By Lou and Jean
Wayne, aboard PIKA (September - October, 2004)
Ok. It has been
a couple of months since we have written of our travels. That's because after 9
months of cruising, we needed a bit of a change.
Our good friends and next door neighbors, Dahni & Susan came to spend
a few days sailing on the Bay with us at the end of June.
We made plans to ride home to
with them at the beginning of July, leaving PIKA in
with our Alberg 37 friends, TJ & Kaye, to keep SHEARWATER, their Alberg 37
yawl company. After a visit with
family & friends, some work on the house, and some appointments of various
sorts, we were ready to head back to the boat to get ready for the ‘party’
(Alberg 37 fall rendezvous). Pack up
Old Blue (our Olds Wagon) and get on the road 0800,
. We had a haulout date of 9/23 at
Must get PIKA spiffed up before the
Alberg 37 rendezvous this weekend. Sail
into the haulout slip at high tide with owners Doug & Marion waiting for us
with the travel lift.
pressure washes the bottom of PIKA as we get the first good look at it since
the clear water of the
. Not too bad, considering.
Replace the zincs, wet sand and paint the bottom, paint the waterline
stripe, scrub and wax the hull. Within
49 hours, PIKA is back in the water and the crew is ready for a rest and a rum
punch. Spent the next few days
cleaning and waxing before people began arriving for the party.
There were 4 Alberg 37's at TJ & Kaye's dock and many owners who had
driven in. After 2 days of wonderful
food, great friends, pretty boats, and many a boat story, the party was
concluded. Monday was cleanup day
and Tuesday was the day for SHEARWATER & PIKA to go cruising. However, the
day dawned quite cool and a strong north east wind so we decided to postpone
until Wednesday. At 0800 we cast off
our dock lines, shook the mud daubers out of the mainsail, and sailed out of the
and down the
heading for Solomons MD. All was
well until we reached Pt. Lookout at the mouth of the
, the wind was brisk from the north. After
a consultation with SHEARWATER crew, it was agreed that A) this won't be fun and
B)we are gentlemen and everyone knows gentlemen do not sail to weather, so we
slacked the sheets, bore off the wind and made for
Reedville is a very quiet little
fishing town with a very nice, protected anchorage, as long as the wind is not
from the south. Reedville is the
home of the menhaden fishing boats and processing plant.
Now for those of you who are not familiar with them, menhaden are small
fish like herring which are harvested by the ton and processed for their oil.
The processing as you might guess is not a pleasant olfactory experience if you
happen to be down wind from the plant. Fortunately
for us the wind was northwest and we had a delightful stay.
Next morning SHEARWATER developed a transmission problem and PIKA's
anchor chain jammed hard in the windlass. We freed the chain and got the anchor
aboard while TJ finally got SHEARWATER into gear.
As we motor sailed north, SHEARWATER bore off to port up the
and back to Kinsale where he would further investigate his transmission
problem. We pressed on to Solomons. Light winds today.
We motor sailed most of the way to Solomons MD (approximately a 40 mile
). This is a major sailing town for
cruisers and recreational boaters. Protected
anchorages and fine marinas abound. It
is a good place to provision and fuel up the boat before heading south.
We anchored in Back Creek off of Zahniser's
for the evening. Worked on repairing the windlass in the morning before a walk
into town. Upon our return to the
anchorage, we noticed that our friends from Shearwater had sailed into the
harbor to join us. Their
transmission seemed to operate better in the warmer weather we were
experiencing. Enjoyed happy hour
together and a very pleasant evening before sailing across the bay to La Trappe
Creek off the
the next morning. Another beautiful
protected little bay with a small beach but not much else around.
We dinghied upstream to explore the old Dickerson Boat Factory and took a
long walk on the country roads. Jean
and Kaye did a little beach combing and a dinghy drift to read our books.
Then after our power naps, it was happy hour again.
