2006 Adventure UPDATES


UPDATE #7 5/19/06 - 05/27/06

Howdy Everybody,

05/19/06 Friday Spring Cove, Mill Creek, Solomons, MD to Calvert Marina, Solomons, MD

A rather late morning for us today, we leisurely had some breakfast and puttzed around until raising anchor at 10:30am.

Our journey was only 40 minutes long and we were tied up to the Calvert Marina transient dock by 11:10. The folks here are very nice and with the Boat/US discount, the price is very good for this area. They have new, long floating docks for transients making this an easy tie-up.

We had reserved a car from Enterprise and they delivered it to the marina at noon. This office gives excellent service and they complete the paperwork right at the marina. I had called West Marine store in Annapolis for a large BlueChart chip for my GPS. When I got there, they were all out of blank large chips. The manager worked out a deal to provide the necessary coverage areas on regular chips. I ended up buying all the additional chips that we would need for our entire trip. We now have all the electronic chart chips for our Great Loop cruise.
We continued on to Middleton, MD to meet with our long time friend, Joe DeMaris. Joe had made arrangements to obtain special engine filters and the Rotella oil that I use in AMARSE. We accompanied JD to his boat at Gregg's Neck, MD.

After some brightwork application, we headed to a Mom & Pop type restaurant in Galena for dinner. The seafood was quite good. The conversation and company was even better. As JD returned to his boat, we drove the 2 hr and 20 minute jaunt back to AMARSE.

05/20/06 Saturday Solomons, MD

Today was the designated work day on the boat. I changed the oils and filters on the engines and the generator as well as numerous other little chores around the engine room. The engines take about 35 quarts of oil. Disposal of the used oil is problem, as you can guess. Fortunately, we still have the rental car and we located the disposal site. In Maryland, it is called a "Transfer Station". Don't ask me how they came up with that choice name. Anyway, it took two trips to this recycle facility to safely deposit the used fluids and filters. Judy worked hard doing outside work and making AMARSE really beautiful.

Solomons has a nice gourmet grocery store from which we selected a great dinner choice to be enjoyed aboard AMARSE. As I grilled, Judy did her extra special potatoes and onion dish that I love so much. We were exhausted from the busy day and sleep came easily.

05/21/06 Sunday Solomons, MD

Todays plan included reprovisioning the grocery supplies for our continuing trip. Fellow boaters, Bill and Jack, from the M/V Shoot and Fish, joined us for breakfast.

They joined us for a visit to the Calvert Maritime Museum. The museum has a delightful replica of a Chesapeake "Screw-Pile" lighthouse.

Other exhibits include early fishing vessels and other typical Chesapeake memorabilia.

An interesting race using remote controlled sailboats was fun to watch in the little bay fronting the museum.

Bill and Jack toured more while Judy and I did our necessary shopping.
We wanted some stuff from Sam's Club and the closest one was in Baltimore. We set out and arrived just a minute or two before closing time. We scurried through the store and grabbed up our selections. Rushed, indeed, we were glad to have made it in time.
Fred's sister, Donna Brown, was enroute to Elkton, MD from her home in northern Maine. Riding with her son, she expected to be arriving at midnight. We enjoyed dinner at a nice restaurant in Baltimore and toured Havre de Grace while delaying time. We arrived at the pickup place at about 11:30pm. They finally arrived in Elkton at 1:30am. Everyone was tired, as you can imagine, but we made the 3 hour trip to AMARSE and hit the "hay" about 4:30am. It's a good thing that she is worth it.

05/22/06 Monday Solomons, MD

Early habits are hard to break, so, I was up and out to Drum Point Marina at 8:30am. I had learned that they were the service facility for my Kohler Generator. The unit was putting out excessive voltage and I was worried that it could harm our equipment. I anticipated a relatively simple adjustment procedure. They sent over a real good gal named Katie to evaluate the problem.

