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Sailing to Crisfield and Back - Aborted Trip to Cape Charles

Engine Trouble


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

After I got back from the Mediterranean Cruise with my grandson at Easter, our next trip was a sail in the Chesapeake.

Tuesday 17 June 2008 - Planning

I decided that we could go out Wednesday June 18th and come back Monday June 24th as I thought I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. Actually the appointment was Monday afternoon, but I thought it was Tuesday because my last doctor's appointment (dermatologist) was on Tuesday.

Incidentally I've found a letter that says that Uncle Harry (my father's brother) had a large melanoma removed from his head area. The dermatologist gave me a clean bill of health, but emphasized that with two close relatives with melanomas (Bob and me), all of my children should get seen ASAP if they have not done so. I know D and Rob have had screenings, and I seem to remember that B had also. How about E?

The last time I suggested going out, Bob said it was too hot and no wind. This time the weather was going to be cool and the wind from the north and west for two days and then turn around and be from the south. So I thought - go south and then come back north with the north wind and we'd have a couple of nice days.

So Tuesday after my organizational lady left, I spend researching where we could go to the south, and I've always wanted to go to Cape Charles and also see the Cape Charles Light. I didn't realize at the time though, how far south that would be. So I called a few marinas, and made some reservations. The marina guy in Cape Charles said it was only 35 miles from Crisfield, so that would be OK.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

This morning, I still had to shower and pack, and most important - set the computers up for the trip. I wanted to put the old Toshiba (Windows 98) in an old computer bag and couldn't find the bag, and I also needed to be sure that the secondary computer would not be asking to update the virus definitions automatically when it wasn't attached to the internet as that makes it freeze.
Shores in Smith Creek

Shores in Smith Creek


Of course Bob was impatient to be gone. We did get everything loaded on the boat and got underway about noon (which was my goal). We were intending to go to Crisfield first. Since we haven't used the Toshiba for navigation recently (because it has a habit of stopping in the middle and just displaying the Toshiba screen), none of the recent routes and tracks are on it, and I had no previous track to put on for Bob to follow, so I made a route which went through the Kedges Straits so I could get a better look at Solomon's Lump lighthouse.

Tug and barge

Tug and barge

We motor sailed down the Potomac to the Bay (the wind was more or less in the predicted direction but was light at 5 to 9 knots). At least it was on the tail instead of on the nose. I finally went below and took a nap because I was tired from all the flurry of leaving. One of the nose pieces came off of my glasses. When I came up, I saw that we were not going to be close enough to either Smith Point or Point Lookout for pictures. Bob said he couldn't fix my glasses without some glue, and we discussed where we were going.

Boats in formation

Boats in formation

About 14:45, we saw six of the small Naval Academy boats steaming up the bay in formation with their flags flying. (Bob said these were YPs (Yard Patrol boats which the Naval Academy used for training)
US Naval Academy YP boat

US Naval Academy YP boat


I went down into the aft cabin to read.

Suddenly it sounded to me as if the engine was running away. I went up into the cockpit and said to Bob "What is that noise", and he unconcernedly said that is was because there was someone coming up behind us. (We can't see directly behind us due to stuff on the aft deck.) But I looked and there was no one there. Bob slacked off the throttle and then cautiously came back to speed and the noise was gone. We wondered if we had caught a crab pot.

This happened about twice more where there were no crab pots. The gauges never moved during this time - RPMs were the same, oil pressure normal, engine temperature normal (and Bob checked that with the infrared gauge), engine charging as normal. Bob checked the bilges and looked in the engine compartment and saw nothing amiss. The engine continued to run as normal between times. This was a worry.

But we were in the middle of the Chesapeake, so we continued.

From 15:15 to 15:30, we were passing the target ship Old Hannibal (a bombing site)
large_100_6256.jpg
When you see this boat from afar, it isn't immediately obvious that it is nothing but a hulk. At least once I have thought we were on a collision course with it.
x100_6253.jpgOld Hannibal Target Ship

Old Hannibal Target Ship


It is aground so there are no anchor chains to show that it is stationary.
Coming this way?

