Thursday, June 30, 2011

Annapolis, MD

I just noticed that it has been an entire week since I last posted anything about High Spirits and her adventures.  Sad to report, nothing super exciting, we did not run around, we did not get caught in any major thunderstorms, we are just having a great time and time kind of got away from me and my postings.

We have been in Annapolis since Sunday, June 26 having a great time with David and Peg Shaake and David's parents, John and Carol.  John and Carol have a condo in Shearwater Condos on Spa Creek.
Shearwater has a guest dock which we are currently using.  Picture of the four of them at the Fleet Reserve Club where John is a member.  The Fleet Reserve Club is for retired Naval, Marine and Coast Guard members with Air Force and Army veterans eligible as associate members.

On Monday we spent time at the Naval Academy walking around the grounds, visiting the Chapel( picture behind the altar) , the crypt of John Paul Jones (under the Chapel floor), and the Naval Academy museum.  Very interesting, everybody should visit the Academy.

On Tuesday, Jen picked us up and we went down to Hyatsville for the day to spend it with Adam and Erin,( also with Jen and Mark. We went to their softball game, unfortunately they lost.

On Wednesday,   Joy took Erin to summer camp, Jen took Adam with her and on Wed morning I got a haircut   Hyattsville is a nice little town, you can walk to a lot of places.

Peg picked us up and we went shopping at the grocery store. We had Peg, David and John over for dinner.  Carol was at book club meeting..

Today, June 30, has turned out to be a get work done day. Ordered new oil filters and new set of seals for the front head.

In a little while we will head back downtown via the dinghy and do some last minute walking around, plus looking for a hardware store to get a key copy.

Going to a concert tonight with the 4 Shaake's, should be fun.  Then tomorrow we head to Baltimore where we stay at Inner Harbor East. Marnie and Doug will be arriving in Baltimore on July 3 so we have stuff planned for them.  Fireworks on July 4 on their boat.


Relaxing in Oxford, MD with the Sadlers

Sat, June 25, 2011 finds us in the wonderful company of Ken and Sarah Sadler in the beautiful eastern shore  Chesapeake Bay. Ken and Sarah live in Oxford, MD.  Oxford has a population of 800, the biggest town of Easton, population 10,000.
We met Ken and Sarah in the Bahamas, they have a catamaran sailboat and sailed with us for the second half of our Bahamas trip plus were part of the flotilla back to Florida in May. 

Since my last posting we have continued to travel north stopping in Sandy Hook, an anchorage next Reedville, MD for an overnight.  Very quite place and I have included a picture of sunset at Sandy Hook, wonderful sky colors. 

Then it was up to Solomon, MD where suddenly we were being paged on the VHF by Butch and Debbie. They had left Deltaville the day before us but stopped an additional place so they caught up with us. We had planned on anchoring out in Solomon Harbor but went into a nice marina and spent the day with them, including bar hopping at two bars for dinner. 

On Saturday we had lunch with  Brooks and Maureen, from our first half of Bahamas trip for lunch in Easton.  The Sadlers joined us for lunch as Ken is a potter and Maureen is a water colorist. Had a nice time and walked around several art galleries after lunch.

Then things kind of got a little crazy.  I had gotten an email from FACEBOOK about Josh's birthday party that night up in  Baltimore on the Tiki Barge.  Next thing you know, Joy is thinking"  Too bad we are not on the west side of the Bay.  Wonder how far it is to Baltimore from Oxford?". Then Sarah says "Let's go".  SO we ended up driving an hour and a half up to Baltimore, the four of us.  Got to the Tiki Barge, NO JOSH.  called him on Rachel's phone. They were across the street having dinner.

Told him where we were, he did not believe us at first.  Walked over to the Little Havana Restaurant and found Josh, Rachel, Tim Weale( from high school), Sid from NYC( he was best man at Josh and Rachel's wedding, and Cary, a friend from Minot who moved to Baltimore.  They stayed for another drink ( on my tab) then went to Tiki Barge.  We stayed for dinner, delicious Cuban sandwich.  I drove back as I don't drink, so I am the designated driver.  Great Time

So the next day after church, we dropped the mooring and headed north to Annapolis


Photos below

Sarah, Joe, Joy, Brooks, Maureen, & Ken at lunch

Rachel and Josh and us at Little Havana Restaurant in Baltimore

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Richmond, VA

Well, we have been busy lately. We are in Deltaville, VA having some electrical repair wok done on the boat.  Pulled into Deltaville on Sunday afternoon after a sail/motor trip up from Norfolk, Va.  Weather was not the greatest but not too bad.

