On our way to Annapolis….

24 June 2016 –
Everyone on the dock was trying to figure out where to go with the forecasted rain approaching.  We looked at the forecast for Annapolis and decided to head there for the weekend.

IMG_0247We encountered no rain, and had a glorious motor sail across the Bay.  Friends at the marina reported major rain and thunder – we were glad to have gone when we did.


Along the way looking out over the water we kept seeing what appeared to be small fins – Christina first thought they were small sharks swimming in unison but quickly realized that didn’t make sense.  It wasn’t until we were tied to a mooring ball and saw them up close that we realized they were rays and the “double fins” we were seeing were the raised tips of their wings.  Based on their behaviour we reckon it may be mating season for them.  (Photo found on the internet from Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)

The weather was awesome and it was great to spend two days and nights on a mooring ball and enjoying our favorite restaurants.

For those keeping track, the dinghy performed wonderfully and got us around the harbor with no issues or problems.

P1020872 (1)We had a pleasant trip back to Rock Hall on Sunday, albeit with no wind.


Enjoying a nice walk….

18 June 2016
Our marina is nestled amongst farmland, woods and quiet roads.

IMG_0244One of the advantages of living here is being able to enjoy long and leisurely walks.

Here is a view from down the road and around a corner a couple of miles away.  You can see the Annapolis Bay Bridge in the distance.

IMG_0245It looks like a pretty day to be on the Bay too.

Time to Service the Windlass

8 June 2016

IMG_0239Not every day can be a day of rest and today Bob decided to service the windlass.  The windlass is the motorized winch that is used to lower and raise the anchor.

IMG_0240Bob figured out piece by piece how to disassemble the windlass, cleaning each piece as he went.


Based on lessons learned in the past, we remembered to take photos along the way to be sure he could put it all back together again in the right order and position.

Christina did her part, sitting next to Bob with the diagrams reading the service instructions from the manual aloud step by step.

Now we have no excuse not to go out and anchor to be sure it all still works well.

A quiet day at the marina

31 May, 2016 –
We enjoy alot of quiet days in the marina, and this was just another one.

P1020867This is the view from the bow of our boat overlooking the woods – it is a pretty peaceful view.


And the view taken from the bowsprit looking back over the boat.



We ended the day enjoying cheese and crackers in the cockpit.

Life is pretty good today.

Up, up and away….

29 May 2016 — Being a Good Neighbor

Sailors are often times found helping each other out.  Every boater’s problem shared is another boater’s learning opportunity as well.

Neighbors across our dock have an inmast furling system for their main sail.  Most people like these because of the ease of raising and lowering their sail.  The sail furls (or rolls) in and out of the mast.

(We have a more traditional system where the sail rises and lowers from the boom and has to be tied up and secured each time.)

P1020860Today, our neighbors were having problems with their sail and it had gotten stuck in the mast and wouldn’t go out or in.  Bob volunteered to go up the mast to try to free the sail.  This entails him sitting in a bosun’s chair and attaching it to the halyard, and having folks below hoist him up the mast.

IMG_0230Three or more men stayed down below on the boat and assisted in raising and lowering Bob while also trying to pull the sail out.

Although it is a common experience to have someone go up the mast at times for maintenance and repairs, the dock had wives watching, all glad it wasn’t their husband up the mast.

Bob was able to free the sail, and they tried again to raise it up and down, and again it got stuck….And again…. Bob ended up going up their mast 3 times today.   Although there are no photos to prove it, he did end up going all the way to the top of the mast for the last effort.

IMG_0231It was questionable as to who had the worst job, Bob or the guys down below physically getting tired having to hoist him up three times.  By the end, they finally borrowed another neighbor’s battery operated portable device that basically powers the winch so no manual pulling is necessary.

Bob says the view was great from up there.  And yes, a cold beer was waiting for him down below once the project was complete.


