Reunion in Annapolis!

Annapolis/Eastport, MD (Saturday, 5/18):
We left Olverson’s Marina as planned and headed out onto the Potomac River in absolutely ideal conditions. It was very flat and all the fishing boats were out.  It was going to be a beautiful day on the water and all sorts of boaters were out, including the solar-powered trimaran we saw in Daytona Beach on 4/8.

We had the current running in our favor, so in now time we entered the Chesapeake Bay and turned north.  It was flat and calm, but we were now fighting a small, current.  We were also now going to be in the state of Maryland, our 5th state on this wonderful adventure.

Wolf Trap Lighthouse

Wolf Trap Lighthouse on the Chesapeake

We cruised past the beaches and coastline of the western shore, and soon past the mouth of the Patuxent River.  Normally we would turn in here to spend time in Solomons, but we were bypassing this location on this trip.

Pax River Entrance

Pax River Entrance

Cove Point Lighthouse & Calvert Cliffs

Cove Point Lighthouse & Calvert Cliffs

We continued north running close to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Cove Point, and near Calvert Cliffs State Park; a 30 mile-long stretch of fossil-laden clay strata and beach.

LNG Facility

LNG Facility

Just north of this area is a place called Herring Bay.  At the south end of the bay is a resort area called Herrington Harbor South, where we headed as an intermediary stop to get some fuel. Mark had been shopping prices and this was the best offer around, even though it meant a short diversion from the straight shot up the coast.  As we entered the channel there were numerous sailboats out to enjoy the beautiful day, even though there was very light wind.  We pulled into the fuel dock, filled our tanks, got a pump out and were on our way in no time.  We did notice the marina here was a very nice place and have put it on our list of “places to visit” again.

We cruised back out into the Bay and made our way north. There were many fishing boats out now and dodging them with their lines in tow was challenging. Captain Mark did a great job, as usual. We passed the Thomas Point Lighthouse; one of the most famous of all those on the Chesapeake.

Thomas Point LIghthouse

Thomas Point LIghthouse

We then approached the Severn River and Annapolis area. Here the boating traffic is so crazy and there are so many different type of boats going in every direction.  The wakes from all the boats kick up the waves and so we bounced our way from the Severn River, through the breakwater and into Back Creek where it was finally calm again.

Back Creek has numerous marinas and a few yacht clubs that line the perimeter. On the north side is the neighborhood of Eastport, which acts as a buffer from the craziness of Spa Creek (Annapolis Harbor). We pulled into a slip at the Watergate Marina which is part of a large apartment complex (Watergate Point Apartments) that leases out its marina slips. We were met by Chuck the dockmaster whom we had been in contact with and he helped to tie our lines.  Since there is no real marina office, he is the source of all the information for transient slip space, including giving us keys to the facilities.  This includes access to restrooms, showers, and lounge area with kitchen, internet café, pool and gym.  However, we had to go to the leasing office in order to get the Wi-Fi password as he did not know it.

Once we settled the boat we walked up the hill to the leasing office and met the women who worked there. They were very welcoming and told us they don’t know the password, but we could get it from the management company on Monday.  We thanked them and walked around the newly renovated facility as the office is in the same building as the facilities mentioned above. Denise really liked the decorating done here so she took a few pictures:

During our trip up the Chesapeake today, the temperature sensor started acting up again.  It would fluctuate more than 100 degrees (not supposed to do that), indicating there was a problem.  At one point Mark went into the engine room to check the temperature with his heat monitor and it was running at the expected temperature. We knew the engine was fine, but the something was still wrong with the electronic sensor. So, Mark sent an email to Mac, the yard manager at Zimmerman Marine.  We knew not to expect any reply until Monday, but we wanted to let them know we still had an issue.

In the late afternoon, we met up with Chuck and Victoria (“Argento”) whom we first met at Constitution Marina in Boston in 2017. They have since gotten married and took their Back Cove 37 down to Florida this past winter. We had hoped to connect with them while they were there, but were never able to do so. They were also planning to meet up with an old roommate of Victoria’s for dinner, so we agreed to just get together for drinks. Well, we soon learned we all had plans to eat at the same place and decided to just meet there together.  Davis Pub in Eastport is a very small local place we discovered in 2015, and wanted to go back.  Unfortunately it has also been discovered by the likes of Guy Fieri (Food Network’s -DDD) and now the whole world wants to eat there. They have great food that is reasonably priced and delicious.

Davis Pub

Davis Pub

We ended up getting a big table outside which gave us a chance to catch up and meet their friend Molly, and her daughter Anna.  They were planning to leave tomorrow and go to Chesapeake City, setting up for a Delaware Bay crossing on Monday. However, once we showed them the weather forecast they began rethinking their plans too.  We had a nice time and then bid farewell and walked back to the boat for the night.

IO at Watergate

IO at Watergate


Annapolis/Eastport, MD (Sunday, 5/19):
The morning began with a short walk across the bridge to Annapolis and to St. Mary’s Catholic Church for 8:30 am mass. It was a beautiful church and it reminded Denise of the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame.  We had wanted to go to the Naval Academy chapel where we went once before, but with it being graduation week, they had a special Baccalaureate mass scheduled.

St Mary's and Spa Creek Moorings

St Mary’s and Spa Creek Moorings

Just as we were leaving the church, we ran into Jim & Jackie (“Dona Pacem”) whom we met in Beaufort, NC. They were going to attend a later mass and they had their boat at the Annapolis Yacht Basin (AYB) where we stayed in 2015.  We wanted to see what other (Looper) boats were at AYB and to see the crowded mooring field.  The Blue Angels would be flying right over this area on Tuesday and Wednesday and moorings are on a first-come, first-serve basis and therefore fill up fast.

Annapolis Yacht Basin and Moorings

Annapolis Yacht Basin and Moorings

We then walked back to the boat where Denise did some cooking/food prep for the week, and Mark did some troubleshooting on the engine sensor issue.  The wind was picking up and we were happy to stay put on the boat.

In the afternoon Chuck and Victoria came by to see what improvements we had made on our boat, and to compare notes on things they had on theirs.  We also discussed places to stay along our routes north and what other fun places to cruise to.  We bid them farewell and agreed to stay in touch until the fall, when hopefully we will see them in Boston.

Once they left, we walked the half mile up the road to the Eastport shopping Center to eat dinner at a bar-b-que place “Adams East Taphouse & Grille” (aka Adams East). It is a local chain with several other locations, but our waitress told us Eastport was the best. It certainly was the closest for us.  The food was good and Mark was delightful to get some barbeque.  We also did reconnaissance on what else was in the shopping plaza and discovered a Rite-Aid, a nail salon, and two other restaurants.  We then walked back to the boat in time for Mark to catch the final episode of Game of Thrones.

