Thursday, 12 October 2017

July, on our way to Atlantic city.

July 7th Friday.
Into the C & D canal (Chesapeake & Delaware) we go, its a canal, nothing like the narrow ones in the UK, huge. As we progressed passed Chesapeake City the police boat called us up and a CBP officer came on board to inspect our papers. The boat he was on tied up to us and continued towing us along the canal while we had a long talk with the officer. I did mention if we turned off out engine he could take us into the Delaware river and into Cape May so we could save a lot of fuel. He was quite amused. He gave us a weather update and said the river was pretty calm which meant we could continue to Cape May instead of staying at the end of the Canal in an anchorage, which we had planned to do.

We did have a little scare for a while, it was misty and in the distance we could see a very strange shape ahead of us. Don thought it was a microburst weather system which could be a disaster should it hit us.

Panic over it turned out to be a cooling tower for a power station.  So much for Dons’ weather observations?

We did almost 9 hours that day and we were pretty tired when we dropped anchor by the coast guard station in Cape May. Very little swinging room here and it was pretty busy with speeding boats making us roll until night time.

July 8th Saturday.
Well it was a pretty stressful day, the water depth and idiots weaving around us on fast boats, small boats dropped anchors in the middle of the channel so they could fish.
When they came towards us on both sides you can’t turn towards the swell they make as you are in danger of hitting something else, or running aground. So we just had to put up with being rolled about. The other very annoying things were the green head flies that bite you through clothes.
A large fishing fleet here
So, now we had run out of navigational water but we managed to turn around and reach a fuel dock to fill up and asked if we could stay the night.  Well, that proved difficult as they said we couldn’t stay on the fuel dock they would lose business. However, if we went on the side of the marina we could tie up overnight there free of charge. It sounded great but as we went in we grounded hard in the mud bottom.  
That was as close as we could get at that state of tide
As much as 4 guys tried, they couldn’t pull us in with the lines we thew to them so, when the tide rose we managed to pull ourselves in and had a safe and quiet night. 

July 9th Sunday.
High tide around 9:39 but we did pull out at 08:20 making the spot where we had grounded at before and will have a better clearance below us. Now we are heading to Atlantic city, there are some very low bridges along the way that need to be opened and they open at certain times, others open on demand, eventually. There were very shallow places on the way even at high tide.  
One of the low bridges, a little like being in Venice lol
While we were waiting for one of the bridge opening we saw a small day boat run hard aground at speed.  He would be there for the duration of the tide turnaround.  
It’s not a trip we enjoyed that much with the depths changing all the time.  A very stressful time. 

Atlantic City
We had reserved a slip in Kammermans Marina, its small and way cheaper than the huge ones on the other side of the bay. We docked by 14:00. 
N39°22,565 W074°37,630
This was one of the big bold and brash buildings before we went into Atlantic City, the marina we went into is the other side of this
This was taken at 05:30 in the morning from our slip too early for any boat traffic, my body clock is working overtime.
A less busy end of the boardwalk. 
The shopping Mall
Me lol, I love my hat 

These are all over the board walk, believe me tradition I can do without at those prices around
4 to 5 US $ a minute

Atlantic City, has a huge boardwalk, its where The Boardwalk Empire TV series was filmed, well it was based on that. Oh boy it’s a little sleazy, but fun, a mixture of both very expensive hotels and run down places. Very much a poor mans’ version of Las Vegas.  It was a long walk to the boardwalk but good exercise, we ate in a few places there. The bad part is there is not one grocery store anywhere close by. 

We did take a Margarita at Margaritaville the chain started by Jimmy Buffet, we followed Jimmy Buffet through the Caribbean island and we always just missed him, he wasn’t here either lol.  

Cheers !
The old Warner Theatre
Don and his new mate
So this blog is big enough and I will make the next one when I can. 
Glenys and Don
M/Y Pearl

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Deltaville and onwards

Deltaville and onwards.
We docked in Fishing Bay Marina (Chesapeake Boat Works) once again May 27th.
As I said in the previous blog Pearl needed some TLC, her bottom needed to have preparation done and anti foul applied. As it was pretty warm and to run any systems we needed to stay somewhere off the boat.
So we are temporary land lubbers for a while. 

In the last blog I mentioned our stay at an anchorage before Deltaville we were there for 3 days and I had forgotten to post the photo of the FBI headquarters Langley so here it is. It was taken when we were leaving and the terrible weather had left us, you can see how calm the water is.

Love to be a "fly on the wall" in here 
We rented a place via airb&b it was a heck of a drive to and from the marina. The apartment was a room above a garage with a separate bedroom and bathroom, pity it didn’t have any windows or cooking facilities except a microwave and a coffee maker. No TV either but it did have internet so we watched a few things on the computer.  Needless to say we managed to eat and were comfortable. 
So Pearl was lifted, moved into “the yard” and placed very carefully on stands. Don did the work himself as he did before on Agua Therapy. sanded, primer and painted. Anodes replaced, Props polished.

