Saturday, October 30, 2010
Our friends joined us here in the anchorage and tomorrow we will enter the ICW through the Dismal Swamp. Isn't that a great name? Make you want to come?
While traveling into Norfolk up the river, we passed numerous battleships and aircraft carriers. Too bad we haven't found a camera store yet! Our anchorage is across from the Wisconsin, a museum battleship. We had to take our little dinghy around the huge battleship to shore. It certainly gives you an appreciation of the size and power of a ship like that.
Friday, October 29, 2010
We spent the day in Hampton, Va. Arrived last night and are staying at the Hampton Public Piers for two nights. The boats for the Caribbean 1500 are assembling here in Hampton, and are supposed to leave on Monday, Nov 1. Also power boaters are coming for the Hampton University football game tomorrow. So Sat morning we are moving across the river and anchoring in Portsmouth, VA and waiting for some friends to arrive from Deltaville via their boat.
Today we went to the Virginia School of Hair Design after breakfast. I got a $5 haircut, and Joy got a facial, manicure and pedicure. The total cost was $45 for everything. The students have to do about 1,500 hours. The lady who cut my hair is doing a career change from nursing to hair cutting. She does not want to work the night shifts as a nurse.
After Virginia School of Hair Design, we split up. Mom went to Hampton University Art Museum, and I went to the Virginia Air and Space Museum which is next door to our dock. They had a good IMAX 3D movie about building the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Lot of good exhibits, better than some of the exhibits at the Smithsonian Air Museum.
Tonight we are going out to dinner at Marker 20, popular restaurant that has bands on Friday and Saturday night.
Then tomorrow morning we have to move across the river and anchor at Hospital Point and wait for Chuck and Patty.
ps The only camera store in Hampon went out of business. We hope to buy one at the next city, Elizabeth, VA.
We are staying at the Hampton City Marina for 2 nights with one free night coupon that Joe got at the Annapolis Boat Show. After arriving, we had dinner on the boat and took a short walk around town, trying to find the interesting parts of town- cobblestone streets, quaint shops, restored homes, etc. Just as we got to that area, rain showers started and we headed back to the boat. Joe found the Science Museum and IMAX to explore and I will head back to town and probably over to Hampton University Museum tomorrow. The museum holds a large collection of African and American Indian art and numerous sailors have mentioned it as worth seeing.
The Caribbean 1500 leaves from this port on Monday, so there are about 70 sailboats at marinas in town participating. They will leave from the Chesapeake to sail directly to Tortola, about a 10 day crossing. There are some huge sailboats(60-70 feet) that we passed as we came into the harbor. All weekend there are events- dinners, seminars, etc for this annual trek. We met a couple in early July at Put-in-Bay that are going and we will try to look them up while here.
One last note- Josh is on his way to Suriname, South America, with a group of doctors from Johns Hopkins. Suriname is in the north, bordering Brazil and the ocean, and the smallest country in SA. He gave us a call last night from Curacao, where he was getting on a plane for their last leg. He reported that he worked from 7pm to 2am Wed night, showered at the hospital, and went directly to the airport for a 6am flight. He fell asleep as soon as he got on the plane to Miami and didn't wake up until after landing. What a schedule! The group will travel by helicopter into several different villages to provide medical care while there. Josh is the only first year resident in the group. What a great experience that should be!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
We are having a great time here in Deltaville and the good news is that our three projects are finished.
The stove project was a success- 90%. The three burners are work well, the stove is giving us a little trouble but we have to experiment in the best way to keep it at temperature for cooking. Need to buy a stove thermometer at a hardware store at our next stop.
The engine project is finished. We had the starter cables replace, a new belt installed. We also purchased a new alternator, 60 amps, current one is 50 amp., A new water pump to go with our
impeller kits. Figured after talking to people, these are two critical parts to have especially out of the States. Even learned how to replace the alternator belt, and how the alternator is attached to its housing.
Had another nice dinner with everybody in the marina. People bring their food to share at the covered picnic area on D dock. Usually have about 12 people eating together starting between 5:30 and 6:30 pm.
We are going to leave today for Hampton, VA.
Joy will write about today's activities after we get there
Monday, October 25, 2010
The engine project ended up replacing the two cables for the starter, replacing some wires that were rubbing and wearing out their insulation, and tomorrow they will finish the engine project with a new belt and adjusting the alternator. We are getting a spare alternator and two belts to put in our spare parts locker.
The stove project has all the tubing in place, the stove connected up to the tubing.
Still to do is the mounting of the solenoid and the gas regulator and hooking up the gas supply to the grill on the back of the boat. That also should be done by Tuesday night.
Joy worked on the cockpit floor trying to glue down pieces. I went to the store for some supplies. They have a car here that you can use for one hour, costs $1 for gas but you have to stay in Deltaville.
