May 24 - May ???, 2010: From Chesapeake City to Annapolis
It was still gray and cloudy. We still decided to depart - initially for the Chester River. Once we had made the navigtion, however, we realized that it would take about 50 nm - too much for what we had wanted to cover today. So, Juergen went down below checking the charts for a closer destination while I steered Impromptu through the remaining approx. 4nm to the end of the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal. We decided on the Sassafras River which had a few acceptable anchorages, the best fairly close to the first river bend and not too far from the main channel which we would have to follow the next day to get to Annapolis.
The 20nm were covered quickly as we had the tide with us. We dropped the anchor about .25nm from a green buoy that would be easily found even in foggy conditions. We put up our bimini. This way, we will be protected from the sun and can sit in the cockpit even in light rain - meaning, we gained "living space" even under less than perfect conditions. While the sun seemed to want to peak out from time to time, we had a number of rain showers to deal with, and I changed from long pants to shorts to long pants before giving up and staying dressed warmly. We also put the dinghy engine onto the dinghy and took a test ride - our first since the dinghy had been delivered and put into the water. It runs well with our 15HP engine. Juergen was satisfied. I like it because the firm bottom (as opposed to an inflated one) feels much more comfortable to me.
We had breakfast in the cockpit and played 10 games of Backgammon before departing. It looked like the weather was going to be better than yesterday. We kept the dinghy engine on the dinghy while towing, however decided quite promptly that this was putting too much drag on the dingy and our speed. Thank God for our pully contraption which mades raising and lowering the dinghy engine a fairly easy task. We had the engine back up on Impromptu within just a few minutes and continued on our way. The trip to Annapolis was close to 40nm as we mostly followed the channel buoys - it is amazing, how shallow the Chesapeake Bay is up here. As we approached Back Creek, our destination for "Annapolis", we realized that there was an airshow going on performed by the US airforce - it was an amazing sight. There were so many boats out there watching that we could not find any buoys so we first just lingered to watch until it was over. Now we also understood the Coast Guard's announcement that the Severn River was closed between 1500 and 1600 - the aircraft flew unbelievably low at times. Dietmar called to ask where we were - we told him about our whereabouts and that we should be there shortly. By then it was around 1600. We quickly found the entrance buoys to the harbor and followed the channel all the way to his marina. He had mentioned that the buoys were all taken (due to the air show) but that there was room to anchor. We promptly found a good spot right near his doc k - a very short dinghy ride for us - perfect.
We quickly went to see him. It was a great hello. We decided to rid ourselves of our garbage (of the past week) and to accompany him shopping. We needed something from West Marine, he from the liquor store, and since we invited he and his friend Chuck (who was supposed to arrive shortly) for dinner, I went to buy some fresh lettuce and some dessert. First we met two other friends of Dietmar's who he had invited for drinks. They, too, own a Hylas 54. Chuck arrived eventually - he had gone to the marina where Dietmar keeps his boat during the winter months, when it is on the hard, rather than this one.
Dinner was arugula salad with avocado and tomatoes (for those who like them) and crabcakes as a main course, followed by apply pie, icecream and fresh berries. The two gentlemen left us already at 2200 - claiming to be tired...
We still called Sid to wish him a Happy Birthday - it was too late to call Sofia, but we had spoken to Silvi earolier in the day. She seemed happy and content being in Boston with the Sims. They all will drive down to Luise and Sid's for the Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately, we will miss those festivities...
This morning, we got up a little earlier than normal. The sun was shining, and the day needed to be started early with our usual breakfast (yoghurt and fresh berries and coffee - and a few games of Backgammon). Since our aft head (toilet for those who don't know) seems not to work (for some reason our holding tank is overflowing - unintentionally) meaning that for the time being we really cannot use our head on the boat (the forward head works but the pump is leaking - the new one had not arrived on time for our departure), we were forced to finding the land facilities. We then visited with Dietmar and Chuck and agreed that we would go to the outside of the harbor by our dinghy as yesterday's airshow was only a training session and the real show was scheduled for 1 p.m. today. They will shortly come to our boat for lunch - Dietmar wants to see whether he can help Juergen find the proper valve for the holding tank and then we will watch the airshow before the pumpout boat comes at 1430 to help us out - what a subject matter to discuss - well, but it is part of life aboard Impromptu.
We went to visit Dietmar on Romany Life and Juergen helped Dietmar and Chuck with some work while I was uploading photos from the unbelievable airshow that had taken place earlier in the day. Unfortunately, the WIFI system was weak and did not permit me to upload. I will try tomorrow again - maybe at a time when most people will most likely not be on the computer (at least not those using WIFI).