I took advantage of using the rental car buying spares for Pearl, filters, oil, and all the usual bits, provisions for our next stage of our trip.

Don ! now what are you up to ?
I was on a personal mission to try and get a better diagnosis for my leg which was still pretty sore, maybe I’m impatient but this is silly now. To cut a long story short a visit to the ER in Gloucester then sent to see an orthopaedic surgeon. My insurance company are fantastic, no hesitation, no permission needed, I was sent for an MRI and x-rays. Anyway the MRI showed fluid still around the painful area, no breaks or cracks and so I was prescribed compression stockings, full length, both legs, what! Lets just say Don was needed a few times to help but I’m afraid the temperatures were way too much to use them for very long. So keep taking the pain meds, grin and bare it.

We met up with our local friends, Hilton and Brenda, had a couple of outings with them and spent a night in their fantastic log house. They made us very welcome and provided some lovely shrimp kebabs.  We also managed to see off a few bottles of wine and a selection of Hiltons IPA beer that evening and suffered just a little bit the following day. I stuck to the wine.

Hilton is quite an artist, we love the paintings, here are a few with his kind permission granted

My favourite

Hilton works in the tourist information in Gloucester and is a mine of information of all kinds of fascinating things about the areas history.

Gloucester has so many old buildings, monuments, many associated with the civil war and some wonderful gardens.

Once again, Hilton and Brenda gave us the use of their ‘spare’ pickup truck for the duration of our visit, which we were very grateful for and proved to be very useful. 
One of the many churches in Deltaville
We stayed on the hard, on the boat, in the yard one night before being “splashed”.   We departed Fishing Bay Deltaville on Tuesday June 27th heading for Rogue Point off the Wicomico River, Just north of Reedville it was so quiet, just birdsong.

We stayed at Rogue Point for 2 nights, 29th June heading for Smith Point N37° 53,87 W76° 17, 983 

July 1st. So now we are in Solomans, Maryland the furthest North we have ever been so far.
We tried to anchor but the anchor dragged through the soft mud when we put a pull on the chain, just like a knife through butter so it wouldn’t be any good in a blow and nothing we would trust so, it was time to make other plans.
We picked up a mooring ball at a marina, the first in a long time.  Solomons is a smashing place.  Cruising buddies had mentioned it in the past and as it was close to the 4th of July celebrations we wanted to be away from unknown places with all the holidaymakers. We took the last mooring suitable for our size so it was quite a relief.

A short dinghy ride and we were ashore, taking several long walks to explore the area. 
The marine museum, yes another one was pretty good. All kinds of boats on display both inside and on the water. There are aquariums with so many different fish. 

The photo above is the old Drum Point lighthouse that was moved here

This lionfish is huge, the biggest we have ever seen

Above, a Horseshoe crab, a little like a prehistoric beast

Tobacco growing played a big part here
People stood in the Hogsheads and packed the leaves down by hand

Cute little guy very inquisitive

The fireworks for the 4th weren’t so spectacular we have really good ones at home so maybe we are spoilt. 
Oysters were big business here too and there is another place on the main street which has an amazing display of how it used to be here.

Lots of local history here

Some very strange shaped oysters, all huge too
It was hard work
Paid a pittance for standing all day at these stalls so they went on strike when their wages were reduced even more to 25c a gallon.
The seafront / boardwalk is a little like an old seaside place in the UK with a pier, we had an amazing fish dinner there.

 Houses are covered in red white and blue rosettes as it is the 4th of July. We did consider removing our British ensign just in case we were fired at.

Some smashing flowers here
Visitors, thankfully they didn't leave any presents

Wednesday July 5th departing Solomons. Topped up with fuel and 7 hours later trip we were in Bodkin creek.  
N39° 07,493 W 076°26,593

There are some pretty impressive bridges along the way
July 6th Thursday.
Its raining ! Off we go again, dropped the anchor at 14:11 hours
N39°28,387 W076°55,025
Anchored in the Bohemia River at the Chesapeake Bay 

Mum and dad guarding the chick 
As there are so many images and the page is pretty big its time to do the next blog.
Glenys and Don
M. Y. Pearl

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Progress on the east coat

So here we go, from St Augustine the need to go North, there's things to do besides enjoying ourselves. Stopping along the way looking for safe anchorages meaning protection from wind and waves as best we can. Our route does take us through some very shallow spots so the weather and timing tides has to be a consideration along with bridge opening times. Not all of the bridges open on demand, or locks either. The plan is to get into Deltaville Virginia so we can haul Pearl out to anti foul along with the other maintenance. As we have visited lots of cities on a road trip and on the boat we won't really be stopping in many.

