Thursday, July 26, 2012

Last weekend's route

Last weekend's route down the Chesapeake Bay. Went back and looked at some of the details of the route we took down the Chesapeake Bay, first into Baltimore and then down to Galesville, in total we moved the boat about 100 miles down the bay.

The next leg is planned to take us down to the Norfolk area.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sea Scouts in Baltimore

Once we arrived in Baltimore we connected with the other members of Sea Scout Ship 510, which hails from Patriot's Point in Mount Pleasant, SC. Unfortunately it was a rainy weekend and although the forecast kept calling for better weather it was damp through the weekend. On the positive side, all the storms passed Thursday evening so all we had to contend with was light rain. We spent the first two days of our visit on the sea wall with no shore power.  The boys did a great job dressing the ship and the flags really made her stand out. About halfway through the exercise I had the boys double check their flag sequence to make sure we weren't signalling an unkind message.

On Saturday Dimi II participated in a parade of boats from the Baltimore Inner Harbor out to Fort McHenry, we were joined by several other Sea Scouts and leaders including the NE Region Vice Commodore for the short trip. The rain briefly left us as we passed the reviewing boat anchored off of Fort McHenry. Upon our return we were moved from the sea wall to one of the slips with access to both water and shore power! The dinner at the Rusty Scupper was filled with Scout fun including two cakes each with 100 candles - fortunately there was a fireman's convention in town for the weekend as well. 

Sunday morning the weather continued to be overcast but we were starting to dry out. One of the highlights of the weekend was the blessing of the fleet and we are ever thankful for the Lord's protection and provision. The high tide was at 9:36 and we left shortly after that. We saw several other SSS's as we motored South and enjoyed improving weather as we went. The light wind was on our nose so it was a day of motoring and watching traffic and depth as we traveled. On two occasions I tried to shortcut between bends the marked channel but each time the rapidly shallowing water chased me back near the channel.

We arrived in Galesville early in the afternoon, nearly an hour ahead of our planned arrival time. Unfortunately we are still working on our boat putting away routine and it took us nearly two hours to get on the road. The drive home was uneventful but long, on the way I had the opportunity to work on my post sail checklist, hopefully we can cut our put away time in half for our next voyage.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sea Scout Centennial at Baltimore

On July 19th, we took our maiden voyage aboard Dimi II. That morning my brother Nick and I re-installed the starboard side fixed window. Things went very smoothly and the installation only took about a half hour. Cleaning up the residue where the neoprene gasket was trimmed away will take a little longer. At the time we didn't know it but the quality of our work would be well tested by the time we docked in Baltimore.

After loading gear aboard I along with Debbie and Pamed, the previous owner's daughters, brother Nick and son David motored out into Chesapeake Bay leaving the dock at North East for the last time. Just before we reached the channel markers we found the bottom, gently. After backing off we were able to work our way over to the channel, from then on we were able to avoid the bottom.

We motored nearly the whole way to Baltimore only to have the wind pick up as the Francis Scott Key Bridge came into view. Not to let good wind go to waste we cut the motor and enjoyed a perfect breeze of 15-20 knots. After we passed under the bridge ominous clouds and lightning began to bear down on us from the North and we began to shorten sail - but not fast enough. About that time we lost the bimini to the wind. Rolling up the head sail went smoothly but by the time we started to drop the main the rain had started, the wind was howling and the lightning flashing. We continued on through the squall, sometimes only able to see a boat length ahead from the rain. The Lord watched over us as we made our way blindly into the harbor.

The winds calmed as we motored past Fort McHenry and we were left with a heavy rain and a the waterway covered with a layer of trash washed from shore by the rain. The rain ended as we entered the Baltimore Inner Harbor. We approached the trident dock looking like drowned rats but grinning ear to ear at having come through the storm.
We were directed by the Scoutfleet dock master to tie up to the sea wall where we were met by a crew of helpful Sea Scouts and so the first leg of our trip came to an end.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A New Chapter

This month we're opening a new chapter in our Charleston Bound saga and the phrase "Charleston Bound" takes on new meaning. On July 2nd we closed on the purchase of a sailboat, two days before our 25th anniversary!

We've been boatless since we sold our faithful Catalina 27 - Mental Patience and moved from California. I'll be chronicling the process of putting our new boat in order and then bringing from its current home, North East, MD to Charleston, SC.

We're excited for our new adventure and looking forward to sharing our discoveries while we are Charleston  Bound!