Worton Creek to Pasadena, MD August 18 to 31, 2006

 

Exploring the Chesapeake...

We left (8/18) the scenic protection of our little cove on La Trappe Creek, and cruised on up to Worton Creek, where we had made arrangements to meet Bill and Staci McLaughlan, original owners of our boat.   We were a day ahead of them, and so we anchored out at Worton Creek that night, and went on in to the Worton Creek Marina the next day in the early afternoon.   Good thing that the Chesapeake has mostly soft bottoms -- the anchor alarm screamed at us as we got close to the marina, and we touched several times as we maneuvered up to the fuel dock for a pump out.   Short pilings at the dock, and wind pushing us around, and so a rear spring was employed while I inched forward.  Of course, the bow swung smartly to starboard and swung over the dock. but after a momentary pang of concern, I thought everything was all right.   Wrong.   (See below.)   We then screamed on into our slip, assisted by Bill and Staci, who had arrived while we were at the fuel dock.  We later joined them for drinks on their boat followed by a delicious meal at Harbour House Restaurant.   Three of us had Crab Imperial, and we can enthusiastically recommend it.   Good to see Bill and Staci again -- they are a warm and friendly couple, and we enjoy spending time with them.   And we continue to feel grateful for all of their intelligent and tasteful decisions on originally outfitting what is now our boat.

It was somewhere in this time frame that our dedicated built-in navigation computer (an i3 ) decided to intensify its bad behavior -- escalating from a failure every 25 days or so to every 25 minutes, and then to every 5 minutes.   We had been trouble-shooting with the assistance of Mike at technical support at Maptech, but nothing could be done on a weekend, and so we switched to depending upon VNS (Nobeltec) running on a laptop that is stationed at the wheel for just such an "emergency".   (Actually, I run it all of the time when underway, but it is not wired to control the autopilot, and so is relegated to backup duty.)

We left Worton Creek on 8/19, and moved just a short hop up to Still Pond Bay, where we found ample protection from the predicted southeast winds.   The anchorage was huge, and that was good, because there were a large number of "weekenders" anchored off, some of whom left at sunset, and some of whom might have intended to, but since they had rafted with friends in larger boats, and since said friends had loudly insisted that they consume ever another refreshment, and since they were ultimately in no shape to pilot a boat, and remained for the night in the multiple-boat clot.   They were all several degree of magnitude less noisy the next morning.

Bill had recommended that we visit Langford Creek, off of the Chester River, and so on 8/20 we cruised on down and found a pleasant anchorage just east of Cacaway Island.  Very rural.  Very picturesque. Very pleasant surprise to find that WiFi was available compliments of an unprotected site on shore.  We stayed two nights, and then crossed over the Bay to Liberty Marina on South River, just south of Annapolis, where we were to get help with our i3.   Mark Pringle, Maptech's service representative for the mid-Atlantic states, appeared with a new i3!   Heck of a nice guy.   After installing the i3 he helped me figure out the wiring that will be required to make the laptop drive the autopilot.  Three cheers for Mike and Mark of Maptech!

Pam and John Loving of Compass Rose had conceived and publicized an informal Krogen raft-up in the Oxford area, and so we began heading that way after getting a very late start (after our i3 installation), stopping for the night at Selby Bay, and then (8/24) crossing back to the Eastern Shore and Plaindealing Creek, where we were shortly joined by five other Krogens:  Compass Rose, Morning Star, Friendship, Lowe Key, and Snow Goose.   Cocktails on our boat, then dinner on shore at Oxford, and then desserts and Chocolate Martinis on Compass Rose.  Tough life.

Three boats left the next day, but Friendship and Morning Star and Tusen Takk II persisted.   On 8/26 we took our dinghy in to watch a "log canoe" sailboat race whose venue was just south of Oxford.   Log canoe sailboats, I believe, are an historic design unique to the Chesapeake.   Very long and narrow, the crafts are fashioned out of relatively few long "logs", joined in parallel, and hollowed out until all that remains is a sailboat!   They are too narrow for the crew to provide much counter weight by sitting on the gunnels, and so the boats are equipped with movable planks out upon which the crew can crawl.  The boats are extremely handsome, and very sporty with their topsails.   Afterwards, we joined Randy and Cindy of Morning Star for a drink at the poolside of Mears Yacht Haven, where they had situated themselves, the better to receive and entertain Cindy's sister.

And then it was time to began positioning ourselves to fly to North Dakota for my sister's 60th birthday party.  (And her 40th anniversary.  And niece Jessica's 30th birthday.)  On 8/27 we went as far as Selby Bay, where we spent a night bouncing in the wind.  The next day we snuggled into Rock Creek, southeast of Baltimore, at Fairview Marina, where we will leave the boat while away.   Good thing we had five days to settle in before catching the flight.  I discovered a drip in the raw water pump on the John Deere, and so replaced the pump and then replaced the water seal on the "old" one, retaining it as the spare.   Checked the impeller in the genset and found it was beginning to show its age, and so that got changed.   Noticed a drip form the cold water intake to the water heater, and so replaced the check valve on that.   AND, discovered that our little encounter with the dock back at Worton Creek had indeed done some damage.   The port light just forward of the rub rail had been damaged.   Mark, the extremely helpful and friendly owner of Fairview Marina, assured me that it could be repaired, and gave advice on how it should be removed, and arranged for it to be taken to a metal worker to be bent back into shape, and went to pick it up again himself, and is due to help me re-install it again tomorrow, just before he takes us to the Baltimore airport so we can catch our flight.   We leave just as Ernesto is due to blow by, but Mark has pledged to watch over her, and so we are crossing our fingers and packing our bags, even as this is written.

Stay tuned, for news on how the boat weathers the storm, and how Dakota Indians conduct a pow-wow, and how much fun it was to paint my mother's window trim, and most of all, how much fun it was to see so many of our family and friends in North Dakota.

 

Staci & Bill McLaughlan ( previous owners of our boat) in their beautiful Krogen 58

Structure housing Horn on Thomas Point Shoal

Beautiful Langford Creek in farming area

Another farm from another vantage point

Krogen raft-up -- cocktail hour on Tusen Takk II

Pam, Chuck, Randy, and Gail

Trina and Kay

Barb and Pam

Cindy, Trina and Mike

Mike, Bob and Randy

Dinner at Schooners in Oxford, MD

Boats leaving the next morning

Cindy & Randy relaxing in the pool

Log canoe sailboat race

Log canoe sailboat

More sailboats in race

Boat with umbrella, love seat and easy chair on top deck -- relaxing in style while watching the sailboat regatta

Unusual painting on side of boat house

We rescued these guys who were paddling with the tops of crab baskets after they ran out of gas (and discovered they had no paddles)

Chuck pulled out the port light that was bent from a too-close encounter with a piling

Bent port light frame

Tusen Takk II with her wound