Saturday, June 26, 2010

Arrrggghh! A Father's Day Adventure

The first time I saw Sea Gypsy of Pirate Adventures set sail in Annapolis Harbor, complete with 20 or so enthusiastic crew around the age of 5, I could not wait for Willow to sign on. So, nearly five years later, Willow, Lisa, Beth and I accompanied the celebrants, Dave and Aye-Aye (Willow's name for Peter)and set sail out of Back Creek for an hour and a half of treasure hunting.

Most of the kids were game for the costuming, including tatoos:

The crew was coached to sneak on the pirate ship, I was never clear why the sneaking was required but the kids got into it.

Once aboard, the flag was hoisted and of course, a treasure map discovered and studied for a floating treasure chest.

Before the plunder is shared, competing pirates are water hosed down. Willow would not take her spot at her own hose, as she said she did not want to make the bad guy mad at her and come after her.

The treasure chest is opened...the spoils are a big hit!

A good time was had by all, especially the grown ups.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

This was the third Father's Day celebrated with our family in Annapolis, once again with hotel accommodations arranged at one of the Historic Inns in town. I love these three little "hotels" which can be eitherly outrageously expensive or a bargain, depending upon some factor which I have been unable to determine but unrelated to the time of the visit. After Dave, Lisa and Willow arrived we had a late lunch and squeezed in a dinghy ride and visit to the end of Spa Creek to mess around in some sand.

We had a repeat visit to Tsunami, a wonderful sushi/seafood hotspot which I recalled served incredible food and liquid refreshments. I was not disappointed, and was successful in choosing a scrumptuous martini that conveniently matched my jewelry as well as satiating my one-drink-a-week creativity.

Who Knew?

That the turtle my friend Bev and I found from Junkanoo in Nassau, which was lugged around the Bahamas all winter (to the chagrin of the Captain) was a female named Gracie?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beth Arrives

Daughter Beth is our favorite visitor, and this time, we were treated to our granddog Charley as well. Beth really "gets" why we live the sailing life, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, cocktails in the cockpit, a breeze blowing over the bunk as you tuck in for the evening with the gentle sway on the anchor and your puppy at your feet.

When it hit the upper 90's, though, Beth was wondering how in creation we put up with this nonsense and perhaps craving the comforts of her Soho hideaway just a little bit.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back at Solomons

After our vacation cruising around the nearby creeks, we returned to Mill Creek and concluded our mission of mercy with our friends the Tillmans, completing the car and boat shuffle between Deltaville and our docks. We pounded into a north wind and all its related aggravations to get to Solomons Island for an appointment at Zahnisers, where we accepted their advice to leave The Pigs alone. The consensus was the cost to remediate the randomly clogging debris in the evaporator given the one-time occurence just wasn't justified. Pray for me. We had a good consult with Mooch's Dad and will return for a Yanmar periodic tweeking in the fall.

We found friends on Cloverleaf docked up river on Back Creek and joined them for dinner at the CD Cafe. This is a great place, but you absolutely cannot hear yourself think. We will not go back. Hoping for a birthday dinner at Vincenzo's, we were disappointed to find they are only open Thursday through Sunday, and instead, joined Bev and Dave with their friends Janet and John from Arcadian at The Naughty Gull at Spring Cove Marina. I was surprised at how good the food was, but could have done without the trivial pursuit game being announced over a loudspeaker and played by persons unknown and unseen. I guess age is catching up with my lack of tolerance for noise.

Now, we need to rush to Annapolis to meet up with the kids and WILLOW!!! for a Father's Day/Birthday Celebration.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Indian Creek

A couple of hours north of the Rappahannock you will find Indian Creek, home to the Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club as well as multiple fine, deep anchorages. We took on diesel at the Chesapeake Boat Basin, where I would not want to fuel up in strong winds unless you can turn on a dime.

We ignored the warnings about less than perfect holding at Pitman Cove and set the hook for the evening, sharing the spot with one other boat. It was hot! While fueling up I noticed an abundance of nettles here, which the dockhand promised would be gone within a few weeks. No swimming today.

Instead, we dinked around looking at houses and wildlife, with the ospreys squawking at each daymarker as we peaked at their new arrivals.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Corrotoman

A hop, skip and a jump down river from Carters Creek is the Corrotomon River, a little piece of heaven. Although in recent years there has been a lot of development here, it remains a wonderland of woodland hideaways and hidey-holes, with anchorages too numerous to count, most with deep water and few other boats to share your space.