Parkview Dockwalk

21 May 2016 – Parkview Dockwalk – Sailing Emporium

The Sailing Emporium in Rock Hall, Maryland is where we are calling home this summer.  One of the things that makes this marina special is it’s social atmosphere and friendly boaters.

The Sailing Club has wine and cheese social hours at least once a month.

Our dock, named Parkview, hosted May’s Wine and Cheese get together.  Here is a video that was shot via a drone as we all walked down our dock during the event.  Now you can get an aerial view of where we are spending our summer.

Our boat is the third down from the far end pointing to the right.  

Check out the video on YouTube:


Welcome Home!

16 May 2016 – Welcome Back to Rock Hall, Maryland

P1020855We enjoyed this beautiful sunrise as we left Herrington Harbor South early in the morning even though NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) had issued a Small Craft Advisory due to expected high winds.  They were calling for winds around 20 – 25 miles per hour with gusts to 30, and they weren’t wrong.

The gusts picked up around 10 am just like they were forecast to.  It was a cold wind and we bounced and rocked around alot as we made our way across the Bay toward Rock Hall.  At different times we unfurled each of the headsails so we could take advantage of the wind, and hopefully steady the boat a bit, but without the mainsail up (and it was still under the sail cover) we felt the foresails were putting too much stress on the rigging with the force of the wind.  And so we motored through it.

P1020856There weren’t too many boats out today as we made our way under the Annapolis Bay Bridge and the familiar waters approaching Rock Hall.

P1020858A few hours later we navigated the familiar channel through Rock Hall Harbor and safely docked in our summer home marina.  We had mixed emotions as we tied up and realized the journey was done (for now) but it did feel good to say “hi” to old friends as they would return to the marina over the next few days.

And it felt GREAT to not have to plan our days by the weather for a while.


The Bay is like a Lake

14  & 15 May 2016 – Solomons Island to Herrington Harbour South, Maryland

P1020851We woke to a calm day with light winds and water that was as flat as a lake.

We enjoyed the quiet day on the water as we headed to Herrington Harbour South, our last stop before our final destination of Rock Hall, Maryland.

There were lots of fishing boats out and we learned the last  that those fishing for Rockfish add an additional dimension of hazard.  Fishing boats fishing for Rockfish often tow outriggers which extend far out the back and to the sides of the boat, as seen in this photo from another day.


The red circles show how far to the sides the floats of the rigs extend.  This particular boat had easy to see orange floats, but many of the boats used dark colored floats that blends in with the color of the water, making it much more difficult to see.  So, we had to stay alert and not just look out for boats, but also look out for whatever they may be towing.

Add to that the hazard of a couple of fishing boats that were so busy fishing with their lines off the stern that they didn’t have anyone at the helm watching where they were going.  And no, most fishing boats do not monitor the VHF radio.

We watched as one particular fishing boat that crossed our bow from starboard (so they did have the right of way) without anyone at the helm motor across the path of a fast moving oncoming freighter.  It would have been easy for that to be a disaster.

P1020852We arrived in Herrington Harbor South without incident.  The weather for the next day forecast high wind with a Small Craft Advisory, but we were still planning to make the final leap to Rock Hall.

We awoke the next day to find the forecasted wind had been upgraded, and now it was a Gale Warning.  No need to go out in that wind – and it was indeed windy.  So we enjoyed the hospitality for another day.  We watched with some amusement as other boats made an effort to leave the marina, being blown about and ultimately changing their plans, and most struggling to make their way back to their slips.

P1020854Even the ducks were friendly as these two swam by and seemed to enjoy Christina’s voice as she talked with them.  The female came by first, and when Christina asked if she had a mate, she seemed to understand the question and she swam away to returned a few minutes later with her mate.  They stayed right there next to the boat for over a half hour (and not getting fed by us).  They came by the next day to say hello again as well.

Tomorrow we will make it back to our summer home marina.




A foggy start to the day….

12 May 2016 – Pt. Lookout to Solomons Island, Maryland

P1020848We woke up to fog but really wanted to continue making progress north and didn’t want to wait yet another day, so we decided to give it a go.

