Leaving Antigua, W. I.

From Our Old Web Page - June 2001 to May 2002


Anchored in Mile Hammock Bay in the middle of Camp LeJeune.


We took a slip at the Beaufort, N.C. town dock so that we could do a few weeks worth of laundry.  As I went into reverse to stop the boat, I discovered that I had no reverse.  Immediately after that, I discovered that I had no forward.  Fortunately one of the dockhands was there to take our lines and assist in a controlled crash.  No damage.  I quickly investigated the transmission and discovered that a set screw holding the propeller shaft had sheared, allowing the shaft to come out of its coupling.  This was a pretty simple fix, although I did spend some time looking for hardened steel set screws in hopes of avoiding a repeat.  While down in the engine compartment, I found an exhaust leak, which I also fixed.  While it seems like we have lots of boat trouble, we remind ourselves that we have put almost 1000 hours on the engine in the past year.  This is the same amount of time that we and the two previous owners had accrued over the 21 year life of the boat prior to our departure last fall.

Our friends Michael and Elizabeth Ownby drove down from Raleigh to spend an afternoon with us.


We resumed our journey north and spent the night anchored in Goose Creek, N.C.


We took a look at Oriental, N.C. today.  We’ve always heard it was a nice place, and it did look attractive, but it was too early in the day to stop, so we moved on to anchor off Deep Point in the Alligator River.


We had a rip-roaring sail across Albermarle Sound today.  We then had to beat into the wind up the Pasquotank River to Elizabeth City, just as a reminder that nothing comes easy.  Just as we were in sight of the town dock, a blinding thunderstorm struck with 50 plus knot winds.  As we could not see to navigate and the surrounding water was pretty shallow, we dropped the anchor until the weather cleared.  We found only a couple of boats at the town dock, so there was no wine and cheese party tonight.  Last fall, there were more boats than slips, so the parties were quite festive.  Many of the boats that became our cruising friends were boats that we first met here in the fall.


As we passed the marina on our way to the town dock, we saw China Doll, belonging to our friends Dot Skelley and Tim Orton.  We knew they were building a house in the area, and assumed that they had moved ashore and were keeping the boat there.  There were three boats at the town dock tonight, so Fred Fearing of the Rose Buddies had us all to his house for wine and cheese.  As we were walking down the street to his house, a mile-long black Cadillac pulled up, and Dot Skelley yelled “Play Actors.”   Turns out that she and Tim still haven’t finished their house and are living aboard in Elizabeth City.  We had a pleasant couple of days renewing our acquaintance with these delightful folks.  Their house is taking up much more of their time and energy than they thought it would, and they’re not sure when they’re going to rejoin the ranks of cruising sailors.  The house looks grand, even in its unfinished stage.


After brunch with Dot and Tim, we had a short trip to the North Carolina Visitors’ Center on the Dismal Swamp Canal.

6/11 - 21/01

Shortly after we left the Visitors’ Center, we encountered a fallen tree which completely spanned the canal.  We gently bumped the trunk with the leading edge of the keel and estimated that it had about four and a half feet of water over it.  We figured that with a running start, we could probably slide over with our full keel underbody, and we did.  The boat behind us had a fin keel and skeg rudder, and was not so lucky, although they did eventually get off.  We learned from the lock keeper at Deep Creek that the tree had fallen last night, and that we were the first boat to pass over it.  They expected to get a tug in to remove it in the afternoon.

We anchored off Hospital Point in Norfolk at about 1:30.  We feel like we’re home now.  We spent the afternoon figuring out what we need to get done here.

Now that we're 'home', where should we go?  new places are in order, but our old favorites are calling us too. With few constraints on our schedule, we can go wherever/whenever, but a little structure would be nice. Since Dede's coming in August, and Leslie's flying out of Baltimore mid-September, we decided to spend those six weeks in the Annapolis/Baltimore area.  Given that constraint, we chose an up-the-bay, down-the-bay approach to the summer.

First, we had lots to do in Norfolk. Most important, we had to get Leslie's prescriptions refilled. We also found a nice grocery store called GW's  Market.  They gave us a ride back to the boat with all of our groceries.  We went to Brownley's and treated ourselves to a new cruising guide to the Bay, as ours was five years old.  One day when we got back to the dinghy we found a note from our friends, Bill and Bessie Morse.  Their boat, Shadow, is stored in Florida, but they were in Norfolk with their travel trailer.  We met them for lunch, and spent the afternoon visiting the Chrysler Museum with them.