She determined that the voltage regulator was not adjustable and that it needed to be replaced. We agreed to change a diode and the brushes at the same time. This is no easy process since the generator needed to be moved off its mounts to gain access to the components. Katie unbolted and disconnected everything and, together, we were able to move the heavy generator to where she could remove the faulty components. The replacement parts were ordered for overnight delivery.
We turned in the rental car at noon.
It was a lovely day out and we were anxious to show Donna the wonderful creeks and scenery in the area. We lowered the dinghy and explored with delight.

We grilled swordfish and breast of chicken in a "surf 'n turf" fashion. Salads and scalloped potatoes rounded out a fabulous meal aboard AMARSE.

05/23/06 Tuesday Solomons, MD

Judy borrowed the marina courtesy car, a black Mercedes sedan. We had breakfast and picked up some more groceries at Woodburn's, the gourmet store.
The morning was perfect for another dinghy ride to another creek area that we had not visited yesterday.

After lunch, we enjoyed more dinghy rides. We visited with Linda and Fred Glassman aboard "Linda G II", a Present 40. They have done the loop trip several times and have cruised the eastern US for years. They now spend their winters in Marsh Harbor, Abacos, Bahamas and return to Baltimore for the summer. We received many special tips and cruising spots from their vast repertoire of experiences. The maintenance people called to inform us that all of the parts had not come in yet so we would be at least another day. Oh well, this is the best place that I could think of to be delayed. Fred and Linda joined us aboard AMARSE for an extended cocktail hour or two. Wonderful folks with wonderful stories of their adventures.
Judy, Donna, and I enjoyed grilled steaks, mashed potatoes, corn, and mushroom sauce. Another wonderful day of real enjoyment had come to pass.

05/24/06 Wednesday Solomons, MD

With Judy at the wheel of the black Mercedes, we headed to town for breakfast. The marina lets you use the car for an hour at a time.

As we waited for news on our generator parts, we tackled chores like cleaning the isinglass enclosure, polishing the stainless steel with Never-Dull, and scrubbing down the fiberglass. I even did some touch-up painting on our boarding ladder that was developing a little rust.
Drum Point Marine informed us that the parts were in and that Katie would be over soon to finish the work. We ran into a few minor problems and had to move the generator a couple more times before we achieved the proper results. That generator is a heavy dude. With the output at proper level, I was comfortable that we had done the right things to protect our systems. AMARSE was now ready to continue our journey. We visited with Willis Turner, captain/owner of a beautiful classic Matthews yacht named "Faith". We knew Willis briefly from his time at Key Allegro Marina in Rockport, TX. It was there that he acquired the vessel and changed her name from Zona. Willis and his wife have been cruising around the Gulf coast, Florida, and onward for the loop trip. Although away now, his wife will rejoin him soon. It is always nice to meet up again with friends.
The evening was perfect for "grilling 'n chilling". Early to bed to be rested for our early departure.

05/25/06 Thursday Solomons, MD to La Trappe Creek

Although we were up early, we opted to wait for the fuel dock to open and to fill up the tanks with diesel fuel. We relocated to the fuelers located across the creek, topped off both fuel cells, and were underway by 8:10. This was Donna's first day at sea and Judy worked with her and taught her many new "tricks of the trade". Safety stuff, line handling, and line/fender use and storage methods were covered.
Our destination was to pass from the western side of the bay to the eastern shore of the Chesapeake. Donna got to see some big ships and enjoyed the bay crossing despite the increasing winds and choppy waters. We entered the Choptank River proceeding to the Tred Avon River leading into Towne Creek at Oxford, MD. The weather was a drizzly, light rain as we returned out of the harbor. Re-entering the Choptank, we proceeded to La Trappe Creek for our evening anchorage. The entrance to the creek is guided by some very unusual markers.

We shared this lovely spot behind Martin Point with three other vessels and thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful surroundings in sheltered comfort.

Cocktails, salads, grilled chicken breast, and garlic-butter pasta topped the menu tonight. Soooo Goooood!

