Jun 092017

Great Kills Yacht Club is a basics only marina. Restrooms and showers are available. There is a bar onsite but no food. The docks are clean and the harbour host John makes the ease to get to the city easy. It’s reasonable in cost for New York City.

Today is the day we discover New York City. The marina here at Great Kills Yacht Club is unique because one of their members is a harbour host who greets all the Loopers who stay. He’ll drive us to the train station in Great Kills, about a mile away from the marina. Then We’ll hop on the Staten Island Ferry. The train ride is reasonable at $2.75 per person and the ferry is free to all passengers both ways. Great way to get to The Big Apple without the hassle.

John drops us off around 10:30 at the station. It’s everything you know an outdoor train station to be. Peeling paint, a woman calling Scott a pervert for taking her picture and I’m the Biotch with him. Gotta love New York. It’s about a 20 minute ride to the ferry. The ferry runs every 15 minutes or so so we don’t wait long. The ferry carries approximately 1400 people on each of her 2 main decks. Leaving St. George Station on the ferry we head across New York Harbour to the piers in Manhatten. The Statue of Liberty invites us into the harbour.
New York City towers over the harbour, with the new World Trade Center standing tall. The Chrysler Building, Empire State Building are all visible. Brooklyn stands to the right side of the harbour as we approach the piers. New Jersey to the left on the far side of the Hudson River.

For the day we visit the 911 Memorial Reflecting Pool. Each of every person who was killed in the 911 attacks including service men and women, the Pentagon, and the Flight 93 have their names engraved. The interesting thing about the names isn’t that they are in alphabetical order. Before the memorial was completed the 911 Memorial Staff sent letters to all the family members. In that letter they requested information on their friendships, romances, relationships with others that had passed on that day. The 911 staff put together very meaningful insight when choosing where the names shall be on the memorial. They put names of people who had the closest relationships together. That is why names of the people are not simply alphabetical or strickly from where they worked or served. On each of their birthdays the 911 memorial staff place roses in the groves of their names. We have to remember when we visit this memorial that this is where family members have been buried and never found. That surviving family members still visit often to stand where their loved one is.

We decide to jump on a tour bus to see the sights of Downtown Manhatten. We will travel from the Staten Island Ferry to Times Square. In between we will see the various cultural area such as Greektown, Chinatown, SriLankatown, Indiantown, and so many more. Authentic foods are found in these areas. We’ll pass Wall Street, the street that never sees the sun. Those extremely tall buildings are barely a car’s width apart on the renowned Wall Street. A tour bus cannot drive on it because it is so narrow. Times Square is an overindulgent paradise. Sights, sounds, people, lights, massive displays. It’s an overindulgent paradise.

At the end of the day we’re back on the ferry heading back to St. Georges and then Great Kills by train. It’s our plan to stop at “Nonna’s Pizza” and enjoy authentic New York style pizza. We are not disappointed as we are treated like royalty. It was after 11:30 by the time we made it back to the boat. I suppose if you’re going to be up late the best place to do so is in New York.

 Posted by at 10:10 AM
Jun 082017

The winds have died down but the waves and rolls on the ocean did not. A predicted 4-5 footers out there today. We decide to run the illusive New Jersey ICW that everyone has been saying don’t do it. Scott has checked and double checked all the navigation charts for depths, tide times, and forums for info on areas of concern. He feels comfortable that we can do it although there are some areas of concern. We had to leave at the about an hour before tide in Atlantic City to get to Great Bay which is the first area of concern in depth. We have to run her at high tide, just rising tide, or just falling tide at a slow pace. We figure it will take about an hour to cross her at the slow pace. So we’re off on our new journey heading north.

