2009-2010 Caribbean / Bahamas Trip
Sunday, June 6th, Newport, RI
As of Thursday night, June 3rd, we dropped the anchor in Great Salt Pond, Block Island and were officially back in New England. These are our home waters even though we're still a week or so from Newburyport. I would tell you that I know we are home by the presence of fog but that's not quite fair. The fog seems to be everywhere. We have been in the fog since we left the head of Delaware Bay on Wednesday June 2nd at 5:30 a.m. At first it was a light fog with about a half a mile of visibility, but by noon on Wednesday as we rounded the tip of Cape May things had deteriorated. As we made our way past Cape May's beach we spotted the top of the Cape May lighthouse and that was the last thing we saw till we entered Great Salt Pond on Thursday night. When we got up Friday morning we took advantage of a brief break in the gloom to make our way out the channel and point our bow towards Newport, twenty miles away. After dodging a tug and the high speed Block Island ferry we were tickled to see the fog lift as we entered the mouth of Narraganset Bay. The window was brief but we had enough time to snag an Old Port Marine Mooring before the visibility diminished once again. By then, with plans to remain stationary for several days, it could have started raining frogs and we wouldn't have cared. It was time to relax and regroup.
Our last week in the Chesapeake had been very busy. We said our farewells to Chace & Josie on Sunday night and spent Monday changing the oil and doing some sewing. On Tuesday we had a reunion dinner with Beverly & Larry from Chandelle. They left the Bahamas one week before us and were back home in Annapolis preparing for the onslaught of grandchildren over Memorial Day weekend. It was nice to compare recent adventures/misadventures over some great Mexican food. Before heading to Baltimore to visit friends for the holiday weekend we decided to investigate new territory. The trip up the Chester River to Chestertown had been recommended so Wednesday morning the 26th we shifted into powerboat mode and headed upriver. We had the current in our favor so we arrived in the early afternoon after a very scenic trip. It was hot and thunderstorms were threatening so we decided to hold off on our visit ashore till the following day. In the late afternoon Gemini turned up and anchored next door. We had met Ross, Wei & Ishbell, of Fremantle, Australia, the previous day while we all watched the Blue Angels practice. They were looking for a quiet spot after several days in the craziness of Annapolis so they decided to give Chestertown a go as well.
Thursday morning we stopped and visited with the crew of Gemini before going ashore. Ross & Wei have been cruising aboard Gemini for twelve years and are a wealth of information. Ishbell, at three years old, doesn't have much to say but if she did she'd undoubtedly describe to you her Atlantic crossing at age one. Of most immediate help to us among Ross's many ideas and offers was "The 12 Volt Compressor Plan" After we described the situation with the clogged fuel pick-up in our main diesel tank he suggested trying to clear the blockage with his handy portable compressor. We gave it a try and were to later declare it a success. Later, during our tour of Chestertown we kept running into the Gemini's and eventually wound up eating lunch together at Play it Again Sam's, a funky, college town-type sandwich shop. It was great to talk to them about their favorite destinations and to be able to offer a few suggestions of our own for their trip north.
On Friday we headed back down the Chester River and across the Bay to Dobbins Island in the Magothy River. From there it would be a short hop up to Baltimore and a weekend of fun and frolic with the crew of the Whale Tale. On Saturday we were relieved to find the anchorage in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore to be occupied by only one other boat. Gemini sent us an email saying that Chestertown had been invaded by a veritable armada of boats for the re-enactment of the town's tea party of 1776(ish). Cannon fire, people in the drink, lots of general rowdiness. We wrote back saying it might be quieter in Baltimore. Saturday afternoon we walked to the Inner Harbor with Barbara & Rod. It was another hot day so this trip required several stops for hydration along the way. Downtown was very busy with people out enjoying the holiday weekend and the great weather. Very festive. By the time we made our way back to Canton it was time for dinner. We hadn't had Thai in a while so we managed to persuade Rod, a true carnivore, that he would not starve. Of course if we were wrong he could always depend on a Mama's on the Half Shell breakfast to restore him to health the following morning.
Roger and I started our Sunday lazily with coffee, scones and the New York Times. Later in the morning, Barbara and I headed off to the farmer's market to do some provisioning before we began yet another day of excessive consumption. The downtown farmer's market is set up under a highway bridge. It is always crowded and the smell of food being prepared is overwhelming. It's a really great use of the space. I restocked my horseradish cheese supply, succumbed to the temptation of fresh strawberries and managed to resist the pickle on a stick line which wound on for about a block. By eleven the four of us were ensconced at Mama's with Bloody Mary's and an almost endless list of lunch choices. It's a good thing we go to Baltimore infrequently.
After interspersing chores (laundry and groceries) with relaxing and cooking burgers on the back deck of the Whale Sunday afternoon we knew we had to bid our friends adieu. It was time to stop relaxing and start the trip north in earnest. As we made our way back to the boat that night we stopped to chat briefly with Gemini who had made her way to Baltimore that afternoon. Unfortunately we neglected to say goodbye and nobody was up as we made our way out of the anchorage Monday morning. With any luck our paths will cross again. By late afternoon we were at anchor at Veasey Cove in the Bohemia River. This would be our last stop in the Chesapeake. After a dusk sighting of a white tailed deer and what appeared to be two albino deer we called it a night. Tuesday we'd go with the current through the C&D Canal to Reedy Island where we'd await the next ebb tide in Delaware Bay.
Tuesday, June 15th, Newburyport, MA
On Monday June 7th Shango headed out of Newport Harbor at eight a.m. The plan was to get as far as Onset, MA, 45ish miles away, and continue on to Provincetown the following day. We knew we had the tides and currents in our favor but hadn't anticipated quite how good our time would be. We arrived at the southwestern end of the Cape Cod Canal by mid-afternoon. Given that the days in June are so long and that the Canal current was still in our favor we decided that we could make Provincetown before seven. On we went. In the Canal we clocked a speed of 10.8 at one point. The transit took all of one hour and we quickly found ourselves headed north in Cape Cod Bay. The wind, though favorable in direction had been slowly dying all day. By this time it had completely gone. We were chugging along under power once again. I had time to make dinner and water before we looped our way into Provincetown Harbor three hours later.
Provincetown is one of our favorite spots and we're always happy to arrive. The harbor was still pretty quiet since it was still early in June. There was only one other boat at anchor in the west end. Dyad, our neighbor, is a big power cat that we often hear on the Cruiseheimers Net when we listen. She's a very eye catching boat and the last time we found ourselves anchored nearby (also in Provincetown) we we noted that she drew curious passers-by. This time was no different. Kayakers, fishermen and little daysailers all diverted from their path to stare. We enjoyed looking as well. The forecast for the next several days suggested a Friday departure for the one day trip home. This left us with three days to explore and eat our way through town. Tuesday and Wednesday were sunny and surprisingly busy with tourists filling the streets . Thursday was rainy but not bad enough to prevent us from making the trip in to eat yet another great lunch. By Thursday afternoon we were getting anxious to head home.
Bright and early Friday morning we pulled up the anchor and headed out around Long Point...and Wood End, and Race Point, finally freeing ourselves from the circular tip of Cape Cod. Once again there was no wind but we were eager to get home to friends and family so we made our peace with the hum of the engine and off we went. By five p.m. we had made it to our destination. We threaded our way through the somewhat bumpy entrance to the Merrimac River (a Coast Guard cutter was standing by in case any of the local fishermen got their small runabouts pooped) and under the Gillis Bridge to Merri-Mar Yacht Basin where we'll spend the Summer working on the boat before our next adventure. We had had a wonderful trip but it was nice to come home.
2009-2010 Trip Logs