Location N38 37.942 W076 07.212.

05/26/06 Friday La Trappe Creek to Annapolis, MD

At 6:30 am, we had the anchor up and we were proceeding through La Trappe Creek and the Choptank River. Two hours later, we were passing through Knapp Narrows. This is a very narrow cut through Tilghman Island that enables vessels to remain sheltered for the northerly passage.

We opted to try a trip up the Poplar Island Narrows into the Eastern Bay area. Rounding Tilghman Point, the Miles River leads to the very popular St. Michael's harbor. We had been experiencing light rain and cooler temperatures, however, our isinglass enclosure makes travel very comfortable. It was only Friday and just the start of the busy Memorial Day weekend. St. Michaels was already starting to go "nuts". Boats were cutting everywhere and most did not seem to care much for boating etiquette or the rules of the road. In these crowded conditions, it is rather unnerving to see. We decided to take our photos and head on out of the congestion.

A course through the Kent Narrows and out around Love Point was thrilling and a real fun experience. We headed back down the bay, detoured to take pictures of Sandy Point Light, and to pass under the huge Bay Bridge and into Annapolis Harbor.

Our choice was to find a mooring ball to secure to. The front harbor was already completely full and we were directed into Spa Creek for additional moorings. We passed the drawbridge and found a super spot in a small cove of the main creek. Mooring #66 had a very messy line attached but the mud was cleaned up and we were very happy to be here.
We lowered the dinghy and had a wonderful little cruise of Spa Creek. Annapolis is a great boating community and the leaders recognize the positive influence and huge economic impact of the cruising public. By installing these mooring fields, they increase the effective numbers of boats and visitors. They have had the foresight to position dinghy landing docks at the foot of any street that ends at the water. This is wonderful.
As the skies darkened with the afternoon thunderstorms, we returned to AMARSE for relaxation while the rains poured down.
As the rain subsided and blue returned to the early evening sky, we dined on the sundeck to a feast of grilled, smoked sausage, potatoes and onions, and those wonderful, crisp salads.
The dinghy motored us to "Ego Alley". This narrow harbor alley takes you right into the heart of downtown. It gets its name from the many cruisers that "parade" up and down the canal just showing off their stuff. It is all quite fun and is the recognized hub of central activity. We docked and Judy and Donna headed for Ben and Jerry's for their craved ice cream cones. What a lovely and historic location. We saw Larry and Wynn from WyLaWay. They are visiting the surrounding areas from here in a rent car and travel to Washington daily for the Capitol sights. Larry was looking forward to visiting the National Cathedral the next day.
We turned on the lights of the dinghy and enjoyed a night time cruise of the area and headed back to the boat for a well deserved rest.

05/27/06 Saturday Annapolis, MD

The morning was clear and beautiful. We rode around in the dinghy going up and down the side creeks and canals. Some wonderful looking homes with fantastic landscaping and the springtime flowers well in bloom. From "Ego Alley", we toured the historic district. Judy and Donna listened intently as Alex Haley read to them from his famous book "Roots".

We selected a neat place for brunch. Chick and Ruth's Delly (no, I didn't spell it wrong) has been a fixture in Annapolis for many, many years. It is family owned and operated featuring a New York style deli.

Donna and Judy got on a bus and went shopping for grocery stuff. I sat around on Ego Alley just people watching. It was delightful and sunny. Before heading back to the boat, we were forced to visit Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. In preparation for an early departure, we stowed the dinghy atop the sundeck and enjoyed dinner aboard. I grilled while the gals prepared salads and fresh corn on the cob. Life is soooo gooood.

"AMARSE". is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY". Our website is: www.amarse.net .

Check it out while we will attempt to keep you informed via email. We have had the pleasure of hearing from many of you. We would like to hear more about what is happening in your lives. Let us know as we very interested in what's going on with our friends and family. Please DO email us with your thoughts and comments and ideas too. Thanks

Lot of Love,
Fred Reed and Judy Law