Since Manasquan, NJ, I've hooked up with several other sailors out of Maine and we've been loosely traveling together - it's been interesting. Amanda and Jeremy have a 46 foot former racer with an 8 foot keel, now that's a challenge - within five minutes of meeting them, they'd managed to put Maria Mercedes aground! Doesn't help that Jeremy's depth sounder is acting up. Like all racers, the interior is pretty barren and Jeremy, a carpenter by trade, is fixing it up as they travel.
The other boat, Greensleeves, is another anomaly, a fibreglass ketch with wooden decks and masts - a really pretty traditional boat, owned by CD, who is traveling with a buddy whose name escapes me for the moment - I must need another coffee this hour of the morning.
So we've run down the coast to Atlantic City, and got there to be faced with the tide exactly opposite to what we wanted. To run the Delaware, you really need to do it with the tide behind you, otherwise, you get a very strong current pushing you back. The only way around it is to leave with the tide, in this case, around 4 am, which I couldn't do as I needed diesel and the marina opened at 9. Couldn't be worse as far as the tide was concerned.
Jeremy needed diesel as well, but thought he had enough - I passed them at 10:45 that evening, anchored out about 9 miles south of the C&D canal entrance. The next day, they had to use their dinghy to push MM up the river to a marina. I thought they were asleep since they didn't answer the VHF, so kept on going since I finally had the tide with me and was making well over 6 knots. Turns out Jeremy saw me but, in the fog and the dark, I couldn't see him on deck.
So, got into Chesapeake City and its free dock (Free is Good®), decided to tighten the stuffing box, a regular maintenance issue, and I knew mine needed it. Well, what's THIS?
It seems I have a broken motor mount, and I'm going to be here for a couple of days dealing with that. And, of course it's the one the most difficult to get at, way in the back corner....
Went to the local pub last night with the crews of the other three boats that are here - MM, plus a gorgeous Tayana 42 going north to Rhode Island, and two guys from a survey boat heading up to NJ to help out in the post Sandy reconstruction. Enjoyed some interesting conversation, met some really nice local people - they've offered to all of us to help with getting groceries, offered to open their homes to us for showers, offered me a ride to get parts....now if only someone would offer to do the job for me!
This is actually one of the best things about cruising - you meet the greatest people - I've had people toss me the keys to their car on several occasions, people who had known me for perhaps five minutes. As often as not, they're not cruisers, just people who want to share in your adventure by helping out. For those who are or will be cruisers, they're certainly building their cruising karma by helping out!
You'll notice a small change in the blog format - I've added Disqus, a new comment feature - when you comment, it comes up real time, advises you of comments to the post if you want it to, and you can respond to the posts of others on here. You can see it at the bottom of the current post.
My hope is to see more conversations happening on here, to liven up this blog a bit....so if you have comments or questions, post away and let's talk.
The next time you hear from me, I'll be greasy and cranky from working on the engine mount....but underway again, on Chesapeake Bay and heading for Annapolis.