Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and Reedy Island

After leaving Solomons we anchored out at Annapolis in front of the Naval Academy, finding all the moorings taken at 1500 when we arrived on Saturday. There is always plenty of room to anchor here, and the holding is good. However the boat traffic is endless until sunset, throwing wakes, mostly gentle but it can be rocky. Our friends Len and Vickie drove down from Baltimore and came aboard, bringing dinner including painkillers. (For more info on Len's painkillers, refer to my entry after I was hit by a car while riding a bike in August, 2008.) After saying goodbye Sunday morning, we sailed to Worton Point, where we anchored and were joined at sunset by Rick and Linda on Sojourner.

The next morning we left together at 9 am in order to ride a fair current up the C&D Canal, a 12 mile long thoroughfare connecting the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. We had a great sail (spirited as our friends on Blue Bay would say) until we reached the Canal, which is very sheltered from the elements. We saw nearly 9 knots for awhile, and kept a favorable current the entire ride until short of 3 hours later we reached the Delaware Bay. It appears that the fuel docks at Schaeffers alongside the canal have reopened although the docks are in significant disrepair. (I would call ahead to determine that fuel is available.) Our speed immediately fell below 4 knots until we pumped up the RPM's.

We had less than a hour's ride to Reedy Island, a small, unattractive refuge with great protection from the west and the east, great holding, and a lot of current.

There were 4 boats including us staged here to ride a good current up the Delaware the following morning. We entered the anchorage after rounding "1CD" and had plenty of water to sneak in this back door as opposed to entering through the marked channel midway on the island. (I recall seeing very skinny water here on prior visits.) We exited similarly at 0530 the next morning by running parallel to the dike and exiting after the training wall ended at "R2".

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rehab for First Edition at Zahnisers

We completed our planned two week visit at Zahnisers in only three weeks as our projected work list grew (of course) after making the arrangements. Zahnisers has proven to be an excellent location for us, not only because of the quality of the work there, but also due to its proximity to our granddaughter, good restaurants (fine Chinese near the supermarket, and excellent chow at C&D Cafe in town)its great location for our usual transit, rental car availability, and a good hair salon. Now that is having your priorities straight!

Although I was somewhat restricted in accomplishing my assigned responsibilities, I did manage to give the external teak a maintenance coat of Cetol and take one set of cockpit lockers-catch-all's down to bare. Peter scrubbed and polished the bottom of the dink so that it looks like new, greased the winches, replaced all zincs,cleaned the bilge, hauled out and straightened out the anchor chain, installed a new Magma BBQ, stitched a rip in the jib (new one on order after 14 years of good use) and installed a new main halyard. All this while between two visits to NJ for doctor appointments (five hour drive each way), and being a compasionnate husband at the urging of my auntie.

Zahnisers pulled First Edition and applied bottom paint and waxed the hull, while Mooch's father Jim overhauled Mac the Merc, our outboard, repaired the cutlass bearing and serviced the Max Prop. Chuck, the electrical guru, added a third solar panel (welcome, New Girl!), worked on Arnie, the wind generator, installed a Sirius radio receiver so I can have news in the Bahamas and elsewhere, changed all breakers on the electrical panel and did a lot of labeling and rewiring (a general clean up of the rat's nest of wires that has grown back there over the 20 years of First Edition's life), did a little messing around with the Link 2000R which works but gives us perpetual problems, and mentored us on solar panels for our future home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It Doesn't Hurt when You're a Grammie

We decided to defer the long list of boat chores that need to be completed before we leave Zahnisers to accept an invitation to spend Father's Day weekend with Willow, and oh yeah, her parents. Having now acquiesced to the notion that I have RA, I can attest that the degree of discomfort declines proportionately to the distance you are from your granddaughter. She is like opium (I would guess). She takes away the pain.

