Monday, October 29, 2018

Time at the Dirthouse and Now Back to Cruising

After we enjoyed 3 quiet days and nights anchored in the Magothy River we saw predictions that the powerful Hurricane Michael, that decimated parts of Florida’s panhandle, would come all the way across the US and bring wind and rain to the Chesapeake later in the week.  So, since we had already planned to tie up at Pleasure Cove Marina for a  bit over a week as a place to safely leave InSpeyered 2 while we flew home, we decided to move sooner and pulled anchor on Wednesday 10/10.  It was a short run of 14 miles back up north on the Bay to Bodkin Creek where Pleasure Cove is tucked into a protected area.  Marinas always mean work, so I spent the day cleaning inside the boat and Al spent the day cleaning the outside.  Pleasure Cove was recommended by friends who left their car in the marina’s lot to be moved to Florida at a later date.  So we had access to their car and the marina was very nice which made for a couple of pleasant days to pass the time until our flight took us home for a week. The trip home was made primarily to attend a wedding celebration for a long time friend, Mike, and his new bride, Jane.

The remnants of Michael did pass over us with some boat cleaning, fresh water rain and some wind but it didn’t do any damage.  Al caught this heavy cloud reflecting the sunset over Pleasure Cove Marina.  While there, we had a great overnight visit with our friends on Leilani who live in the Annapolis area.  They had other boater friends also visiting so it was a fun night of 4 boat living couples sharing cruising stories.  

The highlight for me while home, was spending time with “my girls” who make up the Heiss family. We also met up with home friends for some meals out and some nice walks, along with the required annual doctor visits.  It was an accomplished week at the dirthouse.  
We flew back to Baltimore airport on Monday 10/22 and were happily greeted by Jim and Linda from Leilani who then drove the 4 of us into Annapolis to have delicious crab cakes at our favorite Chesapeake restaurant, Chick and Ruth’s.  Great way to arrive back to our water home!!

We were back to cruising south on the Chesapeake in the afternoon on Tuesday 10/23.  The morning was spent stocking up with much needed groceries, filling tanks with drinking water and prepping to get back to our cruising life.   Plus I got in a fast 3 mile walk! Our 30 mile cruise took us under the massive Chesapeake Bay Bridge.      


It also took us past the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse which I already wrote about the summer we spent as Chesapeake tourists in 2016. The conditions for this short cruise were calm so except for the glare of the October sun low in the sky, making the search for crab pots a slight challenge, it was an uneventful afternoon.  We vowed to avoid cruising in late afternoon sun! 

Our destination was an anchorage we’ve enjoyed in the past, on the Rhode River.  And as always, we were treated to a lovely but chilly sunset. Gotta get moving south, the fall weather is getting cold.  

The thing we like about the Rhode River anchorage is the close proximity to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Facility where there is a nice public dock and great hiking trails.  Since Wednesday was too windy on the Bay to travel, we took Victory Lap to the dock and had a brisk walk in the woods away from the cold wind.  Before leaving for our walk, we discovered that the refrigerators were warming up and only the freezer was running.  So we did some immediate ice making and moved the most perishable food to the freezer. That night was too cold to go out to watch the sunset and we were glad for extra blankets on the bed for sleep.  Temps dropped into the high 40’s in the night! Not so good for living on a boat, but the cold temps helped to not stress the refrigerators. And the soup I made in the crockpot, could be put outside on deck over night to stay cold!   

Thursday, 10/25 we crawled out of bed into our chilly stateroom and donned warm clothes to get started cruising early in an attempt to get as far south on the Chesapeake as we could.  We needed to get to Zimmerman Marine to have the inverter chargers worked on, plus the new job of fixing the refrigerators and we only had two good weather days to get as close as possible.  The cold morning was made a tad worse when the anchor chain came up solidly caked in thick mud. My hands were plenty cold once the chain was clean and the anchor was cleanly pulled up to the bow pulpit.  On the way, I snapped the picture of the trees that were just beginning to change color.  Colder weather at least makes the scenery pretty! 

Also along the way, we crossed paths with this gigantic commercial ship that was getting steering assist from the tug attached to its stern by cable.  The tug could move side to side to pull the stern around for turning.  We managed to cover 87 miles to reach Mill Creek off the Great Wicomico River before the sun started getting low in the sky.  It was a long and at times choppy cruise but we were happy to have gotten so far south.  Our Zimmerman destination was only 50+miles away and doable on Friday before the wind was predicted to increase late in the day.  

Mill Creek is well protected so it was a quiet night spent with 6 other sailboats sharing the anchorage. 

We made it to Zimmerman by mid afternoon just in time to have an extra foot of water with help from the tide so we could pass through the very shallow entry way into the cove where Zimmerman has their working docks.  Here we sit just off the East River which flows into Mobjack Bay with other boats all needing some work.  

We love the sign in front of Zimmerman’s office.  This place has an excellent reputation for doing solid work on boats so we were feeling good about getting here before the weather turned rainy and windy.  We had a quiet weekend sitting and waiting for the work to commence on Monday.  

This place has a courtesy car so we treated ourselves to pizza Saturday late afternoon and had a nice surprise that the town of Matthews, Virginia was celebrating Halloween in the town’s business square.  Yesterday, Sunday was clear so we got to know our boat neighbors and had docktails on the aft deck of the Kadey-Krogen.  The conversation started with “what are you in here for” as if we were all in the waiting room of a hospital’s emergency room;  well we are in fact all a little injured or broken with need for a boat yard repair!  
Today is Monday and so far we know we need a part for the refrigeration, more testing on the battery chargers and oh, we also have oil leaking from one of the engines and that requires a part as well.  So we’ll settle into this yard for a few more days!  

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