Overnight, we had thunder, lightning, and a rainshower. That’s the first rain we’ve had in 3-4 weeks. It’s nice that it came overnight and not during the daylight hours. We woke to cloudy skies and 68 degree temps. We had a leisurely morning, while waiting for the arrival of our FL neighbors, Wayne and Jane Medford.
June 6, 2011 Cambridge to Oxford anchorage
We had a short rain shower overnight and still had overcast skies this morning. Auggie sat outside in back and got his morning dose of sunshine.
As a side note from Bob, the sonar died about 6 miles back. In the past, leaving it off until we really needed it, seemed to make it start working again. I restarted the sonar as we began to anchor….multiple times… and then finally pronounced it “dead”. (It’s always nice to know how deep the water is where you’re going to anchor.) I got out the spare sonar that we use for the dinghy and it decided to only operate in “demo” mode. Fortunately, about this time a sailboat left the anchorage and we took his spot. If it was deep enough for them, it would be deep enough for us.
We ended up putting our anchor down just past marker #9 across from the Hinckley Boatyard at 11:00. Later on, Bob got the spare sonar to work and we could see we were sitting in 8 feet of water.
We discovered that the town was running their 3rd Annual Picket Fence Contest. History shows that Oxford’s homes were graced with unique picket fences. They used the “onion dome with center hole” design. All the sample fences are painted by local artists and will be on display around town until mid-September when they will be auctioned off. Proceeds will go to local charities of the artists’ choice. Here are a few examples I discovered around town.
Walking through town we saw some beautifully maintained, older houses.
One interesting place was called the Grapevine House, built in 1798. It got its name from the grapevine that was planted there in 1810 and is still growing today.
It was right across the street from the ferry which travels across the Tred Avon River between Oxford and Bellevue. It is the oldest privately operating ferry in the U.S. and has operated continuously since 1863.
Walking along the streets in town, we were able to stay in the shade of the mature trees most of the time. The sun was warm, but the shade provided the cooling relief we needed.
June 7, 2011 Oxford, MD anchorage (Day 2)
We slept with the hatches and door open last night. Being on the water provides a nice cooling effect at night. I was awakened by the wakes of the watermen’s boats as they left on their morning run about 5:30 and tried to get back to sleep, but it was no use. The sky started to lighten up with the sunrise–creating a spectrum of rainbow colors on the water. I just had to get up and see the sunrise! It was beautiful, as always.
The day had officially begun. The forecast is calling for hot temps for the next couple of days….94, 97! Yikes! Bob took Auggie and I to shore so Auggie could play in the park while Bob read the newspaper.
With his eagle eyes, Bob spotted a laundromat at Hinckley’s Boatyard, so after lunch we took our laundry over there and did a couple of loads of wash. We both got some reading in, while we waited for the wash to get done. After getting back to the boat and putting our wash away, we picked Auggie up and went back to the park to sit in the shade and watch the boats go up and down the river, while Auggie ran and chased squirrels. He thought he could fine one in this hole, but no such luck.
Well, how about either of these? Any squirrels in there?
He had a blast, although I worried if he went in too far, I’d never get him out. We came back to the dinghy dock after our time in the park, to discover that the city workers, who had repaired the dock earlier in the day, had nailed our dinghy line to a piling with a huge nail. By chance or on purpose? We’ll never know. There was no way we could remove the line without cutting it, so Bob hunted down a knife from a gentleman next door who was kind enough to let us borrow it. We had to cut off about a foot of line and leave it behind. Hmmmm. I guess it makes for a good story anyhow. We dropped Auggie off at the boat and went to Schooners to meet Pam and Don, the people we met in Crisfield, and some friends they met in the Solomons.
June 8, 2011 Oxford anchorage to Trippe Creek, Pirate’s Cove anchorage
It was already 79 degrees when we woke up. We checked the weather forecast, as we always do every morning, and found out today’s high is supposed to be 94 with a heat index of 104. Yikes! After breakfast, we took Auggie ashore for his morning run. We then prepared the boat for departure. We would first stop at Campbell’s at Jack’s Point Marina to do a pumpout (self-serve) and fill our water tanks. We were on our way to Trippe Creek, off the Tred Avon River at 10:30. We chose this creek because it’s said to be beautiful (most are) and you can swim there. It may be fed by underground springs! We took a slow ride up the Tred Avon Creek at 6 mph and dropped anchor in Pirate’s Cove about 11:00. Our short trip today took us 3.9 miles.