The first thing we notice is that no one else is around. That’s a new sight. Usually there are a few early risers. The start of the channel is quite nice and depths are good. We travel quiet quickly and get to Great Bay at a rising tide. Scott slows up the throttle as we pass through, winding our way through red and green buoys in a meandering fashion on an open lake. I think the problem with this kind of channel and why folks end up aground is that they cut the channel by lining up buoys. If the buoy meanders you must meander that way as well to stay in the channel. That accompanied by this magenta line phenomenon that boaters seem to want to stick to that they see on their chartplotter. The magenta line is a reference to navigation not a carved in stone absolute. Following the magenta line will take you aground, make a wrong turn or miss an important buoy if you aren’t using the references to reality around you. Always follow the buoy!!!!!

Scott is using sonar charts today to show him the actual data from others that have been utilized in creating these depths and contours. He updated all the chartplotter software a couple days ago while at a marina to have the most up to date data. It was an important decision as there were areas that showed dredging had been done when prior to the upgrade it showed otherwise.

There were a few ridiculously close 2.5 feet under our props where we both became silent. However, driving slow and finding the best path in a short few seconds and we had 4-6’s again. Great Bay was actually easier than we expected even with a few problem areas. Again the key is to meander with the channel not line up the buoys in a straight line. After Great Bay was Barnegat Bay which is also an inlet. Shallow, open waters again but easy to follow with the meandering channel and buoys. Thanks Ron Matuska of America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association (AGLCA) for your great insight on some of the problem areas.

One more vast open area prior to the Mastaquan Canal and we are done. But before that we stop at a marina for diesel as now we have traveled to the Inlet faster than expected. Scott takes a moment and looks at the forecast for the next few days. There are small craft advisories starting tonight til at least Saturday in this area. We decide that with 3-4 footers on the ocean with a 10 second interval coming from the east it will be doable. So Scott charts our way to Great Kills on Staten Island.

The Masaquan Canal is probably the worst canal we’ve seen. The current, tide and winds lines up perfectly to give us another churning experience. Not bad for a go fast boat like our ‘dancer but we think about those slower boats that go through and are not used to the churning. It must be an interesting ride. It is a no wake zone as well so you go up down and settle and adjust the entire way to the open area of the basin prior to the inlet.

The inlet is easy to navigate even though we are now at low tide. Getting on the Atlantic Ocean we find that the waves are awesome. Yes the waves are 3 footers but the interval is so delayed at 10 seconds that it is like riding up and then riding down. We run at 30 mph the entire way to Staten Island. We see New York City in the distance. We will cross our wake at The Statue of Liberty. This is an exciting moment. Since we bought the boat in Boston and brought her home this is where we actually will end the loop. However the trip home will be the start of the next loop. Wow! We are almost there.

 Posted by at 7:21 PM
Jun 072017

The heat is on! Yes we slept with the heat on last night in June, in Atlantic City. What’s that all about?

We had a great breakfast at the close to the marina restaurant GilChrist which is a family owned breakfast diner around since the ’40’s. Great prices, food and great service. Highly recommend it on a trip to AC. We wanted to head to the boardwalk for the day. It was overcast with thick clouds and cold. Bundled up in our 4 layers of clothes we head to the bus stop to wait for “The Jitney”, the local bus. It’s one of those shuttle buses that usher you around the airport. They don’t have a schedule but run every few minutes. Sometimes you’ll see 3 or 4 of them all bunched up at a stop because there is no real schedule. They just keep running the same route over and over again. There are a lot of them though so no worries because one will be around in a few minutes.

We are dropped off by the Tropicana on Atlantic Avenue. A little tidbit of information about Atlantic City. The game Monopoly named its streets after the streets here in Atlantic City. We saw just about all of them as they cross Atlantic Avenue. We walked the longest boardwalk we have ever seen for hours. I had the idea years ago to cover the boat fenders with cheap Tshirts. I forgot to buy Tshirts for this trip. So now I’m on the hunt for them because the Erie Canal is disgustingly dirty and grinds dirt into boat hull. The Tshirts work really well. Found 4 at the whopping price of $13.00.

