenced sanding on the bottom to scuff up the copper/epoxy and to remove the remaining footprint of the scraped barnacles.  It was a tag team effort.  Wow – this is when I realize that Hold Fast is full-bodied girl!!  We called it a day’s end when we could no longer raise our arms.  I received one marriage proposal – men sometimes lose their heads when they see a woman sanding the bottom of a boat.  The physically demanding task was completed yesterday, making it a six day effort since we took off Sunday for church and meals with friends.  God intended for us to rest one day a week and trust Him that the other days are sufficient to accomplish the tasks at hand.  And just to make sure we took the day off, He brought a nice rain!

One morning it was quite cold (upper 40’s) and we had to put on a few layers plus our knit caps.  Other than one day of cold and a little rain, the weather has been glorious.  We hope it stays that way through the third week in October.  We expect to be done in the yard about then and ready to launch.  We still have some work to do on the bottom before she gets new bottom paint, plus a couple of other items.  Myron has already rebuilt the helm – the last item in the steering system that he had not rebuilt or replaced.   We thank God that the rebuild seems to have taken as the cost differential for replacement is many, many multiplies.  Myron has also reworked a through hull and replaced some vents.  I fear we are falling victims to scope creep, a frequent occurrence in a boat yard.  No worries.  It is much easier to get things done when we are in project mode in a yard than when we are surrounded by crystal blue water.

We have established a routine of managing life on board on the hard.  It is like living in a tree house, with a lot of other occupied tree houses around.  The camaraderie among the cruisers is good and we get to chat now and again with Michael (Wind in the Willows).  Michael turned 86 this year.  He still gets from Deltaville, VA to Georgetown, Exumas (Bahamas).  Many of us wonder if this is his last year. 

By the way, the marina/yard’s crab fest was fantastic.  They have it every year if you can make it.  I had five crabs – a lot for me.  Myron was out-pacing me four or five to my one.  Bob (Arwyn) and David (Jammin) held Myron’s pace.  More than three flats of crabs were dropped at our table.  At evening’s end, there was one bushel left – almost begging.  Plenty to go around.

I probably will not update until we are out of the yard, unless I can get some pictures up.  You might find our track interesting.  Myron left the GPS on and it tracked Hold Fast’s journey across land!

Love to all,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ward's Dock - Deltaville

It was a pleasant and well protected stay in Mill Creek.  We had no idea it was such a popular anchorage!  There are no facilities and no place to land to our knowledge, but there were 15 other boats anchored with us over the weekend.  It did not detract from the beauty and there seemed to be plenty of room for us all.  

We left there hoping for westerly winds on Monday, however the southerly component to the winds made for rather tight sailing on the wind with a bit of seas at that.  Hard on the wind is not my favorite way to travel.  Today I will finish cleaning up the mess from the trip, including vacuuming the potted soil chucked out by the basil/cilantro.  Who says potted plants do not get seasick?

We have already visited with the Ward’s, met their other boater friends on the Ward’s big dock, reacquainted ourselves with Deltaville, ordered our bottom paint at West Marine and re-stocked our fresh fruits and veggies inventory.  We will get as much visiting in with the Ward’s as possible and still try to prepare for our haul out on Friday morning.  

Very soon we will be living on the boat on the hard in a boat yard – one of the more difficult aspects of living on a boat.  On Saturday, however, the yard/marina is treating their current customers to a crab dinner.  We bring a side dish and they supply the crab.  Sounds like a great deal to me – and perfect timing on the haul out!

Love to all,

Posted via Wifi.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mill Creek off Wicomico River

Another correct forecast - yay! We finally had a great downwind sail in 15+ knots, maybe a few 20's. It was perfect other than a re-route by a Navy range boat due to the target range going live. They pushed us west into the mouth of the Potomac River. It is the area where the river and Bay's tidal currents get together and make big sloppy. We were less than two hours in the big sloppy and happy to depart it when rounding Smith Point Light to head toward Wicomico River. The west-northwest wind graced us with a good dose wafting off the Reedville menhaden plant. Words fall short of an effective description. Suffice to say it invokes a gag response.
Continuing south, we made our way into a nice anchorage on Mill Creek. I know. Everywhere we turn, there is a Mill Creek. We cannot help it if they correspond with nice anchorages!
Crossing the Potomac means we are back in Virginia. Soon enough we will be back in Deltaville. We have no internet and no phone service. I had forgotten about the lack of connectivity we experience in this state. We thank God for the HAM radio!
Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mill Creek off Patuxent River

Wouldn’t you know it?  The latest forecast was correct.  Our highs are in the 90’s plus a whole lot of humidity.  I think you can see the air, maybe even cut it.  This too shall pass in just a few days as the forecast calls for chilly 50’s once the wind comes from the north.  Apparently lots of wind – so they say.

We had company out here last night and met some folks from Texas on ‘Brisa,’ a Caliber 33;  They left today and we do not expect anyone else to be silly enough to be at anchor tonight.  Today’s reward for our heat endurance was lunch at Clarke’s Landing.  Now that the heat has cranked up for the afternoon, we will entertain ourselves indoors with a movie.