Adams Ribs Eats

Adams Ribs Eats

Annapolis/Eastport, MD (Monday, 5/20):
In the morning Denise went for a run through Eastport, but is still being plagued with pain in her right leg/butt that seems to act up around 2.5 miles.  Here was a place where she could have run many miles through the streets of Eastport and Annapolis, but her body just will not let her. But she did snap a few pictures along the run:

Once back on the boat, Denise got her shower while Mark went and got a rental car from Avis; cashing in some rewards points so we could have a day on land.  We used the car to do many errands throughout the day including stops at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, West Marine and a Giant grocery store.  Along the way we encountered a Panera Bread and stopped there for lunch as it was in the neighborhood where we were.  We came back to the boat to work on the last blog and to catalog the pictures. When we have many things to do, and there are many interruptions, it is easy to get behind with this activity, and it takes a long time to catch up.

Because it was to be our last night in Annapolis and Mark’s birthday is on Tuesday we wanted to go to a nice restaurant for dinner.  As it was his choice of location, we used the rental car to drive the 1 mile to Ruth’s Chris’ Steakhouse in Eastport.  We were slightly dressed up and didn’t want to get caught in the forthcoming rain, and it was too far for Denise to walk in heeled shoes.  We arrived a little early and enjoyed a fine meal of soups, steaks, vegetables and even a dessert.  While we were eating it did rain, but it was short-lived and stopped by the time we were finished.  The wind was clocking around to the Northwest and with it came some cooler air.  It was time to turn off the air conditioner and put the heat back on.

Mark's Birthday Ribeye dinner

Mark’s Birthday Ribeye dinner

After dinner we drove around Eastport to look at all the quaint houses, but as it is a small community, it didn’t take long. We arrived back at the boat to watch a little TV, re-check the weather and call it a day.

Here are a few more pictures of the area around the Watergate apartments and marina:

Clouds over Back Creek and Watergate Marina

Clouds over Back Creek and Watergate Marina

Rock Hall, MD (Tuesday, 5/21):
Today we would be leaving the Annapolis area, but first we had a few things to do. The wind was supposed to die down later in the morning and we wanted to wait as long as possible before we left.  First, however, we needed to return the rental car, and we wanted to publish an update on our blog – and we did.

Once back from returning the rental car, we readied the boat for leaving. This includes taking down the water softening/filtration system, putting up the hailing port sign on the dinghy (since the dinghy covers the one on the transom), disconnecting the shore power electricity as well as other items.  It doesn’t take long, but all are steps in the process. In the meantime the dockmaster came by to help us off the docks and to retrieve the facilities keys.  During all this prep, the harbor in Back Creek was getting quite congested with boats. It is a prime viewing location for seeing the Blue Angels, and today was their practice day.  Since the wind was still blowing a bit and the Annapolis Harbor was more exposed and really crowded, this was a great location for private and party boats alike.

It was just after 11:00 am and about the time we pulled out of our slip and negotiated around all the boats, the Blue Angels started to fly. It was thrilling to see them as they roared overhead.  Denise tried to take some pictures, but was also trying to clean up the deck lines and fenders before we got on the Severn River.

Eventually, we made our way out into the river, while being tossed around by the wakes of the numerous boats rushing into Annapolis to catch the show.  It was amazing to see so many boats at the anchorages around town; and it was only the practice day.

Boats at outer anchorage to watch Blue Angels

Boats at outer anchorage to watch Blue Angels

It didn’t take long to make our way out of the Severn River and head into the Chesapeake Bay. Here we faced a north wind and outgoing current; both working to slow our pace.  There were also several large container or freight vessels in the shipping channel trying to make their way north into Baltimore.  It was a bumpy and unpleasant ride, but knowing we were only going up the river 12 miles made it tolerable. Still we slowed the boat when the sensor alarm would go off, and Mark would check the engine temperature with the heat gun just to make sure it was not overheating.

Finally we cruised through the breakwater and into the harbor at Rock Hall.  We circled past a marina and restaurant, then made our way to the Rock Hall Landing Marina where we had a one-night’s reservation.

Approaching Rock Hall Harbor

Approaching Rock Hall Harbor

Our slip was a side-tie making it easy for us to get in and out and we were helped by the dockmaster, Joe. It took no time to set the boat up for our short stay, and then we walked up to the marina office to check in.  This is one of our favorite stops on this part of the Chesapeake and we were happy to be back.

Shortly after lunch we were visited by our friend Bob (“New Horizon”), whom we met at Alligator River Marina and helped us when we were also together at Coinjock. He lives in Rock Hall and is the primary reason to stop here on this trip.  We made plans for him to come pick us up later for dinner.

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing work and trying to plan the next few weeks of our adventure. Mark has a client that needs him in Palm Springs, CA for a week and we have a trip home planned for late June.  We also want to be in New Baltimore, NY for a pig roast at Shady Harbor Marina (See Wednesday, 6/24/15 entry from our 2015 Loop trip here for back story) on 6/9, which will situate us perfectly for entering the Lake Champlain area and the openings of the locks.

Of course the unknown in all of this is the weather.  When we are in the ICW we don’t worry too much about the wind, except for crossing a handful of sounds (Albemarle, Pamlico, etc.). But now we have several long days on large bodies of water and we have to make sure we can be out on them without getting ourselves into uncomfortable situations. We have been there and wish not to repeat these times.  We adjusted our plans for tomorrow to not stop in Delaware City and decided to make a straight shot to Cape May, NJ as the weather looked great for a calm passage. We modified our reservations at South Jersey Marina (one of our favorites), and decided to wait until tomorrow to cancel Delaware City; just in case.

Then Bob came to collect us and take us out for dinner. We drove about 15 miles inland to the outskirts of Chestertown, MD to a place that used to be an old mill (Radcliffe Mill).  Café Sado is an Asian-inspired new restaurant and Bob recommended it highly.

Denise ordered the sushi special, while Mark got the nightly pork belly and bacon-wrapped scallops.  It was delicious and we liked having something besides pub or marina food for a change. The service could have been better, but we didn’t care as we got to know Bob a little better. We were sorry his wife Laurie was unable to join us as she was away caring for her ill mother in PA.

After dinner, we were given a guided tour of the town of Chestertown and the surrounding area.  We had considered taking our boat the 38 miles up this river to see the town, but opted for moving ahead to Rock Hall instead. So it was a real treat to have him drive us here, and we were so glad that he did. It is really a great little town and has a brand new marina that has just opened.  It is also the home of Washington College, a liberal arts college founded in 1783.  There are numerous restaurants and shops, as well as parks and ongoing events.  The town is not really a touristy place, but offers a lot for those who want to visit.  It is somewhere that we would like to come back to; maybe in the fall on the way home.

