Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It’s almost time to leave Annapolis

A couple of weeks ago, Ralph, the very capable manager of Annapolis Landing Marina, told us that we would definitely have to be out of here by August 1st. The slip that has been our home during the month of July is a big one; a sixty footer, and there is a sixty-five foot boat coming in on that same day. Forty-five foot long Why Knot does looks a little small in it. So, we will be gone on Friday.
The weather forecast for Friday is calling for calm but possibly rainy conditions. If it were more stormy or windy, we decided that we would scoot over the mooring field and hang out there for a couple of more days. But it appears that the conditions will be as such that we will start heading north. Our first stop is an anchorage on the Sassafras River about 40 nm north of here.
Our time here in Annapolis was not what we expected. We had hoped to be able to jump into enjoying this great town more, but we've been on the boat most of the time. Don't give me wrong. We love Annapolis, so much so we could easily see ourselves living here. But before we arrived here, we put together what turned out to be a fairly daunting todo list that did, for the most part, get done. This included stripping and refinishing the two salon doors. They’ve been neglected over the years and desperately needed some TLC. That was a lot of work.
We also had some technical glitches. The biggest was that our old RotaryAire air conditioner finally kicked the bucket and had to be replaced. A replacement Pompanette Air unit had to be ordered, which took two weeks to get here. But the good folks at Dependable Marine Service, the husband and wife team of Rob and Michelle Nixon, got it done.
Not that we needed air conditioning though. The weather here over the month has been, for the most part, spectacular! High temperatures have only been in the upper 70’s  to low 80’s, so air conditioning has not been really necessary. But it has been windy as hell!
Our slip is out on the far end of D dock here at ALM, near the opening of Back Creek. Because of the wind, combined with the constant boat traffic near our stern, we have been pitching and rolling pretty much all of the time. It hasn’t been uncomfortable, but it has been enough that we’ve had to get our land legs back whenever we would walk onto shore. (Going to the restroom whilst still on unsteady sea legs is an interesting experience. Ya’ just never know what will happen.”)
One of the reasons that we chose to be in Annapolis at this time was because we wanted to be here for the Fourth of the July. Our normal way of doing things has been to be unintentionally strategic at not being at a destination when there was some fun and inviting event taking place. But not this time. We nailed it! Not only were we here to enjoy the festivities, but we got the extra added bonus of being out in the mooring field on the good ship Carried Away. Bill and Joyce were in town at the same time and invited us to spend the evening with them. Loopers Terry and Lola of Sunny Daze were on board too. It was a lot of fun. The fireworks display was launched from a barge out in the Severn River, surrounded by a ton of anchored sail and power boats. It was a beautiful sight, and the fireworks display was a good one. The shores of the harbor were thick with thousands of onlookers, and the explosions echoed relentlessly through the town. It was terrific; a highlight of our on board life.
When we were back home on shore leave last year, I bought Lisa a full days training class on Why Knot from a training school here in Annapolis. She’s completely capable of handling the boat on course in open water or the ICW, but she didn’t have any experience at tight maneuvering such as docking. (I'm a helm hog.) Mike Nelson, her teacher, came on board and put her through the paces. I am happy to report that she did great. Little does she know that this is all a plot to get her do more of the skippering so I can become more of a lazebag than I already am. Mwahaha.
She amazes me.
We also got a free anchor! Back in 2012, when we were coming down the Tombigbee River, we had to cut our 44 pound Delta plow anchor off when it got snagged. That sucked, but we did have a 36 pound spare. While that anchor did hold, it was a pain in the neck to put out because it wasn’t heavy enough to drop by itself with all the chain, once I loosened the clutch on the windlass, but we made do.
There is a very nice gentleman down at the inside end of our dock on an Endeavor cat sailboat called Zep Teppi. One morning, Lisa and I saw that he had bought a brand new stainless steel Bruce anchor. His old anchor was a 44 pound Delta plow and it was sitting in a marina cart, ready to be hauled off to a local marine consignment store. Since we were always in the market for one just like that, I asked him how much he wanted for it. Amazingly, he said if we’d take it off his hands he’d give it to us for free. I argued with him for about a nanosecond, grabbed the Delta, gave it a new zinc spray coating, and installed the sucker. We tested it while we were out on Lisa’s training day, and when I loosened the clutch it dropped like a, well, like a 44 pound anchor. Boaters are the best people in the world.
We’re here for only two more days and we still have some chores to do. We have to slap a couple more coats of varnish on the doors, do laundry, and make one more big grocery shopping trip the Giant food store nearby. Once we leave Delaware City we won’t be able to do any provisioning during our trip to Philly.