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May 22, 2016 – Summit North Marina to Hancock Marina, Cohansey – 34.3 statute miles traveled

In order to take advantage of the significant current on the Delaware River and Bay we decided to leave Summit North before noon. We were off the dock at 1135 and headed east on the C & D Canal. As we neared the entry to the Delaware River we had to move over to the south side of the canal in order to pass a petroleum tanker on the “0ne” by previous arrangement via vhf. (The “one” is an oncoming port to port pass)

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The captain of the Sagittarius Leader was very pleasant and agreed to a “one” pass though I suspect he could barely see us down there.

Once we entered the Delaware River we found the water and wind both to our liking as we headed down stream and down current avoiding commercial traffic by staying off to the side of the main shipping channel. Our trip down Delaware Bay to the mouth of the Cohansey River was uneventful but enjoyable. Eventually we turned to port to cross the shallows through crab traps to the mouth of the Cohansey River. It was an emotional event when we crossed the clearly defined entry channel to the Cohansey River to mark the circumnavigation of the eastern 1/3rd of the United States. This occurred at 3:30:11 PM EDT on May 22, 2016. A day that will mean very little to the rest of the 7,000,000,000 people of the world but will live forever in our minds as completion of a phenomenal and unforgettable experience.

We continued up the Cohansey River to Hancock Marina against a strong outbound current. When we arrived our friends, Marv and Connie Helzer from Sadie Too were there to great us and to help in our celebration. This was done with Champagne, wine, pupus and pizza that had been delivered by a local restaurant. Hancock Marina was not yet ready for the boating season but had made an effort to accommodate us by quickly finishing a remodel of the bathrooms and showers.

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“Crossing our wake” celebration at Hancock Marina on the Cohansey River in New Jersey

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Displaying our “Looper” T-shirts with the route map inside the ships wheel.

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Celebrating “crossing our wake” aboard the trusty MV/SEA TO SEE

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Had to show the folks back home that the Orcas Island Yacht Club burgee flew all 6200.1 miles of the journey representing our club with pride.

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Celebration aboard the MV/SEA TO SEE with friends Marv and Connie Helzer from the MV/SADIE TOO

There are many details to the overall fulfillment of our goal to cross our wake. Just a few are that we traveled 6200.1 statute miles over a period of 386 days. I am still working on how many bridges we went under, how many locks we went through, the number of different ports or anchorages in which we moored. I am still calculating financial costs but know that whatever they turn out to be it was worth it. If for nothing else it was worth it for the number of friends we met along the way with the same since of adventure and the willingness to make it happen.

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Mouth of the Cohansey River.  (Boat icon is heading out as this was taken the next morning from the screen upon our departure.  Just as it would have looked on May 2, 2015 had we thought to take the picture.

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May 21, 2016 – Summit North Marina – No travel

Today it rained all day but more than that. The wind was up on Delaware Bay such that travel would have been uncomfortable and sloppy. We elected to stay put for another day as the forecast indicated that tomorrow morning would be a great day to travel to Cohansey.

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It rained and rained and then it rained some more.  

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While raining in the Summit North Marina commercial traffic continued to ply the C & D Canal outside the harbor entrance.  

There were plenty of chores to keep us busy in the cabin throughout the morning. Around 1100 hrs Sadie Too pulled in to Summit North to get some fuel. We all went to the Aqua Sol for lunch together and to do some catching up. Vicki’s memory says that we first met these folks at Alton on the Mississippi River. That would have been some time in September of 2015. After that we saw each other on the Tennessee River, at Fort Myer and down in the Keys.

On top of the steady rain a thunderstorm passed over with a rapid increase in winds and then a downpour. We watched a DVD movie and headed to bed early so we could get an early start the next morning.

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May 20, 2016 – Baltimore City Docks to Summit North Marina – 63.8 statute miles traveled.

The weather looked to be great for travel today so we were up at 0500 and off the dock at 0601. The water was like glass as we left the inner harbor. We passed two different freighters being helped away from their piers by tugs and they fell in right behind us as we traveled through the maximum six knot, no wake zone out into the bay. It was fun to watch the activity of the pilot boats, tugs and freighters as we passed under the Francis Scott Key Bridge and into Chesapeake Bay.