Bob returned us back to our boat in time to prep it for an early morning departure. We could see the wind would be very favorable most of the day, and we wanted all the assurance of a calm passage to NJ.

Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office.

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It’s a Small World After All!

Zimmerman Marine (ZM) – Mobjack Bay, VA (Wednesday, 5/15):
It is amazing how bright the sky is at 5:45 am here, and with it how loud all the birds are.  Denise was trying to sleep in a little bit longer, but gave up and put on her running shoes for the first time in a week. Despite fighting a cold and not knowing the area, she ventured past the entrance to Zimmerman Marine and onto the 2 lane road. It is very rural in these parts and houses are usually far apart, some are even horse farms.  Heading towards the water, it didn’t take long to run out of road and there was nowhere else to go. Turning around and heading in the opposite direction, she ran out to the two-lane highway and was forced to turn around and head back to the marina. It is too dangerous to run on the highway with speeds of 55 or more and no shoulder, sidewalk, etc. Finally, at nearly 3 miles she ended the run and went back to the boat. But some run is better than no run.  Here are some pictures from this running adventure:

In the morning and early afternoon it was work, cataloging pictures, and reading.  We anxiously awaiting word of the arrival of the package containing the sensor, but soon learned that it did not shop as planned. We would have to wait another day for its arrival and installation.

Seeking refuge from 3 days on the boat, we signed up for use of the loaner car to drive into the nearby town of Mathews for dinner.  It is 9 miles to drive there from ZM, but if we would have used the dinghy from our anchorage at Put in Creek earlier in the week, it was less than 2 miles. Of course we would have had to go at near high tide and returned before low tide as the creek dries up.  So now we had to drive away from the water, to the big highway (still 2 lane) and then back towards the water to get to Mathews.

First stop in Mathews was dinner. There were only two restaurants open on Wednesdays and we chose to eat at “Southwinds Cafe” – a place known for their fresh ingredients in pizza and their seafood.  It is a country diner in an old renovated house with tables on the front porch and tables inside.  There is also a bar area and they have several local microbrewery beers on tap.  It is eclectically decorated with all things “waterman” and antique-like.  We each got individual pizzas and a Mediterranean salad to split, and had leftovers to bring back to the boat.

After dinner we walked around looking at the historical markers, the old buildings and all that make up the character of this quaint little town.  Here are some pictures from this outing:

When we returned back to the boat, we parked the car in the lot and left the keys right where we found them: in the cup holder.  Life in these little towns reminds us of what it used to be like when everyone was trusting and when you always felt safe.

Zimmerman Marine (ZM) – Mobjack Bay, VA (Thursday, 5/16):
We woke up with anticipation of receiving the part, getting it installed and being able to leave for an evening somewhere else.  The weather was beautiful and sitting at a dock for two days when we could be enjoying beautiful cruising weather was frustrating.  But if the boat isn’t right, we can’t move it as we need dependability.

So we waited, but we didn’t sit still.  Mark gave the boat a good washing while Denise cleaned the inside windows. When he was done, we cleaned and applied “Rain-ex” to the outside windows and hatch covers. This helps the water to bead up and allows for much better visibility when trying to drive the boat in the rain or when sea spray hits the windshield.

Cleaning the sun roof on IO

Cleaning the sun roof on IO

We were not alone in our chores; we watched Albert on the sailboat (“Magus”) next to us work feverishly over the last few days to get his engine repaired, and his boat ready to take back up to Maine where he is from. We also watched the crew in the yard splash 2 other boats and put them in slips, as well as haul out another boat that was going into the yard for short-term storage.

"Sisyphus" at work hauling out

“Sisyphus” at work hauling out

Here they use a tractor and some wheeled supports to haul boats in and out of the water, instead of a travel lift like we are used to.  It is really a sight to see, and the guys who do this are extremely thorough and talented.

In the morning we had received notice that the package was in transit, but not certain as to what time UPS would deliver. As the day wore on we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would most likely have to stay another night.  Once the package was received, it still had to be installed and it was probably going to be too late to leave and get up the Rappahannock as originally planned.  So we once again went into “re-plan” mode and decided that if we could leave in the morning, we would go all the way to the Potomac River and Olverson’s marina. We were going there to pick up some large fenders that would be of use to us in the locks on the St. Lawrence. Our MTOA (Marine Trawlers Owners Association) friends Jonathan and Lynn (“Zendo”) were giving them to us as they did not need them.  We already have a set, but it will be helpful to have a second set.  John and Lynn are not at Olverson’s, but their boat is and they made arrangements for us to get them off their boat.

Another reason to going to Olverson’s is that it is the headquarters for MTOA and we get a free night’s dockage if we stay there.  Although we could make it from ZM to the Potomac, and then back out and further up the Chesapeake so Solomons, it would make for a very long day. With long days comes the risk of getting caught in rough seas if the wind unexpectedly picks up, which the Chesapeake is known for. So we try to plan for shorter trips if possible.

Finally, in mid-afternoon Bob told us that our part had arrived and he would be down to install the sensor as soon as possible. Shortly thereafter he came to the boat, did the installation and check out, and all appeared to be fine.  Mark went up and settled the bill with the office before they closed so we could leave at any time in the morning that was convenient for us.

Meanwhile, Rose (from the boat “Catherine”) came by to invite us over for watermelon with her and her wife Janni.  Even though Mark does not eat the stuff, we still went over to be sociable.  As we arrived, so did Albert (“Magus”) and we all had a chance to get to know each other a little bit.  What was remarkable was learning the Rose had attended Carson Newman College in Tennessee, and graduated with a degree in Physical Education in 1970; a year before Denise’s sister (Jeanne). Even though it was a small program in those days, Rose did not remember Jeanne. However, it is possible they knew each other but the years have clouded such a recollection. When Denise told Jeanne about this, she said she was going to go to her yearbooks and look her up.  It is such a small world after all!

Janni and Rose ("Catherine")

Janni and Rose (“Catherine”)

The conversations could have gone on for a long time, but it was getting late. We thanked our hosts for their hospitality and returned to our boat for dinner and to prepare for tomorrow’s journey to Olverson’s.

Olverson’s Lodge Creek Marina near Callao, VA (Friday, 5/17):
Not knowing when she would get a chance over the next few days, Denise went for a run in the morning. This time she headed toward the main highway, and in doing so discovered another road to run on.  On the way back from the main road she took this other road for the ½ mile of pavement and came upon a small farm with a horse in the paddock.  After taking a few pictures, she returned to the run and finished up as she entered into the marina parking lot. Not a long run, but a rejuvenating one.