We walked to the northern part of the boardwalk where the Taj Mahal, The Rebel and the Shoreline is. The Taj Mahal closed down last October. The Rebel never really was opened because it never took off, so to speak and The Shoreline is now strictly a hotel with no casino. The casino was The House of Cards. Apparently the Taj Mahal has been purchased. It is a magnificent building with its Arabian theme. It stands on at least 1 city block and towers over the ocean to at least 50 floors in the sky. The Rebel sits empty with its modern looking blue glass and industrial styling. It too is at least the same size. We also saw that the massive Hilton Hotel, down past the Tropicana is closed. It too is a massive structure that sits empty.

We had lunch at a little pizza joint, with amazing homemade ingredients, that was run by friendly Hispanics. We thought that was rather funny. Found out that us ordering lunch at noon was odd as they were mainly preparing for breakfast. We don’t fit the schedule of the casino goers, I guess. We made it to Caesar’s with its shopping mall built on a massive pier out to the ocean. You can sit in chairs and read for hours looking over the beach and its skyline. So peaceful, The day opened up with clouds but by the afternoon we were hot under the cloudless sky and had to peel back the layers of clothes. I wouldn’t say it became warm but the sun made an impression on Scott’s forehead. He’s seen a bit too much sun.

We tried to make it to the Imax in Tropicana but missed the start of the preview of Wonder Woman. Sorry we missed that one. Later in the day we stopped at a seaside, beach bar for a bevy. Most of the day was spent walking and taking in the amazing sights of the boardwalk. It’s the start of the tourist season here so it isn’t yet busy. Finding a Jitney bus stop was easy on Atlantic Ave with several buses available.

Its an easy night tonight as we have been preparing for a possible run on the shallow waters of New Jersey on the ICW. The winds are not cooperating for an outside run on the ocean. We’ll be up and out at high tide in the morning.

 Posted by at 9:11 PM
Jun 062017

Up and out before 7:00 the harbour leaving Cape May showed signs of some winds. We searched this morning and determined that 3-4 footers were fine with some north wind at only 5 knts. We passed several tugs, fishing boats and dredging boats as we headed out to sea. My concern this morning is that we received a message from home that our dog was sick. Snoots has the shoots apparently with some dry heaving. Our poor baby. Amy has been up most of the night tending to a sick pup and cleaning up after him. Arrangements are made for Newton to head to the vets with Mom (again Mom to the rescue), where he can be assessed. A sample was taken and now he’s on some antibiotic meds and a special diet. Hopefully it is just something he ate from the yard. Fingers crossed. So now he’s in a diaper being tended by Grandma, being fed a couple tablespoons of special food every 2 hours and some meds.

We are now on the ocean in 3-4 footers with a few 6 footers slipped in just for fun. Both of us are using legs and abs to keep us in place on the seats. We are able to run no less than 16 and even up to 20 mph the whole way. The rain makes the journey even more fun. We make it to Atlantic City in about 2.5 hours, 40 miles north. The weather is not cooperating and it’s looking like NNE winds are staying til Saturday. That’s not good news. We don’t even gamble.

We have stopped at The Aquarium dock which so far has been free of charge. I contacted the office but no one has gotten back to us. A fellow boater is here and he said it happens a lot where no money is collected. We are on the T dock with 30 amp plugs. No A/C needed as its only 62 degrees outside. Canvas is up due to the strong predicted rain coming our way. No winds anymore but we can see the buoy on our charts and they are now reading 5.5 feet waves which usually means larger than that. We are happy to be off the roller coaster today.

We head into The Aquarium for a quick look. It’s small, has a petting area for stingrays and sharks. There is a large loggerhead turtle here too. It’s free with an overnight at the marina apparently but we paid the entrance fee.

We found a craft beer place about 2 minutes from the boat and the bus The Jitney runs from here to the boardwalk. We’ll do that tomorrow. I’m exhausted from being up with the skype with Amy over Newton last night. There are a couple homes across from the marina from us that used to be part of the run running back in the day. Atlantic City used to be a hub for rum and its illegal activities during prohibition. These homes have garages under the houses directly on the water so the rum runners could drive into the harbour and directly into the garage and take out their wares unseen to be sold on the black market.