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Leaving Baltimore Inner Harbor in the early morning hours.

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In the outer bay we were accompanied by two tankers heading out at the same time.

After following the shipping channels for some time I was able to determine a path through the shallow water of the upper bay so I could take a short cut saving several miles of travel. This path was about 15-17 feet in depth most of the way. The shoulders of the shipping channels going up the east side of the bay toward the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal had enough depth so we could travel outside the channel and not be concerned for large ship traffic.

This did not prevent Vicki from being annoyed at several of the smaller fast boats that went zipping along either passing or overtaking us, some with significant wakes. One more than one occasion I had to alter course to turn into a wake so things wouldn’t end up on the floor.

We had calm, flat water all of the way other than boat wakes. So much so that Vicki determined to cook lunch, something that never happens underway. Even then she had to watch for an opening between boat wakes. Todays cruise was a long slog so we were very appreciative and thankful for no wind, flat water and finally some sun.

We finally reached waters we had been thinking about for a long time. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal connects Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay and would put us back in the waters where we first began our trip on May 2, 2015.

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The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.  We didn’t realize the amount of commercial traffic that used this passage from one bay to the other.  It is large enough for large ships or barges to safely pass.

About six miles up the C & D Canal we heard Sadie Too come on the vhf to get their slip assignment for moorage in Chesapeake City. We had just passed that small town on the side of the C & D about three miles ago. As soon as their conversation with the marina was completed I went on the radio with a “break, break” to talk to Marv. We can’t remember when we last saw them but it could have been in Marathon on Vaca Key.

Nine miles into the seventeen miles length of the canal we pulled into Summit North Marina after one of our longest days of travel. Summit North Marina is in a long skinny channel off of the C & D Canal. Because of this the marina is strung out considerably and the marina office is at the inside end of the channel. Even though we were on the T end of the E dock (ET) we still had to walk to A to find the office and it was quiet a slog. It is no mystery why the slips toward the canal from where we were moored were mostly empty. One would need a golf cart to get to their boat. Of course the shore side showers and toilets were down by the marina office.

Though dog tired after a long day Vicki and I both felt like celebrating. Causes for celebration? The end of the long day, finally reaching the C & D Canal, being only one day away from “crossing our wake” and because we both felt like it. We walked the long distance to the Aqua Sol Restaurant for our celebration and just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. The weather forecast is such that we will stay here another day and watch it rain while the small craft warnings foretell the conditions out on both the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays tomorrow. In the mean time we are comfy on our little boat. We continued our celebration by watching the last and final episode of Downton Abby.

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May 19, 2016 – Annapolis City Mooring Balls to Baltimore City Docks – 32.4 statute miles traveled

We released the line to the mooring ball at 0730 and pulled over to the fuel dock right next to us. It was supposed to open at 0800 but there was already a fuel attendant there and another boat in the process of fueling. We were able to take on 155 gallons of fuel, get a holding tank pump out, purchase ice for our cooler and still be on our way by 0805. We were pleased to find the diesel price was $2.06 for us but would be going to $2.20 as soon as we pulled away from the dock. The attendant hadn’t had time to change the price on the pumps before we started taking on fuel. Sometimes you luck out!

Once we reached the main portion of the Chesapeake Bay we were headed for the Lane Memorial Bridge, a very long bridge that spans the Chesapeake at this point. On the radio came a “Securite” call with information that a freighter was heading up the bay and would arrive at the bridge in 20 minutes. That would have been our approximate arrival time too so we slowed down to a let him slide by ahead of us. Getting in the way of that behemoth while traversing the fairway under the bridge would not have been a good idea. After that we enjoyed the near “Vicki water” in narrow channels through shallow water all of the way into Baltimore Harbor. We did have to buck the current most of the way.

Baltimore is an expensive place to visit by boat. We wanted to be in the inner harbor so we could walk to things around town. We had decided to stay at the Baltimore City Docks where there were no bathroom or shower facilities. Even so the price to moor was $2 per foot and $8 for 30 amp electricity. As it turned out we were the only transient boat docked while we were there.

