Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Haul Out, Earthquake, Hurricane, and Other Issues

We arrived back in Herrington Harbour North on Tuesday, August 17, 2011.  HHN is the closest thing we have to a home base.  We keep a storage room with ladders, tools, and spares at the marina.  And, after keeping Serenity there for seven years, it just feels like home.

The following Thursday we were hauled out.

HHN has great equipment and competent crews for haul outs.

But, it is still a little nerve racking seeing your boat lifted from the water.

The purchase survey had noted that the bottom paint and zincs were approaching the end of their service life.  Also, the engines were short a few hundred RPMs from reaching the full 2600 RPM at wide open throttle indicating the props may be pitched wrong.  So they will be pulled and tuned by Ralph at Digital Prop Shop.

After a power wash,

MOTIVATOR did a tour of the marina, causing a slight traffic jam, and then was placed on the hard.

Pollie packed her bags and left to visit the youngest son in Reston, VA as soon the bottom paint came out.  I joined her at Haeden’s third floor apartment just in time to for the 5.8 earthquake.  Haeden called to check on us after the quake and we told him we ran down the stairs to open ground.  He asked if we had grabbed the cat as we evacuated.  Nope, she was on her own.

Next was the warning that Irene was on her way to the Chesapeake.  We decided not to launch and stay where we were on the hard in between some large buildings.   As a precaution, we removed the entire canvass enclosures and secured all loose items.
Although we have encountered more rain and wind at anchor, we were relieved that Irene did not deliver more of a punch.  But, there was some damage.

Because of the following three day power outage we suffered a setback on some of the work we hoped to get done.  Pollie, however jumped on cleaning and reinstalling the canvass.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Detour to Crisfield

On our way up the Chesapeake Bay, we made a detour to visit friends, Chris and Tracy, in Crisfield, MD on the Eastern Shore.
Reading the Washington Post on my
Kindle while cruising up the Chesapeake

Chris and Tracy have leased waterfront property in the heart of Crisfield where they plan to open a much needed boat rental business.  While we were visiting, they let us use their private dock.

Crisfield comes alive Thursday through Sunday, then goes back to sleep Monday through Wednesday.
Great Tiki Bar

Chris and Tracy plan on renovating this piece of property and being open Thursday through Sunday during the summer tourist season.  Winters they will spend cruising south.
Future home of Crisfield Boat Rental

Crisfield has a great anchorage that attracts cruisers, but unless you spend some time there exploring with a small boat, you will not see all that the area has to offer (see: ).   Of course the locals know all of the great spots.

Thanks Chris and Tracy, we had a great time!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Spanish Wells, Bahamas

Knowing that we will not be able to continue our current lifestyle forever, part of our quest is to find the “perfect” place to live once we decide to become “landlubbers” again.   As we travel up and down the coast, we see houses and towns that look interesting.
Carolina Beach, NC

St. Augustine, Florida is one of our favorite cities, but it may be one of those places that is better to visit than to make your home.  Living in DC was great, but we found that we did not take advantage of the culture offerings due to congestion, traffic, parking, etc.  And, we vowed never to do another Snowmageddon.   Towns like Georgetown, SC are great, but a little too sedate.  Others have not embraced their history and are little more than a collection of strip malls and tract housing. 

We spent this weekend in New Bern, NC.  New Bern has certainly made our Top 10 list for now. 
Governor’s Palace

Completed in 1770, Tryon Palace served as the first permanent capitol of North Carolina and home to the Royal Governor William Tryon and family.  Tryon Palace was the site of the first sessions of the general assembly for the State of North Carolina following the revolution and housed the state governors until the state capitol was relocated to Raleigh, NC.  The original Palace building was destroyed by fire in 1798.  After a 30-year campaign, the Palace was rebuilt and the grounds were restored reopening in 1959.  That’s dedication to history!
Palace Gardens

The rest of the town’s public buildings aren’t too shabby either.
County Court House
And, the town has some very impressive residential property.

There is also an impressive stock of what appears to be affordable housing in historic neighborhoods.

But, until we decide to “swallow the anchor,” MOTIVATOR will be our home.
Skipjack Landing, New Bern, NC
(Impressive and very reasonably priced)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Seventh Heaven

Recently I received an email enquiring about anchoring restrictions in Florida.  This continues to be a hot-button issue for boaters and certain municipalities.  In 2007 boaters took to task a restrictive anchoring ordinance in Miami resulting in a Florida Legislature attempting to corral local ordinances (see: ). 

Although there are other issues, the root of the conflict usually arises from owners of expensive waterfront homes not wanting “eyesores” anchored in the view they purchased.  And, homeowners vote locally while cruisers usually have few ties to the community.

With Serenity and now with MOTIVATOR, we have never been hassled anywhere we have decided to anchor.  I like to think we are viewed as an asset to the neighborhood, but I also think it is because we are respectful and do not overstay our welcome.  

Responsible cruisers, while usually more tolerant than “landlubbers,” also have issues with derelict boats and the permanently anchored live-aboards found in many anchorages.  In Coconut Grove, Florida, we were told that the mooring field maintained by the City used to be an anchorage until it was so fouled by derelict and sunken boats that no one dared anchor there.  The City, at great expense had to remove the wreckage and establish a mooring field.

Just south of the mooring field, a new sunken boat area is forming. 

The mooring field solution is one that is being adopted by many municipalities with varying success.  While we generally welcome the option to grab a mooring ball, other cruisers do not have the money for the fees associated with a mooring ball in their budget.  I used to silently scoff at the cruisers that would say, “I trust my anchor more than any mooring ball,” until friends broke loose in Fernandina, FL (see: , half way down the posting with the paragraph beginning with, “Around 6:30 PM,”).

 Generally, when a mooring field is established, anchoring is restricted.  This can create a host of problems, for example we were advised that now we are too big for the moorings in Vero Beach, Florida and possibly Coconut Grove.

For Georgetown, SC, Skipper Bob advises, “We have received a few comments from boaters about derelict boats in the mooring field….”  Last fall when we stopped there with Serenity that was certainly the case.  We had trouble finding room for Serenity among the derelicts, and ended up anchoring in water that was too shallow for comfort.  Because MOTIVATOR needs a lot of swing room, we decided to take a slip on this visit to Georgetown, SC.
MOTIVATOR, comfortable next to a fuel dock

It appeared that some of the derelict boats had been removed, and because it is late in the season for the transient migration north, there were few other cruisers vying for a spot. There was a row of boats that we labeled, “Bachelor Row,” because it appeared to be inhabited by single handlers on semi-permanent anchorage.

But, that raises another issue.  What constitutes an “eyesore” is in the eye of the beholder.