By dinner, Newton is doing well. He’s settled and happy but sleeping a lot. Mom is staying with him at our place with the kids just to give Amy a break overnight in case he gets worse.

 Posted by at 8:23 AM
Jun 052017

We have decided to stay. Scott can do the oil change on the engines and leave the old oil here in this marina as they have facilities for the waste oil. Also there is some overdue office business and bills to pay. The day is overcast and rain is predicted. Also winds of 20 knots is expected. So we finish up our office duties and look to change the oil. Scott likes to warm up the engines so we are off for a spin. Just as we are untied and turned around in the marina the skies open up with some rain. Quickly up the tarps go and we drive off in the pouring rain that will hopefully die down by the time we are back in about 15 minutes.

It works. We prayed to the rain gods to give us a window to get the oil changed. It did rain but it was more of a drizzle for the hour and a bit it takes to change out the oil and filters on both engines. The canvas has to come down to open the hatch and leaves the entire back of the boat exposed so a light rain covers everything but at least the oil and filters are done for the next 100 hours of driving which will get us home.

Scott noticed that a vent had blown off somewhere along the way on the starboard side of the boat. He was fixing that in the rain the last I checked. He has cut up a frisbee to cover the hole but isn’t satisfied. He finds a broken, wooden paddle from one of Aiden’s paddleball sets that we play at the beach and cuts that up. It’s better than the plastic frisbee and will hopefully hold up better on the ocean waves we will inevitably have to face. It’s still raining. With everything done that we can think of for the day we are settling in with a bevy as we wait for the loaner car from the Harbour Host here in Cape May. A Harbour Host is a representative of America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association that helps out other Loopers while in their area. Scott and I are Niagara, St. Catharines, Lake Erie and the Western side of the Erie Canal Hosts. Bruce has a restaurant here in Cape May as well so if you wish a good evening go visit him at his restaurant. We would be there but he is closed on Mondays. We plan on leaving tomorrow so we may not have the opportunity to meet him.

After dinner we meet some new loopers at another marina in the trawler First Forty. They too are headed north and looking to leave tomorrow morning depending on weather. We are finally on the same Looper schedule as others. It’s a nice change to share stories with each other. Since Scott and I are so close to crossing our wake in New York we are the seasoned veterans, so to speak.

We also found out that a strange phenomenon happens here along the Delaware River very close to us. Horseshoe crabs, prehistoric crabs from the dinosaur era, travel to these beaches by the 10’s of thousands, at high tide, in a full moon, in mid May to early June to lay their eggs by the millions. Then the migrating birds come through and eat most of those babies. Very few of these babies actually survive. It’s early June so we are determined to go find us some crabs. It’s our turn for the loaner car so we hop in at 7:00 pm and travel to the coastline in search of horseshoes. In the time we have been traveling we have learned that these crabs have no way to hurt us. Although weird and scary to look at these are harmless. Their feet under the massive shell are simply pokey feet (technical term). They are used to move the crab along the bottom of the ocean. Their biggest issue is human intervention and a wave that flips them upside down. In the water they can flip themselves over again by using their tail and feet together and flip right side up. However if a wave hits them and they become upside down and they are not brought back to the water they die. There is actually a group here that goes around from beach to beach at the time that the 10’s of thousands of them are here and walk the beach to flip these wonders back over again. Getting to North Cape May Beach we find only dead ones and shells with some very full seas gulls. We probably missed the big rush as this is not a full moon tonight although it is high tide. We grab a shell for Aiden. It’s a rainy day today so pics are minimal.

We have decided to leave for Atlantic City early in the morning as high tide comes in and before the big storm hits with winds shifting from N to NNE.