Norfolk has a fine downtown mall, complete with a Nordstrom and Talbots (Leslie's old employer).  It's the best mall on the lower East Coast that's so close to the water.  Since our tattered wardrobes needed refreshing, off we went.  After one year aboard, we've learned that some of the clothes that we brought with us were, for one reason or another, not quite appropriate.  For example, Bud brought plenty of mesh polo shirts aboard, but found them to be awfully hot and heavy.  He now has six seersucker shirts, which are much cooler (and quicker to dry in the laundromat).  Since we often get splashed on our dinghy trips, nylon shorts like bathing suits are better than cotton khaki ones.  Spending the day shopping in a mall was a bizarre feeling; familiar but unreal at the same time.  I used to spend lots of time in an environment such as this, but on the other side of the cash register.

While we were at anchor in Norfolk, our friends Wayne and Pat on Sanddollar caught up with us.  We last saw them in Titusville, Florida, and spoke with them by radio in Thunderbolt, Georgia.  We spent a pleasant evening walking around Norfolk with them and had dinner at our favorite barbecue restaurant.  We left Pat and Wayne in Norfolk on 6/21 and headed for Hampton, because we had never been there.  It looked like an interesting place, but there was nowhere to anchor and it was early in the day, so we decided to save our marina budget and see Hampton another time. 


We spent the night of 6/21 anchored in the Poquoson River (a new spot for us).  It was a good stopping place, but not one of the prettier spots on the Bay, at least from the water.  Since it was surrounded by low-lying land and wide open to the breeze, we were cooler than if we had chosen one of our normal, snug coves.  Back in the heat of the Chesapeake summer, this is a new requirement.


We went up the East River off Mobjack Bay to one of our old favorite anchorages at Woodas Creek, which does not appear to have changed in all the time we’ve been going there.  There’s nothing to do here but relax and look at the birds.  In between times, we read and did little projects around the boat.


We moved around to the North River (a new place for us) off Mobjack Bay, and found that it was similar to the East River in its general appearance, although we think the East River is a little cozier.


Anchored in Fishing Bay (another new spot for us) at Deltaville.  This is a great anchorage – we like it much better than Jackson Creek, where we anchored last time we came here.


We saw Sanddollar as we were leaving Deltaville.  We rode along beside them and visited for a little while.  They’re in a hurry to get to Washington, D.C. for the 4th of July celebration.  We aren’t in a hurry to get anywhere.  We decided to go to Urbanna, as we hadn’t been there before.  We anchored in Urbanna Creek, which is small and very nice.  There’s room for maybe a dozen boats on the hook, although we were told by one of the locals that it’s rarely crowded except for the oyster festival.  We saw a Tashiba 36 pilothouse at one of the docks.  It’s a newer derivative of our boat’s design.  We also spotted Thistledown, a Baba 35, a sister ship of ours, and met Ed McChain, her owner.  He and his wife are in the process of building a house in Urbanna, and hope to go cruising in a few years.  We made plans to meet up with them at a Baba rendezvous in the Wye River in mid July.  Ed told us the folks on the pilothouse planned to be there as well.  Urbanna is a delightful little town, and we will definitely visit again, probably in the fall.  It has a good grocery store and a laundromat, both within walking distance of the harbor.  As we waked down the street after supper in a local restaurant, a lady asked us if we were on a boat anchored in the harbor.  We said we were (we were carrying our groceries), and she said, “Well, welcome to Urbanna,” with a big smile.  Nice place.


We’re back in one of our favorite anchorages tonight, in Mill Creek off the Great Wicomico River.

6/29/01 – 7/2/01

We’re in Horseshoe Bend at St. Mary’s City, another of our old favorites.  We took a detour up Cartagena Creek on our way up the St. Mary’s River to get diesel fuel at the Dennis Point Marina, which was a very nice, family run place with a restaurant and campground.  For all the years that we’ve been coming to St. Mary’s City, we never knew about the marina / campground.  One of the owners invited us to come back for their 4th of July celebration, promising a cookout and fireworks.

We anchored in our normal spot off the college and had a couple of good, inexpensive meals ashore at the student cafeteria.  We saw an outdoor production of Pirates of Penzance at the college, which was quite good.  It will be moving to the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. next week.

We had a great position to watch the fireworks from the Dennis Point Marina.  It was quite a show, far exceeding our expectations.

We also got struck by lightning on the first.  Most of our electronics were destroyed.  We filed a claim by phone with our insurance company, and now have to deal with a hull, rig, and electrical survey over the next few days.  We made an appointment at Zahnhiser’s in Solomon’s Island to take care of these, and got ready to move on the third.


We’re anchored in Back Creek at Solomon’s Island.  It’s fairly crowded, as tomorrow is the 4th. 


