Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Into the Dismal Swamp and out again......

Goodbye to the north.......hello to warmer weather we hope!

Nice water, right?

We tried a new anchorage at the top of the Alligator River called Little Alligator River (cute, huh?!)  It seems like its 7 feet deep everywhere and we had a beautiful, quiet night.  Just before sunset a John boat with two guys in camo pulled up to say hi.  They said that they have the camp nearby and it was built in the 70's before squatting became illegal.  They fish and hunt all the time and there are just 7 camps on the whole river.  They are built on the shore but actually are on pilings above the water.

The fishing/hunting camp

A couple of nights ago we pulled into Slade Creek one year and a day after we went there last year to hide from Hurricane Sandy.  It was cool that Elle & I, one of the 4 boats from last year were already anchored.  It's a small, small world for sure.  They even recognized us too!

Slade Creek and "Elle & I"

Like last year we'll do River Dunes Marina for laundry, provisioning and cleaning.  Then maybe we'll try to get outside if the weather cooperates.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

An early B-day for E-man and then we are outta here!

One last Saturday with Evan and Amy on board.  We had early birthdays for them since it is getting cold in these parts and we don't want any part of that.  It is plenty cool as it is.

So on Sunday it was time to put up the new sails and head down the Bay.  Next stop is Solomons Island.  We had one day of NW winds and then a day of south so we stayed put for another day.  On Tuesday we had good wind for most of the day but had to turn on the motor half way across the Potomac.  It still was a good 50+ nm day and into Jackson Creek for the night.

One reason we wanted to stop here was to connect with Quicksilver, our friends John & Margurite from Fair Point Marina on Lake Ontario.  They too are heading south for the winter.  Unfortunately Margurite wasn't there but to our surprise Aaron was, their son.  It was good seeing them again and hope we connect down the coast some where.  They are having canvas work done and trying to stay warm.........good luck!

Meet you port to port?!

From Deltaville we high-tailed it down to Norfolk (Hospital Point) and into the ICW once again.  The sail from Deltaville was the best we have had in a long time.  The winds were mostly on our beam but shifty and anywhere from 8-19kts.  Nati loves those conditions and we just trucked south all day.  The last 5 miles or so were even more fun as we slowly overtook two monohulls all afternoon and when we were maybe a half mile from them they must have noticed us coming because all of a sudden the headsails were tightened, drivers were turning with the shifts and we had ourselves a race to Norfolk.  Nati played with them for a while but it ended up no contest.  The score:  Nati 2,  Unimarans 0!  top speed was 9.0 kts........love our Quantum sails!

 We decided to go the Dismal Swamp route but the Welcome Center was packed 3 deep at the dock so we did the entire distance to Goat Island for the night.  We like this anchorage and had a nice peaceful night on the hook.

But, come morning..........what the heck is this?!

Yes, we have our first frost of the year and we don't like it too much at all.  Time to keep heading south!!

On the bright side we do have a very pretty morning once our "green house" warmed up.  We can't go too far for a little while since the starboard side of the deck is like a skating rink!

Sunrise at Goat Island

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On to Spa Creek, The Boat Show & Beyond!

Time is short for us on the Chesapeake.  We are set to turn the bow south and all major projects are done.  After a nice time in the Magothy we now go under the Bay Bridge and this time we decided to spend some time in Weems Creek.
The Bay Bridge

Big Bridge

Weems Creek
The creek works well for all but east winds and after a few days the winds decided to turn to the east.  With that in mind we motored over to Spa Creek to see where could squeeze into an anchorage.  It was looking pretty tight but we motored back toward Truxton Park and found a mooring that just opened up.  Old # 67 just like last year!

Once again we had to help someone get to the boat show with their small, unmotorized boat.  Every year somebody can't figure out that paddling straight upwind doesn't work!
They are going to the left....guess where the wind is from?


All we are waiting for is an envelope from our mail service and we can be on our way.  We will try to be different...........wait..............we ARE different!!

Ikea special!

can you say "warm" when to the wind is cold?!