 Posted by at 6:12 PM
Jun 042017

We reviewed the weather last night and decided it best to stay and due maintenance since everything Scott needs for the engines and gen are here if something should cause a problem. The day is a stunning sunny day but a small craft advisory is in effect after 8 tonight. Waves expected 4-6 foot on the ocean. We could run to Atlantic City but then spend a rainy. dull day there. We chose to stay here with the other loopers as well and enjoy some comradery. With all the amenities available here the decision was easy.

A lazy morning for me and a busy one for Scott in that engine compartment. I do the domestics while he slaves away. We plan on heading out to the city later before the rain and expected T showers later.

Heading out to the big city of Cape May in the loaner car we find a delightful community. The city is lined with age old building refurbished from at least a hundred years ago. The buildings are colourful in colours we wouldn’t see at home. Purple, greens yellows, red adorn the entire area. Sometimes all on the same house but it works here. Horse drawn carts are on the streets so fitting for this town. The main street, Washington St., is a completely car free street with cobblestone walkways, storefronts and boutiques. Away from the tourist areas we find the beach. A gorgeous white sand beach that caters to the tourist at $6.00 a person. The beach runs for miles so we guess that at some point it is free. Scott takes some pics of the hotels and beach, houses and just about everything he can. The character of Cape May is everywhere. It is worth a stop by both boater and landlubber vacationer.

As we always go off the beaten path exploring we find that there is some history with WWII here. We find a lookout point that has a high silo looking lookout that soldiers sat in day in and day out to look for approaching boats on the Atlantic Ocean. There is a sunken cement ship here as well. A lighthouse stands at the State Park along with a free beach and a full bunker that has 6 feet walls so to withstand a blast from an approaching enemy vessel. The bunker is right on the beach.

We also find that this area is an area where ornithologists come to study birds of migration. The birds of prey migrate through this area in vast numbers. There are fresh water ponds that offer refuge from the ocean and habitat for them to rest up as they travel the coast. We see swans, Canada Geese and ducks in these same areas as they too are migrating. The State Park offers the visitor passes to go up the lighthouse for a bird’s eye view of the area. We didn’t partake but did find the beach instead and walked along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean where it meets Delaware Bay.

On the way back to our boat we stop at Acme (no kidding) the local grocery store and pick up supplies. Tonight we will have docktails with some fellow loopers that we have met here also waiting for the weather window to cross the Atlantic north. CWay, Chrysalis, PharmLife are here with us. A few others joined in the fun as well as they travel north to Maine. A single handed sailor that is doing the loop is here with us as well after running 48 hours to get here down the Delaware River. He’s had a day to recoup and is up for some docktails with us Loopers. Later in the evening C Way joins us on our boat for a nightcap and we talk about travels north. They started in Tennessee and headed northbound. We start to realize that we are about 3 days travel away from crossing our wake in NYC.

 Posted by at 6:01 PM
Jun 032017

Annapolis is worth spending more than one night with. We just don’t have the time this round. As we pull out of the harbour the weather is cooperating with us, so far. The winds are low and the water is only slightly choppy. The winds are about 10 knots so the travel north is still a bit rocky but we are able to run 25 mph. The Chesapeake narrows around here. It is still a vast open space but you can see both sides now while you travel. We would have liked to have wandered around here more but we have a tight schedule for work so we push on.

Not much to talk about as we head into the Delaware/Chesapeake Canal. A canal that connects these two bays to the north. It’s quite large as canals go and very nice to pass through. We stop at Chesapeake City at a marina for a top up of diesel. There is a nice restaurant and marina right on the canal. It’s more convenient than trying to get into the basin at Chesapeake City. Do not attempt to dock at the free dock in Chesapeake City as the low tide brings only 2.5 feet of water. The entrance is badly shoaled and you have to hug the red really tight to find 8 feet of water. We didn’t go into the basin to anchor as it did seem tight but also we had only traveled for a couple hours to get here. We thought we would run down the canal to Delaware City at the other end of the 15 mile canal.

