The Journey of S/V Moonshine

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let me step back a bit

I thought that I'd try to go back and let folks know about some of the the highlights of our travels this past summer since I did such a poor job of keeping up with this blog. I know there are some readers that are interested about how and what happens as we travel. For the future, I'm also trying to link our daily log into this blog. I don't know if that's possible but if I can do, it it will keep you more informed on the daily happenings. We'll see how that goes.
So it looks like I left off after Shane finished working at with the National Scout Jamboree, so I'll go from there.
We moved from Urbana, VA to Deltaville, VA when Shane finished with camp. We wanted to be closer to the Chesapeake Bay and Fishing Bay Harbour Marina had much nicer facilities. It was a hot summer in the east and it was nice to have a pool as well as a more convenient slip set up. The whole idea at this point was to get Shane caught up with his schoolling.  That part went pretty well.  I also got a lot of work done on the boat and it was nice to cool off in the pool in the afternoon. This marina also had quite an active social atmosphere. There were inprompto parties and potlucks on a regular fact almost too regular. We made many new friend at this marina.
     Then came Hurricane Earl. Though many hurricanes started forming off of Africa and headed towards the eastern seaboard, Earl was the only one the came really close. The sailors in the area became quite concerned about this one. We weren't sure exactly what to do so.... we decided it would be a good opportunity to pull our boat out of the water and get some work done to it.  It ended up the Earl didn't affect the area but we were glad to get some things done. We installed an extra intake for a saltwater wash in our galley which also serves as a seawater supply for our refrigeration unit. We also pulled off all our sails and canvas which gave us a opportunity to inspect all those item. Along with a new bottom paint job, we refinished a lot of our brightwork (outside woodwork). We managed to stay pretty busy. After getting resplashed, it was time to start sailing north for the Annapolis Boat Show. We got many recommendations for places to stay along the way and one of them was anchoring in Mill Creek up near Reedville, VA. This is a great anchorage. Beautiful wooded shoreline surrounds it and very protected from the weather.
     Hey, Shane here. Yeah, its hard to keep up on this blog. Most of my computer time is spent updating my Facebook. Let me see, Mill Creek. Yeah, that place had this cool forested area with a beach and a bit of a cliff. I tried to climb up it, but fell into this dust mini explosion! It was awesome. Well, my dad and I had a fun hike back there, found a really old/rotted fish cleaning area and what appeared to be an old tornado path. That forest was the kind of place fairytale/elfen areas are made up, those plants did some interesting things.
     Mike back. So off we go north. Our next stop: The Solomons, VA. This area has great marinas, grocery stores and restaurants. The anchorage was great with mooring balls available at a reasonable rate. We could also pay for showers here and they were great too. Leaving in the morning, we had a bit of engine problems when a drain valve for the cooling system blew out. We anchored quickly and ran down to check the alarm going off.  Located the problem but had drug anchor in the meantime. When we looked out, we were dragging right up to a dock. This is usually not a good thing and my first reaction was to bring in the anchor some to pull us away from the dock.That worked well and then Shane said "Let's just tie up to the dock."  Duhh!  So we backed off the anchor, pulled the boat around to line up with the dock, and tied off.  Luckily, the anchor (which had been dragging) was loose enough to pull up. Unluckily the dinghy ended up under the fuel dock. Oh, what to do??  Ended up squeezing Shane into the dingy and under the dock which he then worked it out under the dock to the other side and out. Tight squeeze!  Of course, we ended up staying another night after running all over town to find another valve.  It wasn't to be found.  So we plugged the drain hole which wasn't a critical situation, and then headed to Annapollis, MD, in the morning. During this segment of our travels we were told several time that it was not good to go out into the Chesapeake Bay as there were 20+ knot winds and 2 -4' waves. "Yeeeeha," we said.  Being a heavy boat, that is when an Island Packet really does well. We ended up sailing wing on wing, with following seas most of the way from Deltaville, VA to Annapollis, MD.  It was a great ride!!
Having friends already in the anchorage in Weems Creek of Annapolis, we called ahead to get the lowdown. They informed us that there was a Navy mooring ball available in the area and we should hurry and get there. These balls are available first come first served to anyone that wants to use them. However, you can get kicked off of them if the Navy decides that they would like to use them.  Fortunately, they don't use them very often. Weems Creek is a great back water area, well protected, and has easy access to the Annapollis area.  The buses in Annapolis suck!... but that's another story. We spent a great three weeks in this location visiting with Christies cousin, Pam, and her friend, Wendy, a couple days; enjoying the boat show a couple days; and access to several marine stores that specialize in parts for our boat. We bought most of the items on our "Wish List" and had them shipped to back to Deltaville, for installation when we returned to the area while heading south. I'll save the southern trip for the next post.

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