Tonight we had a group dinner with 5 other boaters who have been south to the Bahamas. Had some nice tips about sailing south. Some of the group will be traveling south to the Bahamas. One couple is going to Mexico after they get to Florida.
It will be interesting to see if the yard finishes tomorrow. The heater guy never showed up, and other people have been complaining that it is taking much more time to finish jobs than they were promised. Lots of complaints about spare parts not getting her on time, or the wrong parts showing up.
ps still not pictures as no camera.
pps This is added on Tuesday morning 6:30 am. I am slowly adjusting to the fact that one has to always to remember that everything does not get done on time, and that in the boating world this is especially true. There many people here in Deltaville who are in the same situation we are in, they want to get the boat fixed and get going. Still it is nice that we can sit down and have dinner together, sharing our experiences in life with each other.
We just found out that one of the women has breast cancer, and has to return home for treatment. They had planned on going to the Bahamas this winter, but now their life is changing and they are on a different path.
I was thinking about what I was thinking when I fell in on Saturday. Thankfully Joy was there to give me a big hand. I was fortunate that I was not injured too badly, like hitting my head on the dock when I fell in. That would have been extremely serious. It only takes a split second for your life to change, either an accident or receiving some health news.
We are grateful for what we have. We are thankful for the gift of each other
Sunday, October 24, 2010
We drove 30 minutes to church today to a very nice church, Church of Frances de Salles, in Matthew, VA. It was a very musically and community oriented service. We stayed for coffee and talk to Rosemary who told us all about the parish. They have a fairly new pastors, two years or so, who replaced an African American pastor. We are talking about rural Virginia which is a very conservative place.
After church we drove to Walmart to buy engine oil. It is about $5/gallon cheaper than the marine stores. We change oil every 50 hours, so that is about every 8 days or so.
Also tried to find a battery for my phone. Jen had sent me my replacement phone but it came with no battery. I was supposed to put the old battery in the replacement phone but the battery got wet when I fell off the dock.
We spent the rest of the afternoon with Joe on a PBE conference call, and Joy talking to other boaters here for repair work. The marina has an enclosed picnic indoor area with grills and tables. Met more new boaters who are here for repairs.
Ate our leftovers from gong out to eat with Reid Ashe for dinner tonight.
PS no pictures until we get a new camera. Ours was in my pocket when I fell off the dock.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The projects on the boat should be finished by Tuesday late afternoon. We have found a couple of other boats heading down to the Bahamas and we plan on sailing with them.
In the afternoon I had gone to Yorktown to visit the National Park site. Joy stayed back to work on her flooring project. She is working the flooring in the cockpit, trying to glue down all the strips of wood that are loose. I was very impressed by the Park Ranger who led my tour. She talked about the siege of Yorktown, how American artillery fired over 15,000 cannon balls into the British position. Eventually the British knew they ad to surrender when their plan to escape by boats down the York River did not work out. The French fleet defeated the British rescue fleet and drove them back to New York City. Yorktown is definitely worth going to.
At night, one of fraternity brothers from the Class of 1970, Reid Ashe, drove down from Richmond and we went out to dinner at this place called the Whitestone Wine and Cheese Shop. It is a small restaurant built around wine and cheese for sale. On Sat night they have a fixed price menu which Reid and Joy choose. They had a scallop/cheese bisque, tomato brescetta, and lasagna rolls for starters. Joy had a chicken dish, Reid had a sausage/pasta dish. Joe with his food allergies had Caesar salad along with fish which was tasty. We got to the boat after 9:30 or so and it was time to hit the bunks.
ps Pictures today are from Yorktown, the cannon shown is over 230 years old, it was a British cannon that was seized after the British surrendered. The other picture shows the trenches that were dug by both sides to protect their troops from artillery fire.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Also the stove people came and looked out the galley area and have ordered all the parts they need. We most likely will not get out of here until Sunday. So only a couple of days delay.
Spent some time today riding a bike around town. Thought I found a great dessert place called Moo's Sweet Shop but found out that they got out of sweets and now it is just a deli. Open for breakfast and lunch but no sweets. Not even sorbet, just plain ice cream. Think we are going there for breakfast tomorrow. We have been eating on the boat. Helps keep our expenses to a semi reasonable level.
One of the older ladies we have met has spent 13 years sailing around the world with her husband. One of leg of their voyage he became ill and she had to sail their boat around South Africa. Then she hired some professional crew and sailed from South Africa to the Caribbean.
That is about it for tonight. I started my inventory project where we will itemize all major items in the boat on a spreadsheet so we can find things when they are needed. The more detail we want, the bigger the job.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
#1- Our stove is fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG); however, CNG distributers are very difficult to find. There are none in the Chesapeake and maybe one in Florida. When we called the company that made our stove, they tell us the suppliers are listed on their website, but when you call the suppliers, they all have stopped supplying it. We have known that we need to convert to propane, which is available everywhere. Our original thought was to have it done in Florida while the boat sits over Christmas, but the yard here can do it in 2 days, so it looks like we will be here at least until the weekend.