After entering into Delaware River we head a bit north to try Delaware City. When we see that we are at almost low tide we do also know that the water to get it in will be about 8 feet total water. With our 3.5 foot draft its a nerve wracking experience when you starts to see 4’s and 3’s on the depth guage. We get in to deeper water at about 10 feet toal water and see the free dock on sand. There is a 5 foot tide here and the dingy dock is out of the question even if you wanted to dingy over. The free dock behind the Police boats is completely full and we don’t want to travel down this skinny waterway to the marina where it would be difficult to turn around. So we do a quick reverse turn and go back out.

Now on the Delaware River, which is quite wide and deep, we are looking at our 3rd alternative for the day. Either we anchor over by Reddy Island with NW winds coming later at 20 knots and be mostly protected or we make the 3 hour more run down to Cape May. As we pass Reddy Island Scott makes the decision that he is up for the next 2-3 hours to drive today. That will make a 135 mile day. The good thing about this decision is that the Delaware River was giving us a nice tidal push of about 4-5 mph faster as the tide was going out. We were able to catch and stay with this big push for most of the way until we caught up with the incoming tide where there was some turbulence but we were still able to keep running at 28 mph. Heading toward Cape May there is a lot of fishing boats once again. Crab and oyster pots as well but not as bad as on the Chesapeake where you must keep an attentive eye for them.

There is a ferry at the entrance to the Cape May Canal that has the right of way and the canal is only half dredged on that side. Of course just as we are approaching the ferry is pulling out of its berth and heading out. We give it the passage it needs and head on up the canal. We were thinking of anchoring by the Coast Guard but made the decision to head to Utsch’s Marina where Scott can do some maintenance for the fuel filter change and a few other changes.

Utsch’s marina has everything. There is a harbour host here that leaves a truck for loopers to get around town. We must send a thank you to him when we get home. A full service deep water marina along with a ship’s store that has everything Scott needs and then some. He was able to replace our spare parts that he has used thus far and add to ones that he usually has on hand but hasn’t been able to find. We received a nice welcome package with homemade lavender soap and a bottle of home brew wine along with maps of the city. Bikes to ride to town are also availabl. The internet is full at all the docks. It has a reasonable rate for docking as well.

We are lucky enough to meet several other loopers here. We are all checking the weather over the next few days and there is a cold front coming through. We’ll have to make the decision to run “the outside” (on the ocean) to Atlantic City and be stuck there or stay here until it calms down. It’s a tough decision because tomorrow will be a nice day to travel and then have to be stuck in Atlantic City or stay here during a good travel day and be stuck here with all the amenities we need. We are not gamblers at all and wouldn’t care to go to the big casinos so the draw for us to leave isn’t there. But there is supposed to be a great beach and boardwalk. Decisions, decisions!

 Posted by at 11:57 AM
Jun 022017

I grabbed a Hollywood shower this morning. You know, those long, hot ones that you run out of hot water. It was so nice to not have to rush out this morning. We planned on a shorter day today as we head to Annapolis, Maryland.

Scott uploads some software updates for the electronics and we’re off. Not leaving the dock Scott notices that our depth finder is not sounding the water depths. Not good when we know we are coming up to shallow areas in the next few days. We decide that running to Annapolis is a better option than staying here in the out of the way area. We have open water all the way and the water is so calm it’s like glass. We pull out into the main harbour. Scott starts doing some checks to see if he can get the finder back on. Opening the engine compartment he starts testing and tightening the connections to the sounder. Voila, it works again. It must have come loose in our travels.

Crossing the Chesapeake Bay on our continuous trek north was so easy this morning. The glass water was more of a barefooter’s paradise if it wasn’t for the many boat wakes. No waves at all and no rollers. We made such good time that we were in Annapolis within 2.5 hours. There was a sailing regatta on that was leaving Annapolis at 11:00. We passed them just outside the harbour with their bright sails. They were moving so slow with no wind. There was a predicted 20 knot wind coming this afternoon so that will get them going.

