Oct 26 and 27

We’ve picked up a navy mooring in Weems Creek near Annapolis. We actually got the dink into the water and went to the little tiny boat ramp in this creek. Locked it up ( I didn’t feel too happy leaving it and the boat, there seem to be quite a few abandoned boats in this creek, don’t know why). We tried to walk into Annapolis proper, but it seemed further than we had energy for, so we picked up some Chinese take away, came back to Dror, and I’m now snuggled under the blankets in our bunk, after a nice hot shower.

Coming up the Severn River to Annapolis, we were playing “chicken” with some navy frigates, out to do some practice and maneuvers. Jack had to keep radioing them to ask what their intentions were, as they kept turning right on our bow!  Interesting.

The best part: we actually sailed today for the first time without the motor in weeks. Probably since we left the Sakonnet River. It was so lovely to not have the engine noise for a change. We only averaged around 5.5 knots, and after motor sailing up to 8 knots, it felt a bit slow. But it was so peaceful and relaxing.

From here, we’re heading to St. Michael’s on the eastern shore, we’ll probably hang out there until Thursday’s rain has passed. Then onward down the Chesapeake.

Last night we  figured we had about 400 more miles to go. And it’s getting colder. We really have to get moving further south. But I wanted to sight see in the Chesapeake a bit, I was born in Baltimore and my parents met and married here. My father used to summer on Miller’s Island as a boy, which we sailed past today.

Wearing foul weather gear, two pair of wool socks inside my deck boots, and a tightly knit wool hat, oh, and the double layer wool mittens are what keep me warm in the morning until the sun gets up and warms us up around 11 a.m.But it’s colder on the water than on land, and we have to be careful to not get too cold, it can lead to poor decisions.  Lot’s of hot chocolate, hot soup, hot tea.

We’re finding we are loosing weight, can eat what ever we want, and are getting very fit. Sometimes it’s exhausting, especially those 10-12 hour days trying to make tracks. So far, our longest day was nearly 80 miles. We haven’t yet done an overnight, more because of the dog than anything else. We can’t get him to toilet on board. He would rather wait ( his record is 35 hours) than go on board. I don’t know what would happen if we actually go offshore for several days.

One morning we wanted to leave an anchorage at first light, so I took him in the dinghy to the nearby beach in the dark. It was a very pretty harbor, and it was very interesting moving on the water in the pitch black.

I wash the dishes in the mornings after the engine’s been running for a while to heat up the water.

We’ve gotten to the point at which “small craft advisory” doesn’t faze us: we can handle 25 knot winds  (reef the main) and 3-5ft waves. That was what we had on the way down the New Jersey coast. It actually was a great day!

Jack’s been working off and on along the way. No he’s not yet retired. But his office is pretty amazing: ocean views, fresh air, lot’s of sunshine.

Wednesday:

We left Annapolis about 10:15 this morning. We knew we didn’t have too far to go, only about 25 miles to St. Michael’s on the Eastern shore, on the Miles River. It was surprisingly warm, I was ready to put on only a t-shirt, when I remembered how cold it gets on the water. Good thing I waited and kept my long sleeve shirt on. I needed that, my fleece, and eventually my foul weather jacket as well. We had to dodge a couple of frigates doing maneuvers again, but got back out into the bay, heading 180 degrees, due south.

The wind was not cooperating: it was too much on the nose. We put up the main sail to stabilize the boat, and motor sailed for a while . At some point, we were able to actually sail without the motor: bliss!

As we approached the Miles River, the rain I had been watching move south on the bay finally caught up with us. It wasn’t too heavy. But I really do need to finish sewing the bimini.

We are at a very inexpensive marina, the St. Michael’s Harbour Inn Marina. It’s nearly empty, we got off season price. I docked the boat, first time, and did a pretty darn good job!
We walked into the little quaint town, I snapped pictures as I walked. We walked through the downtown historic area, like a very small scale New Bern. Lot’s of very old houses, very well renovated.

I had to find the church that was ringing every quarter hour. It was a little past St. Mary’s square. Impressive being close when the bells rang! We can hear them at our boat, 3/4 of a mile away. At 6pm, there was a short “concert”: Michael Row your boat ashore, and a few others, played on the church’s carillon. I didn’t expect that here!

Tomorrow we hope to get to the Maritime Museum, it’s supposed to have a lot of displays and working areas.

If the weather is cooperative, we will head out Friday to Solomon’s Islands.  And maybe near Norfolk VA on Saturday! Warmer weather, here we come!!

Well, we have to make tracks for Norfolk VA, so going along the western side would make more sense. But I really wanted to see St. Michaels and it hasn’t dissappointed. We went to the Maritime Museum ( boats, what else?) this afternoon, leaving Shuki dog on the boat by himself for the first time. Even went out to lunch! He was fine when we got back, if a bit clingy.

We allotted 4-6 weeks for this trip. The weather keeps slowing us down. We are trying not to get pressured by it, but I just checked the forecast for the next several days, and would you believe that there is SNOW forecast for Saturday in one area we have to get through!! UGH. We’ll either wait, or battle on through. Gotta get south already.
I’m still working on Shuki’s sleeping bag, not making much progress. In fact, I have to go sew now.

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