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Sea To See at the end of the city dock in Baltimore Inner Harbor

The first order of business was lunch at Bubba Gumps. Vicki had discovered that she thoroughly enjoyed one of their menu items at previous stop so her mouth was watering. We then walked the waterfront promenade and ended up at a Barnes and Noble where we could find more DVD’s to purchase. We were finding we enjoyed our sessions with Downton Abby.

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Vicki loves a item on their menu so this is our place for lunch!

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A replica of the Constitution was on display in the Baltimore Inner Harbor available for tours.

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It seems that every major harbor on the East Coast has a pirate ship as a tourist attraction.  Baltimore was no exception with clients being entertained in a “pirate” fashion!

The sun was shining for the first time in days so we spent some time enjoying the aft cockpit before adjourning to the saloon for dinner and a show (another episode of Downton Abby)

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May 18, 2016 – Annapolis City Mooring Balls – No travel

We organized our morning aboard such that we could go ashore about 0900 hrs. We had decided to lower the dinghy and row ashore but once we climbed aboard I decided to try the engine once again. It fired right off and ran the rest of the day without a hitch. A mystery!. Why did it quit in the first place?

We tied up at the end of Ego Alley but found that there were quite a few people around and no separation between them and where the dinghy was tied. I saw a lady there dressed in a spiffy uniform who looked somewhat official and asked her if she thought the dinghy would be safe. She said the dinghy would be fine and that people left their dinghies there all of the time with no problem. We asked her which direction to head to find the Naval Academy Visitors Center and she said she was heading there and would show us the way.

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Entry to the US Naval Academy through which we entered for our tour

As we talked along the way it turned out she had some official capacity at the academy. When we got there and got in the security line she told the security officers “They are with me” and we were waved through. How about that!

After viewing a movie all about the Naval Academy we purchased a tour ticket and waited a short time until our tour started. It was very interesting and the guide walked very fast so we hustled to keep up. He had picked out a designated person to do push ups should any of the group fall behind. The tour took us across the grounds and into several buildings including Bancroft Hall, the single dorm that houses all of the midshipmen and the Chapel. History and tradition were included in the tour spiel and we were impressed and enlightened. We finished our tour by waiting around until the noon “Brigade of the Midshipmen” prior to the noon meal.

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Tour Guide at Annapolis Naval Academy

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Showcase when Navy beats Army in their annual football clash.  It appears that in recent years this happens quite often.  Wish I had checked the same information at West Point

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Housing of the top brass at the academy that includes a couple of civilians.

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If you are the top dog you get to live here!

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All midshipmen live in the same dorm – Bancroft Hall.  We are talking about 4000 residents here.

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Entry to the dorm building – just like I remember from my college.

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Dorm rooms do look familiar.

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Navy Chapel

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Chapel interior is awesome and the organ was phenomenal.  They played it while we were there and the clarity, tone quality and volume were amazing!

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I had no idea that John Paul Jones played such an important part in US Naval History.  There is a crypt dedicated to him beneath the chapel where he is theoretically interred.

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Daily formation prior to lunch where all march into the dining hall.  Quite a spectacle.

After the tour we had the run of the grounds so decided to go to the Officers Club for lunch. We had an incredible lunch buffet for the price of $9.95. One of the best meals at the best price we had enjoyed on the entire trip.

We stopped at the US Naval Academy Museum on the academy campus and found it to be incredible even though there had been no hype regarding it at all. There were three floors of very detailed naval history including the third floor completely filled with intricate ship models from early sailing vessels to modern war ships.

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Just one of hundreds of incredibly detailed models on display in the Naval History Museum

Our tour of the naval academy finished by going to the visitor center shop where I couldn’t resist purchasing a great Navy pullover windbreaker.   We were tired of walking and standing by this time so strolled back to the dinghy to find it still there and unmolested. The engine started right up so it was back to Sea To See for some rest.