Horse Farm near ZM

Horse Farm near ZM

We left ZM shortly before 9:00 a.m., bidding farewell to our few marina neighbors and the wonderful crew we had come to know in a few short days.

We made our way past the Williams Wharf Landing and down the East River into Mobjack Bay. We wanted to run the engine hard and fast to discover and issues, but everything ran great and in no time we were back on the Chesapeake heading north.  The water had been a bit bumpy when we were on Mobjack Bay, but tolerable.

As we turned out onto the Chesapeake it got more comfortable as the wind was behind us and it made for a smoother ride.

Wolf Trap Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay

Wolf Trap Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay

Eventually we turned west and entered the Potomac River, dodging crab pots the whole way. Here we technically entered the state of Maryland, as the state border here with Virginia is on the southern shore of the river.  The land helped to block the southern wind so it was not a bad ride at all, even though it had started to pick up a bit.It took us about an hour to cruise up the Potomac until we came to the Yeocomico River. We turned left and continued up the river bypassing a crab processor as well as some beautiful homes on the banks.

We made contact with the dockmaster and were assigned our slip.  When we pulled in we were helped by a couple we met at the MTO Rendezvous in Fort Pierce in April 2018; Liz and Steve Kemper (“Shingebiss”).  They were incredibly helpful and we were surprised they remembered us.  Plus, we were grateful for the extra set of arms as was Fred Olverson the owner, who was on the dock to meet us but didn’t have to get up from his chair the whole time.  Instead he handed us our packet containing wifi passcodes, and the usual marina information and trinkets.

We went for a walk to get to know the area, including the Lodge Creek Yacht Club and marina clubhouse as well as the area where the fishing boat captains hang out (called “Liars Corner”).  We also inquired about the loaner car (there are 3) and were not surprised to learn the key were in the vehicle and we could take it whenever and wherever we liked. There are no rules here.

On the way back to the boat we stopped by “Zendo” and retrieved the large fender balls; the purpose of our Olverson’s visit. They were across the dock from our friends on “Shingebiss”.

We went back to the boat and looked at the weather forecast and our future plans.  Saturday was going to be a great day to be on the water, but Sunday things were going to get windy and Monday looked awful. Since we didn’t have any compelling reason to go to Solomons, we decided to bypass it altogether this time.  Instead, we decided to go to Annapolis, more specifically to Back Creek and the area known as Eastport.  We knew it was Commissioning week and we knew what that meant; crazy crowds everywhere, but a lot of fun nonetheless. Mark made marina reservations for a place we had learned about at the Watergate Marina, which is really the marina associated with the Watergate apartments. It is on the Eastport side of Back Creek, and everything we would want to do should be in walking distance.

Meanwhile, Denise cleaned the fenders and when Mark was done with the reservations, he washed the salt water off the boat.  We then took our showers and joined some of the local boaters who had congregated for docktails right near our slip. They were very friendly and made us feel very welcome. We socialized for a little while and asked for recommendations for diner, but didn’t stay too long. We knew it would mean getting in the car and driving to the nearest town and back and it was already getting late.

So off we went down the rural roads to the town of Callao (pronounced Cal-ee-o), and then continued on about 5 miles to “Backdraft”, a bar & restaurant that everyone on the docks recommended. The owner is a former firefighter and the place has a fireman’s theme to it.  However, the building and furnishings are old and need some updating.  But the food was good and the place was pretty quiet for a Friday night so we had great service.

About Olverson’s Lodge Creek Marina:  The marina is a large and is in the middle of nowhere except for rural houses and some farmland. But it is in a great location to jump off into the Potomac and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. It is directly across the Potomac from St. Mary’s, where we anchored and visited St. Mary’s college in 2017. In addition to the marina/yacht club clubhouse and picnic area, it has a heated swimming pool and is also an RV park. It has some covered and uncovered slips, but all of the walkways are covered so you can stay out of inclement weather or keep the sun off of you.  The facilities are old and showing their wear, but they are clean and the hospitality of everyone is very welcoming.  The only thing we didn’t like was the bugs (wood bees and spiders) but we have learned over our travels that it is normal for covered slips to have such creatures. We prefer open slips for that reason.

It is also a great hurricane hole and many people from Virginia and Maryland (primarily) keep their boats here, then come and spend weekends on them.  People all know each other and have for over 20 years, and now their kids are having families and joining them on weekends as well. We even got invited to a few parties for Saturday night should we decide to stay here longer.  Truly, the people make this place what it is and we really appreciated their warm hospitality and friendliness. We didn’t have the heart to tell them we had already made up our mind to leave the next day for Annapolis.

You can learn more about Olverson’s here.

Here are some more pictures of the place:

Olverson's marina from the road

Olverson’s marina from the road

Doggie bar at Olverson's

Doggie bar at Olverson’s

IO at Olverson's

IO at Olverson’s

Stay tuned for more adventures on Island Office.

Mayhem in Mobjack Bay!

Mobjack Bay, VA (Monday 5/13):
At some point in our crazy lives we all want a day where we do nothing but sit around and read, watch tv or movies, and don’t do much of anything.  No phone calls, work, errands, carting people places, no going anywhere or talking to anyone else (mostly). Today was THAT day for us.  The anchorage area (“Put In Creek” – up the East River off Mobjack Bay) has a few sparsely dispersed houses lining both sides of it.  We only saw lights and activity in one of the houses last night, and given the rain and overcast skies we saw no stars.  But there was lots of birds (blue herons and osprey) and some jumping fish to keep us amused.

Drizzly morning at Put In Creek

Drizzly morning at Put In Creek

In the early morning one boat of watermen (term used for fisherman of all types on the Chesapeake) came to check on their crab pots.  Later in the day, another would come by and set out a new pot right near our boat.  Pulling up the anchor and not hitting it is going to be fun!

As soon as we got up we put on the generator to power the coffee pot, computers, phones, tablets and the heat. Yes, it was in the low 60’s and it was cold on the boat.  We kept it on for a few hours; enough time to warm up the place and prepare a hot breakfast.

After 8:00, Mark called Zimmerman Marine to advise that we were in the Mobjack Bay area, and to see the status of availability for the Cummins mechanic.  Although we had a firm appointment for Wednesday, they had previously told us to call and they would let us know if they could take us earlier. We were told that there was a slight chance they would have an opening on their docks during the day, and that the mechanic may be able to take us.  Based on this, and the fact that it rained off and on all morning, we did not venture out on the dinghy.  We wanted to explore up the creek a few miles to the nearby town of Matthews, but we were not up for getting caught in a downpour.  We also figured that with the weather, no one on the dock would be leaving anytime soon. Most likely we were stuck at the anchorage for another night, but it was not a bad place to be stuck at all.