Coming this way?


But eventually, looking through the binoculars, it is obvious that it is not making any way. I took some pictures, and then we saw two different spiders, one of which was the Holland Island Bar Spider
Holland Island Bar Spider

Holland Island Bar Spider


which replaced the
Original Holland Island Bar Light

Original Holland Island Bar Light


We approached and passed Solomon's Lump around 1700.

What is Solomons Lump?

In 1892, Solomons Lump Lighthouse was described as a white keeper’s quarters with a brown roof and a black lantern. The screwpile lighthouse lasted eighteen years before it was put out of commission by moving masses of ice in January 1893.

“Though not carried from its site, the house was pushed over so that part of it is submerged."

It was decided to replace the screwpile design with a caisson type lighthouse. The new caisson was assembled at the Lazaretto lighthouse depot near Baltimore and then towed to Solomons Lump in May 1895 along with three lighters loaded with construction material and the working plant. Solomons Lump Lighthouse is one of only eleven light structures in the United States whose foundation caisson was sunk by the pneumatic process. A twenty-five-foot-tall, octagonal keeper’s dwelling was built around a square brick tower, which formed two of the lighthouse’s eight sides. The first floor of the keeper’s quarters contained the living room, kitchen, pantry and a door that led into the square lantern tower and its wooden staircase. On the second floor were two bedrooms for the keeper and his assistant.

Original Solomon's Lump Light

Original Solomon's Lump Light

Before the installation of radio and telephone technology in the 1920s, there was no way for the keepers to communicate with the mainland. This was of great concern to the keepers’ families, who must have worried that the distant lighthouse could be wrenched by the ice or struck by an errant ship. The keepers were forced to make an eight-mile journey in a small skiff for shore leave, but the opportunity to visit family was seldom delayed except in extreme weather. During the service of keeper Henry Columbus Sterling, who oversaw the lighthouse from 1904 to 1937, keepers worked for one week and had shore leave for one week. This meant that Sterling had to take four trips a month to and from the shore. A trip which he made in a tiny sailboat.

In 1936, shortly before Sterling retired at age sixty-five, there was a great freeze and Janes Island Lighthouse was swept away by ice. Sterling’s son, concerned for his father’s safety, climbed atop the Ice Plant in Crisfield in a desperate attempt to determine if his father’s lighthouse was still standing. Although the light still shone, Sterling had in fact abandoned the station and walked across the heavy ice to the safety of Smith Island, much like his predecessors had done in 1893, when the first Solomons Lump Lighthouse was lost. Sterling was unwilling to abandon the lighthouse without authorization but finally left the station after a plane dropped a note from his superior.

After Solomons Lump Lighthouse had been dark for three days in February 1938, Captain Lacey Tyles and Marvin Marshall of the State Conservation patrol went out to investigate and found forty-two-year-old Assistant Keeper Rolly Laird stricken with rheumatism and unable to reach food in the pantry. Laird was taken to his home on Smith Island, where his condition slowly improved.
Solomon's Lump Light

Solomon's Lump Light


Solomons Lump was converted to unmanned status in April 1950, after which time the station’s condition worsened. Sometime around 1971, the dwelling portion of the lighthouse was demolished, leaving the brick tower standing off-center on the northwest side of the caisson.
x100_6273.jpgSolomon's Lump

Solomon's Lump


The tower has thirteen-inch- thick walls at its base, though these taper to four inches in thickness at the top. The white tower once had windows to shed light on its interior stairway, but these have been bricked in.
Solomon's Lump

Solomon's Lump


The 1996 National Register of Historic Places Nomination form for Solomons Lump Lighthouse concluded that the lighthouse was not eligible for listing as the “station’s integrity was compromised when the integral keeper's quarters was demolished.” This functional but peculiar looking lighthouse thus faces an uncertain future.

That is Solomon's Lump

I had a bad hangnail on my thumb and tried to bandage my thumb so that it wouldn't get infected, but the bandaids in the first aid box were kind of deteriorated and wouldn't stick, and I couldn't get one to stick to my nose (to protect it from the metal piece on my glasses) either. They would slide off at the first chance. This was an ongoing battle and I tried scotch tape on my nose and eventually adhesive tape with no particular luck.