We spent the day at anchor, watching all the activity of the folks who are obviously on holiday cruises.  It brought back memories of the days before we moved aboard, when we tried to make the most of the time available.  It’s nice not to have a schedule anymore, but as we sat in the heat, we remembered the days when we had air-conditioning after our holiday cruises too. 

We lucked into a perfect location to watch the Solomon’s fireworks, which were spectacular.  While neither display that we saw matched the one on the national mall, which we used to see from our balcony in Arlington, VA, they were both pretty good, and it’s worth the trade off to be able to watch from the deck of our boat.


We made our way to Zahniser’s, where we met the surveyor from the insurance company.  We had the boat hauled and the bottom cleaned for inspection.  As we thought, there was no sign of lightning damage to any of the grounded underwater fittings.  We were also pleased that the bottom was pretty clean, after a year.  We did have some small barnacles that we picked up since leaving the Bahamas, the last place where we dove and scrubbed the bottom.

The insurance company wants a rigger to inspect the standing rigging and the mast.  We will have to wait here until next week to get that done.  We returned to our anchorage and launched the dinghy to go grocery shopping.


Today is laundry day.  We also did a little more grocery shopping, and discovered that Solomon’s now has a West Marine.  This makes it almost perfect as a cruising stop.  It’s missing a bookstore, though.  We did find a replacement voltage regulator at West Marine, so we have officially begun repairing the lightning damage.


We renewed our membership at the Calvert Marine Museum and spent the weekend as tourists in Solomon’s Island.  During the next week, we got the rig survey done (no damage) and replaced the battery system monitor that was destroyed in the lightning strike.  We enjoyed life in Solomon’s Island, but are ready to move on to Annapolis, where we can get a few more parts and a new VHF radiotelephone.  We met a couple, Adrian and Angie, just beginning a liveaboard cruise on Canto, a Mason 43, with Luke (6 years old) and Kristina (8 years old).  What fun!


We left Solomon’s and went to Galesville, to Hartge Yacht Yard, where we kept the boat for so many years.  We got diesel, water, and a few gallons of oil.  It seemed a little odd to be there as visitors, and to see another boat in the slip that was ours for so long.  We only saw one couple that we knew, and we visited for a few minutes before we left to find a cool spot to anchor.  As we were leaving, we saw Spike on Masquerade, one of our liveaboard friends.  We hope to get back to Hartge’s on a weekend so that we can renew some of our acquaintances.  We anchored in one of our old spots in the Rhode River for the night.


We had a very slow sail into Annapolis this morning, where we picked up a mooring.  We found that Fawcett’s had the inverter that we needed to replace in stock!  The inverter is the piece that we miss the most.  This is great news.  We can now run the coffee grinder again, for the first time since the lightning strike.  We delivered the inverter to the boat after a precarious experience loading it into the dinghy.  It’s pretty heavy and awkward to handle.  We went back ashore to look for a VHF radio, and we ran into our friends Ray and Kayla from Kismet, last seen headed south from Georgetown, Exhumas for Venezuela.  It turns out that Ray’s mother died, and they left Kismet in Puerto Rico while they sort out the estate.  Meanwhile, they have a car, and they generously took us to West Marine and Boat U.S., where we got the rest of what we needed to repair all of the lightning damage.  They also took us to Trader Joe’s new store near the Annapolis mall.  Trader Joe’s was one of our favorite grocery stores when we lived in Arlington because of the eclectic assortment of foods (especially snack foods) that they sell.  They also offered to take us to the Nordstrom store at the mall, but this was too much of a good thing.  Small world, and a great community, this cruising one.  We’ve now accomplished our Annapolis missions, although we’re a little tired.


As we relaxed and played tourist today, we saw the folks from Canto and visited with them.  Also, we renewed our acquaintance with Bart and Leah on Wings.  We met them last fall in St. Augustine, and haven’t really visited since, although we did see the boat occasionally in the Bahamas.  Thistledown, the Baba 35 from Urbanna, also appeared on a nearby mooring today.  Ed and Mary Ann are on their way to a Baba rendezvous in the Wye River this weekend, where we expect to see them.  As we were sitting in the cockpit talking about how active our social life has become since we moved aboard and “dropped out”,  Drew and Mary Beth from Air Transport came up in a dinghy to say hello.  We met them in Solomons last week, and they live in Annapolis.   They just wanted to visit, and let us know that we were welcome to call on them for a cooling dip in their pool, if the weather got to us. 


