Thursday, October 21, 2004

Cape May into the Cheasapeake

This trip turned quickly into a version of HELL. Thousands of flies descended on us as we motored up the river. They turned the deck black. Cries of horror from other boats nearby confirmed that we weren't alone. One man passed us using a leaf blower to try and keep them off the boat. How he happened to have that on board we can't imagine. We used snapping towels to try and kill as many as possible. They were biting too! We closed up the boat as quickly as we could but many had made there way below. A vacum cleaner helped pick up the dead ones below and clean up a little.
No one knew why this was happening and when it might stop. Big logs and debris were also coming down the river so we had to really pay attention.
Russ and Marty Wolf joined us for a long weekend
Our plans had been to anchor just before the C and D Canal for the night but some boats ahead confirmed that the anchorage was still fly ridden. We had put the throttle on high some time before so after some quick calculations we knew how far we could get before dark. Scott called the Schaefer Marina on the other end of the canal and after explaining our situation, asked how late we could dock there. The marvelous man told us he'd try and wait for us until 6:30PM. Thank goodness we have a big engine, because we needed all the speed we could get. Once in the Canal the flies disappeared (although not the ones all over the deck) and it was heaven to reach the dock on time.
Then the Gods smiled upon us!
"We have an all you can eat seafood buffet on tonight at the restaurant. We hope you folks can join us!"
Are you kidding! We were changed and up the dock in record time. It was a FABULOUS meal.
Baltimore Harbor from up on a hill 
We didn't have far to go the next day. Russ and Marty Wolf had arranged to meet us at Havre de Grace and join us for a three day weekend. We picked them up there and Paula joined us for dinner that night.
The next morning we motored up the Sassafras River to Georgetown anchoring at several quiet coves, first Woodland Creek and then Georgetown itself. On the return trip we stayed at Back Creek and Money Creek. Although the water wasn't clear, it felt great for some long swims. We visited the historic Mount Harmon Plantation as well.
Lee and Sherry's Allesto, a Nauticat 33
Unfortunately we had begun to experience some bad vibrations at various speeds and gradually we could only go very slow. Havre de Grace Marina put us up and worked on the engine but the problem was only temporarily solved. It was to plague us for the next FIVE years. Hindsite here.
 My sister Paula lives near here so we spent some fun time with her seeing the local sights and eating nearby.
Scott Free at the dock in Baltimore
We had three pleasant scheduled events ahead of us. The Nauticat Owners's GAM, followed by the Annapolis Boat Show and the SSCA GAM.
The Nauticat Owner's GAM was at the Maryland Yacht Club on Sue Creek on Middle River. This three day event drew owners both on and off their boats from all over the country. We had attended one just after buying our boat the year before in Beaufort, NC. It was a thrill to tie up our "Scott Free" along with her other beautiful siblings. Kai and Tula, designers and owners from the Nauticat Boatyard in Finland were with us for the whole three day event. The last day several of the boats hosted the participants for a sail up to Baltimore harbor. We had 12 on board. Lee and Sherry Hafele on Nauticat 33 "Allesto" seen here above right joined us.
Sunrise heading up the Chesapeake to Annapolis
Ed and Benia on "Sea Angel", a 44', and Jack and Fred from "Denali Rose" were on board with us. We were to see all three couples many times during our cruise ahead. Fred and Jack had a 43' also but the  Ketch version. It was surprisingly different from ours. Our big cockpit is missing due to the second mast. They also have a partition between the salon and the galley - our's is very open. It's really fun to see other Nauticats - you get some great ideas. Touring all of the boats is a highlight of the GAM. Next it was on to the Annapolis Boat Show!

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