Onward’s Cruise Journal 2015
New England to the Chesapeake

Updated: 4 September 2015

September 2015

1 Sep 15; Tuesday; Atlantic City to Bohemia R.

  • Another 0500 morning with an 0530 weighing of the anchor. It was a bit darker than yesterday morning. The good thing is the SW wind had died overnight to < 10 kts. We had an easy departure. As we made our way toward Cape May, the seas calmed a bit and we picked up SOG as we neared Cape May which we rounded about1200. One thing about taking the "Ariel Route" — the inshore route around the cape, is it allowed me to get a good photo of the lighthouse for my photo travelogue for grandson Kian.
  • We had the tail end of the northerly flood current with us as we started up the Delaware. Our SOG slowly diminished as we made our way N and the ebb current picked up. There are a lot of lighthouses in the Delaware but I never really attended to how many until I started photographing them.
  • We reached the E entrance of the C&D Canal at about 2000. As we progressed the adverse current also picked up. I continued to be amazed at the amount of turbulence in the canal due to the current in what is a fairly straight waterway. Navigating the canal at night is not too difficult as there are lights along the banks. What made it interesting was that we encountered 2 600' + ships heading E; the first a bulk carrier and the second an auto transport. I was able to follow both on AIS and work out a port-to-port pass with the pilots. However we encountered each of them just after they had passed one of the bridges and the ship's lights were blended into the background light of the bridges. I hugged the N shore and Peggy kept a spotlight on the riprap to I could avoid getting too close. I had been concerned about the possibility of being swept toward the bank by the mass of water being displaced by the ship passage. Both passages turned out to be quite peaceful. There was actually less turbulence than that from the current alone. Go figure…
  • We anchored off Ford Point in the Bohemia. There were two other boats already anchored nearby. I immediately went below for a shower. A soporific beer and a calzone for a late night dinner plus the long day made for sound sleep,

2 Sep 15; Wednesday; Bohemia R to Langford Ck
  • A lazy start to the day, we got up at 1030! It made a nice change. We headed S toward the Chester River as we were in no hurry now to go into Baltimore where I arranged a slip for 2 moths at the Anchorage Marina.
  • I had been very focused on getting Onward down the coast to the Chesapeake in order to have plenty of time there for me to have medical checkups. This time of the year with the threat of hurricanes always in the background made me just want to get it done and done safely.
  • I have been feeling really well for the last several weeks. My last blood work done in RI indicated that my kidney and liver functions were continuing to improve since my hospitalization — but the potential of chronic kidney disease remains a concern. I noticed the continuous dull lower back pain that I had for some months has essentially disappeared. Now I am beginning to believe it was related to my kidney problems. I had ascribed it to my normal contortions in doing boat stuff but while the contortions have continued the pain as waned. Who knows…
  • As we headed down the bay, I turned the con over to Peggy to go below. As soon as I did, the boat made a rapid turn and Peggy took over steering. We realized that all of the power to all of the navigation electronics had gone out! I quickly traced the source of the problem to a blown 20 A fuse on the output from the power filtering / conditioning unit to which all the navigation electronics are connected. A quick fuse change fixed the problem. Now to figure out what made the fuse blow.
  • Peggy and I have talked about me getting back to writing this Journal. I was relating to her how I had gotten out of the habit. But I realized I enjoyed writing and I had missed that enjoyment. She observed that my writing had fallen off about the time I began to feel ill. I agreed with her that I thought that was generally true. Just a few moments ago, I looked back at previous months to see where I needed to play catch up. I was a bit astounded to find out that my writing had fallen off just at the point where I began to feel that there was something a bit wrong because I felt so tired. Now the question is: what had happened to bring that on?
  • The sun kept itself hidden behind a heavy layer of haze which helped keep the temperature in the cockpit down. We decided to take a trip up the Chester River and spend the night at Langford Creek. This is a place where I often hung out aboard Onward and its predecessor. Cacaway Island is there and I would sail there with my son Joseph and his friends so they could have adventures on their own small island.
  • We made it a leisurely trip and arrived at the anchorage at 1915 just in time to see the sunset over Cacaway Island. A thunderstorm cell spawned by convective heating over Baltimore petered out thankfully leaving us in peace. Peggy was impressed with the beauty, peacefulness and quiet of this very typical Chesapeake anchorage. It was so nice we both just sat out in the cockpit until dark and the mosquitos drove us below.
  • In our last shopping foray at Dave's Market in East Greenwich, I bought some locally produced thin-crust partially cooked pizza shells to make Margarita pizzas. Unfortunately, they had not fared will in the top of the freezer box where served as a top layer of insulation. The 4 shells were badly broken up but I managed to piece together enough for our dinner. Peggy had completed her first go at her diet regimen and was looking forward to pizza. It was as hot as hades with the oven going and we needed to turn on the portable fan to be able to work in the galley. When I opened the oven door to check the pizzas for the first time, the cheese on the lower pizza had melted and glued the parchment paper and pizza crust to the oven door. As I opened the oven the pizza crust pulled out and fell into a messy blob. I lost it with my frustration at the mess it made. With too much cursing, I finally got the mess cleaned up and managed to recover most of the pizza. My resolve to stay calm and not over-react had been a failure. I need a lot of work on this.
  • When finally done, the pizza was OK but not great. It wasn't worth the aggravation so I will stick to making my own dough.