We drove to Richmond, VA on Monday, June 20 and had dinner with Reid and Lisa Ashe at their home.  Reid and I go back to MIT as fraternity brothers.  We generally get to see them once a year at Reunion, but have seen them 3 times in the last year and a half as we travelled by car and then by boat.

Tuesday morning, Joy and I spent abut 5 hours touring Richmond and its role in the Civil War. The Tredegar Iron Works has been converted into a National Park. At Tredegar most of the cannons used by the South were cast in that facility.  The Iron Works are free, you can get you parking for free is you have a National Park Pass( best buy in town, $10 for life, if you are a senior citizen).

Next door is the American Civil War Center which is a private non profit museum housed in the old Tredegar Foundry building.  The Civil War Center is centered around three major themes:  Union, Home, and AfricanAmerican.  It is a good 2 hour visit with 4 short 10 minute films that explore the Causes of the Civil War, Impact on Home life, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Legacy and Memory of the War.  We would suggest anybody travelling to Richmond or through Richmond should stop and see both he Iron Works and the Civil War Center.

Drove back to Deltaville Tuesday night and had dinner with John, Sue,Butch and Debbie. 

Plan on leaving today at noon time if all projects are finished.  Good possibility as Stu is finishing up the fourth project this morning.

Have to finish washing clothes and go food shopping.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Touring Norfolk on F.R.E.D.

Saturday was spent touring Norfolk on F.R.E.D., a Free Ride Every Day, an all electric vehicle. FRED is run by the Business Bureau and available by a phone call..   Note the car behind the picture of Joy and Debbie with driver AJ.  We set off on foot to take the light rail which is not up and running yet, so after stopping in a coffee shop to ask about the light rail, we were told to call FRED, free and no tips allowed.  We were picked up and driven through town to the historical district and Pagoda which we were interested in seeing. The Pagoda was a gift from Taiwan to Norfolk for the trade that they share and an excellent use of space that was an old chemical tank.  The base supports for the tower now support the Pagoda and a lovely urban Asian park was built around the Pagoda.   After our short stroll through that part of town we found our way to a sushi restaurant for lunch.  In the meantime Joe and Butch were seeing the Green lantern movie, and joined us in the afternoon for touring the Wisconsin and the Nauticus museum.  We enjoyed their company over the last few days.  Butch owned a bakery in Poland, Ohio, which is where my Aunt Sally and Uncle Bill Foster live.  Debbie had a hair salon and they sold everything to live on their boat about a year ago, having just been married a year.  Debbie is also a spunky, lively lady, who doesn't know how to swim and gets seasick but she was lovesick first, so Butch and the boat won out.

The last picture is of an 1800s Abbey which is now a wonderful restaurant where we had supper.  Debbie and I found it while touring the historical section of Norfolk.  Stained glass windows adourn the entreeway and bar.  Beautiful!

On Sunday we all left Norfolk early, about 6am and headed up the Chesapeake for Deltaville, where we are scheduled to have some work done in that boatyard.  The first five hours we enjoyed a brisk sail, but then the wind changed to a more northerly direction, bringing a brief shower and motoring into the waves for the next three hours.  We joined with our other new friends John and Suzanne, who arrived a few hours before we did, and all  had dinner together on in the Deltaville porch, grilling brats and steaks and sharing some food.  Dominoes lasted until 10 when we all were yawning after being up at 5am to get underway.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Norfolk, VA

We made it through the flies finally.  They were pretty bad the last two days.  After a wonderful stay at Elizabeth, NC we continued up the ICW with some new friends that we met on the dock.

Specifically John and Sue in a trawler and Butch and Debbie in a 35 foot sailboat, a Seaward which has a retractable keel.  John and Sue are a little older than us while Butch and Debbie are slightly younger.  Picture of Debbie, Sue and Joy and Butch.

The three boats pulled out of the Elizabeth City dock and were joined by Danny and Christina on a boat which Joy thought the name was "Numb Nuts"  She wondered how it got that name but that is what she kept calling it all day. Of course, Debbie could hardly stop from laughing every time she head: " Numb Nus, High Spirits calling"  Numb Nuts stayed on channel 13, the bridge channel while the other 3 boats stayed on channel 17.