After we were rejuvenated we dinghied ashore once again to have some crepes for an early dinner, and to walk the streets of old town Annapolis. We toured the harbor on our way back to the boat. The evening was finalized by watching the seventh episode of Downton Abby.

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May 17, 2016 – Tuesday – Calvert Marina to Annapolis City Mooring Balls – 52 statute miles traveled

We timed our departure with the current that was going to be ebbing at first to take us down the Patuxent River and then change to a flood as we headed up the Chesapeake Bay. The wave action was OK to begin with and diminished as the day progressed. It was a cloudy day and rained most of the way to Annapolis.

We picked up the Annapolis Mooring Ball #1 in the rain and then settled in to wait for the rain to stop. In the late afternoon we contemplated going ashore. We had picked up the mooring ball closest to the Ego Alley dinghy dock so we could row ashore but called the water taxi to see what they charged and how long a wait we would have should we decide to take it. The charge per person was a bit much considering we would need to pay four fares so we decided to finish the day aboard watching the harbor action in the rain.

Vicki made an excellent dinner and then we finished the evening by watching episode six of Downton Abby, the final season.

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May 13/16, 2016 – Friday/Monday – Calvert Marina – No travel

FridayRain was forecast for the afternoon so I launched the dinghy and went exploring the harbor. It has many arms and so was fun to poke around. After doing this I returned to the boat to pick up Vicki and we dinghied to the Holiday Inn were we could park the dink for awhile and walk to a little shopping center. There wasn’t much there so we headed back to our home port just as it started to rain.

As it continued to rain we read and did some chores. One of the chores was to activate a debit card we had received from the State of Oklahoma as a tax refund for an oil/gas field investment there. As soon as it was activated Vicki pulled up a text message on her phone saying that the debit card had been locked and requesting more information including the card details. I complied and then just as I punched the button to send the information something didn’t seem right. I looked at the text message more carefully and found that it had two spelling errors in it. After giving the whole thing more thought we realized that the text message was a fishing scam and had nothing to do with activating the debit cards. It was just that the timing of the two was such that we had originally drawn the conclusion they were connected. Now what to do?

I spent the next hour an a half calling CoAmerica Bank, MasterCard, Bank of America and the Oklahoma Department of revenue and this was no small job on a Friday night after business hours. Finally I was able to get the debit card blocked and no one had tried to make a purchase with it yet so I think we saved the day. Another reminder to always be careful whenever any text, phone call or email asks for personal information. Arrrrgggghhhh!

Saturday

Hidden Harbor Restaurant advertised a good breakfast so we decided to walk down there and check it out. Oooopppss! Mistake! While their dinner was just fine their breakfast left much to be desired. I would give them about a 3 on a scale of 10.

When we recovered from breakfast we took the dinghy across the harbor to the Calvert Marine Museum. As this is a fairly small town we did not expect much but this museum blew us away.   It had a wealth of topics and very nice displays across the board. It was another one of those museums that cannot be seen in just one visit. After we were saturated with information we toured more of the harbor and then returned to Sea To See as the wind was definitely picking up.

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Drum Point Lighthouse exhibited at the Solomon’s Maritime Museum

We borrowed the courtesy car and went on a little safari to Food Lion and CVS. Vicki used her copy of the debit card from Oklahoma as even though it was the same refund they had issued her a totally different card with all different numbers. The card worked fine and still had money on it so we think we beat the scammers since my card was blocked.

It was sunny when we returned to the boat but soon after we were inundated with dark clouds, pouring rain and winds over 40 mph. Yikes! This passing cold front really packed a whollop. The rain tapered off but there was wind all night.

Sunday

Wind continued throughout the day and was forecast to be 20-31 mph. This was a good day to do laundry.

Monday

We are still at Calvert Marina as the wind out on Chesapeake Bay is forecast for 16-24 mph. We borrowed the old Mercedes courtesy car and took another trip to the grocery store and the CVS.

I had forgotten to take my camera with us when we went to the Maritime Museum so decided to take the dinghy across the harbor to at least get an outside picture. After doing this I began to tour more of the harbor when the dinghy motor died. No matter what I tried to do to get it to go again it would not start. I finally rowed the dinghy back to our marina and put it up.