Playing with reflections

Here is our log for a little while.

Friday May 12th.
Off we go to Alligator Pass Florida, not too far today, didn't see any alligators. 
N 30° 34, 577  W 81° 28, 232

Saturday May 13th
There is a storm on its way so it was a long day, roughly 90 nm miles 
N 31°39, 56 W 81°12.537 Off St Catherines Islands North Newport river. Georgia. Peaceful night

Sunday May 14th 
Set off at 07:00 picked up fuel at Isle of Hope marina, we came here for fuel here the last time we passed by, nice folks. 74 nm miles today Now in South Carolina.
One of the many swing bridges we have gone though 

Getting shots of wildlife is challenging to say the least, when the boat is always rocking.

Monday 15th May
We had a slight delay, the port engine wouldn't start.
Forgot to say we were in Beaufort in an anchorage  so we took the dinghy into town.

Tuesday 16th May
The tide was dropping and we had to get through the really low spots at 
Mc Clenanville.
 Beaufort visit
These houses have lots of steps to enter inside

These horses know exactly where to stop, he is looking at the white line

Wednesday 17th May.
Now north of Charleston

Bucksport Marina, again a great place on the Waccamaw river. We have stayed here before and its very reasonably priced.  Fuel bought here has a Boat Us discount for fuel too so we filled up. The owners son took me to supermarket and brought me back, all part of the great service and hospitality here.
On guard! baby chick in that nest, hiding
18th May we stopped at South Harbour Cove, Southport its very shallow, doubt we would come here again. Idiots on fast boats rocked us about.

May 19th 
We had set the alarm for 03:30 so we could get past the shallows but again the port engine played up. We really wanted to get past Wrightsville beach and through the silly times for the bridge openings. Didn't leave until 05:25 We were heading for Mile Hammock, an anchorage we had been to before with some military activity to watch but, not much happening this time round.
He's not interested in us one bit, they normally complain, very loudly
May 20th Saturday.
Lifted the anchor, I managed to get covered in slime and mud from the anchor
Heading for Oriental or there about. We caught the Onslow 08:30 bridge.
Dropped the anchor in Cedar creek at 14:22, there was a bit of a blow but we were fine. N34°52.812 W076°41,442

May 21st Sunday
72 nm today dropped the anchor at 16:16 hours  N35°40, 502 W076°06, 254 

May 22nd Monday
07:15 start 12:50 finish at Public Creek, very close to where we were attacked by bugs the last time we came here. We watched a few barges and tugs pass by. 
N36° 17, 214 W075° 57,818
All different ospreys in various places
 May 23rd Tuesday
Off to Norfolk Virginia, 06:50 we went through the Great Bridge lock, and through Norfolk. Not a day we would like to repeat, the weather turned nasty, so did the sea. Wish we had stopped in Norfolk at Hospital point as we would have been much safer. The wind howled around 27 knots and the sea took us on an awful ride, bucked and rolled us with its 6 foot plus waves. So much for the forecast 5 -10knt wind and 1 - 3 ft waves.  Lesson learned: never trust the weather man !!  We had to take a very dramatic turn into a small anchorage. It was such a relief to be inside Phoebus Bay, out of the main river.

We do see some odd sights, they are on a sandbar

Guess this target was hit a few times then, this was where we passed by on a non firing day 
Wednesday 24th May
Well we did have an early start which wasn't intensional, fishermen woke us up around 05:30 asking us to move as we were over their unmarked fishing nets. So off we go at 6 in the morning back out into the main river with terrible weather again heading for a safe spot. Thankfully we pulled into an anchorage not too far away. We headed in as far as we could which was very close to Langley, headquarters of the CIA, the George Bush Centre for Intelligence. There just happens to be a runway where military jets take off and land so it was sometimes a little noisy. Quite spectacular though, watching the F35's screaming overhead.
So we sat out the weather for 3 days until the storms had passed.
This is what we had coming through Coinjock, the automatic foghorn and radar worked very well

These idiots come past us so fast however he did slow to around 15 knots instead of the 30 plus he was doing when we saw him on AIS. Still caused us to rock around.
This little fella bought his lunch with him / her while hitching a lift

Saturday 27th May

06:30 start and its almost mill pond conditions and we are very happy to get to Deltaville. Roughly 33 Nm today, tied up on a dock by 11:40. Fishing Bay Marina welcomed us, and actually remembered us from our previous visit.  It's almost like a second home to us. Now is the time to settle for a few days before the work starts.

The following blog will be about our stay in Deltaville.
So its BFN
Glenys and Don
M/Y Pearl