Jane's Island light

Jane's Island light

I called Somers Cove Marina where we had a reservation to ask them what would happen if we got in after 1900, and they gave me a slip assignment and the number of the night watchwoman. I asked if we could just tie up to the bulkhead, and they said that the end of D dock was open, so I said I'd take that. I figured it would be easier. They didn't think that it would be past 7 if we were in Kedges Straits.

And I thought we might make it too. We were at the Jane Island light by 6:30. But we didn't get to the entrance channel to the harbor until 7:10.

Crisfield spider

Crisfield spider


Approaching the Crisfield entrance channel

Approaching the Crisfield entrance channel

x100_6304.jpgComing in the entrance channel

Coming in the entrance channel

100_6342.jpgWelcome to Crisfield

Welcome to Crisfield


So I called the night watch-lady, and she helped us tie up and brought us the information packet with the gate combination numbers. Bob tipped her $5.00. We asked if the Original Captains Galley were open and they said not, but the Cove WAS open.

We had done 36 nm at an average speed of 5 knots. We stuck everything below and locked up and went to walk over to the Cove. We were passing some people with foam take-away boxes in their hands, and I asked where they had eaten and they said the Cove and it was excellent, but they were closing in 10 minutes (at 2000). So we hurried up.
100_6311.jpgCove Restaurant menu and Specials board

Cove Restaurant menu and Specials board


This was the restaurant where Bob really liked the crab cakes so he ordered a
One  crab cake dinner for $15.99

One crab cake dinner for $15.99


and I got the special which was
large_CrabImperial.JPG

Sides

Sides

We both got asparagus which was the vegetable of the day as one of our sides, and Bob got coleslaw and I got potato salad. They brought us two biscuits which tasted like they had honey butter in them and two that were made with pumpkin or sweet potato. My crab imperial proved to be a crab cake with a rich topping on it which tasted by itself like a cheese and tartar sauce custard. I could only eat half of it and got it in a box to go.
PinaColada.JPG
We had virgin pina coladas for dessert. Still a fairly cheap dinner and really good.

We walked back to the boat. I noticed that there was a restaurant open in the next block which had a second floor with a kind of lighthouse thing on the top and there was a flashing light in it.

Restaurant with a turret

Restaurant with a turret

We made our beds up and Bob tuned the TV to the new digital channels through the antenna rather than setting up the satellite TV receiver.We got 5 or 6 channels really nice and clear.

When he looked at the weather, he said that it looked like we were going to get a thunderstorm and maybe he should put the cockpit curtains down. So he did that. And we did get a storm with a lot of lightning and thunder and the electricity went off for a brief moment or two. I was doing the route to the Cape Charles marina on the computer, and it turned out to be over 50 miles (instead of the 35 miles that I was told). So I asked Bob if we shouldn't forget going there and just to go Deltaville instead. He agreed.

I downloaded my pictures and edited them, and then went to sleep soundly all night.

Thursday 19 June 2008

Yesterday Bob had covered up the compass and GPS overnight, and he accidentally put his hand on the top of it and cracked the plastic mount where we have the GPS mounted. He put a plastic tie on it to keep it there temporarily.

I slept so soundly that I did not wake up at all, and finally surfaced about 8 am to find that Bob was up and had breakfast and was ready to cast off. I usually pay at the office, but I asked him to do that this time while I got myself organized. He started the engine while I was still doing that, and I put the Toshiba back into the cockpit all set up and ready to go. Although I accidentally leaned a little too hard on the bottom plastic overlapping flap and cracked it.