We left Annapolis and moved to our favorite little cove on Wye Island, because we need to complete the installations of our new gear.  Annapolis can be too distracting to get much work done.  We figure that we’ll wait here until the Baba rendezvous, which is only a couple of miles from here.  We find the cove as we remembered it, the perfect hideaway.  This is our all time favorite spot.  Canto called us on the cell phone today.  They’re on their way from Annapolis, and will join us this evening.  We look forward to their company, and especially to seeing the children.

We had Angie’s fresh baked muffins in Canto’s cockpit this morning.  Yumm!  Kristina and Luke are great fun.  They showed us around their boat and explored ours.  Thistledown  showed up this morning, and will share our spot until we go to the rendezvous on Saturday morning.


Muffins aboard Canto again.  What a great neighborhood.  We all went ashore and went hiking.  On the north side of the island, Ed and Mary Ann struck up a conversation with another boater, who asked where they were anchored.  When they told him, he said, “Oh, you’re in there with Play Actor.  Do you know them?”  When Ed pointed us out, the fellow introduced himself as Steve from Samarang, a friend of the folks on Sanddollar.  He said he had been seeing our boat since Fort Pierce, where we anchored for one night when we came in from Nassau.  He knew about our lightning strike from the coconut telegraph, and told us that he was expecting Sanddollar for dinner tomorrow.  We went back to Thistledown, where Ed set up his nettle-proof pool, and the children went swimming.  Iseling, a Tashiba 36 pilothouse from Urbanna with Kerry and Catherine and five dogs came in and rafted up to Thistledown for the evening.


Coffee for the group aboard Play Actor  this morning.  We all left midmorning for the rendezvous, where we ended up as the anchor boat for the raft.  Canto was on our port side, and Iseling was on our starboard.  There were two other 35’s a, 31 and a 40 pilothouse, plus Thistledown, all hanging on our anchor.  Everyone enjoyed visiting back and forth and checking out everyone else’s innovations.  We had a potluck dinner on the beach and then broke up the raft for the evening.  Seize the Day, the 40 pilothouse, had two young boys aboard, and they gathered on Canto with us for a musical evening.  Adrian is a talented musician, with a couple of instruments on board.  One of these was Luke’s guitar, with which he accompanied himself as he lead the children in some fun songs.  Bud had his guitar too, so the grown-ups were treated to some of Bud’s songs while Adrian picked out an accompaniment to Bud on the fly.


Our friends Wally and Jane on Salty Dog called on the radio.  They just got back from Florida and spent the night on the hook about a mile away from us.  They live in St. Michael’s, but are in no particular hurry to get to their house.  About an hour later, they motored into the anchorage with Salty Dog Rag by Flatt and Scruggs blaring on their boom box, dancing on the deck.  Great to see them, and they are as much fun as ever.  They visited for a few minutes, and then went on their way to open up their house.

We and Canto waited until mid afternoon for the weekend crowds to clear, and then headed for St. Michael’s.  We all had dinner at the Crab Claw.

We had a nightcap aboard Sanddollar with Wayne and Pat and Wayne’s brother Don.


We said goodbye to Canto and Sanddollar this morning.  They both want to make their way to New York before starting south for the winter, so they must move on.  We hope to see them both in the fall.

We ordered our mail and our repaired Ham radio sent to St. Michael’s, as we expect to spend a few days here.  We went to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.  Both the museum and St. Michael’s have gone upscale since we were last here 11 years ago.  It’s probably because Wally and Jane moved here.  We did a little grocery shopping and found a drugstore where Bud replaced his reading glasses, which he sacrificed to Neptune in Annapolis.  On our way back to the boat, we spotted Wings at anchor in the harbor and said hello.


Bud woke up this morning and decided that he had had enough of his beard.  It’s gone!

Wally called this morning and invited us to dinner with showers and laundry.  What a deal!  Bud helped Wally with his roller furling jib while Leslie did laundry and Jane went to the dentist. 

7/25 – 28/01

We toured St. Michael’s while waiting for mail.  We found and bought a folding teak table which is just right as a cocktail table in our main cabin.  It’s also nice to hold Bud’s drink and snacks while he is reading on the settee. 

We learned there’s a log canoe race this weekend, and decided to stay for it.  That was pretty interesting.  The boats are all over 100 years old, and are so over-canvassed that they carry about 6 extra crew members as movable ballast.  They hike out on boards to keep the boats from capsizing.  Quite a sight. 

While we were watching the race, we got a visit from Ed and Fran on Thumper.  They were neighbors on the dock when we kept the boat at Hartge’s.  They filled us in on some of the dock gossip while we watched the log canoes.


