The Route South

Monday, September 17, 2007

It’s a Semi-true Story…

It's a semi-true story
Believe it or not
I made up a few things
And there's some I forgot.
But the life and the tellin'
Are both real to me
And they all run together and turn out to be
A semi-true story.
Its’ a Semi-true Story
Jimmy Buffett

Sister Jane and Sam came to Chestertown for a visit. It was less than four hours from their house in the Lehigh Valley. We had a great weekend together, touring the Eastern Shore countryside.

Historic house - Chestertown, MD

Worrell's tavern

Downtown Chestertown, MD

White Swan Tavern - George Washington slept here... No, really!

Main street - Chestertown, MD

Old Customs House - Chestertown, MD

Morningstar's home for a month - Chestertown City Marine
They left after lunch on Sunday and we jumped into a rental car from Enterprise first thing on Monday morning to drive up to Jane & Sam’s cottage in Maine for a week. It was a long 12-hour trek, made worse by Mapquest. We should have known better. They took us through New York City, which was really pretty quick. But then they routed us along the Connecticut coast until we finally went north to Hartford. Finally the traffic thinned out and we were able to make good time. By the time we hit US 1 somewhere in Maine we were in our stride and found our way back to the cottage just as the sun went down. We were able to see well enough to turn on the fuse box and a light or two before heading to dinner. We spent the week discovering new places. We visited Castine (lunch with some trawler friends), Belfast (ice cream), as well as Damariscotta Lake and points north of there. Camden, Boothbay Harbor and Round Pond (more ice cream) are old favorites and worth revisiting. Not counting the trip up and back, we put over 800 miles on the rental car! Jane and Sam showed up in the wee hours on Saturday morning.  We spent a pleasant day with them, eating at one place or another. Cindy looked up from dinner on Saturday night and said, “There goes Leila!” Sure enough, our Krogen friends, Joe and Leila of Last Whale, walked through the restaurant with their son and daughter-in-law. We saw their boat in New Harbor but hadn’t seen them since Calvert Marina in June. We had a nice after-dinner chat (over more ice cream) and caught up.

Pemaquid Light
Harbor scene
Lobster boats unloading the day's catch - New Harbor, ME
Osier's Wharf - The Gut - South Bristol, ME
View from the lobster pound dock - The Gut - South Bristol, ME
South Bristol Lobster Pound
Team photo at MacFarland Cove - Sam, Sister Jane, Randy and Cindy
 Shortly after breakfast on Sunday AM we got in the car and drove back to Chestertown. Monday was Labor Day - Cindy stuck me on a plane at BWI and I went back to Florida to labor.

Monday September 17, 2007
Today will be easy. At 10 AM we warmed up the engine and pulled out of the slip as far as the fuel dock. Diesel fuel is significantly cheaper at Calvert in Solomon’s so we only took on 50 gallons and pumped out the holding tank one last time. We are back in salt water and are able to use the sewage treatment system (Lectra-San) so we won’t need the holding tank until the wintertime, when we are in the Keys. The stop only took half and hour and we were headed down the river. As we passed by the Corsica River we could see the estate that is the Russian Embassy’s “retreat”. I thought it proper to fire off a couple of rounds with the saluting cannon but Cindy vetoed the idea with an enthusiastic “NYET”!! In my best James Bond fashion, I scoped them out thoroughly with the binoculars. In fact, it was just another huge, beautiful estate. I’m sure that during the Cold War there were some crazy goings-on there.

So many people have raved to us about Langford Creek so that is our destination for the day. It’s a short trip to Langford and by 12:30 we were entering the creek. Everybody was right. It is gorgeous! We headed up the East Fork and cruised as far a Beck’s landing, near the small rural churchyard made famous as the final resting place of actress Tallulah Bankhead. We turned around and floated back downstream to Wann Cove, our home for the next two nights.

Tuesday September 18, 2007
It’s a layover day. We splashed the dinghy and put the 2 HP outboard on the back. Made a couple of latch-plates for the doors to the pilothouse and installed the final two screws for the head replacement project.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007
With another unambitious day ahead of us we loafed along this morning. After breakfast we warmed the engine up and had the anchor aboard by 8:30 AM. MORNING STAR slowly made her way back out to the Chester River and by 10:50 we doubled the point at Love Point Light and were back in the Chesapeake Bay. An hour later we passed beneath the Bay Bridge and by 12:30 we were in Annapolis, picking up mooring #16 in Spa Creek.

