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July 2010

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Sunday, July 18th

A Week of Projects

A week of projects is over.

Most important was getting the head working again. We lucked out that we had agreed to dog sit for the week. This means that we stay with the dog instead of him staying with us. A week of living on land with all the benefits of living in a house. It doesn't hurt that Apollo (the dog) is the sweetest thing on four paws. Not living on the boat meant that I could tear the plumbing apart and not worry about making a mess, having to clean up each day and not having a working toilet is not a problem. The problem started with a plugged line that blew out the joker valve. I bought a rebuild kit for the pump that flushes the toilet and new hose to replace the lines. Sanitary hose is stiff and hard to route through the boat not to mention that it runs under the floor. It is notoriously hard to replace. I got it all replaced and when I tested it by pumping water it started to build up too much back pressure. Something was wrong. I checked the valves along the way and had not opened one. Once opened everything flushes better then new except for one small leak with the rebuilt pump but it turned out to be a missing gasket. Not sure what happened to it but after replacing it everything is working. In order to get at the plumbing I had to tear out most of the air conditioning duct work and a number of other hoses. Once the sanitary lines were in it was time to replace everything else. Of course with the ducts out the air conditioning was not working. A lot of breaks were taken. It sounds like a one day project but it actually took four. As I said, a lot of breaks were taken.

The box in the cockpit needed to be reattached since the mounting boards had rotten and was loose. I found some teak pieces that I could use but decided to replace them with Starboard, a plastic material, so that will not be an issue again.
Dale on 07.18.10 @ 10:06 PM EDT [link]

Friday, July 16th

Our Final Days

Thursday July 8th:

We found out in the morning we had dodged a bullet. The previous day as we entered Norfolk there was some chatter on the radio that a part of the ICW was closed. As we prepared to get underway with the opening of the Great Bridge a northbound boat was advised that the ICW was closed between the locks and the Gilmerton Highway bridge. They were installing a power line and had the area closed to traffic for the day. We passed through the area after 5:00 the previous day and missed the problem but did see some workers on a tower. I planned on stopping for fuel and lunch in Coinjock but neglected to tell Cori of the time schedule. She assumed lunch was around noon, it was a bit later then that aand she was hungry. I had been telling her for a year how good the Prime Rib Dip sandwich was and as soon as we sat down we were informed they were out. We weren't disappointed when they managed to come up with two for us. After lunch and fueling up we continued down to where we planned to anchor for the night and settled in.

Friday July 9th:

We had another long day planned so we were up and off early again. The wind was picking up so as we got into the Albermarle we put up the sails and started across. The Albermarle has a reputation of being rough and as we continued across it was getting progressively rougher. We were able to sail around the marks into the Alligator River and all the way down to the Aligator/Pungo canal. Once in the canal it was a long motor ride. We had planned on making it through the canal and anchoring for the night at the first anchorage but we still had enough time to make it to Bellhaven. We debated getting a slip for the night or anchoring out and decided since we had no reason to go ashore we opted for the anchorage in Pungo Creek.

Saturday July 10th

Our last day, we were within 50 miles of home. Again we had favorable winds doing a beam reach down the Pungo River and into the Pamlico. Of course when we entered the Pamlico we had to turn into the wind and motor across. We continued down the ICW until we entered the Bay River and were able to sail again. At the Neuse Junction we turned upriver putting the wind on the nose again. Back to motoring. The rest of the day was uneventful until just before entering Clubfoot Creek when Bill and Helen came out on their skiff to greet us, and hand over a cold beer for Cori. All that was left was to pull into the dock and tie up and our trip was over.

Now to begin the repairs and putting everything back where it belongs.
Dale on 07.16.10 @ 09:41 AM EDT [link]

Wednesday, July 7th

Out of the Bay and into the ICW

July 6th:
We got an early start because we had planned out a long day. We left Solomons and continued south. We bypassed Reedville where we had stayed on the way up and planned on stopping further down the shore at Fleets Bay, just above the Rappahonnock River. I believe it was somewhere around 45 miles. We motored the entire way again since there was no wind. We tucked into Dymer Creek and set the anchor for the night. After an ok sunset, the skies are just too hazy, we called it a night.