Today dawned rainy and blustery, so we decided to move 5 miles back to our little protected cove on the Wye.  We were so cold that we baked biscuits after we got the hook down.  Just after we anchored, a Tartan 35, Wind Rose, buzzed us.  They are friends of Rick and Chris Emerson on One with the Wind, another Baba 35.  They had been rafted about a mile away and heard us on the radio.  They just wanted to say hello.  Ten minutes later, One with the Wind  circled us as well.  After the one other boat in the cove left to try their fishing luck somewhere else, we were all alone with the rain.  Bud taped up our scuppers and opened the water tanks, and we collected 15-20 gallons of fresh water as we relaxed.  Leslie worked on our book inventory list that we keep on our handheld-PC.  They’re listed by title, author, type, and then the all-important LOCATION.  Play Actor has four different book storage spots, two of which hold books on the shelves behind the books on the shelves.  Leslie had inventoried one location last summer, and decided that it was useful enough to do the rest of the books.  It was a perfect rainy day task.

Wally called and invited us over to do laundry at their house and help him repair his jib roller furling mechanism.  We made a date for tomorrow morning.


We moved back to St. Michael’s and anchored in the harbor.  Bud spent the day with Wally and his son working on Salty Dog, while Leslie did laundry and played gardening with Jane.


We went to Annapolis and picked up a mooring for a week.  We have grocery shopping, etc., to do before Dede visits.  We found  Sanddollar back in Annapolis as well.  Bud installed a macerator pump on the galley sink, so we now have the equivalent of a disposal!  This is especially nice, because our sink drains were right at the level of the waterline, and therefore didn’t drain very well.  Wayne and Pat from Sanddollar  came over for cocktails, and we watched the Annapolis Yacht Club race finish through the mooring field.  It was really exciting to have the racing boats zinging past us a few feet away.  There were only a few collisions, and, miraculously, none involved boats on moorings.


8/1 – 8/8

We took a mooring in Annapolis this week.  Leslie needs new contacts, and Annapolis seems like a good place to get them.  It’s also a convenient place for Dede to come visit us before she starts work this fall.,

We have had a problem with the sinks in the galley draining ever since we’ve owned the boat.  This is one of those things that was a nuisance when we used the boat on weekends that became a major irritant when we moved aboard full time.  The bottom of the sinks is just level with the water line, so gravity won’t provide much flushing of the drains, and this allows all sorts of unsavory critters to grow and prosper in the dishwater.  I remember as a child that people had beds of worms for fish bait, which they nurtured by emptying dishwater into the bed.  While we didn’t have worms in the drains, they were pretty cruddy.  We solved this problem by installing a macerator pump in the drain line.  This pump actually grinds any small particles of solid food that happen to get into the drain.   It also lets us pump the sinks dry.  It functions much like a garbage disposal.  Our friends Wayne and Pat from Sanddollar christened it the garbarator, apparently a Canadian term for disposal.  Whatever you call it, it keeps the galley sinks nice and clean. 

Dede, fresh back from her summer job in Paris, came on the sixth to visit for a few days.  It was fun for her to meet Wayne and Pat and get a feel for what day to day life is like for her dropout parents.  Pat cooked a fine dinner for us all on Sanddollar.

8/9 – 8/12

We crossed the bay to St. Michaels and anchored in the harbor.  This has become one of our favorite spots on the bay this summer.  It’s too busy to be fun on the weekends, but during the week it’s a great spot for shopping and hanging out, and when the crowds come on Saturday, we move over to the solitude of the Wye River, just a few miles away.  It is quite interesting to see what they have done with the once little maritime museum in the years since we first came here, and it’s also fun because we can see Wally and Jane Jantzen, who live here when they aren’t cruising on Salty Dog.

Dede got to meet the Jantzens, who were feverishly preparing for an extended visit from children and grandchildren.  We rented bikes in St. Michaels and rode them to Belleview, where we caught the ferry to Oxford.  We bought sandwiches and had a picnic in the park overlooking the Tred Avon River before we took the ferry back across.  When we got on the ferry, we found Wally and Jane and their granddaughter, Sadie, on their way home from an excursion to buy sweet corn from a farm they knew about.  They generously gave us several ears of corn, which we had with our dinner aboard that night.


We left St. Michaels to the crowds of tourists, and moved to Wye Island.  We anchored in a little secluded cove that we found years ago, to show Dede another of our favorite spots.  Over the years, we have seen bald eagles a number of times in this cove, and in fact saw two out over the river this time, but not close enough to be exciting.


Well, Dede has to return to the other world, so today we made our way back to Annapolis.  As we were crossing the Bay Wally called on the cell phone to say he was in Annapolis and had just run into Adrian, Angie, Luke, and Kristina from Canto.  Dede got to meet them, and we went to a free concert by the Naval Academy Band on the waterfront with them in the evening.  The band played the 1812 overture, complete with cannon fire by the “Old Guard” from  Fort Myer, VA.