Visibility was less than 1/2 mile/.8 kilometer and again we were VERY thankful for the radar and AIS to see what boats may be out there.  We kept a constant watchful eye through the binoculars as well.

The river was full of commercial fishing boats but it seemed like they were also always tracking us and would move out of the way as we stayed on a specific course.

We also would radio an approaching boat if we weren’t sure they were aware of our presence, just to let them know our location and our intention.  This works well if the other boat has its radio on, but unfortunately that is not always the case.

Once we passed Point No Point Lighthouse and turned to head a bit more northerly, leaving the river and reentering the Chesapeake Bay there was another sailboat on our starboard side.  We used the radio to try to hail them to tell them what course we intended and the boat that responded was actually on the other said of the Bay!  This is a problem when  you don’t know a boat’s name, and are trying to hail, blue hull sailboat approaching whatchamacallit.

We received a response and when we told the responding party of our intention they were confused because the boat that had responded was actually located on the other side of the bay and had no idea what we were talking about.

So we tried again, and again to a hail that boat that was getting closer and closer to us.  We included the boat brand (Island Packet), and any other identifying features we could see, but the boat that was approaching us didn’t respond at all.  Then we noticed through the binoculars that there was no one at the helm! If both boats maintained course we were definitely on a collision course.  Yes, per maritime protocol they did have the right of way, but maritime safety protocols dictate they really should be at the helm aware of all the boats around them.

We were not sure what their intention was, and in order to avoid collision we altered our course, allowing the other boat to cross our bow.  Just as they approached the skipper came up from below looked around, appeared to make an adjustment to his autopilot and went back down below to the relative warmth and comfort of his cabin totally oblivious to the inconvenience and potential risk he had caused.

We tried to stay away from that boat which meant we were forced to be on a course that took us a bit out of way.  It seemed that every time we did a slight adjustment to our course, he would pop back up from below and adjust his course to stay on a parallel course as us.  We were both pretty frustrated that here we are, in the middle of a vast expanse of water in the Chesapeake Bay with this inconsiderate and, in our opinion, unsafe sailor effectively blocking our way and making us maintain defensive maneuvers.  .

Yes, there are times when a skipper can be safely below deck, while underway, but seriously? …. In the Chesapeake Bay within close proximity to other boats and with low visibility?!?!?!  Yeah, it might be a bit uncomfortable in the cockpit with the wind, cold and rain, but if you aren’t going to do it responsibly and safely you really should stay in the marina — okay our rant is over.

In maneuvering around him, we were finally able to read the boat name and after a few more tries we eventually were successful in hailing the skipper on the radio to tell him we would like to cross his bow to get back on course for Solomons Island.  He said that is where he was going too and he would just follow us in.  We asked if he could slow down just a bit so we could cross and he obliged.  The good news there is that we no longer had to worry about where he was going to go for the rest of the day once we got ahead of him.

The rest of the trip to Solomons Island was uneventful.

Due to the weather forecast for cold, rain and wind, we ended up enjoying the hospitality of the marina for two nights….are you seeing a trend here?

Next on to Herrington Harbor South.


Rain and afternoon thunderstorms…

11 May 2016 – Deltaville, Virginia – Point Lookout, Maryland

Today turned out to be rainy with thunderstorms as we motored up the Potomac River to Point Lookout.  We were thankful we have radar and AIS because visibility was low.  And with radar we were able to track the thunderstorms and anticipate how long they would last and when the next band would be approaching.
Thankfully the weather cleared in time for us to more easily navigate Smith Creek as we approached Point Lookout Marina.  Even with the overcast skies we could tell this is a really pretty area and we definitely plan to come back down here to explore a bit more later this summer or on our way south in the fall. P1020847

We have been told the marina has a lovely restaurant, but alas it wasn’t open today – a regular trend for us, so instead we enjoyed dinner on board enjoying the view and relishing the peaceful quiet.