Her grandfather Aye-Aye and I by special request dined at her favorite pizzeria/Italian restaurant while Lisa and Dave partied with friends. Fortunately the separation angst lasted about a minute, and the two of us enjoyed a nice meal with a very grown up 3 1/2 year old. We followed dinner with a visit to Dairy Queen, which Peter had eyed as we pulled in to the parking lot. As the chocolate machine was broken, Willow chose a vanilla cone, which we had dipped in chocolate. We suspect this is not something her parents would have endorsed, as they are quite good about instilling healthy eating habits. But, heh, isn't this what grandparents are for? Peter had so much fun teaching Willow how to bite around the chocolate shell, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

On Father's Day the guys went to a car show and we did our favorite thing, shop! Willow then made Fathers Day cards for Dad and Aye-Aye, and with coaching, Peter was able to see that Willow did in fact write "Aye-Aye" on the card.

Aye-Aye and Willow had a blast playing in her castle, with "polka dots to keep out the wind, or something" according to the chief resident.

For dinner, Dave and Lisa created this monster paella-like dinner in their patio paella pan, and I have not stopped thinking about it since. Of course, Little Miss Willow is always in my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fiona Legs

We have been out of commission while trying to determine the cause for my swollen legs, termed "Fiona Legs" by my hotelier, Donna, with whom we stayed in NJ while seeking a medical solution. Many ER visits, ultrasounds, blood work, and doctor visits later, I have received a diagnosis. It is not the dreaded Mrs. Shrek condition, rather, I have either rheumatoid arthritis (not my personal favorite), or, arthritis robusto. As the last is closer to my personality, I have chosen it as my affliction.

The fluid was removed from one knee and I recommend this only for your worst enemy. Both knees were shot with lidocaine, cortisone, and a time release form of anti-inflammatory. As a result, I can currently walk without appearing like The Hulk and my 101 degree temperature is now normal, well, under normal but there is very little about me is normal. Beat you to it.

Now, if someone can tell me how to deal with a daily medication that cautions against daily alcohol, I can cope with my new life. Please advise promptly.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Willow takes a Boat Ride

All winter every time we spoke with Willow she asked if she could come on the boat. We were finally able to load the family in the dinghy (new word) and don the life jacket, this outing Willow appearing less like an uncomfortable turtle than our prior boat ride. It was a good day for an easy sail up the Patuxent and as would be predicted, Willow was more fascinated with the living quarters than the works of a sailboat.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ann Marie's Garden

Our granddaughter and her parents arrived on Saturday at Solomons in time for a visit to Ann Marie's Garden, a local art park that is fun for all ages. Before entering the wooded park, Willow got to paint a small gourd and herself and her new tee shirt. Then we began our walk looking for hidden works and enjoying our little girl.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


When speaking with my friend Donna today I realized that we are really not homeless.

When we pulled into Beaufort, NC, having arrived from the Bahamas, we felt great "being home". Then, getting to Sarah Creek to visit my stepmom and staying a few days there was another reminder, home again.

Today we left Mill Creek, Virginia, the site of our future home and where we met up with our friends the Tillmans, who became the second boat to dock at our dock (we think). We are now back at Mill Creek on Solomons Island, Maryland, where our boatyard, Zahnisers, is located, yet another of our homes-away-from-the traditional home we no longer tend to. While here, I will fly to Florida to visit my aunt, at her home which is of course, my home too.

Our next home destination: the Rosenzweigs in New Jersey, whose hospitality has been previously documented and is on-going.

Yeah, sometimes it is tough not to have a place to walk to pick up your mail, or get in your car to drive to the grocery store, or to a doctor's, or to plant some tomatoes or impatiens. But it is great to have so many homecomings, and so many welcomings...

Grog Island on Dymer Creek

Before leaving Deltaville and heading to our property on Mill Creek in Virginia, we decided to take a short trip to "the gem of the Chesapeake", an island located on the way. The Chesapeake Bay Guidebook, 2007 Edition, described this spot as the gem of the Bay, with glistening sand beaches...a treasure...so how could we pass it up, having some time to kill. In fairness to the guidebook, it did mention that parts of the island were eroding into the Bay, and someday, it would disappear.

I wonder if these guys found what they expected.