Dede left today to go begin her career.  It was sort of like watching her go away to school for the first time.  We are a little subdued and lonely today.  She, of course is quite excited to begin her first real job and move into her new apartment in Dallas with her friend Elaine.


Nothing like doing laundry to take your mind off your troubles.  Leslie has remarked a number of times that this laundry thing really was the ugliest surprise we got when we moved aboard.  Not only does our housekeeper no longer do it for us, but we actually have to bundle it up, take it somewhere, scrounge quarters and deal with it ourselves.   By the time we get it sorted, put it in the dinghy and take it ashore, wash, dry, and fold it, put it back in the dinghy, take it the boat, and put it away, we’ve killed a day.  It still beats working, but just barely.


Today we polished all of the bras fitting in the main cabin, and also the exterior stainless steel hardware.  Life in the saltwater last winter really took its toll on the stainless, if only from a cosmetic perspective.

8/18, 8/19

Today we moved back to St. Michaels for a change of scenery and to help Wally troubleshoot Salty Dog’s alternator.  It turned out that the alternator was fine but that the ammeter was faulty.

8/20, 8/21

We moved to the Wye River for a couple of days.


We anchored in the Rhode River, very near where we kept the boat for many years.  We’re getting ready to take the boat in and leave it to have the bottom cleaned and painted while we go to California to see Ryan and his family, and Leslie’s folks.


We took the boat to Hartge’s today and took care of the work order.  We also found Sanddollar, and another boat that we knew casually called  Samarang, who had come to Hartge’s on our recommendation for a month or two of dry storage.

8/24 to 9/5

We had a fine visit with everybody in California.  The first night in a bed that didn’t move was a little strange, though.  We were in a beach motel in Oceanside, CA, and Bud woke to the sound of the surf at about .  Surf is not a sound that makes you comfortable if you live on a boat.  Bud quickly stood up in the bed and woke Leslie up, yelling “where’s the boat?”  About the time she was awake, he figured it all out and went back to sleep, leaving her to wonder how we ended up on the beach without our home.  She woke him up to help sort it out, and finally both got back to sleep.  The next day, we realized we hadn’t slept ashore in over a year. 

9/5 – 9/8

We took a redeye flight back to Baltimore, and got to Hartge’s at about lunch time.  We were walking the docks in an effort to stay awake until dark when we saw George and Brenda Phillips, who kept their 37 foot cutter Unity in the slip next to us for a year.  They were busy fitting out a new 40 foot cutter, SoƱadora, of the same design.  They found that Unity didn’t have enough storage for extended cruising after spending last summer in Maine.  They took us in to Annapolis for a grocery run, and we all had an early dinner in Eastport.

Luke Frey, the service manager at Hartge’s, pointed out that Play Actor had sustained minor damage from the lift during haulout, which he wanted to fix if we could stay for a few days.  Given that we were still recovering from our West coast trip, this was fine with us.  It gave us a chance to see and visit with Bob and Grethy Ballard who kept their sloop Persuasion in the slip to the right of us for the entire 13 years that we had owned Play Actor.  It was really pleasant to spend an evening with them.


We left Hartge’s and anchored in Galesville, where we met Wally and Jane on Salty Dog.  They introduced us tho their friends Cheryl and Jim on  Fortune, a three sail bateau about 35 feet long.   Cheryl and Jim were in the midst of a refit, after which they hope to find a tourist spot where they can do day charters.


We went to Annapolis with Salty Dog, this morning and picked up moorings.  Wally and Jane had us over for cocktails in the rain in the early evening, and then we went ashore for gelato.


Wally and Jane went back to St. Michaels this morning.  We took the bus to Annapolis Mall in search of a new AM/FM radio with a CD player, as our old stereo has died.  We walked into Circuit City when they opened to find the entire staff gathered around a large screen television, watching the second plane hit the World Trade Center.  Just as we figured out what we were watching, the power went off in the mall.  It turned out to be unrelated to the attacks, but it really spooked everybody.  The stores closed at the request of the Governor of Maryland, and we made our way back to the boat in a state of shock.

When we got to Annapolis, the Naval Academy was sandbagged, and there were Marines in battle dress maintaining a perimeter around it.  Our dinghy was tied within a few feet of one wall, and we boarded it under the watchful eyes of a young man with an M16 at the ready.  When we got back to the boat, we noticed that boats anchored in the naval anchorage off the academy were being towed.  Annapolis was very quiet, with all the businesses closed and no aircraft flying.


