Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stuck in Portsmouth

We really do love Portsmouth, VA and always stop here going north or south. We pulled into Ocean Marine Yacht Center, an ActiveCaptain Sponsor, last Monday with the plan to leave Tuesday morning. We thought it would give us some time to chat with Dave, the dockmaster, about some cool things we have coming, get our Bagel Nutz fix from Starboards Coffee, and see what's new at Skipjack Nautical, two other Sponsors, and be on our way.

Then we ran into good boating buddies Elle and Dick on Summer Wind and met some new boaters all staying at one of the town basins. As we pulled away from the dock at Ocean Marine we decided 24 hours just wasn't enough and swung around to the basin. Another day wouldn't hurt, we had plenty of time.

First, the weather turned a bit nasty, then we decided to fix a small generator raw water pump leak, and then the weather turned really nasty. Yadda, yadda, yadda, we've been stuck here now for almost a week.

But honestly, it's been a great week. We've met numerous new boaters including another couple from Maine, had great German and Chinese food, tried the chocolate muffins from Starboards (Elle's suggestion), made it to the farmer's market, found a field where Dyna and Dylan could romp, walked through the lovely houses in the historic section of Portsmouth, and stayed long enough that our good friend John Salyer showed up. John is dad to black labs Gracie and Dixie who visited Dyna and Dylan in Maine this past summer. It was 16 paws having a much needed chase this morning.

Yesterday and today have been cold, rainy, and windy. The water lapped high above the dock this morning causing us to wade ankle deep to get back to the boat after going to the farmer's market. It reached about 2 feet over the dock before receding, causing us to repeatedly adjust the fenders.

Tomorrow looks good and we plan on finally throwing off the lines. It's time to move on but we know we'll be back. After all, is it really considered "stuck" if you like being here?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Piankatank River

If you were following us in 2009 you may remember we fell in love with a beautiful anchorage on the Piankatank River tucked in behind Berkley Island. At first we just liked saying the name of the river. Come on, everyone together - Pee-yank-a-tank. Now tell me you said that and didn't smile.

We loved it so much we stayed several days taking the kids to a small beach at a camp every day for a swim. Dyna was our swimming fool. She loves to swim more than anything in the world, even eating. Dylan, well, there's nothing he likes better than eating. It was a wonderful time.

We decided to go back and it was as beautiful as we remembered. The kids had dinghy rides and walks on shore. Unfortunately, there was no swimming. Dyna can't swim since her throat surgery. It was a bittersweet reminder that she's now a very mature girl. But also reminds us how lucky we are to still have her with us.

We spent five days in the anchorage and saw the full spectrum of weather. One morning the water was as flat as a mirror with the clouds as distinct on the water as in the sky - those things in the water are reflections of the sky. The next we had white caps surrounding the boat.

It was hard to leave but the nights are getting cool and it reminds us we need to move further south. There are other anchorages and dinghy rides and dog parks and friends at the dock. But nothing is better than some quiet time in a beautiful anchorage surrounded by the kids.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Meandering South

We finally pulled anchor this morning after a week on the Corrotoman River. It was a quiet, secure anchorage that saw us through a small squall and a few days of rainy, blustery weather. The squall blew the rain sideways into our open port-side portholes right into the stateroom. By the time I ran down to close them it looked like someone was spraying in the porthole with a garden hose. Mother nature is amazing.

Because of the weather the kids only had a few dinghy rides and little time ashore, but we were able to get a lot of work done. Watch upcoming newsletters for announcements!

Today was a short day, barely 26 nautical miles. I did most of the piloting with the help of my ever vigilant crew.

Every good captain knows the importance of good alert crew members to ensure the safety of the vessel and all onboard.

As we approached the Nelson Bridge crossing the Rappahannock River I was blinded by the glare. It reminded me of a cool tip I learned from good friend Pat Berry on Got The Fever. Portable shades made from screen material and little suction cups. I made one as soon as we got in.

Cut the screen to the size you want, nip just enough in each corner to push the tip of the suction cup through, and put them up when needed. I decided to do one that could go across the top of the main window like a shade visor. I couldn't get a good picture of the whole thing so I just took some detail of the suction cup in the corner. I'll let you know how it works.

We'll be off again in a few days but not before we get the kids to shore and let them stretch their legs. We're looking forward to that also.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Catching Up

We apologize that we have been remiss in updating our blog. It has been a busy time. There is nothing we love more than meeting other boaters, seeing our old friends, finding new ones, and of course, what boaters do best, partying. But with two back to back rendezvous the whole crew is exhausted.

The Krogen rendezvous was terrific. They had the same amazing band as last year and once again we managed to dance way past our bedtime. This year we were invited to stay at the dock as honorary Krogen-ites. We dropped anchor Sunday morning to watch the intricate dance that is done to undock all the Krogens. This year was blustery with threatening skies so the show took a bit longer.

The talks and our songs were very well received. In fact, we've already been booked by both groups for next year's events. Can anyone recommend a good agent?

We had hoped to spend some downtime in Solomons and visit two ActiveCaptain Sponsors, Zahniser's Yachting Center and Spring Cove Marina. Unfortunately, Dyna developed an, um, digestive issue we couldn't solve, so we headed back to Olverson's were we had our car and a vet we like. She got checked out and received some antibiotics. She's fine now.

Of course, it is never possible to have a brief visit at Freddie's. There's friends and Nino's Pizza and easy shopping and Liars Corner. So we ended up there for the week. It allowed us to drive over for the Annapolis Sailboat Show. Ted and Sally on Amichi joined us. It was a beautiful day. We met up with numerous business partners and kept running into boaters we knew. This boating world really is small.

We finally shoved off today to head to a quiet anchorage to get some work done. A lot is happening so the parties need to stop for a while. Dyna has taken up her favorite spot in the breeze. Of course, Dylan has to make his way into the picture, too...