A fellow in a Catalina who was single-handing anchored next to us and
when we saw him having happy hour by himself, we decided that we should invite
him to join us. TJ dinghied over and they both appeared 5 minutes later.
A very pleasant fellow. He
was alone because his mother-in-law had hip replacement surgery that day and his
wife was staying with her. After
dinner, TJ treated us to a slideshow on his computer of pictures of PIKA as we
sailed next to Shearwater. We also
have pictures of their boat but are not yet up to state of the art technology
with our cameras. We are still in
the age of silver halide. Next
morning, more transmission trouble for Shearwater so they decide to head home to
pull the transmission while it is still under warranty and drop it off to be
repaired. PIKA makes plans for a
short sail to
, 10 miles or so away. After
listening to the weather for the next couple of days, we change plans and sail
the 40 miles to St. Michaels.
St. Michaels, MD, another beautiful bayside town with a
maritime museum, many swanky marinas, a family of swans, and a couple of small
anchorages, each of which can hold approx. 6 boats (that be where we live).
St Michael's also is known for its beautiful church bells which chime in
the evening. We came up
to St. Michaels on Wednesday and stayed for several days.
. Friday night, the trawler
MAR who followed us to Reedville then Solomons invited us over for happy hour
and a game of Mexican dominos.
t & Gloria from
are very nice folks. We had a
pleasant visit and after 4 games of dominos and several drinks we were ready to
head home. We have had a couple of
terrific storms just before sundown the past two nights with very high winds.
Last night the sky was the most unusual color of gold, it was scary.
Luckily, we are tucked inside the harbor in
deep water (10') with not too many other boats and had no problem with
our Bruce anchor holding. The
windless is working very well after Lou's extensive epoxy repairs back in La
Trappe. Have had a little problem
with the oven - the pilot light lights but the burner does not ignite.
Ran out of propane last night and after changing tanks, it seemed to work
better. We are very fortunate to have acquired a force 10 kerosene heater from
our friends Richard & Carole, which Lou has installed.
We have been putting it to good use every day as there has been a chill
in the air. (Sunday) We had hoped to
get fuel & water this morning, then head out but the wind is still howling
so maybe tomorrow. Monday, a calm
day to motor off to the
and Dividing Creek. We are not the
1st sailboat to be anchored in this beautiful, woodsy little creek with the
geese but there is plenty of room. This
is a very quiet anchorage, popular with cruisers, except most have already left
to sail south other than a few hearty souls.
In spite of the cold and drizzle the
next morning we motor further up the
and anchor off of the beautiful rolling green lawn at
with it's colonial white-pillared mansion and flock of dozens of coal black
sheep, busily mowing the grass. The
next morning we need to move again because we are in danger of turning into
mushrooms from hibernating below in the damp and cold.
Also there has not been a spot of sun in a week for our solar panel to
charge the batteries. So, we motor
to the other leg of the
called the Back Wye. Anchored just
before Drum Pt. with hundreds of geese and watched the oystermen pull in their
On Friday, we sailed most of the way to
with just the jib and on Saturday, the sun came out for the 1st time in over a
week, and Lou's Brother & his wife joined us for the day.
It was a beautiful, sunny day as we enjoyed lunch at Schooner's Landing,
then a cocktail watching the sunset from the
. Sunday, the clouds have moved back in and it is raining again so a good day
for projects. Lou decides to put the
new injectors in as Mr. Perkins has taken to smoking again.
After several hours of skinned knuckles and bad words, the job is done
however the engine seems to have not noticed as it is as smoky and hard starting
as ever! Must be time get out the Perkins manual and head back to Kinsale where
PIKA will spend the winter. We made
another stop to see a cruising friend in Solomons on the way back then sailed on
to Kinsale on Wednesday. Spent the next few days hauling stuff from the boat and
fussing with the engine. The latter
was to no avail so we will have to
return with more time to work on the problem.
Right now the biggest problem we all face is the mess in
and we simply must get home to cast our votes
on November 2 for change. Lou