We chose to anchor on the west side of the River opposite Bell Creek to wait out the 25-30 knots of weather and thunderstorms, neither of which ever happened here. We stayed for two days during which time the Captain attempted to fix one of the heads (key word here is attempt)and I can't tell you one thing that I accomplished. I guess that is the goal of retirement.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Carters Creek

We left Prentice Creek and headed to our dock in order to avoid the nasty weather in store of us the following day when we retrieved the Tillman's car to pick them up at Deltaville. After concluding that mission we took off the next day at 7:30 for a long trip to get to Solomons to see Zahnisers, now with less urgency, and have dinner with Michel and Carole on Emotion 3. Not to happen...north winds on the Bay create a nasty chop and when combined with the wind on the nose when headed in the same direction, result in a very uncomfortable and slow ride. So, we headed south instead and landed at Carters Creek off of the Rappahannock River.

Carters Creek is home to The Tides Inn, a formerly grand resort that had fallen on hard times until its recent acquisition. Although we have not been there recently, it would appear to have been a successful investment for the new owners.

We anchored in Yopps Cove, the first tributary on the right, finding decent water in a typical Northern Neck anchorage of private homes lining the shores. A dinghy ride down adjacent Eastern Branch will lead you to Custom Yacht Services where you can tie up and walk into the town of Irvington. Here, you will find the Trick Dog restaurant, which despite its ambience and very good food at New York prices has turned over 3 times since we have been coming here. You will also find a Starbucks-like local coffee shop where you can buy newspapers and baked goodies, and several clothing boutiques...but no provisioning opportunities.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Prentice Creek on Dividing Creek

We had a leisurely departure from Onancock after taking on diesel, water, and a pumpout. Our tour guide had chosen Dividing Creek as our destination and since we had two sails compared to their single one, got there first and decided on Prentice Creek found on a port tributary after entering. What a lovely spot! Protection can be had from nearly every point of the compass.

We found the creek to be nettle free (unlike at Onancock where I discovered what it is like to be stung by a jellyfish)and had a jolly good swim until the skies darkened and we decided to split up our rafted boats. It rained like crazy but mother nature failed to take any of the heat away.

Inexplicably, our Frigoboat freezer decided to act up. We set the temperature at 13 degrees, and when I awoke the next morning to 30 degrees, had a major "uh oh" moment. Peter immediately contacted Zahnisers to see if they could take us in and despite their workload agreed to find time for us when we planned to arrive two days later (after we helped the Tillmans with delivering their boat for repair). Mysteriously, several hours later, the compressor motor restarted, but failed to chill. About an hour later, chilling began and many, many hours later got to set temperature. Very weird. Now working fine. But obviously something is amiss.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


On Saturday night the Tillmans and Phase II limped into Mill Creek with their self-furling main stuck in the sail track, having snapped off of the halyard during the trip from Baltimore. Plying them with alcoholic beverages did little to lighten their spirits. The next day, Peter hoisted Len up the mast and they successfully off-loaded the mainsail. As it was Memorial Day weekend, a repair was not to be in the cards, but with little wind predicted for the next several days, we decided that sailing with a headsail only was not such a bad thing, and a vacation materialized.
Nasty weather kept us tied to our docks until Wednesday the 2nd, when we took off across the Bay for the Eastern Shore and Onancock Creek. Before we took off, the neighbors checked us out from their perch.

It took about six hours of very casual sailing to reach Onancock. The creek entrance is extremely well marked, and the channel is deep--the least we saw was 8 1/2 feet, and I think I was slightly out of the channel at that. It takes about an hour to reach the anchorage in front of the town once you enter the channel and fortunately, we were the only boats here on this evening. Perhaps six boats could anchor here, but they would have to be close friends. We anchored past the "37" marker by the neck separating the central and south branches. We sounded the south branch and determined a few boats could anchor inside, but staying in the center favoring the western shore and not exceeding 100 feet past the docks to the east.

We toured the town the next day and had lunch. There are a few cool shops but little else for entertainment. My companions thought this destination worth a return visit, but for me, it was a "been there, done that" spot.