Doctor Jane called out of the blue. She and Fuller were off that afternoon and looking for someplace to cause trouble so we picked them up in the dinghy and they came out to the boat. We had “sundowners” and went in to dinner at “Buddies”. I’m afraid that we weren’t much company that night. My gallbladder was acting up and Cindy has been suffering from some sort of bug and just got CVS to fill a prescription this afternoon. It has been surprisingly easy to get our prescriptions filled. We stop in at the local CVS and they can look up our records in Florida on their computer. No fuss, no muss…it’s a brave new world out there!

Thursday September 20, 2007
Small boat chores and dinghy tours today. We chugged over to Back Creek, on the Eastport side. I’m feeling fine again and Cindy is obviously on the mend.
Spa Creek neighbor - Annapolis mooring field

Friday September 21, 2007
Jane, Fuller and his son, Mike came for drinks aboard followed by dinner at Pussers'. Mike is a physician and in town on business.

Saturday September 22, 2007
Sister Jane and Sam drove down for another weekend aboard the boat. This will be a first because although they have stayed with us before, it has always been at a marina. But now we are out “on the hook” or, more accurately, on a mooring. Fortunately, the weather gods were kind and we didn’t rock and roll too much. They did fine. We spent the entire weekend doing tourist things since neither one of them had been to Annapolis before. We took the jitney tour and ate lunch on the waterfront at Pussers'. We walked the grounds at the Naval Academy, toured the chapel and John Paul Jones’ crypt (first time for me). A harbor cruise in the dinghy is one of our very favorite things to do. We get the chance to see who left, what new boats came in and have the opportunity to meet and chat with new folks. We pretty well explored all the nooks and crannies of Spa Creek and then we went over to Eastport…to eat. After dinner, the dinghy took us back over to the Annapolis side for ice cream at Storm Bros. It wasn’t our fault. The dinghy just goes there!

Sunday September 23, 2007
Back into the dinghy we piled and off to Chick & Ruth’s for breakfast. Proprietor Teddy pulled a couple of red scarves out of Cindy’s ear…Explains why she doesn’t listen to me. Jane and Sam decided to head back to home while they could still fit in the car! This weekend was more like constant eating interrupted occasionally by touring.

Monday September 24, 2007
Stuck in the horns of a dilemma! We have been vacillating back and forth about what to do this week. On the one hand, we have several days and could cruise over to the Eastern Shore and head up the Choptank River. I’ve read that the area above Cambridge is beautiful and seldom visited by cruising boats. Counterpoised against that, we need to work our way back to Solomon’s Island since Trawler Fest will be starting later this week. No sooner does that break up than boats start arriving for the Krogen Rendezvous. It’s been almost two years since we hauled out and painted the bottom. I talked to Alan at Spring Cove Marina in Solomon’s by phone a few weeks ago. He can fit us in for a short haul to pressure wash the bottom like we did last year. If we think we need it, he can go ahead and paint the bottom. What to do…what to do???

Responsibility and maturity won out and we are headed to Solomon’s. Dang it! By 8 AM we have dropped the mooring and are headed out of the harbor with a small parade of boats, both sail and power. Through the day, most of the powerboats pass us. None of the sailboats do, allowing us to maintain our dignity. But the day is a pleasant one and we are on course down the Bay, having passed Thomas Point Lighthouse to starboard shortly before 9 AM. Cindy served up lunch in the pilothouse as we chugged past Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and by 1:30 we passed our waypoint at Cove Point, staying outside the security zone at the Natural Gas terminal. By 2 PM we are rounding the familiar Drum Point and a short half hour later we are anchored up Back Creek in Solomon’s. I hopped in the dinghy and visited Spring Cove Marina to see if Alan was going to be able to accommodate us on short notice. “How ‘bout tomorrow at 10 AM?” Works for us!

