Thursday, September 26, 2013

Monday, September 23rd

Check out the skinny cut!
Oh boy, it was windy again last night! We both slept well because I think we both are starting to feel more comfortable and trusting of our anchor.  Chuck decided to raise the anchor at 9:30 and he was prepared to wash the chain and anchor down with his bucket.  Surprise… mud this time.  However as the windlass was pulling up the anchor, it pulled up another rope.  By the time he reached down to grab it to see if there was an anchor at the end, the rope fell off!  Oh well, that was probably for the best.

We left Fairlee Creek late because since it was such a skinny entrance, we wanted to make sure we had high tide and lighter winds.  Plus we were headed to Rock Hall Harbor and that’s only a little more than 10 miles away, or so we thought! We motored out of the creek a little before 10am without any trouble and before we knew it, we were in the bay heading SE.  The wind was 10 kts from the NW with gusts every now and then of 17 kts.  It was cloudy and cool , 58 degrees.  Soon the sun appeared and it turned out to be a very pleasant ride considering what the bay was like on Saturday. 
For a while we debated whether to shoot over to Baltimore where ‘Mar A Lago’ and ‘Mighty Fine’ decided to spend another day sightseeing.  However, we both wanted to see Rock Hall, so it was hands down to continue in that direction. We were hoping to get on the city’s bulkhead which is free and also has free electricity… can’t beat that!
The only problem with going to Rock Hall or Swan Creek which is a little further north, is that you have to navigate quite a distance south to get out around a large area of shallow water….and then back NE.  But on a nice day like today, the extra distance isn’t too bad.  It just takes time…but hey we are on the Chesapeake Bay!   During this trip, we got to witness some watermen on their boat checking their crab traps.  We also heard someone hailing the Coast Guard reporting that there was a 57’ Sea Ray at Skipjack Cover on fire.  That’s where we spent Friday evening….up the Sassafras River.  Hope no one got hurt on that boat!!
As we got closer to the channel that leads to Rock Hall, we could see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.   I was tempted to suggest to Chuck that we change our plans and continue to Annapolis.  I love that town!!  But again, we wanted to see the Rock Hall, Gratitude, Chestertown area by boat.  We’ve been there before by car to look at sailboats.  Do you remember Bill and Sandy? Now it’s time to visit by boat.

It was very tricky getting into this harbor.  Of course our Garmin Chart plotter really helps but we’ve come to rely on the Blue Water Charts with the Active Captain overlay which is loaded on my IPad.  The reviews, with all the suggestions and directions by other boaters,  are wonderful!  It sure makes it much easier to navigate into tight spots and into places we’ve never been before.  (Thanks Roger and Mike telling us about it!)   

 This harbor is very interesting…..once in boats must motor around the circumference of this little harbor because it is only 1-2’ in the middle.  Rumor has it that people like to eat at the Waterman Restaurant to watch unsuspecting boats try to motor directly across  and get grounded!

We tied up to the free bulkhead at 1 pm and joined one other sailboat, a 45’ Bristol.  We both heard that this is a great place to get out of the weather if need be, except if the wind is blowing out of the south.  If that's the case then, boats get pinned to the wall…..which isn’t  good. 

We needed to provision Happy Hours II and Chuck wanted to go to the West Marine as well, so we walked into town.  West Marine was closed for the day….go figure… so we decided to check the town out before grocery shopping.  From what we could see, Rock Hall is very small and many of their buildings were empty.  It seems to be a very depressed area.    Many of the locals are watermen.  However, everyone is very accommodating to boaters and they have a trolley that runs back and forth from the marinas and Bay Shore Groceries drove us back to our boat!  What a nice complementary gesture on their part!

Durding Restaurant


While relaxing in our cockpit before dinner, we met a very colorful character along the waterfront.  His name was Capt Ziggy.  He had all kinds of questions for us about our trip and then shared his adventures over his last 30 years of sailing.   He referred to himself as a “sailboat hippie back in the day”. Supposedly when his boat died at Rock Hall, he decided to trade it in on a house but he still wished he  could sail away into the sunset again!  He had so many suggestions of where to go and what to do and was very encouraging about our trip!    We also met the couple from the Bristol, 'sv Nalani'.  We went to dinner together at the Harbor Shack and exchanged stories about our adventures so far. 


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