Since we were on the T-head, all I had to do was flip off the bow line and Bob could motor out of the marina.
Casting off from the dock

Casting off from the dock


We left about 9:15 which was perfectly in order since we were just going over to the Rappahannock. I stood on the bow and took pictures as we were leaving.
Looking into the harbor as we leave

Looking into the harbor as we leave


x100_6334.jpgTrojan Horse

Trojan Horse

Following another sailboat by the Tangier Island Cruise boat

Following another sailboat by the Tangier Island Cruise boat


We followed another sailboat out. Some pictures I took from the bow,
Sidestreet Seafood from the channel

Sidestreet Seafood from the channel

Going out the channel

Going out the channel


but then I went back and took some from the stern because I wanted to show where the harbor entrance was as you approach. There was also what looked like a new marina (with absolutely no boats in it) outside the harbor.
Crab Pot Boat following us

Crab Pot Boat following us


I told Bob that we had a boat behind us. It was a crab pot boat and he gave us two blasts on the whistle and passed us.

By 9:30, we were out of the harbor and turning south.
Spider

Spider


I called the Cape Charles marina to tell him that we are not coming, and call Urbana to see if they have space there. She said that she does not. It turns out that she has only 3 slips that are not covered slips (and being a sailboat with a mast, we can't use a covered slip), plus a sea wall, and all of them are booked this weekend. She also informs me that she only works Weds to Sunday and that's why she didn't answer the phone on Tuesday. So for a reservation I need to call at least a week in advance. I talked to the people in Deltaville and the man said that his mother-in-law's name was RosalieAnn.

We saw crab pot boats throwing out their pots, and we were now passing Tangier.
Crab pot boat

Crab pot boat


I saw a big blue boat which I thought was the mail boat, but it didn't seem to be moving so I decided that was the head boat out of Crisfield.

Then the noise happened again. We discussed this, and Bob is sure it is the cutlass bearing, and says that the boat will need to be hauled to check on it. He says that if the bearing is disintegrating, that the prop shaft can move around and will vibrate which makes the noise that we hear.

Finally I asked Bob if he wanted to go back to our marina, and he said yes that he thought that would be a good idea. I hate it when he makes me guess what he wants to do, although in this case I did eventually get there. However, the noise and vibration did not occur again on this leg of the trip.

I tried to call Deltaville to cancel, but by this time, we were south of Tangier and had absolutely no signal. The wind was still from the north, and we had some sails up, but we were basically motoring. I re-did the route on the Toshiba taking us around the bottom of Tangier (since we were already too far south to just go through the middle).
Tangier Sound  Spider

Tangier Sound Spider


We passed fairly close to the Tangier Sound spider and then picked our way through the crab pots - staying out far enough away from the shoals to keep 10 feet or so of water under the keel, but not making a big circle. We passed another crab pot boat throwing the pots out along a line.
100_6378.jpgCrab pot boat

Crab pot boat


Then Bob complained that the Toshiba had gone to the Toshiba screen again. It was apparently frozen. So I took it into the cabin and shut it down and let it contemplate its navel for a bit and charge the battery. Then I fired it up and changed the power requirements so that it never hibernated while on power. I tried to label the courses that we had taken and it said it could not write to the C drive. But I got it working again and put it back into the box in the cockpit. [The cockpit box has a plug for 12V in it]

Bob got himself lunch, and I ate the crab imperial that I'd brought from the Cove the night before. We were progressing fairly well across the Bay - going northwest now. The wind was on the beam and so light as not to be a problem. Then the Toshiba froze up again, and this time I could not resurrect it. By this time it was about 1515 - we could see the
Smith Point Lighthouse

Smith Point Lighthouse


and I figured we ought to be able to get home without the computer - we've done this a gazillion times after all. It isn't difficult.

We were still not going to be in a position to photograph Point Lookout lighthouse The Navy has apparently moved the tracking station stuff over to another place along the Bay shore - you can't see the lighthouse at all anymore unless you are in the Potomac - at least not coming from the southeast. There is now a big building in front of the lighthouse.

I took the computer GPS out of the cockpit at 1645, at which time we had been 35 nm. I also started packing up my stuff so it would be easy to get off when we got to the marina. We got a weather bulletin which said there was a thunderstorm approaching, and Bob thought we might be motoring towards it.