After our ride, we brought Auggie back to the boat to cool off and Bob and I went over to Gallivant to discuss the plan for the next week. Donny ran his AC, so we all sat in comfort. After awhile, we headed back to our boat to take a swim. The water was refreshing and the tiny minnows nibbled at my toes.
Afterwards, we showered on the back of the boat and prepared dinner. It was chicken on the grill tonight….one of my favorites. As the sun was starting to sink in the west, we took Auggie to shore for the last time tonight and later relaxed in the cockpit as teh sun went down and before any bugs came out. We ran the AC (very cold) before going to bed, hoping it would stay cold for awhile—-at least until it cooled off enough outside to open the hatches. It would be a warm night.
June 9, 2011 Trippe Creek, Pirate’s Cove anchorage to St. Michael’s anchorage
We slept pretty comfortably last night until about 4:00 when we opened the hatches and put on the fan. This morning we were awakened by a crabber working a trot line around the boat creating wakes. As the boat rocked back and forth, we tried to get back to sleep, but gave in and got up. It was going to be another hot one–95 degrees. At 7 AM, it was already 84 degrees. After taking Auggie to shore, we pulled anchor at 9:15 and were on the move by 9:30. Trippe Creek was already filled with watermen working their trot lines. We would be leaving the Tred Avon River and re-entering the Choptank River to Broad Creek. Then up Broad Creek to San Domingo Creek. We would be coming in the “back door” of St. Michaels and anchor in the creek, instead of going all the way around to the main harbor. From there we can get to town by taking the dinghy to the watermen’s dock and walking a block to the main street. We followed Gallivant for 2 reasons. 1. They had a depth sounder that worked. 2. They had been to St. Michaels before. That was our destination today. St. Michaels is named after St. Michael, the Archangel, after the Christ Episcopal Church of St. Michael’s the Archangel parish, founded in 1677. St. Michael’s was an early shipbuilding town. Baltimore Clippers-the fastest sailing vessels of their time, were built here. Later, St. Michael’s became a packing house center for seafood and tomatoes. Former Vice President Dick Chaney and the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld own houses in the area. The movie “Wedding Crashers” was filmed in the area and at the Inn at Perry Cabin in town. It is the most “touristy town” we’ve been to so far. We motored slowly, creating our own breeze, and arrived in San Domingo Creek at 11:30 and dropped anchor after 16.7 miles.
We walked down Chew St., where we saw some neat scroll architecture on some of the older homes.
That brought us to Talbot St. – the main street in town. We walked along the street ducking in and out of the stores, shops, and restaurants to cool off in their AC. Someone even put out a cooler with free bottles of water to take. That was thoughtful! St. Michael’s has 3 grocery stores in town. We hit 2 out of the 3 and all were very well-stocked. We will have to go back tomorrow to pick up a few things. We checked out Characters, the sports and patio bar. They had some good dinner deals.
Donny and Bob left and walked down towards the marinas. They checked out all the big boats and stopped for a beer at the Crab and Steak House. Meanwhile, Pam and I checked out the shops, galleries, and stopped for an ice cream at the ice cream shop. We walked past Christ Episcopal Church of St. Michael’s the Archangel parish.
Pam and I were working our way back towards the dinghy dock, when we got a call from the guys. It was time for Bob and I to head back to the boat to check on Auggie and make dinner. Pam and Don would stay in town and catch dinner there. We ate an early dinner today and took Auggie to the town park when the heat of the day subsided. He enjoyed his romp in the park. As we were leaving, Pam and Don were coming back from dinner. We met up with them at the dinghy dock.