And so that is how we got the “do nothing” day. We hung out doing a little reading, emails, a few minor boat chores, brief conversations with family, and napping.

Soon it was time to start preparing dinner and that meant turning on the generator to power the stove and oven.  And by this time we again needed to charge computers, cell phones, camera, tablets, etc. again.  Denise made enchiladas and Mark made drinks, and we had a peaceful dinner.  The rain had stopped, the sun actually came out, and the anchorage was as calm as can be.  We got to witness a beautiful sunset over the tops of the trees and then went back to reading until bedtime.

Here are some pictures of the surrounding houses:


Mobjack Bay, VA (Tuesday, 5/14):
Every day the sun is setting later and rising earlier and with it comes the chirping birds.  Denise’s natural body clock is set to get up with the chirping birds and so she was up with the first hint of daylight.  It had rained during the night and it got colder, but with long pants and a fleece jacket Denise was comfortable and didn’t want to disturb Mark’s sleeping by running the generator. Instead she went outside and took some pictures.

When she came back inside Mark was awake and insisted on putting on the generator to heat up the place; it was 64° inside and 54° outside.

Shortly after breakfast, Zimmerman Marine called and said they had space on their dock and the mechanic was available. So we pulled up the anchor and motored less than 2 miles back down the creek to their place.  We were met by a couple of dockhands who were professional and helped to tie up our boat; they knew what they were doing.  We checked in at the office where Gail gave us all the information we needed and said she would contact the mechanic, “Bob” who would be down to our boat in a little while.

Zimmerman Marine is strictly a repair and storage yard. It is not a marina per se, but they do have docks for boats coming in for repair, or for temporary stay during a haul out or splash after storage. Therefore, accommodations are limited and not geared to “cruisers”.

It didn’t take long for Bob to show up.  He has been with Zimmerman Marine for 17 years and has attended Cummins Engine training in Indiana, so we felt very comfortable with him doing the work.  Mark explained all the issues we had been having with the intermittent temperature on the engine, and what troubleshooting we had done so far.  Then they went into the engine room and did all kinds of computerized diagnostics while Denise stayed at the helm to turn on/off the engine as required.

Mechanic "Bob"

Mechanic “Bob”

Roughly an hour later, Bob and Mark deduced they should replace the impeller, and in the process discovered our issue; the inner part of the impeller had come apart from the outer ring. So when Mark looked at it in Poquoson but didn’t remove it, it appeared ok, but it wasn’t.  Bob said he had only seen this 2 other times and so he took it back to the shop to take pictures and to check inventory for a replacement.  We have a spare impeller on board, but Bob suggested we not use it as it was from 2013 and if we wanted reliability we should use a new one. At $50 a part, it would not be prudent to put one in that is 6 years old. Bob also checked on the engine coolant temperature sensor which appeared to be in good working order, but again wanting reliability, we opted to replace that too.

When he returned we learned both parts were not available on site, but he should be able to have them here tomorrow. We would have to stay the night which was ok by us as we had shore power (no more generator to heat the boat), internet access and a few chores to do. Since we are in a very rural part of Virginia and there is nothing around us except houses and this repair facility, we stayed on the boat.  Plus, it had started to rain again so we weren’t anxious to go anywhere. Denise put shelf liners in the refrigerator drawers and Mark took care of a few business related items.

Other boats in for repair

Other boats in for repair

In the late afternoon the rain stopped and the skies were clear. Denise went for a walk and met Rose, one of the women on a boat three slips away (”Catherine”). She and her wife are from Seattle, but she is originally from Eustis. After taking their sailboat from Seattle down the west coast, through the Panama Canal and western Caribbean, they decided to sell it and buy their current boat; a trawler.  Coincidentally, they took delivery of it at Harbortown Marina in Merritt Island (our home port marina). It really is a small world!  They chatted for a while but it was time to get dinner going, so Denise headed back to the boat.

After preparing and eating dinner, we settled in for an evening of reading, completing this blog, and watching a little TV before going to bed. And once the sun went down we had to put the heaters on – the low tonight will be 50°.

If all goes well tomorrow we will be able to have the repair completed and we can move on to an anchorage on the Rappahannock River. If not, we will spend another night here.

Here are some pictures of the Zimmerman Marine facilities:

Office at Zimmerman Marine

Office at Zimmerman Marine

Repair yard and dry storage

Repair yard and dry storage

Trailer for haul out

Trailer for haul out

 

PIcnic area at Zimmerman Marine

PIcnic area at Zimmerman Marine

 

Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office.

Double Family Time!

Poquoson, VA (Wednesday, 5/8 through Sunday, 5/12)
We spent the last few days of our time in Poquoson enjoying the home of Denise’s brother John, and his wife Cathy.  We also got to see the families of their twin daughters Shannon and Christen.  Here are some of the highlights of the week:

 Wednesday (5/8):
We took John and Cathy out on the boat for a few hours on Poquoson River and a little into the Chesapeake Bay. John recently got a center console fishing boat and they have explored some of this waterway, but it is always fun to be on the water regardless of whose boat it is. There are some very lovely homes in this area and it is always nice to see them from the boating perspective.

John & Cathy on IO

John & Cathy on IO

 

That evening we went back to their house where we had a pizza and salad dinner with Christen and her two boys Colton and Cooper.

Mark, Christen & Denise

Mark, Christen & Denise

Thursday (5/9):
We went to an afternoon baseball game of the Norfolk Tides vs. the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Harbor Park Field in Norfolk

Harbor Park Field in Norfolk

This is AAA ball and both teams feed respective franchises of the Major League; the Pawtucket team feeds into the Boston Red Sox. Today’s opening pitcher Mark Shawaryn, is a relative of a kid John used to coach when son Justin played ball. Through Facebook, Cathy made the connection to his relatives in the audience and we all had a chance to meet when the hot sun forced up from our great seats to the concession level.

It was a lot of fun experiencing great baseball, knowing that some of these young guys could be playing in the Majors at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, the Sox lost in the 10th inning, but we had already left to get a jump on the awful traffic in this area.

Once back on the other side of the Chesapeake, we began the start of our boat restocking with trips to Walmart and CVS. John & Cathy went to watch their grandsons’ baseball game and we relaxed in the comfort of their beautiful home.  There is nothing like real showers and a bathroom when you have spent 5 weeks on a boat!