July 7th:
We had a long day planned again. We looked at several possibilities involving making it to Norfolk/Hampton Roads and staying in Hampton for a day but decided against it and would try to move further along. We were up at 7:00 when a boat going by gave us a good rocking and we pulled anchor and started out. The forecast was for winds from a variety of directions but not above 5 knots and that is what we got. At one point it seemed like we would be able to fly the spinnaker and make good time but by the time we got it up and set the mizzen staysail to get a little more speed we were lucky to get 3.5 knots and the wind was clocking around again. Down came the sails and we started motoring again. We are just stuck in this weather pattern. The good news is that the tide was going out and it added an extra 1-2 knots so we were able to move along 7-8 knots. Not a lot but over time it adds up. The other good news is that Cori caught some fish today, 4 real nice spanish mackerel and only let one get away. We made it into Hampton Roads earlier then we expected and had to slow down because several of our first bridges don't open between 3-5 for rush hour traffic. We got to our first bridge and found it was under repair and did not have to be opened. The next bridge unfortunately did not open until 5:30 and we had expected a 5:00 opening and showed up at 4:45. We spent 45 minutes motoring up and down about a mile section of the river until it was opened. Then on to the next which we caught right on time. The next hurdle was getting through the Great Bridge lock but the lockmaster (is that his title?) opened it early for us to go through. It is a short jump to the Great Bridge which opens on the half hour but we had set this as our goal for the night, we will go under that bridge tomorrow. We are in Chesapeake City tied to the seawall at a city park for the night. We only have a few more bridges to deal with tomorrow and it will be clear motoring the rest of the way. There are a couple of areas around the Albemarle Sound that we can sail, but otherwise it is a motor trip home. All in all it was a long day. There was one bright spot pushing me along. I knew that there is a Dairy Queen only a block up the street from where we tied up. Nothing better then desert before dinner.
Dale on 07.07.10 @ 09:39 PM EDT [link]

Monday, July 5th

Back to the Solomons

Monday July 5th:
We tried to get an early start since it is a long trip back down the bay. We had to stow the dinghy and outboard since we decided not to stow them Sunday evening. After our last trip to town it was rough with all the boat traffic and we felt it would be calmer in the morning. We were right, it was calm. It was so calm that it decided not to get rough all day. We motored all day without any wind except what we were creating. We met a lot of sailboats on the way down and nobody had bothered to put up a sail.

We are back to Solomons Island. There is really no place between Annapolis and Solomons for us to stop and it is an all day trip for us. We needed to get here because we had a breakdown on board and we need repair parts. I broke the head. I will say it again, I broke the head. The head is the bathroom or the toilet in the bathroom. Obviously I did not break the room so therefore the toilet has been broken. Not really broken, just nonfunctional. There is a West Marine here and they carry rebuild kits for the toilet. But, this location did not have any we discovered after we borrowed bikes and rode over there. They could get one in about four days not acceptable. Deltaville has one on hand but we were not planning on stopping there again. We need to come up with a better plan then we have now a bucket. Yes, we have a bucket and plan to use it until we can get a kit. I need to do some planning of our route back down the bay and maybe coordinate with either someone that has one or to get one delivered. We will let you know.
Dale on 07.05.10 @ 09:39 PM EDT [link]

Sunday, July 4th

Fourth of July in Annapolis

Saturday July 3rd:
We didn't do much today, just hung out on the boat then went on the other side of the harbor from downtown to see the Annapolis Maritime Museum and wander around in the afternoon. Other then that it was a quiet relaxing day. I had to drop off the rental car and when I got back I went up to the State House to check it out. It is the oldest State Capital Building still in use. There are two sections, the original built in 1770's and the new addition in 1902. The original Senate chambers is where George Washington went to meet with the Continental Congress to resign his commission in the Army and hopefully retire. It is also where the Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, the official end of the Revolutionary War. It served as the first Capital for a number of years. Unfortunately the old section is undergoing renovation to undo several hundred years of remodeling and there is not much to see. The nice policeman at the x ray machine in the entrance held my swiss army knife for me so I was able to get it back when I left. For some reason they don't allow knives and other weapons, imagine that.