Pulling into the harbour we find so many boats. It’s still a bit early and expect an influx for the rest of the day. We grab a mooring ball for the first time. We read on how to do it last night so that we looked like we knew what we were doing. We’re pros now, until the next time.

Annapolis has a dingy dock available at all the streets that connect with the waterway so you can find one just about anywhere. We went up the Spa River and found one that we liked there. That way we could travel around town and make a big circle, of sorts.

The town is full of tree lined, brownstone style homes. Directly on the sidewalk are the porches. You feel like you can hear the clip clop of horses coming up the street of yesteryear. The downtown is a very long street with its shops, specialty shops, restaurants and whatever you think a tourist might need. I found a cute dress for a measly $200. We left that shop and didn’t go into anymore. We did find a couple tea houses, a pharmacy, visitors centre, a bakery and a craft beer place as well. Of course partaking in the local bevy after a hot stroll down the main drag.

We spent the afternoon doing whatever tourists do with our backpack, sunhat and running shoes. I’m sure we looked quite the sight. Spending countless hours in the hot sun while living on a boat makes you really care a lot less about being in the sun so much. After all you know you’re going to have countless hours of it anyway so getting out of it every once in awhile is a welcome reprieve even if it is just being under a granny hat.

Back at the dingy we travel up Spa River and then up Back Creek as well. So many boats, people on kayaks and paddleboards. Even an osprey gets in the fun of watching crazy humans as she has perched her nest on a low pillar. Upon getting back to the boat we notice that the main mooring field we are in is mostly full watching more boats come in as we have dinner on deck.

Tomorrow we’ll run past Baltimore and start rounding the top of Delaware to an anchor spot.

 Posted by at 11:59 AM
Jun 012017

Reveille. 7:-00 am. The coast guard wakes you with the playing of the age old theme on a trumpet. We were up already. Last night when we went to juice up our batteries with the gen it did not work. Scott figured out that the impeller was gone. After much discussion and a lightning storm on the Chesapeake we decided to wait til morning to fix it. It was a gamble being that the batteries would sit for 18 hours or more without charging. So Scott was up at the earliest sun to jump into the engine compartment. Half asleep he tripped on the stairs and whacked his head. I think I chuckled!

We actually love this sleepy little town of Crisfield. Maryland. After having the crabs for the first time last night at the local “best place in town” we have realized crab isn’t for us. With the charm of days of old when the crabbing was at its peak and storefronts have worn over the years we are saying goodbye as we travel out of this amazing little harbour. This is a place where you must make your own fun. There isn’t a lot to entertain you here if you don’t go looking for it.

We head across the Chesapeake with extremely calm winds and the sun shining. As we’re tripping along we hear so much chatter over the radio. The navy is conducting live targeting practice and to stay away from the area known as “whatever they said”. Not knowing the area and all the names of the point sand inlets on the Chesapeake we have no idea exactly where they are. So we keep tripping along like we own the place. Next thing we know we see a navy jet over our heads which catches our eye and, of course, we start taking pictures. Cool plane, drone or whatever it is. Next thing we know we’ve got the Navy on our stern. “Hail to the white, blue Canadian boat at buoy 72”. We don’t even know we are near buoy 72 yet. We’re in the middle of the Bay. No buoys in sight. Scott sees the boat on the AIS on the electronics and the guy says again, Blue hulled boat, something or other. Hummmmm, we’ve now got a big fast moving Navy boat on our stern. Scott talks over the radio to the boat “Transporter” the navy “get away from here” boat where they tell us we need to move north and get to buoy 74. “Okay”, so where’s buoy 74? So now we’re both searching on our electronics, me on the ipad and Scott on his chartplotter, to locate buoy 74. So we alter our course and head further north to get away from our new friends in the Navy.

