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Old 10-19-2015, 05:05 PM   #1
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Headed south from the Chesapeake

After much planning, boat preparation and a little anticipation we finally got underway yesterday on our cruise from Herrington Harbour just south of Annapolis to our home in Tampa. Due to work constraints we were able to use the boat only once this season so I’m a little worried about the condition of the boat mechanics. Before departing I changed engine impellers, oil and tranny fluid. We installed new blinds in the aft cabin, a new music radio and I installed a Tract-it-TV dish tracking unit so we can watch DirecTV on the hook and at marinas. I finally got around to installing the fwd front arc weaver davit support for my hard bottom dinghy. Now the dinghy sits parallel to the swim platform and not at a 20 deg downward angle as seen in my avatar.
Having no experience in cold weather cruising I posted an earlier thread for recommendations and thanks to Howard (hmason) I got a Mr Heater, portable propane heater.
After meeting friends in Annapolis for dinner Friday we planned to leave Saturday but by the time I returned the rental car and got a few other things squared away it was too late. I retired last month so there is no agenda or time table.

Our initial plan is to head south to Solomons Island then down to St. Marys on the Potomac, across the bay to Onancock and then back to the west side of the Chessie to Little Bay. That may change, but I generally like to plan 3 legs in advance. Weather is supposed to be great this week.

We finally got underway yesterday at about 10:00 and ran a straight course to Solomons Is, giving the Dominion LPG prohibited area a wide birth. The boat ran great and we got her up on plane for about 30 minutes. We generally run at hull speeds – 7.5 kts. With a north wind it was a pleasant cruise but a bit chilly even with all the eisenglass closed. The Chessie is getting some unseasonable cold weather with forecast temps down to freezing tonight.
Last year northbound at Solomons Island we anchored up Back Creek near the Holliday Inn. There is limited anchor room there and with the annual southbound migration in full swing I was afraid I couldn’t find space so we anchored up Mill Creek about half a mile from its convergence with Back Creek. There are several boats anchored here but there’s lots of space so anchoring is no problem.

My Delta anchor though generally a good holder does not do well in mud, the prominent bottom in the Chesapeake. My initial attempt was not to my satisfaction. With a forecast NW wind to 11 kts I decided to anchor as close to a NW shore as I could so we moved to a more favorable location. I started my Drag Queen app and while my wife was at the bow monitoring the anchor deploy she pressed the set button on the app. We’ll sleep well tonight.

Now getting close to happy hour and to celebrate our successful run we adjourned to the sundeck for some well-deserved adult beverages. The sun was setting and it was getting a little cool so time to check out our Mr Heater. We cranked it up and it did a pretty good job of taking the chill off even on the sun deck. I grilled chicken for dinner and watched the ducks fly by and the sun set. A very pleasant dinner – I’m going to get use to retirement.

At 19:30 I cranked up the genny to charge the batteries and took advantage of the AC power to check out our antenna tracking device. So here we are at anchor watching TV with the reverse cycle heat on and enjoying a spot of Fireball (after dinner drink). Life is good.

Before leaving and knowing we’re cold weather cruising we did a Walmart run and got some extra blankets and clothes. After charging the batts for an hour and a half I shut down the genny and we hit the sack. With the new blankets we were comfortable all night.
However this morning when I got up to make coffee about 0600, it was cold. The OAT was 43 and inside it was 56. I cranked up Mr Heater and within 10 min the chill was gone.

We will stay here in Solomons Is today and maybe tomorrow. My wife brought her sewing machine so while we run the genny she’ll have something to do. I’ll report back tomorrow about our experience at Solomons Is.
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:23 PM   #2
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Very nice start, Timjet, keep it up.

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Old 10-19-2015, 05:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the post, I always enjoy your cruising logs! When you get down NC way let us know!

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:40 PM   #4
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Carry on safely.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:07 PM   #5
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Have a safe and enjoyable cruise south, this late in the season we still have a occasional transient stopping here on the upper Mississippi on their way south.

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Ron on Northern Lights II
I don't like making plans for the day because the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:00 PM   #6
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Great start. Sounds like you're well prepared.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:12 PM   #7
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Is your stop at St Mary's for more than an anchorage for overnight. If not, you might consider going into Smith Creek, closer to Pt Lookout. There are several good places to anchor not far from Corinthian Yacht Club, protected area and closer to the mouth of the Potomac than St Mary's, especially if you're headed up to the Horseshoe. Or after rounding Pt Lookout head westward toward Lewisetta on the VA side. Glebe Creek has some great anchorages less than a mile upstream. Both of these locations appear on Active Captain; I've stayed at both. PM me if you have any questions.
Safe travels, I hope to follow you South in a year or two.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:32 PM   #8
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Good and interesting report, timjet, and nice pics too!

From where I live in Jacksonville Beach my business takes me across the ICW most days, and the autumnal Great Migration has been noticeable. This morning (Monday, October 19) two mega-yachts were ambling south, apparently in company with one another. (In my sailing days we referred to them as gin-palaces). Late this afternoon it was a sport fisherman, looked to be in the fifty-foot range, paddling south at around nine or ten knots.

I'll be keeping an eye out for you - safe traveling in the meantime.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:56 PM   #9
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Right now we have 9-11' with occasional 14' @ 8 seconds. 25 to 30 knot winds with gusts of 35. We'll get things back the way they should be before any of you make it this far south.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:04 PM   #10
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So glad you like Mr. Heater. We are also moving south and are currently in Oriental, NC. Arrived here on Sunday and will spend a day or two visiting with friends. It was 42 degrees this AM and the heater took the chill right off. Perhaps we'll meet along the way. Travel safe.
Magic, 1996 Grand Banks Europa
Westport, CT and Stuart, FL
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by timjet View Post

However this morning when I got up to make coffee about 0600, it was cold. The OAT was 43 and inside it was 56. I cranked up Mr Heater and within 10 min the chill was gone.

Yeah, these last two-three-nights have been unusually cold around here. Hi's about 15-17°F below average highs for this time of year, freeze warnings, etc.

Not to worry, supposed to be better now!

Good luck on your trip!


South River, Chesapeake Bay
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