We have appointments with our dentist in Arlington today.  We’ve learned that we can take a commuter bus to DC, where we can catch Metrorail.   This got us to our bank in Arlington in just over an hour, where we had some business to transact.  We then took a cab (our old friend, Richard Osei) to the dentist, and went right past the smoking ruins where the plane hit the Pentagon yesterday.  That was pretty sobering, as our old condo was less than a quarter of a mile away, and Bud used to run past that side of the Pentagon almost every day.

It was strange to be in our old neighborhood again.  It seemed awfully crowded and noisy, not at all like we remember it, although it still looked the same.


Hanging out in Annapolis.  Things are beginning to return to some semblance of normality in the town, although a somber mood prevails.


Galesville, new windlass

9/17 – 9/24
Carpet cleaned

9/25 – 9/28

St. Michaels
Floor boards, oil leak, etc. on Salty Dog

9/29 – 9/30

Wye River, continuous loop rainbow reflected on water

10/1 – 10/6

Solomons island
New voltage reg,


sailed to Mill Creek, grt wic, blustery day – 20-25 knots


Mill creek to mill creek, old pt comfort

10/9 – 10/11

hospital pt.

10/12 – 10/14

Dismal swamp welcome center.  Leslie in hospital

10/15 – 10/22

Eliz. City at $15 docks
Dot & Tim
Alice and Kay
Hertford, Edenton
Salty Dog


Columbia, NC, aground, amuck, w/SD

Alligator River, w/SD


Fuel at Dowry Creek Marina, saw Steve and Darline
Anchored pungo creek


Sailed to Goose Creek in high winds, Anchored w/SD, Morning Calm

10/27 –10/28

Moved to Campbell Creek for better shelter.

10/29 – 10/30

Bath, NC with SD, Morning Calm

10/31 – 11/4

Washington, NC

11/5 – 11/6

Bath NC again


Campbell Creek


Adams Creek


Swansboro, Dudley’s, oil leak, fuel pump fix/miss


Mile Hammock bay, still leaking oil


Lost 2 qts oil.  Anchored Wrightsville Beach.  Sheared setscrew.
Hard disk crash

11/12 -  11/19

Moved to Seapath Yacht Club.
Pulled engine.  Fixed trans. New hoses.  Rewired. New engine mounts, repositioned mount.  New shaft setscrew.


Southport Marina. No oil leak.


waccamaw river


Minim Creek.  Whole canned chicken for tg dinner.

11/23 – 11/25

Charleston.  Mooring


Ashepoo river


Fuel pump failure. Fixed  enroute to Beaufort.



11/29 – 12/1


12/2 - 12/5

Savannah, Palmer Johnson


St. Catherine’s, Walburg Creek, low tide leaving south end.


Frederica River, low tide leaving south end

12/8 – 12/10

Cumberland Island


Ft. George River


St Augustine Municipal Marina


Left as fog lifted; fog closed in; anchored; lifted, left, made Daytona after dark and anchored.  Trans doesn’t like to go into fwd. Cable is bad


Anchored Titusville.  Changed oil. Shaft setscrew broken, can’t get it out, exhaust elbow leaking.  Discouraged.




Vero Beach. Rafted to Prime Interest.  Black & Blue burger.


Drilled out setscrew.  Shimmed shaft. Keyed coupling to shaft.


New exhaust bronze elbow and shift cable


H & M leave for Canada.  Dinner w/ Bruce and Joan


Play Day.  Transferred tape to CD


Repacked stuffing box.


Left Vero Beach, anchored Ft. Pierce.


Ft.Pierce to Lake Worth.


Lake Worth to Ft.Lauderdale.  Motor sailed.  New River Docks.  Blue Water Books.  New York Deli.


Ft. Lauderdale to Miami.  Motor sailed.  Anchored off yacht club.


Left anchorage, got diesel at Watson Island.  Took Hawk Channel south to Old Rhodes Key.  Anchored. Cleaned Prop of barnacles.


Motored to Rodriguez Key.  Engine runs 20 degrees cooler. Motors about .3 knots faster at cruising rpm without barnacles.


Left Rodriguez Key, sailed at 6-7 knots on a beam reach all the way to Channel 5 bridge.  15 – 20 knot NW wind.  Perfect for us, a little much for Prime Interest.  Anchored in Matecumbe Bight on the north side of Matecumbe Key, seeking protection from a forecast NE wind during the night.


Blew from N most of night, winds at 30 knots.  Too rough to sleep well until early morning, when we finally got the promised wind shift.  Decided to rest today and enjoy our hard earned protection from the now moderate east wind.

