Saturday, August 3, 2019

Nature

One of the best things about spending the night on the boat at anchor is feeling connected to nature. We see eagles flying and hear their unique, high-pitched call. We see juvenile ospreys practicing how to fly. We see and hear the fish jumping. Butterflies and dragonflies join us for a ride on the boat. We see gorgeous sunsets and sunrises. Yesterday morning George was up early to check on the nearby thunderstorms. He took several photos of a beautiful sunrise. This is one of the best. 



This butterfly stayed with us for at least a 1/2 hour as we moved anchorages. 



YouTube to the Rescue

It seems as if there is always something that needs to be repaired. Very often it is something that we have never encountered. We have learned to go online and look for instructions. Yesterday’s problem was a frayed outboard motor starter cord. 
We had a week with no commitments so we decided to head out for a few days at anchor. Our original goal was the Sassafras River but we decided to not go quite that far since there was no wind in the forecast and we would have to motor all the way there and back. We chose instead to go back to the Corsica River. We spent our first night at Dun Cove, near the mouth of the Choptank. The next morning we took the shortcut through the Knapp’s Narrows drawbridge. It was our second time through there and this time we were able to avoid going aground (like we did last year) as we entered the Chesapeake. The channel markers switch sides-green on the right instead of red-and they don’t correspond to the chart so I still found it confusing. Nevertheless, we made it. 
We motored under the Bay Bridge, into the Chester River and anchored in Reed’s Creek; a lovely, peaceful and large anchorage. The next day we motored into the Corsica River and dropped the anchor. We had planned to dinghy to Centreville at the end of the river and eat out at Doc’s, a short walk from the wharf. After putting the outboard on the dinghy George pulled the outboard starter cord to make sure it would run. The motor started but the cord didn’t retract. Uh oh. We weren’t ready to leave for Centreville and didn’t want to leave the motor running for two hours. Even if we did leave it running and could get to Centreville, how would we start the motor to get back?  It was way too far to row the dinghy back to Breeze On. We looked online and found YouTube instructions on how to replace the frayed starter cord (which looks rather complicated) or use the emergency starter cord as a temporary fix. We don’t have any replacement cord on board so George used the emergency starter cord. It requires some disassembly of the motor but George figured out a way to partially reassemble the motor after attaching the cord, but before starting the engine, so he didn’t risk losing any fingers when putting to motor back together. We made it to Centreville, and back. Replacing the starter cord and buying a spare are now on the to do list. 

Outboard motor cord. The frayed cord eventually broke off. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Playing Tourist

We have spent the past two days as tourists in Baltimore. Yesterday’s forecast predicted thunderstorms throughout the day so we were delighted that the rain held off until the afternoon, enabling us to go out and about before the storms arrived. We first walked over to a nearby Safeway for a few groceries. Along the way we passed a really interesting device (Professor Trash Wheel) that picks up trash out of the harbor. It seems to work well, the area where it was located was free of trash, but the areas next to it had quite a bit of trash. 

Next we took an Uber to the Walters Art Museum in the Mount Vernon section of town. The museum is free with four floors filled with art. After spending a few hours there we walked a block to see the George Washington Monument. After ducking back inside the museum for a few minutes to wait out a small rain storm, we walked south to the Inner Harbor. Along the way we passed a Burger King so we stopped to split an Impossible Burger. I have been curious about these vegetarian burgers that are said to be indistinguishable from regular hamburgers. It was good and did taste just like a regular hamburger. 

We walked around the Inner Harbor and decided to try out the Lime electric scooters that we had seen other people riding around town. After downloading the apps on our phones we gave them a try. Riding the scooter was much harder than it looked, the throttle control was really jerky. I was afraid I would end up in a heap on the sidewalk so we gave up on that idea. Sorry, we forgot to take any photos of our brief rides. The weather was hot so we decided to take another Uber back to the marina. We had just enough time for a swim in the pool before the storms arrived. 
This morning we took the water taxi over to Fort McHenry. It is a national park so I was able to use my senior pass to get us into the park for free. We learned about the War of 1812 and the circumstances that led to Francis Scott Key composing the Star Spangled Banner. The flag on which he based the poem was huge, 30 by 42 feet.  The original flag is at the Smithsonian and they fly a replica at Fort McHenry when there is enough wind. Fortunately, there was enough wind today. After we took the water taxi back to Fells Point we ate a delicious late lunch at the Thames Street Oyster House. 