Chateau DuChemin

Chateau DuChemin

Friday (5/10):
This was a day of errands including trips to Costco, Kroger (for groceries) and a hardware store. We even managed to get in a Chick-Fil-A lunch, and John & Mark got haircuts.  After all this hard work, we hung out around the house, just enjoying each other’s company and getting in some rest and relaxation.  Denise had come down with a head cold and was a bit under the weather, so this allowed some recuperation time.

During the evening, Mark had to work. He had contracted to do some database file maintenance for a client but it had to be done after hours (and on the weekend). It was a big project, but it pays the cruising bills and we wanted to accommodate. We also wanted to take advantage of the better Wifi than available at the marina (non-existent).  So Mark worked while the rest of us talked and watched the movie “Bottle Shock” to finish out the evening.

Saturday (5/11):
Bad weather was threatening to move in, but it looked like it was going to hold off until the afternoon.  In the morning there were softball/baseball games for the kids. Acting Coach John had to leave early for the girl’s game, so Denise went with Cathy first to watch the girls play. Coach Shannon was back from her cruise with Harper & Macie, and it was great to see them play.

Then on to catch Christen and the boys; Colton and Cooper, whose game was already under way. It ended victoriously for the boys and they were so proud of their play.

Meanwhile Mark was back at home continuing to work on the database project for our client.  Truthfully, we think he enjoyed the peace and quiet!

Later in the afternoon we returned to St. Joan of Arc church for evening mass. The priest here is blind and with the assistance of the deacons, altar servers and a braille book, he flawlessly celebrates the mass. In the meantime, it started to rain and of course was pouring when we tried to leave.

After church we returned for a family night of having Mexican food and drink. John made specialty cocktails and Cathy had gone to down on Enchiladas (two different kinds), tacos, rice and Mexican slaw.  Of course there was chips, several kinds of salsa, and guacamole.  No restaurant could compete with this!

But the company was the best with nieces Christen and the boys (Colton & Cooper); Shannon with the girls (Harper & Macie), and Cathy’s mom, Joan.  We had lots of delicious food and fun times with family, telling stories and laughing a lot.  It was a great way to end a week and we were so glad we decided to stay as long as we did.

Shannon, Christen, Joan, John & Denise

Shannon, Christen, Joan, John & Denise

Sunday (5/12):
Happy Mother’s Day! Cathy, the twins, and her mom all went to a brunch to celebrate their 3-generations of motherhood together. Meanwhile, John drove us back to the marina and we prepped the boat for leaving. We were headed to Mobjack Bay for a few days of anchoring out, exploration, and on Wednesday go to Zimmerman Marine to have some Preventative Maintenance done on our the engine.  The weather was not great as there was rain around and the wind was going to intensify as the day wore on. But, it was a short run to this part of the western shore of the Chesapeake that have never explored, so we knew we could make it before it got too bad.

We left shortly after 9:30 a.m., but started to get erratic and high engine temperature as we left the channel out to the Poquoson River. Not wanting to risk issues when in rougher water, we returned back to Whitehouse Cove Marina to troubleshoot.  Mark worked with Jeff (“YOLO”) who was very supportive, and then he did some assessments and testing.  He checked on the engine impeller, but did not go through the long task of removing or replacing it as it did not appear to be the problem. We ate a quick lunch and then turned the engine on for more troubleshooting, and it immediately sounded better.  So, we left the marina with the idea that we could come back if it heats up again. But we didn’t have to, and we cruised the nearly 20 miles into Mobjack Bay. It was a bit bouncy crossing the York River, but once well inside the Bay it was calmer.

On way to Mobjack Bay

On way to Mobjack Bay

Then we moved into the protective waters of the East River, going as far north into “Put In Creek” as we dared before it got really shallow. Here we anchored for the night among trees and houses on both shores, and just in time as the rain started.  There was no one around except the birds and a few crab pots, and it continued to rain off and on all night long.

Fish Haven Steaks on East River

Fish Haven Steaks on East River

East River Western Shore

East River Western Shore

Entering East River - Eastern shore

Entering East River – Eastern shore

Once the rain started, the temperature cooled down and we closed the back door, just about the time the bugs were coming out. We turned on the generator to charge all our devices and run the microwave and cooktop to prepare dinner.  We called family and finished out the evening with Mark watching Game of Thrones and Denise cataloging pictures and working on this blog.

We really like the Whitehouse Cove Marina and the houses around it, including the mobile homes. We will most likely stay here again when we return on the way home in the fall. Here are some pictures of the area:

Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office.

Family Time!

Poquoson, VA (Saturday, 5/4)
We awoke to a very wet boat deck as it had rained during the night, but grateful that it washed away a lot of the dirt.  We departed the Waterside marina at 8:30 and headed up the Elizabeth River, passing the Nauticus and USS Wisconsin to our right.  Denise was driving as we continued on at slow speed through the no-wake zone, passing navy ships under rehab in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, as well as container ships in the commercial port.  Meanwhile, Mark was tending to the deck cleanup and putting up our homeport banner that enables other boats to see our boat name that is otherwise covered by our dinghy.

Leaving Norfolk

Leaving Norfolk

Putting up the IO Sign

Putting up the IO Sign

There was a slight wind and a ripple or two on the water, with partly cloudy skies.  Soon made our way to the Chesapeake Bay, passing the Old Comfort Light house and Fort Monroe to our west, and Fort Wool to our east. It was a nice day to be on the Bay.

We cruised uneventfully the 30+ miles up the western shore of the Chesapeake until we came to the Poquoson River, where we turned left towards the inland tributaries that feed this waterway. This is on the western shore of the Bay and just north of Hampton.

Crab pots everywhere

Crab pots everywhere

Entering Poquoson River

Entering Poquoson River

We made our way around the point to the entrance to the Whitehouse Cove where we would be staying for the next week.  Denise has family in this area: Brother John and wife Cathy, as well as two of their kids and their families.  We are excited to see them all and spend some quality time doing nothing!

Houses on Whitehouse Cove

Houses on Whitehouse Cove

As we neared the Whitehouse Cove marina we immediately saw “YOLO” – the boat of our Looper friends Gail & Jeff Dunham. They are from this area and were a tremendous help to us in 2017 when we had issues with our dinghy. We originally met them on the Loop in 2015 when we shared an anchorage in Baie Finn, Canada.  They came out of their boat when they saw us pulling in and offered to help with our planned pump out. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the adapters to work for the pump-out and would have to come up with a plan B.  We were not in urgent need, so it was ok to wait for later in the week when we could get the right size fitting for our boat.  We moved the boat to the area in which we were preassigned, which ended up being right next to YOLO.