As we approached the St. Mary's River, Bob complained that he didn't recognize the entrance to the river. I guess we've been relying too much on the computer charts. I got out the binoculars and started looking for the daymarks. It was more comfortable to use the binoculars without my glasses - I have been completely unsuccessful at figuring out how to attach a pad to my nose or the glasses so that metal piece doesn't dig into my nose.

We saw a rainstorm approaching, but it did not appear to have any lightning in it. We reached the first marker (2S)
Red 2S

Red 2S


and we wended our way through the Z of the entrance shoals and were at marker 6 by 1905,
Red 6

Red 6


As we were coming into our slip, it started to rain.
Osprey nest

Osprey nest


I grabbed the lines from the middle piling, but that wasn't what Bob wanted - he wanted the ones from the forward piling. None-the-less, we tied up in the rain - there wasn't any wind to be a problem. We had been 47.6 nm and it took us 9.51 hours.

We quickly locked up the boat and walked up to the Spinnakers to have dinner. I forgot my camera, but I was afraid to go back for it for fear that they would close before we got there.
large_100_6455.jpg
They had two soups on the menu - Maryland crab (which is a clear spicy vegetable soup and not the cream of crab) and chicken noodle. Over the chicken noodle it said "Soup du Jour" (soup of the day). I thought the Soup of the Day would be a different soup than the ones on the menu, but Bob had the chicken noodle soup anyway, and the liver and onions. I said I would have spinach salad and a shrimp salad sandwich because I didn't think I was very hungry.
Painting in Spinnakers

Painting in Spinnakers


Maybe the kitchen had been going to close, because they had to boil an egg for the spinach salad, which took 15 minutes, and I got it last. All of the food was very good. While we were waiting, I decided that I was hungrier than I had thought, and would have dessert. I got some kind of lemon pie - it was fluffy and tangy and good. Bob had rice pudding which the chef had made that day. It looked good although he said it didn't have any raisins in it. [All of what Bob ate are his favorite comfort foods]

Bob moved the truck nearer to the dock, but we couldn't find but one dock cart. The guy on Hurricane was using the other one. So we had to make two trips with all the stuff (three coolers, two computer bags, and a bag of clothes each for Bob and me, the DirectTV receiver etc). It was raining gently and I tried to put down the side curtains and lost the zipper slide off the bottom of one of them.

We were tired when we got home - just about in time for Fox News at 10.

Bob fixed my glasses the next day. I was quite sore (joints and muscles), and Bob complained that he was tired. He is always surprised to be tired.
Our house

Our house


25 June 2008

We went down to the marina to haul the boat to look at and fix the cutlass bearing. We had to wait for the
Range boat

Range boat


to be put in the water.
Hauling the boat

Hauling the boat


and had a meal at Spinnakers afterward.
Egg salad sandwich

Egg salad sandwich

Bob's sandwich and fries

Bob's sandwich and fries

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:04 Archived in USA Comments (4)

Planting Iris and Ashes

Starting a weekend with our granddaughter


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

When my mother died in 2006, we donated her body to the medical school. At the same time, I had a gravestone made and put in a cemetery in Henderson NC.

I had gotten her ashes back but had not had a chance to take them to the cemetery. My oldest granddaughter was getting married the first weekend in August. I thought it might be a good idea to have a couple of days with my second oldest granddaughter before the wedding. So I arranged to meet my son on Saturday in Henderson (which was about half way between our house in Maryland and his house in South Carolina). Then when we were all going to the wedding, he would pick her up at our house on his way up to CT.

I have not been able to find the first part of this narrative for the trip down to Henderson, but I do have a few photos.

