"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 31, 2011

Aug. 31 - Chestertown, MD

Day 166 – Laid Back Day
Chester River - Anchorage

We are adjusting to our new routine of lazy mornings pretty well. A little coffee, a little GMA and beautiful weather...it makes for a wonderful morning. We bought a crab trap while we were in Rock Hall, so we had that in the water this morning. We didn't have a lot of luck, but we did get one. We'll try to get him a few friends tomorrow.

After lunch we cruised further up the Chester River to Chestertown. The river is surrounded by rolling terrain full of cornfields, barns, silos and beautiful farm homes. We are anchored across the river from Chestertown. Chestertown was founded in 1705; it was one of the Royal Port of Entries in Maryland. Shipping made the town at the navigable head of the Chester River wealthy. In the mid-eighteenth century, Chestertown trailed only Annapolis and was considered Maryland's second leading port. Another area in which Chestertown is second only to Annapolis is in its number of existing eighteenth century homes.

We took the dinghy to town and walked around the historic area a little...it looked like we had stepped back in time. Homes along the main street have small porches where they can sit and visit with each other and to people walking by. We ate dinner on the boat; sitting on the flybridge…so we could take advantage of the wonderful weather.

A few of the farms we saw today
We thought this was a cute place...The Sand Bar. Do you see the boat that is used as the bar?
Chestertown, Maryland
Part of the historic district
Hotel Imperial 

Aug. 30 - Langford Creek, MD

Day 165 - Peaceful Scenery
Millstone Point - Anchorage

We enjoyed a beautiful morning in Rock Hall watching the birds on the water and the crab boats in the harbor. I could hear the boats leaving early this morning and then I watched them come back in with their baskets of crabs. Stan rode his bike to the post office and hardware store while I updated the blog and did a little bookkeeping.

We decided to have lunch at Waterman's Crab House before we left. I had a crab melt with a cup of Maryland crab soup and Stan had a fresh flounder sandwich...both were very good. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful weather...we've been waiting for this weather all summer. Tonight we are anchored in a beautiful creek surrounded by rolling farmland. It is very picturesque. We are miles from any town, so the stars are very bright...you can even see their reflection in the still water. From what we are told there are hundreds of these nice little anchorages around the Chesapeake, and we plan to see as many as we can in the next three weeks.

A waterman returning with his catch
Our lunch view from Watermen's
Sites along Langford Creek
View from our anchorage

August 30, 2011

Aug. 29 - Rock Hall, MD

Day 164 - Calm Day on Chesapeake Bay
Rock Hall City Dock

We will be spending the rest of the season exploring the eastern shore of the Chesapeake, so most of our days will be short runs from one small town or anchorage to another. No need to get up early or get in a hurry to move each day...from now on it will be very laid back and relaxed. I know, a lot of you think this whole trip has been that way, but it really hasn't. We've had a lot of long, hard days...really we have!

This morning I did a load of wash and we picked up a few more things at Safeway. After lunch we untied all sixteen lines and pulled away from Baltimore. We don't feel like we saw much of Baltimore, but we were ready to move on. It felt nice to be back on the water and it was a great day to cross the bay...from the looks of today you'd never know a hurricane was here just a few days ago.

We are docked at the free dock in Rock Hall. It's a cute little town full of crab boats, oyster boats and pleasure boats. Rock Hall describes itself as a quaint fishing town that sits picturesquely on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. It can trace its history to 1707 and the beginning of the United States, first as an important tobacco port, then as a major fishing and crabbing center. Today it is a unique sailing and boating destination. It's very peaceful here today, but I'm sure it's a busy place on the weekends. We rode our bikes around town and looked in a few stores. It doesn't look like they had much damage from Hurricane Irene, just a few tree limbs down and we were told they were without power for about 20 hours.

Another couple is docked behind us so we got together this evening and shared a few stories. We may see them again at the MTOA Rendezvous in September.

