Friday, July 27, 2007

Our First Canal Transit

Cape May, New Jersey
38 57.1N 74 52.9W

A long day today, we left at 7am and motored through the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, it's 20 miles long and about 200 metres wide but luckily we only had to pass one large ship, this was particularly good luck as once we got into the canal we had 3 knots of current with us making turning round not an option and it promptly became foggy!

After the canal transit we swapped the scenic joys of Chesapeake Bay for the New Jersey shore of Delaware Bay, power stations and swamps, more Lowry than Constable this time.

Delaware Bay is annoying, it has strong currents, and is shallow everywhere other than the shipping lane and that is surprise surprise full of ships bound for Philadelphia. Then when you arrive at Cape May you have to go about 5 miles out to sea to avoid sand banks and then back again before you can anchor. We finally dropped anchor as it was going dark at 9pm in an ugly channel with strong currents and a Coast Guard training centre who woke the recruits at dawn to the sound of bugles, and ran round chanting US Military style!
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

We Actually Left

Top End Of Chesapeake Bay
39 29.9N 75 55.4W

After 36 nights anchored in Annapolis we finally left. We had joked that something would break and we would be stuck after all our farewells, and sure enough as the anchor hit the bow roller Linda shouted out that she had no steering! We immediately dropped the anchor again and went to investigate, luckily it was a simple one, while shoving stuff in the lazarette to leave we had knocked the bypass valve on the hydraulic steering open, so the fix was simple and we were able to leave as planned.

Surprise surprise for Chesapeake Bay - no wind, so we motored the whole way up the Bay for 50 miles to the entrance to the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. On the way we passed under the famous Bay Bridges, and sweltered in phenomenal heat, the thermometer under the dodger hitting 50 degrees in early afternoon!

Despite the heat and the motoring it was still great to be on our way again.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Annapolis We See When We Don't Work

Harness Creek, Annapolis, Maryland
38 56.1N 76 30.5W

We have now been in Annapolis since the 20th of June, all the time in the same anchorage. As well as the boat work mentioned last entry and hundreds of smaller tasks, we have had a chance to explore a bit and had a couple of visitors.

The particular anchorage we have been staying in is a paradise during the week, we are usually the only boat, however every weekend 50-100 stink boats with as many people as you can legally fit on turn up, anchor so close that when they jump in for a swim you get wet on our boat, and inflate every type of pool toy known to man. Luckily everyone also goes home for the night so by 9pm peace has returned and the Jerry Springer style whooping has stopped!

We had originally planned on spending July 4th in New York, but it ended up being Annapolis instead. We went into town and after a couple of pints of Guinness watched the Independence Day Parade. We were greeted with a small town America procession of Yankee Doodle costumes, Corvettes, Fire Trucks, dogs and local dignitaries - high point for us as bean counters was Senator Oxley of Sarbanes- Oxley fame! The band concert was canceled because of the rain, but we did get to watch the fireworks from the deck of our boat and although we have become rather accustomed to an Opera House being in front of fire works, they were still good.

Once the work finished we had visitors, Roger Wilson arrived for the weekend to avoid installing cable TV, phone lines, internet etc etc in the new house in Philadelphia (I have since heard they have RWC coverage on cable so we will be there most of September/October). Then we had a visit from Linda's parents for 10 days, all went well, Gabby has a boat phobia so it was a great effort to be on board that long. While they were here we made shameless use of their car to do provisioning runs, pick up spare parts etc etc as well as a day trip into Washington DC. Washington was excellent, we will go back again in the autumn to do it more justice. This trip we took in the Capitol Building and the White House where we saluted George W in the appropriate manner for a man of his standing.

We didn't have time to see the Smithsonian Museums but they will be much better suited to cold October days we think.

We have mixed feelings about moving on as you do when cruising, everyone has been so friendly and kind to us here, offers of car rides to anywhere, meals at home etc etc flow endlessly. We have had free access to a dinghy dock at a kayak rental office, lifts from the Chandlery staff and probably best indicator of all of the spirit of the place was a parting gift of home grown cucumbers and tomatoes from the local Policeman who has been keeping a look out for us while we were here.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back To Work

Harness Creek, Annapolis, Maryland
38 56.1N 76 30.5W

Well how prescient I was saying we would stay here a while and do some chores! We are still here!

We decided it was a great place to repair the genoa track that had lifted while sailing north, after nearly 3 weeks of solid work it is fixed. We realised early on that it was a much bigger repair than anticipated, as we had to remove a fair amount of teak trim from the outside of the hull to get to the problem. This was all very scary, so we made some initial enquiries for a professional job, the quotes came back in the $5000-$10,000 mark so we we had little choice but to do it ourselves. We got good advice from Andy via the phone in Hong Kong and we are now prouder and richer, but looking forward to a holiday (poor us I hear you say!)

More updates soon on what we have been doing since we arrived here.
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