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Sea To See at Calvert Marina in Solomon’s Islands.  The folks on the Nordhaven on the left are from Bellingham, Wa.  Loved the name of the Grand Banks on the right – “Nocandolah”

The rest of the day was spent in normal pursuits including filling the water tank with the good water on this dock. After dinner we watched the fifth episode of Downton Abby, the final season.

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May 12, 2016 – Thursday – Ingram Bay Marina to Calvert Marina, Solomon’s Island – 48.7 statute miles traveled

Knowing today would be about a seven hour run we left at 0730. Once out of the bay we found there was a small chop on our nose with winds fairly light and it stayed this way all day long so the ride was very comfortable. We were bucking a small current most of the way but it seemed to stay under 0.5 knots so wasn’t a major factor in our travel time.

When we pulled out of Ingram Bay it was very misty such that visibility was about one half mile. I could see an AIS target on the chart plotter about three quarters of a mile away and as out paths converged and then headed in the same direction this target stayed exactly three quarters of a mile ahead of us for the entire trip. I check the AIS data to find it was a sailboat. It was probably four hours later before the visibility improved enough to see the boat in the distance. About 30 miles into our trip we began running into quite a few sport fishing boats all seemingly congregated right in our path.

We pulled into Calvert Marina on Solomon’s Island to find out assigned slip was directly behind a Nordhaven with a couple from Bellingham aboard. Small world. We soon walked to Hidden Harbor Restaurant to have dinner. This is a little hole in the wall restaurant with about six tables. On one wall is a huge map of the USA on which people stick a pin on their hometown. While there were a few pins from Washington there was none from Orcas Island so we contributed to the project.

We returned to the boat and waited for dark when we watched the second installment of “Downton Abby”.

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May 11, 2016 – Wednesday – Dozier’s Regatta Point Marina to Ingram Bay Marina – 23.0 statute miles traveled

We untied and backed out of our slip at 0935 in totally overcast skies with pockets of rain around us on the horizon. Wind was light with waves of about 1 foot on our beam but moderating. Again we had to leave coastline due to shallows all along the way and headed back near the middle of the bay as we traveled north. This adds probably at least six miles to each days travel.

At Ingram Bay the channel winds through the shallows to enter a small but very protected bay. Ingram Bay Marina did not respond on the vhf radio so Vicki called on the telephone. The lady told us where to go and said she would come down to the marina from her house shortly. After we were moored and settled she arrived to get us registered. We were the only transient there so pretty much had the marina to ourselves.

Vicki made a late breakfast/early lunch

The proprietress had told us we could use the red pickup truck and that the keys were in the ignition. This marina is out in the countryside and not really near anything else so we jumped into the truck and went the 12 miles to a Walmart in the town of Kilmarnock. It was a nice drive through the countryside and we enjoyed touring the town though it rained off an on throughout the trip. While at Walmart we purchased the final season of “Downton Abby” on DVD since we had missed it all while on the boat.

That night, after it got dark, we watched episode one of “Downton Abby” on our laptop computer.

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May 10, 2016 – Tuesday – Horn Harbor Marina to Dozier’s Regatta Point Marina, Deltaville – 25.4 statute miles traveled

It was great having all of the transient facilities to ourselves. This place has great showers.

Again we had to stay almost two miles off shore to clear shallows before we could turn around Stingray Point and head west into Doziers Regatta Point Marina in Deltaville on Broad Creek. We found Regatta Point to be a very nice marina that gave a discount to Boat US members so it was also reasonable. The people managing it were a very pleasant husband and wife team. She gave us several suggestions for when we used their courtesy car to go into town and they all turned out to be excellent. Great chicken at the grocery store, everything you need at the hardware store and super lunch at “The Table”.

At the hardware store I had purchased a plastic funnel and tubing plus a pencil zinc. These were used that afternoon to change the oil in the injector pump and replace the zinc in the heat exchanger.

We finished the day by watching the news on the lounge TV and chatting with another transient looper couple.

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