IO and YOLO

IO and YOLO at Whitehouse Cove Marina

We chatted with Gail and Jeff for a while, getting caught up. We learned they spent the winter in New Smyrna Beach (if only we had known), and that they are planning to do the Loop again. However, they have a few things to fix on their boat before they can go, so they are working diligently to get them resolved. They offered us the use of their car or to take us anywhere, but with Denise’s family we are not sure that is necessary. Not long afterward, Russell (“Overdraft”) came by and said hello and gave us an adapter for the pump-out. Jeff and Gail had called him with a request on our behalf.  We had also met Russell in 2017 when we were here, and it was great to reconnect with him.

We had been in touch with Denise’s brother John, and we made arrangements for him to come to the marina, pick us up, and then we would spend the night with him and his wife at their home in Seaford; 20 minutes north of Poquoson. But first we had to go with him to a girls’ softball game.  John is assisting his daughter Shannon, who is the head coach for this team which her daughters play on.  She is away this week and he is taking on some duties to help out.  So we went to the ball field and tried to stay out of the hot sun. It was fun for us to watch the girls in action, and John coaching the girls to victory.

Trying to stay in the shade

Trying to stay in the shade

After the game we headed to their home in Seaford, but not before getting a sneak peek at the nearly completed renovations of Shannon’s house.  We also stopped at the grocery store to pick up steaks to grill out for dinner.  We arrived to their beautifully decorated home where Cathy awaited with snacks and drinks. We got a tour of the place which we had not seen, and then got our showers in a real bathroom.  We also had the opportunity to do our laundry and spent most of the night washing and drying the handful of loads we brought with us.  During that time we had fun preparing dinner and getting a chance to talk with just the four of us. After dinner we chatted forever until late, and finally turned in well past double-digits.

Poquoson, VA (Sunday, 5/5)
In the morning we borrowed John’s truck and drove to the nearby Catholic Church (St. Joan of Arc) for the 8:30 mass.

St. Joan of Arc alter

St. Joan of Arc alter

While we were in mass it had started to rain, and let up just in time for us to get in the truck and make it back home. Originally we had plans to go into Yorktown, but the weather was not going to be conducive to good sightseeing along the York River. So we opted for a Sunday Brunch at a local dining spot “Food Craft”, and eventually a movie.

We got lucky at Food Craft as there was not a long wait and the sun had come out long enough for us to stand outside. Once seated we got to enjoy a bloody Mary and a great breakfast and each other’s company.

Brunch at Food Craft with Cathy & John

Brunch at Food Craft with Cathy & John

Then we had to decide on a movie and chose “Captain Marvel”. None of us had seen it yet and it was not as crowded as the other blockbuster superhero movie everyone else was seeing over the weekend. There were only a handful of people in the theater and we had choice seating in the very back row.

Captain Marvel theater

“Captain Marvel” theater

Once the movie was over we went back home for a little rest and reprieve until it was time to eat again. Denise and Cathy were able to talk Mark into sushi for dinner, so we went to a local place “Asahi” where they know the owner.  It worked to our advantage as after we ordered we received a complimentary appetizer that was terrific. The food was delicious and Mark even managed to find something on the menu he liked.

Asahi sushi dinner with Cathy & John

Asahi sushi dinner with Cathy & John

Dragon and Party roll sushi

Dragon and Party roll sushi

After dinner we decided to spend another night so that no one had to make the drive back and forth to Poquoson.  Besides, it was nice to spend time with family.

Poquoson, VA (Monday, 5/6)
John took us back to the marina as he and Cathy had things to do, and so did we.  Mark had work to do for clients and then spent time trying to contact a recommended Cummins Diesel mechanic to do a quick diagnostic test on our boat engine. We had received a warning light while heading up the ICW, but it was one that suggested “check at next maintenance”. We did not want to wait too long to do this and he was trying to make contact with the person in Solomons, MD where we hope to be later this month.  Meanwhile Denise began researching and reading of places along the Chesapeake we might want to explore.

In the afternoon a plan was devised for a future itinerary, including stops on the Rappahannock River and to the MTOA clubhouse at the Olverson’s Marina about 20 miles up the Potomac River.  Here we will retrieve a set of additional ball fenders from our cruising friends Jon & Lynn (“Zendo”) who are graciously loaning them to us for the locks to get us to the St. Lawrence.  Other planned stops on the Chesapeake include Solomon’s, St. Michaels, Eastport (near Annapolis) and an anchorage somewhere up the Sassafras River.

We had a quiet night with dinner on board and getting caught up on a missed episode of Blue Bloods.

Moon over Whitehouse Cove

 

Poquoson, VA (Tuesday, 5/7)
Denise started the day with a run around the marina and the surrounding neighborhood.  As she has run this area before, she was anxious to see the beautiful houses that align the water and the creeks that feed off of Whitehouse Cove.

In the morning, Mark had the task of changing the oil in the boat. Although not a difficult task, it takes time and he has to sit in the small engine room space to do it.

Changing the oil

Changing the oil on IO

While this was going on, Denise defrosted and cleaned both drawers of the refrigerator. We both had points where we needed each other’s help, requiring us to interrupt our respective tasks.  So it literally took us all morning to do these two things.

After a quick lunch, we worked on other minor things. Mark continued working with clients and Denise began working on this blog post. Gail (“YOLO”) offered to take Mark to the Post office and to a local auto parts store to discard the old oil, so he seized the opportunity.  Before we knew it the sun was getting lower in the sky and soon it would be time for dinner. But we continued working until after 6 pm when we walked up to Surf Rider’s, the restaurant at the marina. They have pretty good food and knew it would not be too crowded on a Tuesday. We got seated right away, but were glad we had not waited any longer as they got busy. By the time we left there were people waiting in line.

Surf Rider restaurant

Surf Rider restaurant

After dinner we went for a walk around the marina and in the neighborhood where Denise ran earlier in the day.  We first checked out the boats in the covered slips and saw a Sabre ’38 and the boat “Red Eagle” whom we saw in 2017, neither of which had anyone on board. Then we walked up the street to the homes which run along the backside of Whitehouse cove, seeing the front of the one visible when you approach the entrance to Whitehouse Cove from the water.  It was a great way to end the evening.

Front of house on point at Whitehouse Cove

Front of house on point at Whitehouse Cove

Tomorrow we plan to take John and Cathy out on the boat for a few hours, weather permitting (which looks really good).

Here is another picture of  IO and the Whitehouse Cove Marina:

Whitehouse Cove Marina in the morning

Whitehouse Cove Marina in the morning

Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office.

Friday Fun Day!