Friday 25 July 2008

Approaching the Governor Nice Bridge

Approaching the Governor Nice Bridge


Lunch at Arby's near Richmond

Lunch at Arby's near Richmond


We drove down to Henderson and checked into the Hampton Inn about 4.
4121148-Desk_and_window_Henderson.jpgLapboard

Lapboard


Since it was early, I decided to try to find a cemetery to take photos.
Map we were given by the hotel

Map we were given by the hotel

Key to the numbers on the map

Key to the numbers on the map


and since I saw Ruin Church Road and Big Ruin Creek Church on the map we were given by the hotel, I decided to try to find it. The map was confusing because Big Ruin Creek Church was #7 on the key, but there was no corresponding number on the map. We did eventually get to the cemetery.
4169294-Ruin_Creek_Church_Henderson.jpgPlaque on Big Ruin Creek Baptist Church Organized 1880.  Built 1942.  Rebuilt 1960

Plaque on Big Ruin Creek Baptist Church Organized 1880. Built 1942. Rebuilt 1960

28528678_121704247712.jpgBig Ruin Cemetery

Big Ruin Cemetery


We try to eat at a sit-down (not fast food) restaurant when we are traveling. In Henderson it is difficult to find a restaurant that isn't a chain. Pino's restaurant (which was on the map)
6092516-Italian_in_NC.jpg6092522-Italian_in_NC.jpg
is in a shopping center, but it is a nice place. They have a regular menu and a specials board.
6092517-Italian_in_NC.jpgSpecials and Sign in the window of Pinos

Specials and Sign in the window of Pinos


I had the
Steak special (8 oz ribeye with a side of spaghetti)

Steak special (8 oz ribeye with a side of spaghetti)


Bob's ravioli

Bob's ravioli


The dinner for two (no drinks, no dessert) was $23.06

Saturday July 26, 2008

We had some car trouble yesterday with a belt slipping and making a big noise. Bob went out this morning to see if he could fix it. He could not. He disconnected the belt (which was one of those to the generator), but he wanted to buy another one. So we ate breakfast earlier than I would have ordinarily wanted to do.
Looking out on the pool from our room

Looking out on the pool from our room


I didn't get a chance to swim in the pool. Bummer.

We went out in town to look for an auto parts store, and Bob stopped and bought what he thought would be a replacement belt. When we got it home, we found that it would not have worked if we had needed it. So it was just as well that we didn't.
Main Street of Henderson

Main Street of Henderson


Originally, I had intended to leave the hotel just before the checkout deadline and go somewhere to lunch and then meet my son and his daughter at the cemetery after lunch to have a little DAR ceremony where we buried mom's ashes and planted the iris that were named for her over the ashes by her grave marker.

But Bob was worried that we wouldn't get home before dark if we did that, so we went on and planted everything first.
Bob planting iris

Bob planting iris


After we finished with Mom's grave, I walked around the cemetery and took pictures of other markers there.
Markers in the cemetery

Markers in the cemetery


Then we drove into town and got lunch at KFC
KFC for lunch

KFC for lunch


and got diesel in the car and drove back to the cemetery
Henderson Clock

Henderson Clock

Garnett Street

Garnett Street

6092707-2008_Henderson_downtown_Henderson.jpgMain street in Henderson

Main street in Henderson


My son arrived at the cemetery at noon.
My son at the cemetery

My son at the cemetery


He and my granddaughter had already eaten. We exchanged stuff - he gave us our granddaughter's luggage for a 10 day stay, and we gave him the things that I had found that were his from our house, including his portfolio of art, his trophies and ribbons and so on.
Rob cross country on Britches - framed photo which was one of the things I gave him

Rob cross country on Britches - framed photo which was one of the things I gave him

Just as we were leaving, we saw someone turn into the cemetery and it turned out to be the lady from the D.A.R. who had been on vacation and so hadn't responded to my emails. So we went back to the cemetery and had the ceremony.
My mom's grave

My mom's grave

819174374169343-Me_and_my_gr.._Henderson.jpgThree generations

Three generations


Then we both left Henderson.

We did get back to Leonardtown before dark, and had an early dinner at Arizona Pizza (which is no longer there) before going back to the house.
x3073349.jpgAppetizer and my stromboli

Appetizer and my stromboli

Granddaughter's personal pan pizza$5.00

Granddaughter's personal pan pizza$5.00

Bob's meatball sub

Bob's meatball sub

My granddaughter and I decided to visit Colton's Point and St. Clements Island on Sunday. That's because I wanted to get some pictures of Blackistone lighthouse, and the water taxi only runs on the weekends.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:21 Archived in USA Tagged cemetery henderson Comments (0)

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