Professor Trash Wheel

Impossible Burger

Storm rolling in

Our marina from the water taxi

Fort McHenry

Cannons at Fort McHenry

Water Taxis

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Baltimore

We are taking advantage of a brief break in the oppressively hot and humid weather by taking Breeze On to Baltimore Harbor. We left home yesterday morning and motored 54 nm in light winds, anchoring in Rock Creek, just inside the mouth of the Patapsco River. This morning we motored the remaining 9 miles to the Anchorage Marina, near Fells Point and the Inner Harbor. Along the way we encountered all manor of water craft: an unpainted metal boat that may have once been a military boat; a cargo ship carrying cars; tug boats; a pilot boat; two coast guard boats; and a barge with a crane. We passed under the Key Bridge and by Fort McHenry.
The Anchorage Marina is an enormous marina associated with a large townhouse complex. Most of the slips are private but a few are rented out to transients like us. It has floating docks (nice) with full fingers on each side of the slip (even nicer). There is a floating pool built into a dock a few slips down from us. 
Today is George’s birthday so we went to the restaurant of his choosing, Blue Moon CafĂ©, home of the Bad Ass Breakfast. George had the Hobo Breakfast with scrambled eggs, hash browns, peppers, onions, and ham. I had one of their specialties, Captain Crunch French Toast. A reviewer on Yelp said it was life changing. It was beautiful and indeed delicious but I can’t say it changed my life. It took us about 20 minutes to walk to the restaurant in Fells Point. After we ate we wandered around the charming area of Fells Point before returning to the marina by walking on the promenade along the water. Next we took a swim in the pool to cool off. 
During the past two weeks, while the weather was so hot, George was sanding, painting and polishing the boat. He didn’t plan to do it while it was so hot and had to break up the work so as not to be out in the sun during the hottest part of the day. After the work was finished Breeze On went back in the water two days ago. We brought her back to put her into her slip at a time when the wind was blowing 20 knots and gusting to 30. George made the first attempt to get her into the slip and then I took over. I tried about 6 or 7 times before we finally gave up and tied her to the wall. We have never had to do that before. I usually consider a crosswind to be the most challenging for docking but this wind was almost directly in the nose, pushing us into the dock. Even when I had Breeze On lined up properly a gust would push the bow out of alignment one way or the other and the bow thruster couldn’t counteract the strength of the wind. The wind diminished a few hours later and George got Breeze On back into her slip on the first try. I have now declared him the docking expert but he isn’t buying it. 

Weird Metal Boat

Cargo Ship

Two Coast Guard Boats

Barge with Crane

Key Bridge

Fort McHenry

Captain Crunch French Toast

Us the Blue Moon Cafe

Breeze On tied up to the wall

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Joyous Occasion

This past weekend our daughter got married. We couldn’t be happier. We adore the man she chose and they are the sweetest couple that I know. They have so many things in common and they are so kind and considerate with each other. We are so proud of the both of them. 
Our son-in-law and his family are from Massachusetts, where our daughter now lives, so it made sense to have the wedding there. The marriage ceremony took place at the Cambridge, Massachusetts City Hall and it was lovely. The clerk who did the ceremony conducted a beautiful, brief service in a gorgeous meeting room. 
Pam and Brad planned a relatively small dinner for family members at a central Massachusetts inn and it was absolutely perfect.









Friday, June 7, 2019

Heeling on the Choptank

Earlier this week we took Breeze On out for two nights at anchorages on the Choptank River. The weather was delightful; sunny and cool with low humidity. We spent the first night at an anchorage on Broad Creek and the second on the Tred Avon River. By the time we came home it was quite windy and gusty but George had a grand time sailing. While we are at home we try to take Breeze On out at least once a week and occasionally go out to spend at least one night at anchor. On Memorial Day weekend we joined a few other cruisers from our yacht club for a rendezvous at nearby Trappe Creek. 
Otherwise we have been busy working on various projects. I have been sewing, alternating between sewing for the boat and sewing clothes for myself. I am quite happy with how my slipcovers for the saloon cushions turned out. You may recall that the sunscreen we wear stains the leather cushions a very unattractive shade of orange. George was able to refinish the leather last year but we also wanted to protect it from getting stained. I purchased fabric for the slipcovers in the Spring in Vero Beach and covered only the cushions that get the most use. I have several more projects on my list that will keep me busy for the rest of the summer. 

George having a great time the helm. We were heeling a bit too much so we rolled the jib shortly after this photo was taken. 

Trappe Creek On Memorial Day weekend. Wall-to-wall boats on the beach. 

New slipcovers



Monday, May 27, 2019

I Love Our Town

The other day George and I took the two-block walk from our condo into town. We had a few errands to run and also wanted to see the new Harriett Tubman mural on the side of the Harriett Tubman Museum. Just before the mural was finished, a photo was taken of the three-year-old granddaughter of a local shop owner touching Harriett Tubman’s hand. The photo was posted on Instagram and went viral, receiving national attention. The artist who painted the mural, Michael Rosato, is a local artist and has painted other murals around town. Harriett Tubman was born in our county and I am just so proud that she is being honored and that we live here in Cambridge, MD.  

Finished Harriett Tubman mural

Three-year-old Lovie touching Harriett’s hand

Back of museum

Gorgeous rainbow from the deck of our condo