We are heading Solomon’s Island. A favourite Looper location that we thought we would try out. We head into the marina Solomon’s Island Yacht Center. Big name, not so great marina. Go to Calvert’s across the waterway. So not worth the stop here at Solomons Yacht Centre Marina. The pool isn’t available. I needed to do laundry and although the 3 washers were good there was only 1 of 3 dryers working. The showers were dirty and although there are 3 showers I had to go to 2 of them to find one that wasn’t overflowing with garbage and obviously not been cleaned in awhile. We needed to wash a few things on the boat and the water pressure was terrible. Not many people here so I cannot imagine what it is like if it’s busy. They do have bikes available to head into town. The wifi bandwidth has been scaled back to the point where it drops out or runs so slow that it crashes. All this for New York City pricing. So not worth the stop at this marina.

The town is just waking up after its winter. Boats are still under shrink wrap and the town is just starting its summer. The restaurants, shops and tiki bars align the boardwalk. A cute antique store, ice cream and the best key lime pie this side of Key West is available at Lotus Café. We stop in and order a couple pieces for later tonight. We both agree we like Crisfield much better for its charm and ingenuity.

Tomorrow we head into Annapolis and are thinking of hooking to a mooring ball. Stay tuned for that experience as neither of us have down it before.

 Posted by at 7:56 PM
May 312017

We’ve had too much fun here in Norfolk.  The alarm didn’t wake us this morning so by the time we were up and out it was after 10.  Passing through the Port of Norfolk is no small task.  We take it slow not knowing if there is a no wake zone.  It’s 20 miles from the marina to the Chesapeake Bay.  So many military ships along this portion of the Port.  Destroyers, Battleships and 4 aircraft carriers.  The enormity of the ships is lost on the size of the Port.  In the pics try to find a familiar landmark like a truck, car or whatever you see so that you can see the enormous size of these mighty ships. 

This is a military naval port along with expansive dry docks.  There are retro fits of the old ships taking on new life with new technology.  Grey and massive they tower over the blue waters and sky.  Four aircraft carriers are in their slumber as they too await the new technological advances for them to come alive again.  Impressive in their size and seeing 4 together is understated in the pictures.  Guarded by the Coast Guard boats they are never alone. 

Coming out onto the Chesapeake Bay we can see the bridge in the foggy distance.  No pics due to the fog and distance.  We start to head northwest along the Bay.  We have decided to head to Crisfield, Maryland.  A small, quaint fishing town. 

As we head north on calm seas we pass several large ocean bearing ships.  The channel is for set for them at 50 feet deep but the entire Bay is no less than 25 feet. The winds were predicted for 5 knots today but a quick storm came up to the northwest that brought in a bit of winds.  The bay went from dead calm to 2 footers which were easily handled.  We bounced a bit and I made a quick cold hamburger for Scott and PB and honey for me. 

We headed to Tangiers Island on the way toward Crisfield.  E thought of staying here instead of Crisfield but there was no diesel so we pressed on.  Upon entering the harbour we see that there is a new marina starting to take shape.  It’s a big one with probably 300 slips, a pool, clubhouse/lounge.  It’s going to be a beautiful marina. 

We are slated to stay on the hook in the harbour in front of the boat ramp on one side, with the Coast Guard and The Crabhouse across the harbour.  We stop at Sumers Cove Marina for some expensive diesel and then find our anchor spot. 

Crisfield MA is known as the crab capital of the world.  Back in the ‘20’s this area was the 2nd largest city in Maryland because of its shipping of crab.  We decide that after settling in, since neither of us has tried crab before, that this is the place to do so.  There was a small dingy ride to the Crabhouse and then a walk around a very quiet town.  A couple room museum, a renowned crabcakes place, the Crabhouse is known for its steamed crabs so that’s where we go.  Along with a couple beers we try our hand at shelling crab with the help of our server.  Neither of us are impressed but we do finish the steamed crabs, soup and crabcakes. 

Tonight we will be preparing for tomorrow as we go to Solomon’s Island. 

 Posted by at 7:33 PM