Heading south in the Chesapeake

Picture:  Nice and warm on a cold windy day in Deltaville, VA once the Captain and Engineer cleaned and repaired the cabin heater!

From the beautiful and quiet Goodhands Creek on the East Shore of the Chesapeake we motored in light winds straight south to St. Michaels.  We toured the local maritime museum using a reciprocal agreement with the Mystic Seaport Museum.  Nice place with friendly staff, it was quiet as it’s their off-season.  Well done exhibits with lots of info about the history of the local area.  One noteworthy highlight was the round lighthouse that has been restored.

We had an occasional cell signal of one bar so were able to send email and text on and off.

Bad weather was predicted, so we decided to head back to Annapolis four days before we could pick up our new dinghy.  We chose Weems Creek that borders the Naval Academy as it is well protected from all sides and has good holding.  Real nice place!  We were entertained by the Navy crew teams practice a couple times.  There was a convenient ramp to bring the dinghy ashore and we enjoyed several walks into town from here; once for exercise and to see Annapolis, another time for boat supplies at West Marine.

WEEMS Creek and Lone Star are in the background here:

We look forward to a return trip to this lovely anchorage.  Our “lay” days were filled with boat projects.  Tom tackled a big one; mounting the chart plotter in its permanent home.  It looks good right behind the steering wheel and it’s easier to read and manipulate as it is closer to the helmsman and no longer blocks the view when it was resting on the forward dash area.

On Sunday, October 14 the last day of the Annapolis Power Boat Show we motored around the corner to South Anchorage in the Severn River.  This is a wide-open bay.  We did NOT stay here over night, just attended the show, picked up our new Ports-bote 10’ dinghy, towed it back with the old 12’ Porta-bote and Torquedo electric motor. We then motored Lone Star around the corner into Back Creek for a four-night stay.  You guessed it, another cold front with rain and wind.  Nice to have the option to stay put when the weather is less than ideal.  We enjoyed several walks from here to the Post Office, Laundry, Hardware store, West Marine, and Giant for groceries.  Fun to meet up with a fellow SSCA cruiser at the hardware store and again at the grocery.  We shared an Uber to get back to the dinghy with more than we could carry.  The project in this harbor was outfitting the new dinghy with davit lift points, a drain plug, registration numbers and such things as must be carried: anchor, locking cable, engine, oars, ladder, etc.  We like the new smaller dinghy, easier to lift on davits and it seems to go faster.

Finally, on Thursday, October 18 we had a nice NW wind to push us 45 miles south to Solomons, MD.  Ah, it’s a few degrees warmer, but not for long.  A very large cold front stretched from Canada past Florida took a few days to pass by and brought lots of wind again.  We walked the boardwalk and local streets for exercise when it was too windy to sail.

Our last evening in Solomon’s, we finally caved to the cold weather and attempted to start our Dickenson diesel cabin heater.  Oh no, it won’t start!  Tom inadvertently twisted and broke a short piece of copper tubing while cleaning and dismantling the heater.

Wouldn’t you know we have a LOT of tools and spare parts on board, but no copper tubing.  We contemplated staying here another day to locate some, but the urge to press southward and seek warmer weather won out.

VIRGINIA

It was a long day of motor-sailing.  In the afternoon we were heading into the wind and sun as we were approaching Mill Creek, VA.  At one point, we had to quickly turn the boat to avoid a long fish trap: many sticks drilled into the bottom in a long row; we thing there is an underwater net between the sticks.  These were not marked on the chart, yet there are areas that say Fish Trap where there is no evidence above the water, confusing to say the least.  We arrived in Mill Creek about 20 minutes before sunset.  A few more boats came in after us.  There were about a dozen boats anchored in this beautiful and quiet place.  Only private houses here, no cell service, no dinghy access and no hardware store.

The following morning, we pressed on to Deltaville, VA.  This is a large spread out yachting center, second largest in Virginia we are told: Norfolk is larger. There are many creeks and many Marinas.  At first, we planned to go in Jacksonville Creek, but another cold front is approaching and Tom preferred the shelter and swinging room of Fishing Bay.  Darn, no cell service here either. A friendly member of the local marina gave us a ride to the hardware store a couple miles away.  Yippee, we were able to find copper tubing and a few other essentials on our list.  Despite the offer for a ride back, we opted to walk the two miles back for two reasons.  The first was for exercise and the second was to be able to stop at West Marine; not that we bought anything – this time!  We were looking for a “fishing yoyo” that the hardware attendant told us about.  We think it may work to store and control the downhaul line for our jib.  Eventually we will order it from Amazon or online at least.  Upon returning to Fishing Bay Marina, we spotted a couple cruisers on computers and cell phones in a lounge area.  They shared the WiFi password and we stayed for an hour or so to catch up on communications and check the weather.  Yup, another cold front coming through tonight; no rain just wind up to 30 miles an hour primarily tomorrow morning.  We’ll stay another day and fix the heater!

We leave tomorrow Thursday, October 24 tentatively heading for Hampton, VA.

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