The leaves were starting to fall and a tinge of cold was in the air and we knew summer was over and fall was coming. We wanted to get south to warmer climates and soon. However, the stomach flu (will spare you the photos) and a series of lows marching out of the southeast were pinning us into Jersey City. So once we were moderately better and got a decent weather window we made a mad dash out of NY harbor, down the Jersey coast, up the Delaware Bay, through the C&D Canal and into the Chesapeake Bay.
Whew, it was long trip but nice to be ensconced in the picturesque calm of this big bay and all its tributaries, creeks, byways and hi ways. But just as we were about to start exploring, NOAA threw us a curveball by predicting that Hurricane Joaquin would run straight up the Chesapeake Bay and bring a 5 – 10’ tidal surge with it.
Rats, now instead of touring around, we were on the desperate search for a hurricane hole and a way to secure our home so Mother Nature would not take off with it. We went into lovely Swan Creek near Rock Hall, Md (Swan Creek looks a bit like Hallocks Bay in Orient, only a little smaller, so we felt right at home).
We were the only boat that chose to remain on the hook in this bay but were comforted when John Clarke of Gratitude Marina rode by in his skiff and told us that if we tucked way up in the back bay, we would probably be OK if the storm hit. He is a former cruiser and said that if the storm pushed Neko ashore, he would come and pull us off. It was comforting to know that someone nearby knew we were out there. We immediately went to work removing sails, setting our storm anchor and generally battening down the hatches.
Of course, though, merely by doing all this back-breaking work, we assured ourselves that the hurricane would not come. If we had not prepared, it surely would have hit us in the nose.
But it was still worth it because a big Nor’easter having nothing to do with Joaquin decided to come visit us anyway. We had 3 days of big, cold winds and huddled inside and watched movies and thanked providence that we had installed air conditioning/heat when we were in Florida.
But finally the skies cleared and the waters receded and the dove came back with a green twig. One of our Chesapeake Bay goals was to get to Annapolis for the annual sailboat show. This is a big draw for sailors with just about every parts vendor and many boat manufacturers present. We wanted to look at Outremer and Gunboat catamarans and check out any new and interesting products. Annapolis is a cute little town that hosts the Naval Academy on its beautiful campus.
The Academy is an interesting site to tour with a fantastic naval museum. Don’t fail to go to “The Yard” to watch the midshipmen march off to lunch. Every weekday they gather for noon formation complete with a brass band and march in formation into Preble Hall for lunch. Such a grand procession merely to go to lunch, but tradition abounds in this place and it was quite a spectacle, not to mention it WAS taco Tuesday.
Time was ticking so we made a quick trip over to the Eastern Shore to see the charming town of Oxford and then it was off to Chesapeake Boat Works in Deltaville, Va., where we had a few little jobs done and prepped the boat to be away from the US for an extended period of time again.
Deltaville was the temporary base for our friends on R&R Kedger. So it was great to catch up with Rob and Rose. Just when they thought they had gotten away from us, we pull them back in ;-)
Deltaville is a tiny little town but full of marinas, boat support and the perfect place to prep for our big jump South.
We finished our jobs, and hooked up with Mike and Holly from S/V Wanasquewin. They left their boat in Curacao to visit home and road trip across the country in a beater car they named “Izzy”. It safely delivered them to us and we were glad they could join us on the trip to the Bahamas. However, our Deltaville stay ended in a sad note for us and it was good to get underway again.