“Francis Scott Key” buoy - the buoy marks the spot where the ship carrying Francis Scott Key, the author of the Star Spangled Banner, was anchored during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.
Rock Hall
The Pearl at the city dock in Rock Hall
Crab Traps on the dock
Crab Boats
Oysterman - dedicated to the watermen and other working people of this Chesapeake Bay area.
Part of Main Street in Rock Hall

August 29, 2011

Aug. 28 - Baltimore, MD

Day 163 - Back to Normal
Anchorage Marina

This morning the rain had stopped, but the wind was still blowing and it was a bit stormy looking. By lunch the sun was out and so were a lot of people. There is a path that runs in front of the marina...it runs along most of the waterfront in Baltimore and it is well used by joggers, people walking their dogs and pushing strollers and by bicyclists. We even saw people walking on this path last night during the storm. Boaters were out getting their boats back to normal. l am enjoying the sun. We were lucky here and we fared much better than other parts of the coast. I'm sure we will see some of the damage when we cruise to the eastern shore tomorrow.

We walked down the street to Momma's on the Half Shell for dinner. It's located in a neighborhood of Baltimore called Canton. Canton is on the waterfront and used to be a busy shipping port. Now it is full of restaurants, bars and loft apartments. It was a busy place today...everyone was out enjoying the day after spending yesterday inside. We both had a Caesar salad and crab soup...both were very good.

We had eight lines on each side of the boat...could be why we didn't feel much rocking.
I found this picture on the Internet...this is Irene coming ashore in North Carolina. Pretty impressive!
Mama's on the Half Shell

August 28, 2011

Aug. 27 - Baltimore, MD

Day 162 - Hurricane Irene
Anchorage Marina

We spent the morning visiting with people and awaiting Irene’s arrival. The rain started around noon and was pretty light most of the day. As the evening went on we got bands of heavier rain and the wind became much stronger. I think our winds were between 30-40 mph, with stronger gusts blowing in now and then.

As you can see from the picture below our boat is at the beginning of the dock, with condos right above us. The condos are helping to protect us from the wind and keeping our rocking to a minimum. Earlier in the evening, before the rain got heavy, we put on our slickers and went for a walk. We walked up to the street, past the condos and the wind was already getting pretty strong...they're doing a great job of protecting us.

According to the news there are a lot of people without power and there is some flooding in the area from rain, but it looks like the marina is doing fine. In fact, there was no storm surge here at all.  When the wind dies down a little more we will get out and look around.

Hurricane Flags are up
View from The Pearl
Here comes Irene

August 27, 2011

Aug. 26 - Baltimore, MD

Day 161 - Hurricane Watch
Anchorage Marina

Most of our day was spent watching the weather reports and doing the last minute things to get the boat ready. The dock was a busy place today as people added lines to their boats. There still seems to be a lot of loose things around, I hope they are put away early tomorrow before the wind starts to blow. We talked to several other boaters on our dock who say they will ride out the storm on their boats. We have a car in case we want to go to a hotel, we will make a decision in the morning. Our boat will be the best place to be if this area loses power. We are self sufficient...120 gallons of water, plenty of food and we can make our own electricity. We have everything we need to survive for weeks if need be. At the moment they are predicting 40-50 mph winds, 3 foot storm surge and 4-6 inches of rain for Baltimore.

We had a wonderful dinner on Jim and Julie Bertch's boat. The food and company were great. They have spent the last twelve years cruising all over the east coast, Canada and Florida. They have such a wealth of knowledge to share and wonderful stories of the places they have been. It’s been fun getting to spend some time with them. 

Satellite pictures from 5 PM Friday
The Pearl is as ready as she can be
The calm before the storm

August 26, 2011

Aug. 25 - Baltimore, MD

Day 160 - Hurricane Preparations
Anchorage Marina

We spent the day getting the boat secured. Stan doubled all our lines and will take down the bimini tomorrow. He also spent time talking to other boaters on the dock. They say this is one of the safest places to be, many were here during Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and they did fine. The marina has floating docks, which means they move with the tide. That really helps keep your boat secure and the lines tight. Baltimore is 90 miles or so from the Atlantic, so hopefully all we will get are tropical force winds, a high tide and some rain. We will pick up a rental car tomorrow, just in case we need it. We may go to a hotel Saturday...even if the storm stays well to the east of here, it will get a little rough and we're not sure we want to be on the boat. The car will give us some options.

