We've been in Annapolis for a couple of days now, walking our feet off. There are a lot of good places to go here: chandleries, a marine consignment store named Bacon Sales, a really good Sunday brunch at Buddys (unlimited bacon and good people watching, it doesn't get any better), a really great Goodwill with a really great book corner, so 16 new paperbacks on my shelf and best of all, lots of old and new friends in the harbor and here in the creek to socialise with.
We're waiting for an alternator to be tuned up, it should be finished around noon, (so one more walk across town) and then we're off to the Rhode River for the Gam weekend. There should be some good seminars this year and, as always, too many people I want to catch up with and not enough time to do it. I love coming home in the evening with my face sore from smiling and laughing. It's such an exhausting schedule.
I thought I'd share some photos of a hitch-hiker we had a little while ago. We've had bats, butterflies and lots of birds, but this was our first Giant Silk Moth. And it really is giant: hook-your-thumbs-together-and-put-your-hands-flat giant. It had big dark 'eyes' on each wing, called a distraction pattern, to scare off the birds and squirrels.
The body was cigar shaped and very furry and the long antenna gave it a kind of Groucho Marks look.
The moths only live about two weeks, long enough to mate and lay eggs. They are lacking mouth parts, so never eat at all. Poor thing, can you imagine a life without bacon?


Block Island to Chesapeake Bay

Warm enough water for a swim, Finally!! We left Block Island Monday with some nice southerlies. Beautiful sail west along Long Island waiting for a front to push through then wind from the west. Well the front came, but the west winds did not so our second day/night was mixed sailing/motoring... mostly motoring.

For fellow cruisers you should find this photo interesting, yes it is THREE tankers going side-by-side up Delaware Bay. Two upbound and one outbound. The Coast Pilot recommends everyone in the bay monitor channel 13 (commercial net) for traffic awareness. We do, and heard this one developing as the tanker last in a line of 4 had an earlier report time, so you pass right? Oh crap, there is another tanker outbound, so we'll just go outside of the channel. ("Don't need no stinking channel" or "channels are for beginners, we're professionals here") OK maybe, but it sure as heck surprised a few little boats in the path.

We are now anchored at Still Pond, after the 2 1/2 day passage from Block Island. Not our longest, but first time doing extensive inland miles (up Delaware Bay, thru the C&D canal, 20nm down Chesapeake) after a 2 night off-shore passage. Nice to be here resting for a couple days watching the deer and eagles on shore. I'll sign off with a photo of one of our salt encrusted hatches after being offshore.


The Boston skyline as we went by to Quincy.

We left Gloucester and had a great beam reach sail along the Massachusetts coast to Quincy, pronounced "Quinzee". Our friend Anne, of Chris and Anne on Mr Mac, grew up in Quincy and they were in the area visiting her family. We rafted up alongside them and had a mini reunion. They've been busy promoting their new books and doing conventions and it's very exciting to hear how well they're doing. We also got an autographed copy of Chris's newest release, Scimitar Sun. I had to hide it from myself, (you know, the old out of sight, out of mind, thing) to save for a future cold, rainy day. We also got to meet and have dinner with Anne's mom, Margie and brother, Greg.

Sunrise at Block Island this morning.
We left Quincy and had another great sailing day down the bay and through the Cape Cod Canal, and yesterday had yet another great sailing day into Block Island, RI. It might seem strange to keep harping about the good sailing, but getting good wind to go the direction you want to go for 3 days in a row is pretty freaking great. But after 2 days of 60 miles or more we were ready for a break and are sitting at anchor today. I know 60 miles isn't that far, if you're in a CAR, but 60 miles is a loooong way at 5-6 kts an hour. We went ashore and had a good walk, and some great wings and the only other thing on my list to do today is to watch the Men's Final of the US Open and maybe bake some browines.


On The Road Again

We had a great, dark, fast thunderstorm go through this morning, just the thing to watch over my morning coffee, while snug in the cockpit. I like this picture because there were rain drops on the lens and it makes it look otherworldly.

Gloucester, pronounced 'Gloss-ta', or as Amanda preferred 'Glow-chester', is a very old maritime center. They have a memorial along the seawall to all the men who have gone to sea and not returned. The stats are sobering: in over 300 years, 5326 men in all. You can enlarge the photo for more details.
And if the man in the statue looks familiar, this is the home of "Trust the Gordon's Fishermen", the tune which I've had stuck in my head all day. Good luck getting rid of it once it comes to you.


Earl was a dud,

but the hurricane party wasn't. Alex used her beautiful, homegrown tomatoes and made pasta sauce, they invited all of us itinerate sailors and wanna be's and Rob brought the rums. What more could you ask for?

Pre-party, we picked Amanda up at Logan Airport and headed downtown Boston. It was 95degrees and it didn't take long for us to decide to hop the trolley for the city tour instead of walking. Of course, this was right after lunch, where Amanda, who's been reading about our meals all summer, had her first lobsta roll.

It was almost too much history for me for one day. We visited the USS Constitution, the first battleship and the oldest commissioned warship still afloat in the world, built in 1797. It was still 95, so while Steve and Amanda braved the bowels of the really hot ship, I browsed the nicely air conditioned visitor's center and got to know 2 ladies who turned out to be from Marshall MN! They were hilarious! Everything ended in !!! You're from ND?! Well isn't that amazing!!! We're from Minnesota!!! Donchaknow!!! We also managed to visit Boston Commons, the State House, saw The Garden, (where the Celtics play), Quincey Market and Faneuil Hall.

We saw some really skinny houses, this one was only 10 feet wide.

The Old North Church, where on April 18, 1775, Paul Revere saw the "two if by sea" that let him know the British were coming. It's still in use today.

The inside is divided into separate sections and they all had brass plaques to identify the original owners and other famous butts that had sat on the pews.

Yesterday we went to Salem and checked out all the witch burning, hanging, stoning places and also went to The House Of The Seven Gables, which is were Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote his novel of the same name.

Last night before dinner, we raided Alex's garden, oh, the possibilities........


Hello, Good-Bye, Hello Again

We had a lovely visit with Gary and Alex, back in Amesbury, bought a few groceries and headed our for Gloucester. This is a view of the Twin Lighthouses on Thatcher Island on the way around Cape Ann, going south.

We got into Gloucester, listened to the updates on Earl and beat feet back north to a very secure hurricane hole, which just happens to be the mooring we just left, where we are having another lovely visit with Gary and Alex. This is a view of the lighthouses as we passed, again.

Our daughter, Amanda, is flying into Boston tomorrow and we were going to spend the long weekend on a mooring there, exploring the city. Instead, we've rented a car and will pick her up and have a hurricane party. Some people will use any excuse to break out the Captain.