We met up with the two friends on Romany Life to go out to dinner. Chuck decided to drive home after dinner because he had plans of driving down to Norfolk for a few days and did not want to do both (driving from here home and then packing to continue his drive) in one day. We then had another drink with Dietmar on Romany Life before heading back to Impromptu which is still anchored pretty much right in front of Dietmar's marina.
It is sunny and very warm again, like yesterday (we had about 90 degrees Fahrenheit), but it is supposed to be raining at some point later today. Tomorrow is supposed to be the worst day, colder (68 degrees F max) and rainy. Thereafter, it is supposed to get better again. We will see.
After breakfast and our usual Backgammon games, we went over to Romany Life. Juergen checked out the situation to do laundry and came back with a roll of quarters so I could start doing our laundry. It should be done shortly as I could use both washing machines and now both dryers. In the meantime, Dietmar and Juergen are working together on deck while I am sitting down below, plugged in, uploading my images. I sure hope it actually works today.
Yesterday and today we have been working with Dietmar on his boat, gone food shopping (I this morning - Dietmar lent me his car). Mary Lou arrived in the early afternoon packed. Juergen and Dietmar helped unload the car while I walked Winston for a while. We all went out to dinner to Sam's, a very nice but noisy restaurant right nearby. The food was delicious.
This morning, Juergen and I had our weekend pancake breakfast, played five rounds of Backgammon. Then the two guys went back to work, this time to fix Dietmar's dinghy. Ours had been returned yesterday. We had towing rings installed so it can be towed more steadily (rather than from one ring in the center, making is wiggle around all the time).
Dietmar and Mary Lou will meet other friends for dinner tonight. Juergen and I will stay on the boat, reading, maybe playing a bit of Backgammon. I spent all day so far (from 0545 to now - 1254 - (except for the breakfast and food shopping part) on the website. It was all messed up - some of you might have noticed. I still have not re-uploaded the logbook of 2005. Everything else should work properly now - at least that is what I hope.
We will have cocktails on Romany Life tomorrow - with some other friends of Dietmar and Mary Lou's, and then they all will have dinner with us on our boat. We are planning on departing from here on Monday morning to continue our Chesapeake Bay voyage.
I got up early and to take some pictures of this unbelievably large, well organized and super active yard. Already at 0545 cars arrived with sailors, boaters to get onto their boats or to ready them for a race. It was amazing to see. Also, the yard houses many different companies, including riggers, electronic specialists, fibre glass repair companies (a young, attractive woman that, according to Dietmar, only works dressed in a bikini - I must admit though that I do not find this too incredible given the enormous heat we have already experienced and the heat the Chesapeake summers are famous for). I happened to run into one other boater, Dietmar's dock neighbor, Miles. We chattet for a while, then Dietmar arrived with his little dog Winston. We chatted for a while, too, before heading back to our boats for breakfast.
I did laundry on the boat today - what do we have a washing machine onboard for? This way, I only needed to take it to the dryer later on. Despite the heat, things were done quickly. I prepared dinner (peeled the asparagus etc.) for our dinner. We had invited Mary Lou, Dietmar and the two friends that were supposed to come to Romany Life for docktails to have dinner on Impromptu. The friends, however, had other plans already, so we would only be four - also not bad though the friends turned out to be very delightful people who we would have loved to have on Impromptu.
Mary Lou went all out with the cocktails. Dietmar and Juergen had taken the crew covers off the pillows - what a difference it makes. The boat looks even more beautiful "uncovered". Mary Lou insists on the crew covers because she is worried about spots and other damage to the specially made material. So, we had never seen the boat this way and liked it a lot. The food and wine (and the dark and stormy I had in addition) were wonderful, and the conversation with Sealy (spellling???) and Skip and, of course, our friends Mary Lou and Dietmar, were animated and fun.
The time on Impromptu later over and after dinner was very relaxed, with an equally animated conversation. Unfortunately, Dietmar suffered from a miserable headache. As we were sitting in the cockpit so he could smoke his cigar, he was fed more Advil to ease the pain - to no avail. They left around 2320. Juergen helped straighten things out (take the two chairs which we always take out to sit comfortably around the table back to the V-berth locker, put napkins into the laundry bag, etc., etc.). I finished cleaning up the galley, taking the garbage to the dumpster (who wants to see all the empty bottles on the boat the next morning?) and fell into bed shortly after midnight.