August 25, 2011

Aug. 24 - Baltimore, MD

Day 159 - The Calm Before the Storm
Anchorage Marina

It was another beautiful morning, and again we took our time enjoying a peaceful anchorage. We only had a ten mile run into Baltimore, so no reason to get in a hurry.  We cruised into the Inner Harbor area before we docked at Anchorage Marina. The Inner Harbor is full of shops, restaurants, museums, old ships and an aquarium.

After securing the boat at the marina, we picked up a few groceries at Safeway across the street, had lunch and then rode our bikes to the Inner Harbor. We thought we better get a look at things before the weather deteriorates later in the week. There's a front coming in tomorrow bringing rain and then Hurricane Irene will bring wind and rain this weekend.

We spent the evening visiting with Jim and Julie Bertch. They are previous owners of our boat…they sold the boat to Tim and Susan McCracken, the people we bought the boat from.  It was fun visiting with them, hearing their cruising stories and what they did to improve our boat.

Fell's Point - passed here on our way into the Inner Harbor
Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
The National Aquarium
The USS Constitution in Baltimore
The Inner Harbor

August 24, 2011

Aug. 23 - Riviera Beach, MD

Day 158 - Our First Earthquake
Rock Creek - Anchorage

Our plan today was to go back to Fairlee Creek, where we had stopped on our way to the C & D Canal last week. Since it wasn't very far, we took our time this morning and enjoyed our anchorage. We started out around 10:30; the water and the day were beautiful. It really doesn't get much better than today. Since the weather was so wonderful we decided to push on towards Baltimore. We are anchored about ten miles from Baltimore in Rock Creek. We will move to Anchorage Marina in Baltimore tomorrow. Our plan is to stay there a few days, but if Hurricane Irene comes this way we may stay through the weekend.

As we were enjoying our afternoon cruise we felt something that just didn't seem right. It only lasted a few seconds, we thought something might be wrong with the engine or transmission, or maybe we had drug bottom. Since it didn't last long and didn't happen again we didn't think much about it...until I got a text from my sister in-law, Paula. She wanted to know if we felt the earthquake. I texted back...I guess we did. Very weird...it was our little bit of excitement for the day.

Our view this morning - Chesapeake City
This is a little ice cream shop - right on the water...very cute
The end of Bohemia Ave.
Turkey Point Lighthouse 
Some of the rocks going into Rock Creek - I guess that is why it is called Rock Creek

August 23, 2011

Aug. 22 - Chesapeake City, MD

Day 157 - Back to the Chesapeake
Chesapeake City Anchorage Basin

Today we started heading south; Philadelphia will be our most northern point for this cruising season. Next year we will pass through the C&D Canal again and head for New Jersey, New York and hopefully into Canada. We will spend the next month exploring Baltimore and some smaller towns on the Chesapeake Bay and then spend a week in Cambridge at the MTOA Rendezvous.

Today was a beautiful day, clear blue sky and wonderful temperature. I wish I could send a day like today to everyone in Texas. Just remember, when we are enjoying a wonderful day in Texas in a few months it will be very cold here. We stopped in Delaware City for diesel and then moved down the canal to Chesapeake City. I think this has to be one of the prettiest little towns we have been to...so clean and quaint. The main street is full of cute little shops and cozy B&Bs. We took the dinghy into town and wandered down the main street before we had dinner at the Chesapeake Inn Deck. It over looks the anchorage basin and canal. It was very relaxing…a perfect ending to a nice day.

Bethel Bridge Lighthouse - On the bank of the C&D Canal in Chesapeake City
Coming in to Chesapeake City
Pictures of Bohemia Ave. in Chesapeake City (The town use to be called Bohemia Village)
Bohemia Ave. runs right down to the Canal
The Deck - where we had dinner
One of our views from dinner