All four boats met at the Mexican restaurant, La Familia, at the Deep Creek lock/bridge.  This place is familiar to Linda and Francis.  When Danny and Christina got there we were told that their boat's name is "Knot Numb".  The problem was that both Danny and Christina came to the US from Poland and were a little hard to hear correctly on the radio.   Anyway we all had a good laugh about " Numb Nuts"

We spent some time with Robert at the Deep Creek lock hearing some history of the area, having coffee and doughnuts and then we were off to Norfolk. Picture of Robert trying out the new conch horn that John and Sue got in the Bahamas as well as a Civil War recliner in Robert's office.  He is a really a great guide to the history and workings of the Dismal swamp.

John, Sue, Butch, Debbie, Joe and Joy all ended up at the marina across from Hospital Point, while Danny and Christina continued on.  It looks like thunderstorms tonight so Joy waned to be at a marina rather than on an anchor.  

Going to see Bridesmaids tonight, and I will go see Green Lantern tomorrow afternoon. If we stay until Sunday, there is Dancing under the Stars at the park next to the marina. Dancing under the Stars got rained out by a thunderstorm, the first one in a long time. We were safely tied at the dock. The wind only hit 25 mph and lasted a short time.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Travelling with the Flies

Monday and Tuesday, June 13 & 14 were spent travelling 46 miles on Monday and 77 miles on Tuesday to get from River Dunes to Elizabeth City, NC.

Not too much to say about the trip except it was long, the engine ran most of the time, got a little sailing time in with no engine noise and there were lots of flies where we anchored Monday night. 

Arrive in Elizabeth City around dinner time yesterday.  Went to a very nice restaurant called Groupers, I had excellent ribs and Joy had grouper with mushroom and crab meat sauce. 

Elizabeth City prides itself on its hospitality and offer 2 nights of free dockage at its marina wharf.
There is no power or water but that is okay as it is a short say.

We got lucky be  as Tuesday night is summer movie night in the months of June and July. Last nights movie was "Sunset Blvd" with William Holden and Gloria Swanson.  Really good old style Hollywood glamour movie.

Actually stayed up to 10:30 pm before going to sleep.



We have been unable to write for the past couple of days due to no Internet at several places where we anchored overnight. So this story is about River Dunes, a great marina on Broad Creek next to Oriental, NC.

We found River Dunes last Fall on our trip south. Why is it great?.  Well the price is low, this summer $1.50/ft, last Fall it was $1.25; the facilities are 5 star, and it has the only 6 nozzle steam shower that we have found on the East Coast.  I have included a pictures of the main living room and the 6 nozzle shower.

In the afternoon we enjoyed the pool and hot tub and just read our books and tried to stay out of the sun.

That evening a family was having a graduation dinner for their son from high school.  They had fried chicken, beef brisket, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls, lemon squares and chocolate brownie.  The family opened it up to anyone staying at the marina that night. Cost was great, only $15/person.

We said goodbye for River Dunes Monday morning and took off for a 46 mile trip to an anchorage on the Pungo River.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beauford, NC

We made it after an 11 hour trip from Surf City, NC.  The past two days we have been guests of Paul and Carol Cook at their beach house in North Topsail Beach, NC.  One town north of Surf City where we found a marina that we could park High Spirits in.(only $2/ft, no charge for electricity).

Carol and Paul have a nice two bedroom two bath beach house right on the sand.  It is just the right size for them plus a guest couple ( that was us this time). We arrived Friday night for a supper of pizza and salad.  Saturday morning was spent walking the beach, looking for prehistoric shark's teeth, and just talking about sailing adventures. 

In the afternoon we took advantage of their willingness to do anything we needed to do.  They took us to the super market and to the local CVS drugstore.  Dinner that night was a great pork loin roast with roasted potatoes and green beans. 

Got up early today, 6 am and they drove us back to High Spirits so we could get underway by 7:30.
It was a long day.

When we arrived here in Beaufort, we found the rumors to be true. There is no place to anchor in this town. The locals have placed private mooring balls all along Taylor Creek. We finally found a spot about 2 miles from downtown.  Changed our plans and leaving tomorrow for River Dunes instead of spending a day and spending money in Beaufort. We have only one anchor set, but we are far from any of the moorings and should be okay tonight.  Leaving at 6 am to catch the tide flowing in the helpful direction for us.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Overnight to Southport, NC

We left Charleston, SC around 12:30 in the afternoon and headed north to Southport, NC, for a 23 hour offshore sailing adventure.