 Off Norman’s Key, Exumas, Bahamas
go on to Beaufort.  We agreed to watch for one another on the Bay this summer, and believe that we know each other’s boats by sight already.  Although we continued to hear Ceres calling other boats throughout the evening, we never saw her or any other boat.  We were roughly east of Hilton Head at this point, and we are beginning to see an occasional fishing boat.  The evening is really peaceful, and while we are excited at the prospect of making Charleston tomorrow, we’re also a little sad that this passage will be ending.  It’s our longest unbroken offshore trip to date, and it marks the first time that we’ve been out long enough to get our sleep patterns sorted out thoroughly.  We’re just starting to enjoy it.


During the wee hours of the morning, we have seen a fair amount of commercial traffic around Charleston.  Daylight finds us about 20 miles south of the Charleston harbor entrance, and at about 10 am we harden up onto the wind a little and come into the channel about halfway in from the sea buoy.  A little farther along the entrance channel, we start the engine, as we need to charge the batteries and in any case are only making 3 – 4 knots into an opposing current with relatively light wind.  Inside the harbor entrance, we drop the sails and motor to our chosen anchorage in the Ashley River.  We have a celebratory drink in the cockpit, and then go below for a nap.  After short naps, we put the sails away.  We discover that as Bud took in the yankee, it was cut slightly as it dragged over a cotter pin on the anchor, so we make a note to patch that before we sail again.  We plan to spend the weekend doing minor boat projects and readjusting to sleeping at night.  We’re feeling quite relaxed, and have no urgency to go ashore in Charleston, although it is one of our favorite places.  We leave telephone messages for Dede, Alice, and Wally and Jane to let them know where we are, as our phone has been off the air for several days.


We spent the weekend as planned, learning to sleep at night and working on the boat during the day – nothing major, just housekeeping.  One of the best things we did was to rearrange and catalog our books, so that they are organized by topic, roughly, and listed in the pocket PC.  We can now lay hands on any particular book in seconds, and we also know for sure what we have in the way of cruising guides and coast pilots, too.  Parenthetically, we have about 250 books aboard – a not inconsiderable library, given our space constraints.

4/22/02 – 5/1/02

Well, here we are in Charleston.  We took the dinghy ashore and hiked around town.  Checked the new (to us, anyway) public library, which is very nice.  Internet access is easy and free there, without any time limit, since no one seems to use it much during the day.  Our favorite grocery store, Harris Teeter, has shrimp and Sashimi grade tuna on sale, so we bought two pounds of each and feasted on fresh seafood for two days.  We patched the rip in the yankee, and sewed up some worn spots in the ready bags for the headsails.  We also ordered some parts for the sewing machine, and asked Sailrite to send swatches of upholstery material for the settee cushions, which we plan to recover this summer.  Our friends on Canto heard us on the radio and called us.  They were about 20 miles north of Charleston, on their way back to New Bern, NC, where they will await the arrival of a new crew member (and family member).  Since they were pregnant, they didn’t go to the Virgin Islands last winter, but instead spent the winter in the Bahamas.  We made tentative plans to stop in New Bern to visit on our way north.  Once they get the new crewman situated, they’re planning to spend the summer on the Bay again, so that Luke and Kristina can show him (her?) the ropes. 

5/1/02 – 5/13/02

We spent this two weeks relaxing and visiting with our neighboring boats.  We met Christian and Mary, on I Wanda, who anchored near us and spent a few days before moving into the Ashley Marina to spend a week for their daughter’s graduation from the College of Charleston.  They’ve been living aboard for about 6 years, and still enjoy it.  Alice and Kay came over on a Saturday and we drove to Dooley’s house in Walterboro for lunch and to visit with him and his family.  We also met Rick and Evelyn on Annual Hope, who anchored nearby when Christian and Mary moved.  We decided to rebuild our Bimini top, which provides shade over the aft end of the cockpit.  We had configured the tubular stainless steel frame to support the solar panels shortly before we left on our adventure.  Then as an afterthought, we added a laced on canvas panel under the solar array to provide shade for the helmsman.   This is commonly called a Bimini, and just coincidentally, we added ours while we were in Bimini, so it was our Bimini Bimini. It was, however, a little smaller than we would have liked, and it also wasn’t as streamlined as we wished.  We took it apart in Charleston and reconfigured the frame to use all of the space under the solar panels, and ordered new acrylic canvas to match our sail covers.  When that came in, we embarked on a three day sewing marathon, and made a nicely fitted awning to go on the frame under the panels.  Play Actor looks much slicker, and her crew is much better shaded by our Charleston Bimini.  The sewing machine is resting until we get to the Chesapeake, where we plan to tackle the interior upholstery.