Sunday July 4th:
First projects for the day were to check the engine: belts, oil, filter pressure and start it up to charge the batteries. We are just across form the Yacht Basin and when I called them they would give up free water if we took on at least 15 gallons of fuel. We needed to get there in the morning since there was a yacht coming in t tie up. We dropped our mooring, leaving the dinghy behind so we wouldn't lose it and motored over. We put on 21 gallons of fuel and about 100 gallons of water then went for a drive around the harbor and out into the river, the same route we will take on Monday when we leave. Since we were charging the batteries we may as well go somewhere. Back at the mooring ball we took the dinghy to town for showers and lunch. Back on the boat Cori worked on straightening things up a little while I helped and started a new book. Later it was back into town for the parade. Every politician was there but the only musical unit was the fife and drum corps. After the parade was music at the dock ending with the Naval Academy Band playing followed by the fireworks. They do a very nice job with the fireworks. When you think they are done and that was the finale, they start up again. There was actually three finale's. There had to be several hundred anchor lights out on the river and afterwards a steady stream of boats coming back in. Oh, the yacht that came in and tied up to the fuel dock took up the entire dock. It was the 160' Casino Royale. I found out that you can Google the name of a yacht and find out the specifics about it, a pretty nice yacht. The owner names all of his yachts for James Bond movies.

We will be starting back tomorrow so we need to get up early and store the dinghy and outboard, take down the flags and get the boat ready to start back. I will be sending out Spot reports once we are underway. For some reason I cannot get the Spot share page to show our marks for more then a week. I have tried changing it to a month several times but it will not save the changes. Maybe I'll get it working right before we get back. We think we will be going back to Solomon's since there is not many stopping places in this section of the bay. From there I haven't planned things out yet.
Dale on 07.04.10 @ 10:43 PM EDT [link]

Friday, July 2nd

Side Trip to DC

Thursday July 1st:
Well, I did it again. The museum closed before I was done. We rented a car to go to DC since there didn't seem to be any other options. We decided on Thursday because for some reason on Wednesday the American History Museum closed at 5:00 and on Thursday they would be open until 7:30. I made arrangements with Enterprise to pick me up as soon as they were open. We had a car and were on our way to DC by 9:00. Traffic in the DC area is notoriously bad. Because of this I try to avoid driving there and find one of the Metro Stations and park there and ride in. We did this and headed directly to the Museum of American History getting there around 10:30. We started on the third floor and planned to work our way down. At 1:00 I had finished the east wing on third floor and took a lunch break on first floor. Then it was back up to third floor for the west wing. Cori spent a lot of time waiting for me in Julia Child's kitchen that is on display there We skipped most of second floor since it didn't have much that was interesting and by 7:30 when they told us we had to leave we were close to finishing the first floor. Maybe another day. From the museum we walked down the Mall to the Viet Nam Memorial and spent a little time there. Finally we decided to head back to the Metro Station. On the way back to the station we chose the wrong way around the Treasury Building, or so it looked. It ended up being the wrong way around the Treasury Department office complex. A long walk out of our way. We made it back to Annapolis around midnight and still had not had dinner. Needless to say I was tired and crabby, I couldn't even find a McDonald's. We ended up at the deli we had lunch in the previous day, getting in just before they closed.

Friday July 2nd:
We slept in for a little bit but had to have the car out of the parking lot before 10:00 or we would get a ticket. After a light breakfast of Diet Coke and brownies that Cori made the day before (Dale's breakfast), we dingied in, hit the showers and went for a drive. We crossed the Bay Bridge, $2.50 toll, and drove the length of Kent Island. Not a real long drive but a pretty one. We continued along the main highway and checked out a couple of the small towns that sounded interesting. Traffic was heavy on the highway going towards the coast, a lot of people are starting their Holiday early. We finally turned around and went back to Annapolis. We stopped at a shopping center to get some groceries and made our way to the marina. Bad news, the Friday night festivities had started and parking was at a premium. After three circles of the parking areas we got a parking spot but will have to be up and move it before 10:00 tomorrow when the meters go back into use.

We are planning on staying here through the 4th. There will be a parade, the Naval Academy Band will be playing in the park next to us and the fireworks will be over the river. They say that from the mooring field is the best viewing spot. We plan on starting back on Monday.
Dale on 07.02.10 @ 10:14 PM EDT [link]