Actually it was not that much of an adventure. We only saw about 2 vessels and neither of them got close to us. Our radar screen was empty 98 percent of the time.  As usual we took turns sleeping and watching the third mate, Ms. Auto Pilot, do her thing.  She does it extremely well and is so much better than having to hand steer High Spirits for 23 hours. 

The only problem on this leg is that I kind of felt a little sea sickness approaching. Nothing too serious but a pain.  I took a medication that we bought in the Bahamas, similar to Dramamine but made in the U.K.
Not sold in the States.  Felt a little better after the second dosage this mornng.

We arrived at Southport Marina, a really nice and friendly place. A nice restaurant is across the street, it is actually a converted gas station. It is huge inside.  I had Pork, NC style, and Joy had a Reuben sandwich. Going back for breakfast as we are not leaving until 10 am due to tide and current situation. 

Heading north to Surf City, NC to visit with Paul and Carol Cook. Most likely will end up at the beach Friday afternoon. Going to sleep at their house and a REAL BED. 

I forgot to mention that after lunch we did boat chores. They parked us on the back side of the fuel dock so we got a easy diesel fill up. Changed the oil and the oil filter, and got rid of the old oil in the proper manner. 

Joy went for a walk through Southport and here are the pictures of the town she took today. 

We found our engine hour meter, actually Joy found it as she noticed a broken wire where the oil filter is attached to the engine. Traced it back to a meter in the starboard hold.  Not sure how long it has been broken, never noticed it before so it must have been connected. Anyway the meter says 2,952 hours on it.

bye for now


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Not the Ritz

The picture of our Reunion accommodations show the dorm room, part of a two bedroom suite that we stayed in for the weekend at Simmons College in Boston.  It was back to college with three dear friends, Andi, Lisa, and Peg and about 25 other alums who made the trip for our 40th reunion.  The weekend couldn't have been nicer, with the best weather that Boston has to offer, great conversations, and fun events.  Friday night we were off to the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart and music by great American composers, followed by a tribute to Ray Charles and Motown.  Saturday breakfast in Bartol Hall was a far cry from the institutional food of the 60's.  Fresh fruit and yogurts, omelets made to order, and all the other breakfast foods to choose from.  Even fruit-infused water with choice of strawberry, pineapple, orange, and lemon.  For lunch the four of us went out for sushi and then returned for our class meeting and evening dinner event.  We made plans to get together in the Fall with spouses for lobster and steamers on the rocks in Maine close to Bremen, ME where Lisa lives, hopefully with our boat  close by.

Sunday morning my brother, Mark, picked me up and I spent the day visiting with Mark and Mimi, enjoying their swimming pool, and getting caught up on what they are doing.

Back in Charleston, we are setting sail for Southport, NC, a 24 hour sail along the coast.  Weather is good, but a little less wind than we would like, so mostly a motor sail overnight.  The temperatures have moderated a little, so no more mid-90's this week.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Charleston, SC

Hello Everybody,

First of all, no photos as Joy has taken the camera to her Simmons College Reunion in Boston for the weekend. She left Friday morning and will be flying back on Monday. Sunday she will be visiting her brother Mark. Friday night at Reunion was a dinner and concert at the Boston Pops. Her three best college friends are there with her and they will be having a great time.  NO  HUSBANDS.

So I am here by myself in Charleston.  Luckily for me the Piccolo Spoleto Festival is underway with tons of music, art, and other cultural events going on.  Some of them are free, the rest cost between $6-$12.

Last week we saw 4 free movies at the public library as part of the festival, and it was The Golden Age of Hollywood series.  We saw Charade- 1963 Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn; Wed - Gilda - 1946 Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford; Thursday- North by Northwest - Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint( Joy's all time favorite movie), and Friday- San Fransicso - 1936 Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Jeanette MacDonald.  Man can Jeanette MacDonald sing.  She has a tremendous singing voice.

Yesterday after the movie was a quick stop at the Gellato store and I bought a ticket for "Blast from the Past"  a 60s rock and roll show for Sunday afternoon. Since we do not have air conditioning on the boat and the temp is hitting 95 degrees here, I have to find activities to stay cool during the day until the boat cools down after sunset. 

Today is Saturday and that means I am taking the water taxi over to the USS Yorktown which is across the bay at Patriots Point.Also going to see he new X Men movie which good very good reviews in the newspapers. 

We will be leaving Charleston hopefully on Tuesday, June 7, weather permitting, and heading offshore to jump up to North Carolina and the entrance to the ICW near Beaufort, NC.  Need to keep pushing north to get to the Chesapeake sooner rather than later.