Sunday, August 17, 2014

Greenvale Creek too shallow

We had never ventured past Urbanna on the Rappahannock. So we sailed up to the mouth of Greenvale Creek. The Upper Deck restaurant appeared to be open but the number of warning stakes scared us away. Maybe 'tis best to drive here in the future. 

Took a long trip up the Western Branch of the Corrotoman instead to anchor for the night. Quite a lovely after-dinner sky.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Where is Waldo?

And MicMac? 

On the Big Annemessex River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, just north of Crisfield. After an 11 hour day of sailing and motor sailing. 

Once again, NOAA knows nothing about wind velocity. 5 knots my eye. More like 15-20 all day, with drops to 5 occasionally.

So we are anchored far up a river I never heard of three hours ago. Nobody else either. We are all alone on a rather open anchorage. 

And our 9th straight night of no skeeters or no-see-ems, allowing rare evenings to watch the skies without being attacked by insects. And in July? Who'd a thunk it? Bring on that summer polar vortex. 

Will head home tomorrow (another long day) to put four new red dots on our Chesapeake Bay chart. And do a LOT of laundry.

Oops, Honga River is not what we expected

First we had to dodge a minefield of crab pots as we approached the Honga. They were about every ten feet. 

Then we got to the four mile wide mouth of the Honga, and I saw my hopes for a cozy anchorage go poof. The charts led me to believe that the Honga was narrow. But four miles wide is not narrow. It looked more like my beloved James River where I never entertained thoughts of anchoring for the night. 

So we turned around and are heading south, perhaps to Crisfield. But I learned a lot by reading a memoir of William Hooper along the way. So I can appreciate Honga's long history and its role in the oyster industry. 

Perhaps that is why I could find only two articles about cruising the Honga in the last 15 years. This river might be fun to explore in a kayak. But a sailboat with a 5' draft just isn't ideal

Honga River called us

Actually, the Honga has been on my sailing bucket list since Tom Neale included it on his list of best cruising spots on the Chesapeake years ago. 

So we are crossing the bay to the Eastern Shore again. I imagine this marshy river may look like the ICW portions of Georgia that we saw in 2009. The channel certainly looks narrow. 

Captain Pete looks at Hooper Light as we approach Hooper Strait. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

On our way south TBD

Occasionally we have no destination. That day's sail depends on wind and sea conditions. So here we are at the moment. 

Ended up anchored in Cuckold Creek off the Patuxent River, a quiet spot until jetskiers arrived. 

Tilghman Island a quiet retreat

But getting to Tilghman on Chesapeake Marina was the challenge. It seems that one portion of the channel to Knapps Narrows bridge is closer to 4.5 feet at low tide, even though dredging is done regularly. And MicMac draws 5 feet. So we bounced a tad at first contact, then stayed firmly aground at red marker #4. A passing power boat's wake didn't help us budge either. But then a friendly and helpful waterman on his workboat Land Lord offered to pull us off the shoal. It wasn't an easy job, but we were finally on our way to ask the bridge tender to lift the bridge for MicMac.

We had driven to Tilghman Island from St. Michael's a few years ago, but it was a new destination by boat. The newish Tilghman on Chesapeake marina is quite lovely. The view from the pool is amazing as you can see.

We walked less than a mile down a lovely Tilghman street of well-maintained and landscaped homes to Two If By Sea for a tasty dinner. Also got to watch owner Henry icing a few Smith Island cakes for a wedding the next day.

Started chatting with the only other couple there for dinner and, lo and behold, they were fellow sailors from Stingray Harbour Marina who are off on a one year cruise. They had hit googads of our favorite Chesapeake anchorages already. Happy sailing on Dreamer to them!

A relaxing finale in the cockpit with a sunset nightcap was the perfect ending. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Through Kent Narrows to the Wye

We had a feisty motor sail under the Bay Bridge and north until we made the turn to approach the Kent Narrows bridge, one of few spots on the Chesapeake to see palm trees. Some real, but most fake. 

It is always fun to stop car traffic to request a bridge opening. 

And then the wind died as we passed by bucolic Parsons Island. It is losing 2-5 acres per year to erosion and rising seas. One idea was to haul dredge from Baltimore to replace that. But no signs of that occurring yet. 

Want to buy some property?

Found an airy anchorage in Quarter Cove on the Wye River after sleuthing out our favorite, Dividing Creek, just across the River. We didn't remember all the fallen tree debris in 2003. Aha, Hurricane Isabel left her calling card in fall 2003. 

Photos of Pete's old home

From 1953 to 1957, Pete lived on the grounds of the Naval Academy when his father was chief of medicine ar the Naval Hospital. They lived in Quarters 2, so we had to get some photos of it from the Severn River on our way out of Annapolis. Trees and this looming radar contraption block the view, but this brought back memories of him crabbing from the sea wall. 

The plebes were out in force, learning how to sail. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

St. Mary's Church

Today would have been my mother's 96th birthday. So we just had to go to her namesake church next door to founding father Charles Carroll's home. 

The ceiling and the altar are magnificent. 

Pete used his sales skills to talk us into dinner at Annapolis Yacht Club tonight. Stingray Harbour Yacht Club didn't impress them, but Two Rivers CC did the trick. 

Second day in Annapolis

The Maryland State House is quite impressive even though renovations are taking place and the original house chamber is the only 18th century room open. 

But the current state senate and house chambers should inspire the elected folks to pass great legislation. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Arriving in Annapolis

The Thomas Point Lighthouse, built in 1875 and manned until 1986, welcomed us. Sure glad it's being restored. 

Naval Academy, from afar

Micmac in a slip at Ego Alley at city docks. 

Naval Academy tour was awesome. Its museum is well worth seeing too. We spent about five hours total. Saw the plebes at their lunch formation. 

John Paul Jones' coffin rivals Napoleon's

So we celebrated Bastille Day at Cafe Normandie. Got to sing La Marseillaise with my salmon and blueberry buerre. Quite a yummy combination. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On the way to Annapolis

First stop was Sandy Point where we enjoyed the Full Buck Moon. 

Then north to Solomon's Island. Tiki Bar was too smoky. 

Tried to see NASA's launch of Antares as we motor sailed up the bay but it was too cloudy. 

Anchored alone in Aberdeen Creek on the South River before heading to Thomas Point. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cruise cut short

We enjoyed our long sail to Salt Ponds and dinner with most of the gang that night. 
Sailing fashion was achieved by Tom and Cameron.

I just couldn't face another hot and humid day. So we motor sailed back to Deltaville yesterday and skipped the Yorktown visit. Just in time too. A doozy of a thunderstorm with marble size hail hit the marina about an hour after we got into our slip. I hope none of our fellow sailors were out there in those winds, lightning strikes and hail.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hotter today

Perhaps Stingray sailors should opt for a spring cruise next year. These high nineties are brutal. Even the walk to the Bier Garden last night did me in. But docktails were enjoyed at the marina with music by DJ Kenny a special touch. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A hot day again in Portsmouth

Pete took a long walk early this morning and walked past his house from 1960-1963. It needs some loving care now.

Our first stop this morning on our walking tour was the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center. Some really super kites were on exhibit on one floor and Appalachian art on the second floor. Some super yard art too.