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June 21, 2010

Back on the Chesapeake

The Summer solstice is here and it’s time to update the ships log as spring comes to a close. For sure summer has arrived with the temperatures in the daytime going over 90. We have been running the A/C the last several days as we charge the batteries and it really feels good!
By my reckoning, we officially finished the 2010 trip north last Wednesday the 9th when we dropped anchor in Swan Creek at 7 AM after an 11 hour overnight trip up the Chesapeake from Reedville. This is sort of our unofficial summer home and we will be using it as a base of operations this summer.
The overnight trip was done to take advantage of the calm clear weather since Wednesday was forecast to be windy and rough on the Bay. It worked out just right and the wind started to pick up as we were entering Swan Creek and we had some rain later that morning. It was our first overnight on Courage but the bay is well marked for navigation and other than seeing two southbound tugs and one northbound freighter, it was uneventful.
To back up a bit, the last log had us in Spooner’s Creek getting ready for a visit from daughter KAT and her son Jaidan for the Memorial day weekend.
We got a slip at the Beaufort City Docks that Friday so we could do some provisioning and get the boat cleaned up, water tanks full, and ready for company. They arrived late Friday afternoon and settled in on the boat for dinner aboard and a walk around town after dinner to stretch legs and give the dog Cinnamon a chance to check out the local “watering” spots. We also got ice cream cones for dessert while on the walk.
Saturday we left the marina and headed out the channel toward the Beaufort inlet and Shackleford Banks where we planned to spend the next two days. As we were going through the narrowest, busiest part of the channel, Cinnamon decided to jump overboard and swim towards shore! With KAT frantically calling to a nearby small runabout “my dog is in the water, please save her” or words to that effect, we turned around and went back to retrieve Cinnamon from the very nice folks who pulled her from the water! What a way to start the weekend! Cinnamon didn’t seem worried at all but for sure the four of us humans were.
After getting settled at the Shackleford Banks anchorage, we launched the dinghy and took everyone ashore to enjoy the beach. There was a very large crowd there due the holiday weekend and the small boats were “cheek to jowl” along the beach so it was hard to find a clear spot to land the dinghy. Cinnamon had nice long walks on the beach and Jaidan made friends with other kids playing beach games and just enjoying the water. The weather was beautiful. I had bought Jaidan a pirate flag which we flew from the mast. It also glows in the dark and I understand that it now hangs in his room so he can see it in the dark.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday and on Monday we headed back to the marina dock to drop them off for an early start home in anticipation of heavy holiday traffic. We topped up our water tanks, pumped out the holding tank and took off headed north again.
The trip from Beaufort to the Chesapeake was uneventful with nice weather and stops at Core Creek, Campbell Creek, the South end of the Alligator River, near Coinjock, and finally the courtesy dock at Great Bridge by the locks. We stayed there two nights while we did provisioning, laundry and had a brief meeting with Bob Starr from Virginia Yacht brokers who sold me Courage three years ago. He is nice to give me the latest general boating market info and the details of the latest sales of Krogen 42’s like Courage.
On our way through Portsmouth, we stopped at the Portsmouth Boating Center marina for 270 gallons of diesel at a cash price of $2.40 per gallon. They have the lowest price in the area and we had heard about them from friends on another Krogen who passed through the area several weeks before us. This fuel top up should last us all summer since we don’t plan any major trips beyond the Chesapeake. We will probably burn more diesel in the generator to run the air conditioning than in the main engine!
We left Courage on a mooring at Swan Creek for a week and went to Liz’s house. During this week we both got some of our bi annual health maintenance stuff done and Sue got to visit with her girlfriends across the river in New Jersey. We also had a nice delicious dinner at Hank and Marilyn Neeley’s house in Yardley, PA. We go back a loooong way with them and always have a lot of fun visiting.
I stayed at Liz’s house most of the time and got some “peeps” projects done for her which I enjoy doing and she appreciates. Her two new puppies are a real handful and are always into some kind of trouble. Between them and the seven (yes 7!) cats, life around her house is never dull!
At the end of last week, we drove to Rumson, NJ to attend the HS graduation for Sue’s x-sister in law’s son Trevor. He is an avid snow boarder and was a star HS lacrosse and soccer goalie. He will be going on the college at the U of Vermont to study environmental sciences.
Thanks to my son in law Chris, we are now driving his BMW 330i while they are living in Budapest, Romania for the next year. Liz agreed to keep it at her house for him and they were generous to say we could use it. It is a beautiful and like new car – very sporty and fun to drive. Through local Krogen friends here at Swan Creek who are in a marina slip with two parking spots, we have a safe place to park it when we are out on Courage wandering around the Bay.
Our next big event is the 70th birthday get together at Ocean City, NJ July 24th. Sue’s sister, brother, and Sue’s two sons and their families, along with my four children and their families, and my sister and her husband, will all be there for the Saturday celebration party. Sue’s families have rented houses close together for that week so it made for an ideal place to have the celebration. It will be the first time all of them have been together so it should be interesting!

Posted by Dick at 06:51 PM