#2- We rebedded all our chain plates this summer with a product recommended by our boat yard manager. Come to find out, it was the wrong product, and one chain plate has started leaking. The chain plate supports the stays which support the mast, so it is a very vulnerable part of a sailboat. To remove the old product and rebed with the appropriate product is necessary. Thus, we will probably have the boatyard tackle this.
#3 Our boat heater has been on the blitz. They can at least look at it, diagnose the problem and possibly fix it without having to send it back to the factory, which is what we were told before.
In the meantime, we spent the day by borrowing the loaner car to run some errands, moved the boat to the marina so they can work on it, met more interesting people in the boaters' lounge, and had Chuck and Pat for supper on our boat. Chuck and Pat are the couple that Joe mentioned that have been on their boat for 3 years and are getting a watermaker in preparation for cruising to Mexico and Honduras. We also chatted with an older woman, who has been on their boat for 13 years and circumnavigated the world. Quite impressive! Probably not in our cards, but very interesting to talk with.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Photo today is of a young couple we just met at sunset who are anchored next to us. She is from Scotland/England and has actually been on a Westerly Sealord over in Scotland. High Spirits is on the boat on the right.
I gave blood today the Red Cross who was having a blood drive down the street from the marina. We were talking to this cute cafe when I spotted the sign, so I gave after lunch. Joy is still getting over her cold so she had to pass.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
We went to the best church so far on our trip today. Our Lady of the Star Sea; lots singing by the congregation, and a lot of people there for 9 am service. For lunch we went to an Italian restaurant and got to chat with the new owner. He bought it in April 2010. Actually he is on a lease for a couple of years. He was a chef in DC for the past 15 years or so and wanted to open his own place.
Solomon was a great place to visit. We got a marina rate of $1/foot and we able to rent a car at a decent rate to drive to see Jen. Tomorrow I have to return the car first thing in the morning and then we are off for Virginia. Hope to be in Norfolk and the start of the ICW by next Sunday.
We visited the Calvert Maritime Museum. A large part of the museum is dedicated to fossils as the Calvert Cliffs are loaded with fossils laid down over the last 100 million years or so. In fact there was a young lady, about 18, working on a fossil she found sticking out of the cliffs while taking a walk on her grandmother's property.
Joy went shopping today so now we have a new rechargeable lantern, new grill for the back of the boat, and new containers for the refrigerator. I have been told to keep out of the refrigerator as I do not put stuff back where " it belongs". Actually I am not that bad.
No photos today, forgot to take the camera to the Museum. I did spend the afternoon after the museum working on his bills, back emails, and a conference call at 4 pm regarding my fraternity at MIT. So we are keeping busy with life in general. Joy got to talk to her co worker Shirley this afternoon.
More tomorrow from Reedville
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
She had not been feeling well the past week and had a doctor's appointment for Thursday, but Wed evening she went to the Urgent Care facility and they sent her to the hospital. She is fine now. She ended up spending Wed night in observation, and was discharged on Thursday late evening.
Of course, we rented a car at 9 am on Thursday morning and drove to the hospital. We mostly took care of Erin for the day so Mark could take care of Adam and be with Jennifer. Thankfully
everything ended up okay.
Tomorrow, Sat, we will be returning to High Spirits to continue our trip on Monday. We can not return the car on Sat as Enterprise does not do pickups or drop offs on Sat. So we will drop it off early Monday morning, get a ride back to the boat and depart for Crisfield, MD. Crisfield is on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay, about a 7 hours trip. We may detour to another place on the western shore if they contact us about converting our stove from CNG to propane.
Enough excitement for the week. We ended up having a good time with the grand kids.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Hello from Solomons Island, on the west bank of the Chesapeake. We left Herrington North today, a day early as the weather for the next couple of days indicates heavy rain and high winds and we figured we would rather be in a town than a marina out in the middle of nowhere.
Herrington North is a nice marina but there is no town around it. It is third on our lists of potential homes for High Spirits after full time cruising is finished. First place right now is Annapolis, second is Baltimore. We are looking for a place to sail out of during the Spring and Fall, while up in New London in the Winter and Summer.
Today's ride took about 6 hours, half under power and half under sail only. After we landed Joy headed over to West Marine to look for parts for our broken outside grill and some caulking compound. After trying to fix the grill for the 5th time, she finally decided that we should buy a new one. It got damaged during one of my famous docking episodes, the one in Buffalo, NY.