3 Sep 15; Thursday; Langford Ck to Chestertown to Corsica River
  • We were greeted with another day much like yesterday. After breakfast we headed further up the river so I could introduce Peggy to Chestertown. We learned that Harriet and Skip Hardy are driving up to visit friends Eva and Rick and attend a Sabre sailing club gathering. So we will try to meet up with them and the Burkes over the next few days.
  • We had a leisurely motoring trip up the Chester R from Langford Ck. As we went down Langford Creek, I watched a waterman who was obviously running a trotline but the boat seemed to be moving much faster than usual and I did not see him diping for crafts with a hand net. It turned out that he has a metal framework that was hinged over the side. When he swung it aboard I could see a large mesh net basket and set of rollers. Apparently this device automates the process of picking up the trotline from the bottom and then sweeping any crabs hanging on the bait into the basket. Such innovation!
  • As we approached the town, we were greeted with the Sultana sitting at the pier. We anchored off the town marina — I learned the town bought Chestertown Marina a few years ago. We quickly launched Venture and headed ashore. I was really impressed with the amount of restoration work that has been done on the town. It has been blessed with a rich legacy of colonial era homes. Over the years I had watched as their rehabilitation progressed. Now Chesertown looks like Williamsburg NE! Very impressive.
  • We took a long walk through town. Along the waterfront, it was easy to believe that I was back in Beaufort SC or the Charleston waterfront. It was a very warm and sultry day and that added to the ambiance. We found ourselves going into stores just to enjoy their air conditioning for a while. Our walking tour done, we headed back toward the marina and I stopped in the bakery and could not resist a baguette to take back. We had a delicious lunch at the Fish Whistle restaurant at the marina that included $2 pint drafts of a great beer. The two waitresses on duty double-teamed me and soon I was enjoying a great piece of lemon meringue pie. The diet has got to start soon!
  • Lunch over, we quickly repaired aboard weight anchor. We were off to explore the Corsica River. At the NW point where the Corsica meets the Chester, we passed by the old Tilghman manor house which has been the summer retreat of the Russian embassy for many decades. We found 9.8' at the shallowest part of the entrance channel at R 4. We wandered up the river quite far until the depth dropped to 7' before returning to the outer area and anchoring for the night.
  • Larry and Susan Blount, good friends from the Annapolis Corinthian Fleet have a home up the river but they were not home. I keep threatening Larry with a visit so it will have to be "the next time". We enjoyed the cool velvet-like air in the cockpit with Peggy continuing to read by flashlight while I went below for a shower.

5 Sep 15; Friday; Corsica River to Maggoty River
  • The morning promised a day just like the last 2 - 3. While I enjoyed my breakfast coffee in the cool cockpit, I watched another waterman running his trot line. I found him to be using the same rig I had first seen yesterday — the semi-automated roller and basket device. I later saw another. I guess this is now the general practice here in the Bay and may account for the many fewer crab trap floats I see.

6 Sep 15; Saturday; Eagle Cove

7 Sep 15; Sunday; Eagle Cove
  • A gorgeous day, again, Allright! We were relaxed and lazy. I worked on PAT (personal ash & trash as compared to BAT - boat ash & trash), worked on Duolingo Italian language lessons, and read. Peggy actually worked assiduously on completing travel plans for our trip to Italy. In the course of this I found out international calling wasn't turned on for my cellphone. That had to be fixed before we complete a hotel reservation.
  • Comocean departed in early afternoon. The anchorage which had emptied out late yesterday filled up again with several large rafts of small boats. Everyone was swimming and the laughter of children was everywhere. Very nice. I had fun watching two young children learning how to row their inflatable with mom & dad calling instructions. It brought back great memories of my daughters, Laura and Joanna, doing the same. soon to be followed by Joseph and his buddies. Ah, good memories. We watched a beautiful sunset, listened to the laughter, grilled some chicken, the then watched a movie.

8 Sep 15; Monday; Eagle Cove to Baltimore
  • Another beautiful sunny, clear, low-humidity day greeted us as promised by yesterday's sunset. After breakfast, we weighed anchor and headed off for a leisurely transit to Baltimore and our slip at the Annapolis Marina.
  • I took advantage of the quiet time to write an article for the Catalina Mainsheet. I took this as an opportunity to turn adversity into an advantage by writing about the frustrating time I had in Nantucket due to raw water pump issues with the generator.
  • As we entered the mouth of the Patapsco River, it was like old home week on the VHF with cruising friends from the Bahamas. First there was Doug from Badboy. Then came Arnon from Vision Quest. JoAnnE from Walkabout rounded out the field.

9 Sep 15; Tuesday;

10 Sep 15; Wednesday;

11 Sep 15; Thursday;

12 Sep 15; Friday;

13 Sep 15; Saturday;

14 Sep 15; Sunday;