Norfolk, VA (Friday, 5/3)
Today was a play day in Norfolk.  We have been wanting to go to “Nauticus” (maritime museum) and to tour the USS Wisconsin; a retired battleship that is permanently stationed and is part of the museum. So after some morning work activity we walked over to the museum and signed up for the 11:00 tour of the Wisconsin.  It was very informative and we learned a lot about this ship which served from post WWII to the Gulf War.

The Wisconsin is also used by the military to host special events, and today there were a few on the agenda that we got to watch.  One was a reenlistment ceremony for about 20 Navy and Marine personnel that took place on the bow of the ship. Another took place on the stern of the boat after our tour, and it was for a promotion of a Lt Commander to the rank of Commander. This event was a pretty big deal. The very impressive, newly-promoted Commander thanked many in the audience, including his former classmates at the Naval Academy.  Two of these classmates were themselves already were Commanders of ships in the US Navy.  But what captured Denise’s attention was his family. In addition to his wife, his 7 children (2 girls and 5 boys) were there, and all were dressed in matching outfits. The kids ranged in age from about 12 to 3, and all got to assist in putting his new pins on his uniform. It was a heart-warming moment and it was great to see. We are always grateful to the men and women who give up so much for us, and we enjoyed interacting with them on this day.

We walked back to the boat for a late lunch and to relax a bit. A local boater on a SeaRay came into the slip beside us and we briefly talked with him and his wife for a while. They were only here for the weekend wine festival and the concert that would play at Waterside this evening, then they were going back home.

In the evening we went over to have happy hour with our new friends Barbara & Joe (“Balahula”), whom we had met in Beaufort, NC.  They are from Kentucky and are doing the Great Loop in their Fleming 55.  We got to talk about their Loop adventure so far, including the damage to a prop when coming through the Dismal Swamp.  They were one of 3 boats in Norfolk all of whom had damage as a result of taking this route; the alternative to the one we took (Coinjock-North Landing Bridge- Great Bridge Lock). For this reason we will not take our boat through there, no matter how “beautiful” the scenery is.  We also spent time getting to know them better and enjoyed sharing foods we love, recipes and life experiences.  They are a very fun couple and we hope we see them on the water on the way up the Chesapeake Bay.

"Balahula"

“Balahula”

After we left “Balahula” we walked to dinner at Waterside. Originally we thought we might try the pizza place, but the limited menu and lack of a crowd on a Friday night gave us pause.  So we opted instead for the Guy Fieri’s (of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives”) Smokehouse. It is mostly barbeque with other bar-type food items. Mark was in hog heaven, but Denise thought it was mediocre.  We were not that impressed, but since it was a last-minute decision we were happy to get a table and eat before 8:00 pm. The Waterside was pretty crowded as it was Friday evening and the wine festival was starting tomorrow.  Additionally, more boats were coming into the marina as the AGLCA Looper rendezvous was starting on Sunday; an event we chose to bypass this year.

After dinner we walked back to the boat for a little TV watching and then bed. We will be leaving in the morning, but not before the tides change so we won’t have to fight it all the way to Poquoson.

Nice day in Norfolk!

Norfolk, VA (Thursday, 5/2)
One of the benefits of staying at Waterside Marina is that we are in downtown Norfolk and there is a known area for Denise to run.  So in keeping with her schedule, she went for a morning run around the Waterside marina and through Town Point Park where they were setting up tents for the weekend wine festival.  She also ran along the Elizabeth River Trail, taking in all the familiar sights including the mermaid statues all around town. Here are some pictures:

Old Public Library

Old Public Library

While she was gone, Mark did some preventative maintenance on the boat. He cleaned the strainers on both the generator and the engine, as well as washed off the back deck that was full of bugs. With the warm weather we continue to be inundated with bugs and we have not yet finished our project of a screen for the back door. So we are forced to use the AC all the time, even when it cools down in the evenings.

After breakfast we saw our friends on “New Horizons” off as they were leaving, trying to get home in Rock Hall, MD as soon as possible.  We hope to reconnect with them in a few weeks when we make our way to the northern part of the Chesapeake.

We then sat down and looked at our plans for the next week, and where we wanted to go from here.  We have been wanting to explore Cape Charles on the eastern shore for the last two trips and thought we would do it this time. But we need a good weather window to be able to cross the bay, and return and Sunday is not looking great.  So we shelved that plan and decided we would attempt one more time on our way home in the fall.

We also want to spend time in Poquoson-Newport News-Seaford areas to visit Denise’s brother John, wife Cathy, and their kids.  But first we had to see if we could stay in Poquoson at Whitehouse Cove Marina where we stayed in the past.  Once we had that confirmed, we laid an itinerary to stay in Norfolk through Saturday, then make our way north on the western shore of the bay to Whitehouse Cove.  We plan to then stay there through the following Saturday, allowing us time with family, some time to work, and some time to relax without having to move the boat.

After lunch, we spent time working and then getting the many pictures cataloged and the last blog posting done.  Mark had a late afternoon conference call that limited our time to go exploring today, so we focused our efforts on getting work done so we can go play in downtown Norfolk on Friday. We want to visit the Naval Museum and the battleship USS Wisconsin that is on permanent display here.

Nauticus & Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Nauticus & Hampton Roads Naval Museum

For dinner we went on an adventure up Grandby Street in downtown Norfolk.  This area has been undergoing a revitalization and is now strewn with restaurants. We chose to eat at Luce, an Italian restaurant about a half-mile from the marina. The place is really small with maybe 10 tables and 12 or so bar-seats. We sat at the two bar seats directly in front of the chefs and got to watch them prepare all the meals. The menu is untraditional Italian fare, with a more contemporary twist. Denise got the Chicken Limon, and Mark got another chicken dish that had sausage in it – only because chicken parmesan was not on the menu. The food was very flavorful and absolutely delicious – we highly recommend it.

When we returned back to the boat, we noticed an interesting boat had come into a slip near us.  “Lucy” is tug-type boat that has been in South Florida for the winter, but is headed up to Brooklyn, NY, where it hails.  We stopped and talked to its captain (Jacob) and his first mate (Carlos) to learn about the vessel and its owners. It was built by Lord Nelson in 1984, with only 8 others built in this length. This is the only model that was actually hulled originally to be a working tug, but was made instead into a pleasure craft. It has 3 staterooms, 3 heads (2 with showers) and is very spacious for its 49’.  However, it still only cruises at 8 knots.

"Lucy"

“Lucy”

They also told us about a new marina in Brooklyn (1 Fifteen Brooklyn), just off the East River.  We checked out the reviews on it and they were not great. Plus, it is quite expensive so I am sure we will not stay there in the fall.

After that we went back to our boat and watched a little TV, did some reading and then called it a day.

Here are some other pictures from the area around us:

Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office.