The next week went by in a blur. We arrived at the Travel-Lift well at the appointed hour on Tuesday and they were just finishing launching another boat. After a very short wait, Morning Star was in the slings and on her way to dry land. Cindy can’t watch. They boys pressure washed the bottom clean as a whistle. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean it actually was. They knew we were going to be living aboard while we were hauled out so they took care, blocking us up as level as possible. They had to order the paint and it should be delivered on Wednesday. The UPS man comes just after lunch…usually. The balance of the afternoon was spent cleaning the hull and waxing and doing a bit of light sanding on the bottom. Wednesday morning the boys were back at it again, finishing the waxing by lunchtime. About 1 PM we heard the sounds of the big brown truck downshifting as it came down the hill. UPS came through as promised. The bottom was painted by nightfall. The next morning they were supposed to do a short haul for another boat for a survey. Quick in and out. Cindy & I went out for breakfast since we can’t really use the galley. They assured us that the survey would only take and hour or so. We got back from breakfast at 8:30 AM and the Travel-Lift was in position to lift us off the blocks and splash us. They other guy had cancelled on them. By 10 AM the bill was paid (No Cash, No Splash!) and we were back in the water. We putted slowly over to Zahnisers’ and picked up a mooring for a few nights. The job was done in the promised time, for the agreed upon price. It was perhaps the best haul out experience we have ever had. Spring Cove has a nice marina and its facilities are great. They have very nice, individual tiled shower rooms and an air-conditioned captains’ lounge upstairs. It has a TV, and WiFi and was a great place to hide out on a hot, windless afternoon. But we had taken our bikes down so we had transportation around town. I did a couple of small projects on the boat while we were out of the water. It was a great haul out experience. I almost can’t wait to go back next year!
Morning Star on the hard at Spring Cove Marina - Solomon's Island, MD
Exhause pipe extension
We spent a full day crawling over under and through the boats on display at Trawler Fest. One nice calm day we put a couple of coats of Cetol on the teak cap rail. To do this we had to stand in the dinghy. I’d position the dinghy alongside the boat and try to hold it in place while Cindy brushed on the Cetol finish. At the end of the day, it looked great!
The view from the anchorage - Solomon's Island, MD

Trawler Fest was over on Saturday night. Displayed boats started pulling out early on Sunday morning. Good thing because the Krogen Rendezvous is about to get started. The first group of boats, including Morning Star, started coming in on Monday. By Wednesday, most of the boats were tied up. Although the Rendezvous didn’t officially start until Thursday PM, there was an unofficial “docktail” party every evening as people caught up with old friends and made new ones. This was a special Rendezvous because it is Krogen Yachts 30th anniversary and it promises to be a huge party. Denny Maud was the dockmaster and Randy was the deputy junior assistant dockmaster. Before we were done, we shoehorned 55 Krogens into the docks by Med-mooring and lots of fenders. Another five boats were docked elsewhere at Calvert and five others were in attendance but docked at other marinas. 65 boats, almost 300 people! Mr. Lin, the owner of the yard in Taiwan that builds Krogens, his wife and two grown children even flew in for the event. Krogen closed down their office in Stuart, Fl and flew their staff and their families in! What a party it was. We had speakers in the morning on Friday and Saturday and the usual “Krogen Crawl” in the afternoons, followed by an open bar and dinner on both nights. There was a band on Saturday night and from the first note the dance floor was FULL – like to overflowing. The band played nothing but oldies, mostly 60’s. You know, lots of Beatles and beach music. When they got started you could see everybody’s eyes light up. Music from our misspent youth!! Krogen picked up the tab for the bar both nights, the meat for the Friday potluck, the tent, the Saturday night dinner and the band. The only thing we paid for was our dockage and $50 for registration. Sunday morning, prior to breaking up the raft of boats, we had a brief skippers’ meeting at 8AM. I fired off the cannon at 8:30 followed by a horn salute by all the boats and then everybody started leaving. It took less than 45 minutes to move out all the boats. 55 boats in 45 minutes and not a scratch anywhere! We had to move Morning Star to her permanent slip and get her put to bed since we were flying back to Florida. I need to do some business and Cindy has a baby shower for Courtney next weekend. So, we’re off!
Dockmasters for the Rendezvous

Foggy morning - Krogen 30th Anniversary Rendezvous
Calvert Marina - Solomon's Island,MD
Foggy morning - Krogen 30th Anniversary Rendezvous
Calvert Marina - Solomon's Island, MD
Showing the colors - Krogen 30th Anniversary Rendezvous
Calvert Marina - Solomon's Island, MD