June 10, 2011 St. Michael’s anchorage (Day 2)
Well! That was an interesting night! The weather report on TV last night, showed severe thunderstorms to the north and south of us, but we went to bed pretty confident we wouldn’t be in jeopardy. Around 12:30, I was awakened because the sound of the waves on the hull had changed. I got up and went out into the cockpit to have a look. The wind had changed direction and had picked up. We were now facing in a completely different direction, so our anchor had flipped over and came unlocked. I stood out there watching the “electric light show”, aka lightning, when I realized we were not in the same place as when we put the anchor down. I yelled for Bob to get up, but he was in such a deep sleep that he didn’t hear me. I ran inside to wake him up and just about that time, the anchor alarm we had set, went off. We had moved! It wasn’t my imagination! We both sat up and kept a vigil watch for awhile. Bob reset the parameters of the GPS for our new position and we waited. The wind and lightning moved on, so I went back to bed, while Bob sat up a little longer. Finally, after about 30 minutes he came to bed. About 15 minutes later, the rain started. It rained hard and steady for about 30 minutes and then it was gone. We both fell back to sleep after opening the hatches and putting on the fan. Hours later, we were awakened by more lightning flashes and thunder off in the distance. We waited for the sound of raindrops, but it never came and we went back to sleep. In the morning, we were awakened by a crabber doing his thing around our boat. It’s just a “given” now, so we laid in bed discussing what happened last night. I asked Bob to refresh my memory and explain in more detail, how the anchor alarm worked. I lacked confidence in it’s ability to do the job and I thought if I understood better how it worked that would calm my fears. Bob determined that the anchor had dragged 100 feet. Luckily, the storm had moved on and/or the anchor hooked up again, but either way we stayed where we were for the night. We took Auggie to shore early while it was cool. Once we got back, we decided to choose another spot and re-anchor the boat. We wanted to make sure it was securely set, in case, we got another storm tonight. Bob took the dinghy and checked the depth around the boat with our portable depth sounder to see how deep it was around us, in case the anchor broke free again. That would tell us how much space we would have before going aground. While he was checking the depth, a waterman came over. We had mistakenly anchored on top of his trot line. Bob apologized and helped him get his line back without a problem. He was very friendly and grateful. Once Bob was confident about where we were now anchored, we took the dinghy to town before it got hot. Auggie slept, curled up, in AC comfort.
We got close enough to the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse which is part of the Maritime Museum and sits on the grounds there.
We left there and went to have some lunch at the Carpenter Street Saloon. This tavern was built in 1874 and has served the community as a bank (the vault serves as a cooler), newspaper office, post office, and telephone company. Pam and Don joined us there for awhile. We were chatting with a salesman in the bar about the town, when he heard us say we needed some gas for the dinghy. He offered to drive Bob to the nearest gas station if we would “pay a favor forward”. That was so nice! So Bob left with him and I planned to meet him back at the dinghy dock. I left after paying the lunch bill, but had to stop in the Christ Church for a minute to see the inside. Christ Church was built in 1878 of Port Deposit stone. It has beautiful dark oak woodwork and altar with a huge organ. Someone was practicing on it, so I got an added treat to listen to its beautiful sounds.
June 11, 2011 St. Michael’s anchorage #3 to Weems Cr., Annapolis
There were no storms overnight so we had a restful sleep. We slept a little later today than usual, probably due to our interrupted night of storms. Either way, it felt good! We took Auggie to sore for a quick trip and hauled anchor to get underway just before 9:00. It was a hazy, humid day with a breeze and a chance of rain this afternoon and evening. We followed Gallivant at 9 mph to Knapp’s Narrows, a narrow cut through Tilghman Island which provides a shortcut between the Choptank River and Chesapeake Bay.
The sun came out and cleared off the haze, but it made it very hot and humid. To add to all the chaos and confusion, the Annapolis Yacht Club and other organizations were having sailing regattas today. There must have been hundreds of sailboats on the Bay.
The Bay waters flattened out the closer we got to Annapolis. We entered Spa Creek, the main harbor for Annapolis, and gave ourselves a tour around the harbor.
It was crazy in there. We hadn’t seen this many boats in one place since we left Norfolk. As we entered the harbor we had the Naval Academy on our right.
Further in, we came upon the marinas, the Capitol building, and downtown.
We took a quick loop around and headed back out. We didn’t want to deal with the madness today. Tomorrow, when the weekend people go home, we’ll try and find a place in Ego Alley on the wall, (a thin slice of water where boaters come to parade their craft), for a few days. It’s on a first come, first served basis. That always makes things interesting. For tonight, we went a few more miles up the Severn River to Weems Creek where we anchored for the night.
We ate a skillet dinner and later Bob took Auggie for his last walk of the day. I relaxed on the back of the boat waiting for them to return as the sun went down.
It had finally cooled off and the sun was changing the sky from blue to purple and pink as it set behind the clouds. Donny and Pam enjoyed their dinner out on the back deck of their boat and the waves subsided.