That was the lesson of: "if you think should not go there, then don't go there". I however went there and ended up with a broken grill.I went off to the supermarket and picked up a few items for our boat pantry.
We are staying at the Holiday Inn & Marina. We met the owners, John and Monica Simpson, in Baltimore when we visited Josh and Rachel. They were there for the trawler show. It is a nice marina with clean facilities and use of the hotel.
Today's picture is the place we had dinner at tonight. Joy liked the name. Food was okay, not great, but the price was fair, so overall a good deal.
Joy is under the weather with a bad cold. Thus no blog last night.
Bye for now, until the next odd day.
Monday, October 11, 2010
They are a little bit past our checkbook balance.
We did buy some new items for the boat including a Honda gasoline generator as a backup power source, a EPIRB distress radio, a single burner butane camping stove,and new maps for Virginia. I found a marina that we probably will stop at that might be able to convert our CNG stove to a Propane stove. The problem is that there is no CNG to purchase to operate our stove. We have one empty cylinder and one that is less than 50% full. With no CNG we have no hot food unless we are at a marina and use our electric hot plate and toaster oven using shore power.
We used the kid's gift certificate at Calaway Bay for lunch today. I had a delicious bowl of lamb stew. Joy had a bleu cheese steak sandwich. Thanks kids for the treat. It was a great break from walking all over the Boat Show.
However, when we got back to the boat today we discovered that one of the hot water tank hoses had broken and leaked water into the engine bilge. We pumped it out, Fortunately we are going to a Marina tomorrow, weather permitting, that has a boat yard and we should be able to get a new hose made up to fix the problem. We can foot pump out cold water.
It is raining now but hopefully will blow out by tomorrow morning.
Matter of fact it is pouring like crazy, good test to see what leaks we have.
One of my oldest friends, Dick Van Os Keuls from 7th grade, came and visited us today and went to the boat show with us. He lives in Silver Springs, about 7 miles from Jennifer. He
is an architect. He was an usher in our wedding party. Google his name and you will see the stories about his house which he is covering with aluminum cans as a siding material.
Joy visited her mother's friend, Shirley Eustis, who went to Colby with Jean in the 40s. Shirley lives in Annapolis and is an artist. She also volunteers once a week at the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in the Archives Department.
No pictures today, as we did not take the camera to the boat show.
Tomorrow we are off to Herrington North Marina in Deale, MD. Thank goodness they have a boat yard, as we will need a new hose for our hot water heater. Keeping our fingers crossed that the weather heater was not damaged by the water leak.
While waiting for the shuttle to pick me up and take me back to our marina, I met an older woman who has been living on her boat with her husband full time for the past 4 years. They have been all over the Islands, and now are planning an Atlantic crossing with just the two of them for crew. She is very excited about her dock reservation in London starting in November. They have plans for an 18 month stay in northern Europe.
One good thing about going to the boat show is that you met people who are just like us. Perfectly sane to fellow boaters, but maybe from another person's perspective, a little out there on the edge.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Today was also "let us find out how difficult it is to have prescriptions renewed after taking them for 10 years or so. Turns out my prescriptions had to be written out on paper and could not be electronically refilled by the Cleveland Clinic Home Delivery System. Hard to believe that there does not exist system to eliminate paper prescriptions within the CCF system. They blame the fact that an outside firm actually handles the transmissions and I am "not" in their system, even though I have been a CCF patient for 15+ years.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Well today is an odd day so it is my turn to write. We are moored in Lake Olegton, just south of Annapolis. We had a great sail down the Bay from Baltimore, moving about 6 knots. We were
in Baltimore for 12 days. The weather finally cleared out from the rain, and so we took off.
It took about 5 hours to sail down to Lake Olegton. Tomorrow we are going over to St. Michaels and Oxford for three days. Then we are coming back to the west side of the Bay to go to the sailboat show at Annapolis. Jen, Mark, Erin and Adam are coming to Solomon Island for the weekend of Oct 17.
Interest move today at the fueling dock. We had a stiff cross wind and I was hoping to to drift into the fuel dock right into the bumpers at the diesel pump. However I miscalculated the wind and landed at the dock, short of the pump and short of the bumpers. Also had a little forward speed: results: several scratches on the starboard side of the boat. Good news: nobody was injured. That is the first rule of safety. You can have an incident, but as long as nobody gets injured and there is no hole in the boat, well than it is okay. It is kind of link the airplane summary: any intact landing is a good landing.
Joy has gone to bed at 8:17 pm. It gets dark really early now. Our heater on the boat does not heat, it pumps air but not hot air. We have decided to wait until we come back to get it fixed. They have to take it out of the boat and send it to the factory. Take about 2 weeks, and we would have to go back to the dealer who took it out.
We are trying to get to Virginia by the end of October.
ps pictures are from the trip today down the Bay and Lake Olegton.