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September 19, 2009

August and September 2009

Just after getting back aboard after being off the boat for the month of July, I took her to Haven Harbor Marina to have the air conditioning systems checked out. This turned out to be a good move since the technician found some loose connections that may have been contributing to the problems we were having and could have resulted in overheating and possibly fire if not found and corrected. All was OK with the A/C and we left to go back to our anchorage in Swan Creek only to find that the bow thruster had stopped working! It ran but didn’t push and water through the tunnel. This is the same problem we had last November so I know exactly what the problem was – the key that holds the propeller to the shaft had sheared in half again!
So back we went to Haven Harbor to be hauled to fix the problem. The marina was running a special on a haul and pressure wash for $8.50 per foot and we they were able to remove the bow thruster propeller at the same time. Fortunately, I had an extra piece of the key material and they were able to do a temporary fix and get us back in the water in one day. A more permanent fix will have to wait until this winter when I can arrange for a machine shop to modify the propeller so it fits properly on the shaft. I’ll have this done at the same time we do bottom paint. Yards in the south (except southeast Florida) are much less expensive than on the Chesapeake and we know several that do good work.
We left Swan Creek on August 5th and went the short distance to St Michaels where we anchored out and went ashore to do some provisioning and visit the museum. I was able to talk with the shipwright at the museum about carving name boards for Courage and doing the letters in gold leaf. He had several good tips for me.
Lynne and Brian Higgins met us in St Michaels and we went up to Shaw Bay on the Wye River to anchor for the night. They brought fresh corn on the cob and we have a very nice summer dinner aboard. The next day we went west to Shipping Creek to anchor and relax. There visit ended Monday morning when we took them back to St. Michaels. Brian was a radar expert for the FAA before he retired and he gave me a good lesson in how to tune and use the radar on Courage as well as adjusting the radar heading so it is aligned with the boat heading. It was off about 10 degrees! Lynne and Brian have been aboard Omega several times but this was their first time on Courage. It is always fun to have them on board.
After putting Lynne and Brian ashore at the Maritime Museum, we went about a mile further east up the Miles River and dropped the hook for the night. It is yet another sheltered and quiet anchorage on the Chesapeake and we had it all to ourselves.
On August 11th, we crossed the Bay again to Annapolis and got one of the Annapolis City moorings so we could get to the cruisers breakfast get together easily the next morning. It is held at Chick ‘n Ruth’s Deli just up from the docks in downtown Annapolis and is attended by any cruisers who happen to be in town. It is an informal affair with no agenda – just good conversation and a nice breakfast. It is a longstanding tradition in Annapolis and we always run into several other cruisers we know and also make new friends. We were fortunate to see and get to spend time with Joyce and Frank Finney on Fantasy Island, a Brewer 12.8 sister ship to Omega. We have known them for years and it is always fun to visit with them. The next morning after breakfast, we left the mooring and went around the corner to Weems Creek and anchored so we could go ashore to the grocery store to provision. That afternoon returned to Annapolis to try and attend the Friday evening concert on the dock put on by the Naval Academy Band with Frank and Joyce. Unfortunately, rain thunder and lightning chased us back to the boat just as the concert was starting.
On Saturday, we left Annapolis and went south and up the Rhode River where we anchored near the YMCA camp and went ashore to tour the Smithsonian Environmental Center and walk one of their trails. It was interesting and pleasant but got a little muggy as the day went on so we were happy to be back on board with the A/C running while we charged the batteries.
The next Tuesday we went back to Annapolis again to attend the Wednesday Cruisers breakfast and it was nice as usual. Since we had no real agenda or place to go, went back to Weems Creek for a day and then moved further up the Severn River to Clements creek and found all of the Navy moorings available in a nice sheltered scenic spot. That evening it rained buckets but we were dry and snug and had no problems.
For a change of scenery we went up the South River to Harness Creek for several days and them once again back to Annapolis for the Cruisers breakfast. By now the waitress at Chick ‘n Ruth’s knows our names and our “regular” breakfast orders!
To explore a new place, we went north to the Magothy River and way up to the end where we anchored in a beautiful cove with quaint cottages along the shore. One of the locals who live there and have a Grand Banks trawler came out and welcomed us and offered to get supplies for us at the store since they were going shopping! We needed milk since the new gallon we had just gotten went sour and when they brought it back to us they wouldn’t even take money to pay for it. A real boater friendly neighborhood!
It is also a good place for us to meet Louisa, Neva and Chris when they come to visit in October. They will be flying into BWI airport and the local marina is a 20-minute cab ride from the airport. We will arrange a transient slip there for the day they arrive to make it easy. We stayed at this anchorage on the Magothy for 5 days until we returned to Annapolis on September 1st to once again go to the cruisers breakfast. After breakfast, we once again crossed the Bay to Swan Creek and anchored so we would be ready to pick up the mooring we had reserved for our 2 weeks off the boat at Liz’s house cat sitting while she enjoys her vacation in Maine. We are now winding up the two weeks and her cat “Sushi” has been sitting right next to my computer where the warm air comes out of it and keeping me company while I type this log!
During the last two weeks, we have had three nice dinner get togethers at our friends the Hammonds, Neeleys and Zollers. All were high school classmates that we have kept in contact with over the years and it is always fun and interesting to visit with them.
We have been doing our own projects as well as Liz’s list of “peeps” projects she left for us to do while we are here. We made a new saloon cushion cover with the ultrasuade material to replace the one I made too small, and have been finishing the name boards I carved for Courage. The gold leaf materials for the letters arrived here at Liz’s before we arrived but I am not quite ready to apply it to the name boards. I think they will look really nice when finished and will sparkle in the sunshine! I also made new sunscreens for the ”back porch” that will slide in the track along the underneath side of the roof. They will allow us to be outside on the back porch when the sun is really bright without getting too much of it! I also made the jig that I will use to laminate new teak corner trim pieces in place that have rotted out. The teak veneer I ordered was here when we got to Liz’s and it will be another interesting and unique boat project. Liz returns home tomorrow night after dinner.
For Liz we have cleaned and painted her garage floor with the special epoxy paint, done several electrical wiring projects. Ordered and stacked a cord of firewood, washed and cleaned her car, and several others. The grass has been cut and the driveway edged, and we cleaned out and moved some of our stuff from her basement to our storage locker to let her use her own house! We have also managed to sort out and dispose of some stuff – but not enough!
We are going to Haddonfield Monday for a memorial service for the mother of one of our high school classmates who passed away at 94 last week. It will be a good chance to see friends again before we head south for the winter. I also have a visit with my Dermatologist Monday afternoon. After Liz gets home from work Tuesday, she will drive us back to Courage and we can once again settle in to the cruising life!

Posted by Dick at 05:27 PM