The forced rest is welcome, we will be plenty busy when we haul out.  Hold Fast is so fouled that she has her own eco-system going.  Ducks clean on her sides, we can see the fish cleaning lower down, and today we saw a crab attached just below the surface.  Poor girl.  We look forward to making her right again!

Love to all,

Posted via 3G.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Solomon’s Island

We have officially entered a period of schizophrenic weather.  Even though the cold on Monday necessitated long pants, fleece, socks/shoes, and knitted caps, the 15-20 knots of forecasted winds never materialized.  As a result, the motor assisted our sails.  At least the wind and tidal current were not against us.  We hope that the forecasters are equally wrong about the next two days.  They call for temperatures in the 90’s with lows in the mid-70’s – accompanied by more than 80% humidity.  After that, the temperatures will drop into the mid-50’s.
It is all a part of it and can be dealt with via the generator and air conditioner or alternatively the wood/coal stove.  We are thankful that no hurricanes have wandered up this way!
For the next several days, the winds are contrary to sailing south.  We will bide our time somewhere on the Patuxent River being entertained by all the aircraft, and watch for a “forecast” of northerly (or westerly) winds.  And we will believe the forecast…again.

Love to all,

Posted via 3G.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

LaTrappe Creek - Mid Anchorage

We already miss our friends in Cambridge! Our stay on The Wall was good and led to us meeting new people. An extra bonus to The Wall was that our local friends, Pat and Ron (who requires a walker), could easily stop by in their car for a visit. We would do The Wall again, but we want to share two downsides: (1) the people driving their boats away from the nearby bar at midnight - clearly under the influence - and, (2) the cement overhang on The Wall allowed Hold Fast's rail to slip under it at low tide in an east wind. It was something we kept an eye on and were quite thankful that there was very little wind during our stay and any wind with velocity had a westerly component, pushing us away from The Wall.
Saturday Ron and Pat drove us around the area and we stopped to eat at the 'Suicide Bridge Restaurant,' next to its namesake bridge. Today we were lovingly welcomed back in the services at First Baptist of Cambridge. After church, Sabrina and Brad generously fed us lunch and we got to play with their cat Nermal. Then it was back to prepare Hold Fast for repositioning at LaTrappe Creek. This is the first time we have anchored in the second anchorage. The first anchorage was overly stuffed with Sunday boaters.
We hope we are well positioned to sail on northeast winds to Solomons Island tomorrow.
Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

A Couple Video Links

Hey all,

We were able to get some decent bandwidth to share a couple of videos you may enjoy.

This first video gives a taste of our easy spinnaker run going north across the Albemarle Sound.  Tyler was with us then.  It was an extremely calm day on the Albemarle.  It would be nice to see such agreeable weather when we are on that sound again:  Spinnaker Sail on the Albemarle Sound

The second video is humbly submitted by a couple of seriously amateur crabbers.  This was a good sized crab that almost got away!   Fiesty Crab meets Amateur Crabbers


Love to all,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Wall - Cambridge

LaTrappe was protected and picture perfect.  It did not matter the direction of the wind and we were well spaced with the power vessels anchored in there.  Another good nights sleep.

We headed out early this morning to make sure we got a space on "the Wall."  It is a free dock inside the protected harbor, between the restaurant 'Snappers' and the draw bridge, and across from the boat yard.  The wind was over 15 knots outside.  Sailboats were reefed.  You would never know the wind was up based upon the weather in here.  I could not imagine trying to stay on this wall during the heat of summer.  It is a good thing that we have suffered through weeks and weeks of peaceful anchorages.  We are now better prepared for the noise of the city.  Hopefully we can remain here long enough to attend church on Sunday.

Love to all,

Posted via wifi.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

LaTrappe Creek

We managed to run into Bob and Joy at St. Michael's. It was a short visit as they were on their way to the Wye River. They scored us some passes to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum - on the day before a boat auction to boot! I must admit I saw a boat I would consider bidding on if we lived on land: Sutherland Trout Boat (14 foot tanbark sailrig, handcrafted by Danny Sutherland). Oh for the space and money to indulge in such dreams - just as well we have neither. We were at the museum for at least four hours. We saw the exhibit with tug boats, including a story about and pictures of the Ward's. Hey, we know famous people!! I have already talked to Jean and reminded her that we knew her before she became famous!
San Domingo Creek at St. Michael's over Labor Day weekend was the busiest we have ever seen it. Maybe 20+ boats? Everyone seemed to get along just fine and we met new people - folks I hope we encounter again going south.
During our stay at St. Michael's we had two rather warm nights - it kept me restless until 2 a.m. I do believe that is all behind us now. It was almost too chilly in a t-shirt and shorts motor sailing up the Choptank River. We made about 70 gallons of water during today's short trip and we should have enough water to make Deltaville.
Both Myron and I are ready to begin working south. We have boatyard work on our mind and would like to get that over and done. *SIGH* Soon enough. In the meantime, we hope to find room on the wall in the harbor at Cambridge tomorrow and reunite with old and new friends. Tonight we staged at LaTrappe and asked Brad to check the wall. LaTrappe is as beautiful and convenient as we remember it two years ago.
Love to all,

Posted via 3G.