30 September 2012

Macara's Birthday and Baltimore

Oops!  Has it been that long?

We have got our repairs done.  No more squeak.  No more leaky hatch.  And Canyon Club is behind us.  Maybe on the way home we will stop in again?  Maybe do some fishing this time?
Canyon Club Resort and Marina
Canon Club Resort and Marina
We got another great weather window and made the run up Delaware Bay.  Delaware Bay runs NW to SE and has a fair tidal current.  It is also relatively shallow.  Countering winds a waves can create miserable sea conditions.  Thankfully, not for us.

We like to anchor out.  We like to explore.  Marinas can be fun, but the reason for owning a boat is the freedom.  At this point we are over 800nm from home and have anchored out at only one location.  Bad timing with weather and few anchoring opportunities have kept us marina bound.  Not tonight, we are going to make it work.  We picked a place behind Reedy Island.  Good depth, conveniently located close to the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal.  All is good, save for a nagging tidal current.  Floods at 3.5 knots and then ebbs at 4.1knots!  It was like we were creating a wake while sitting still.  

We got there early because it was Macara’s birthday and we wanted a chance to make it fun for her.  We arrived on the rising tide and as the current built our anchor broke loose from the bottom.  That has never happened to me before!  Ummm, maybe there is more to this tide stuff than I gave credit.  We repositioned in a little shallower water, but with less protection and dug in again.  Then came the falling tide and even a stronger current.  We held this time, but now it is in the back of my mind.  For the rest of the day, we made snacks, we played games and we played music.  All fun stuff.  But, sleeping that night was a little tense.  When is the tide change?  When does the anchor reset?  When is peak current?  Is it going to hold?  I should have set two anchors, one for each direction.  Oh well, live and learn.  I will sleep better next time.

chocalate covered frozen bananas
The next ‘morning’, we transited the C&D canal to Chesapeake Bay, which has a smaller tidal range and thus, less tidal current.  Just around the corner was the Sassafras River and a couple of creeks with anchoring choices.  This is what we have been seeking.  
Sassafras River sunset
Too shallow here.  Blocking the channel there.  It’s not perfect, but this spot will have to do.  Well it did!  We stayed three nights.  Finally, we unloaded the dinghy.  We explored.  We travelled into town.  We met other boaters.  Even our age!!!  We exchanged email addresses and hope to meet up again.  But, they had their own boat maintenance to clear up before continuing on and we had pick up some stuff in Baltimore.  Away we go, our separate ways.

Next stop, Baltimore.  But first, let’s stop in Stoney Creek and anchor out just a little bit more before heading in to the marina.  Our original plan was one night and then head in.  Well, that turned into three more nights on the hook.  We found a neat little spot where a creek feeds into a creek.  No houses.  A little bit of privacy.  Sort of, apparently this creek is a favourite with the local crabbers.  These guys are still recreational (known locally as ‘Chicken Neckers’), but they are serious about their crabbing.  We bought a couple 2-ring traps, they put out about 30.  We wake up the next morning to see a full trap line right around the back of our boat.  Soon, they were back, bringing in crab after crab.  Hey, we like to catch crab!  Quick, check what we have in the freezer?  Chicken drumsticks will have to do.  After many unsuccessful hours, we got offered a hint.  Apparently, crab prefer skinless chicken.  Who knew?!?!  Unfortunately, by that point, we didn’t have time to catch enough for dinner and our biggest crab yet ended up getting tossed back.
The girls checking the crab trap
I was excited to come to Baltimore.  It has lived up to the hype and then some.  Restaurants, museums, aquariums and more.

Our original plan was 2 nights and then move on because we are going to be back later with my parents.  This is how plans start to go bad.  The marina that we are staying at offers, stay 2 nights and the third night is free.  Well, that is obvious.  Then there is the fourth night, it is 30% off.  Here comes our 4th straight night in Baltimore!

One of the joys of home schooling is the field trips.  We picked our marina based on its proximity to the Baltimore National Aquarium.  We needed a full day and didn’t see it all.  If you are in the area, I highly recommend it.

Be honest, who doesn’t love a good dolphin show.  We got there early and grabbed a seat.  We weren’t sitting long, when one of the aquarium employees approaches Macara and asks if she would like to participate in the presentation.  Lucky kid!  Even Mom and Dad are jealous.  It wasn’t a big part.  They were promoting the disposal bins that the state has put on many of the Maryland beaches.  Macara got to put some fishing line and fishing net in one of their garbage cans.  For her help, she got to stand right at the pools’ edge while a couple dolphins performed flips for her.
Macara's part in the dolphin presentation

Dolphin viewing
Baltimore has done a lot with their waterfront.  There are water taxis running all over the harbour.  There are walkways everywhere and pedestrian bridges from pier to pier.  You can see so much and never encounter a single car.  There are dinghy docks all around the inner harbour.  That is how we get our groceries.  We are quite a sight, the three of us with a weeks worth of groceries in a 10’ dinghy.  Of course, we had to make a separate trip just for the beer.  There wasn’t room.

Still many chores to be done on a boat.  We laugh with other boaters about when we talk with people that don’t understand what we are doing.  “What do you do all day?”, we have all been asked.  Are you kidding, where does the time go.  There is still cooking, laundry and cleaning to do.  Just today, I replaced the raw water washdown pump (chains and anchors come up very dirty around here), removed a toilet that has been leaving a bit of an odor in the boat and soldered a wire back on the fresh water tank level sender unit (life on the hook is a lot less stressful when you know how much water you have left for that next flush).  

Now that we are in better shape, it is time to back out on the hook and do some more exploring.  And catch some more crab.  Before my new toilet comes in and I am back doing chores.


  1. Happy 8th Birthday Macara ! You are almost catching up with your Cousins.

  2. This is so interesting blog. You are best listing knowledge provide at this site. I am very excited read this nice article. You can visit my website.
    Banquets and events Woodinville