Thursday, June 27, 2019

17th-21st.June.2019 Land Vacation at Margaret's

me and my sis

Serenada got left behind in Church Creek, while we enjoyed a land vacay courtesy of Margaret, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia; a historic port city very near Washington, DC. 

Ah, the comforts of returning to land life … real showers, TV, a dishwasher, going out for a stroll, not being in the same room together and always … topped off by being spoiled with dinners and wine, and Margaret's good company. Loved every second of it. 

We played tourists in Washington for a day, ascending the clock tower for a view of the National Mall, poking around the Trump Hotel, visiting some of the Smithsonian Institute and the sculpture garden.

myself & Margaret with 'Pumpkin' by Yayoi Kusama

Margaret & I well in front of the Capital 

view from the Clock Tower

Margaret gave us use of her second vehicle (she has a 'staging van' to help in presenting properties for sale) which we took advantage of to tour Old Town Alexandria, as well as load up on provisions for the boat. 

Behind us, the dinghy's trunk is overflowing

I'm a real sap when it comes to saying good-bye, and needless to say I shed a few tears when it was time to be on our way again.

Father's Day

Church Creek, South River, MD

On Father's Day we chose to escape the busy summer weekend at Sheephead Cove on the Rhode River, and found our way to Church Creek off the South River. This we decided, was a good place to leave our boat while we visited again with Margaret. Church Creek's high banks offered excellent protection from any winds, and we were on the outskirts of Annapolis - Margaret's suggested pick up location for us.

bald eagles watching over Serenada

The best part of Father's Day though was skyping with each of our children. We're missing them and wishing we could teleport at will. After hearing their stories of rarely seeing two consecutive days of sunshine, and battling thick mosquitoes; we are at least a little more thankful of being where we are.

15th.June.2019 Sharps Island Light

Sharps Island Light

Today, sailing from Casson Point on Little Choptank River, west across the Chesapeake Bay, we came across the Sharps Island Light. It stands nearly 3 miles SSW of the southern tip of Tilghman Island in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Doesn't it evoke the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Apparently it was an ice flow in 1977 which caused it to lean.

We continued west to the Rhode River, and anchored in Sheephead Cove. Looking at this cove on the charts, we expected it to be a quiet little spot, as there were no docks along its' shore. Were we wrong! It did happen to be a Saturday, and it certainly was a busy summer weekend of fun for all there. It reminded us of Big Chief Island on Lake Couchiching back home - filled with boats!

Thankfully, almost everyone leaves around the dinner hour …. leaving us in peace :)

sunset at Sheephead Cove, Rhode River, MD

14th.June.2019 A little drama

Calvert Cliffs

Sailing north from the Solomons, the Calvert Cliffs are a striking feature - steep red faced cliffs extending for miles. Apparently they are a fossil hunters haven, yielding evidence of life from the Miocene times (10 to 25 million years ago). Gil & I had visited the Calvert Marine Museum while in the Solomons, and saw many of these fossil finds, including an impressive megalodon skeleton replica (giant prehistoric shark).

Wind and wave conditions this day were rougher than forecast. Waves were close together and our going was 'bumpy' … so much so that one of our dinghy's supporting cables broke, causing it to ride vertically vs. horizontally on its' davit system. Every wave slapped against the lower hanging dinghy tube. We feared further damage might result, or at the very least we'd lose our dinghy's contents. There wasn't much we could do, however, but hope that it would hold out until we reached calmer water.

yikes … dinghy isn't suppose to hang like that!

We continued on to the Little Choptank River on the Chesapeake's eastern shore, and anchored inside Casson Point, where the water was calm and still. Surprisingly, nothing was lost overboard from the dinghy... oars, anchor, the small but very important plug for allowing water to drain out, even the cardboard box that the crabs we had purchased were put in ... nothing fell out. How lucky was that?

sunset at Casson Point, Little Choptank River

We doubled up on our safe arrival beers that afternoon.

sunrise at Casson Point

Several watermen were working these waters the following morning. Here, rather than using crab pots, the watermen were using trot lines (I think state regulations dictate the method chosen).

trot lining for blue crabs

Gil dinghied over to ask if we might buy some crabs, but was told that they were challenged this year to catch enough to fill their orders. We had heard similar stories from the watermen on Smith and Tangier Islands. It was explained to us that heavy rainfall upstream was lowering the salinity of the water and effectively causing the crabs to migrate downstream. Come to think about it, the folks downstream in Deltaville were telling us that they were having a record year for crabs!