Only 920 nautical miles to

Georgetown, Bahamas as the crow flies although it will be much longer by Nati................we can't wait!!

The Chesapeake gang.......

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A few more notes before heading out.....

We have been able to figure out a new way to cruise the Chesapeake in the summer of 2013.......


Most people said it couldn't be done but we proved them wrong.  They didn't have the will power or "stick-to-it-ness" that we achieved on board!  Our resident "General/Admiral - shorty Evan James" proved all the naysayers wrong and he was able to fashionably collect the complete set of cups offered in this part of the Bay.

Now most of these cups were delivered free to him.  If one of us asked for the cup the young women working would just give us a look of disdain but .....Mr. Hotshot E-man had them wrapped around his finger

On top of  being King of the sippy cup it now looks like Evan holds the record for the last swim in the bay for 2013.  The only job we had was to keep him near the boat.  He just loves the water and paddles around .......can't wait to see him swimming next year!

It's a little cool right now.
I'm going across the bay Mom!

After our haul-out we were invited to a raft up at Rock Hall with a few members of the Chesapeake Multihull Association.  We didn't do the races (they had almost no wind anyways) but we did tie up with "Sea Paws", a Voyage 47, "Morning Star", an Admiral 38 and two F-boats.  A good time was had by all.

Sea Paws is a huge boat!

sv Morning Star

We have been working all summer......almost time to wrap up work

On top of the haul-out and the associated work that was involved we have also been getting Nati in to tip-top shape to sail south.  One of those items is new sails!  Quantum Sails in Annapolis were good to help us last year before we down the ICW so we went with them for a set of sails.  They are probably, no .....they are the nicest sails we have ever had on a sailboat bar none!!

Our mainsail reefed

The genoa

Our one sail across the bay to Rock Hall proved us right.  We can point again and the sail shape looks so nice.  Thanks to Dave Flynn who took the time to size them correctly and spent a lot of time on Nati making sure all was good.

In addition we had 1st Class Yacht Services do up our rear plexi for the cockpit and cushions.  Now when it is cold out we can just lower the canvas and the cockpit will double the amount of living space we have.  It will be great for the cold nights offshore.  Rita also made us new cushions and pillows as the original were 12 years old and didn't provide much cushion for the butt.  Now.........oh so nice!

Cruz is happy!

much nicer

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It took 11 days but Nati is floating again ....and is CLEAN!

We pulled away from the dock at Fairview Marina on Friday, the 13th and motored over to Pleasure Cove Marina for our annual haul-out.  Nati, sitting in the Chesapeake all summer is in desperate need of a "bottom job".  We have a long list of projects we want to address so for 11 days it is nothing but hard work in the day and sleep!

up we go.........

No problems with the haul-out as we had no wind and the weather gods cooperated.  Yes, the bottom was "ugly", but not as bad as we thought.  Stevie power washed her and then she went to a nice concrete spot on the tarmac, ready for us to start our work.

lift is being driven by remote control!

Not a fast looking rudder

and certainly not an efficient prop!

Some of our projects included:

  • new bottom paint
  • service the sail drives
  • new paint and epoxy coating on the sail drives
  • new zincs
  • we wanted to create a new sail drive cover and cut out the old rubber cover plate
  • wash, compound, polish and wax the hulls.......and then it two more times!
  • paint on a new boot stripe
  • change the gear oil in Dingh-go
  • fix a few of our gel coat boo-boos
  • clean and oil the teak
  • clean the driving canvas and waterproof it
We will let the pictures tell the story:
after a power wash

let the work begin

Anne working with our new buffer

first attempt for a sail drive cover
with bottom paint on

sail drive with the epoxy coat

preparing for boot stripe

paint on the hull

cleaning up the tape

fine tuning the stripe

Along the way we met some new friends that were doing the same as us.....getting ready for the winter and cleaning their boat.  One auto was disrupting the process of putting "Felix the Cat" in the water so Neil just went right over the car!  It was quite a sight.  We also caught up with Carina as they drop the hook just outside the marina and came in for burgers one night.

look out below!
sv Carina

Last Friday we put Nati back in the water.....what do you think?