SEPTEMBER--Pentwater, Michigan to Deltaville, Virginia
September 1--started packing for our return to the boat. Why do we haul so many things to Pentwater that we then haul back to Deltaville? The trunk of the car is "packed to the gills". Monitored Hurricane Earl which was expected to hit the coast of North Carolina as a "strong hurricane" on Thursday September 2. It was thought that Earl would generate a two foot storm surge in Chesapeake Bay as it passed by Norfolk. Deltaville (where DISCOVERY sits on the hard) is only 38 nautical miles north of Norfolk. Luck was on our side---Hurricane Earl passed the Chesapeake Bay further east (out to sea) than the forecasted path--the winds blowing offshore which means water was sucked out of the bay instead of pushing water into the bay so there was no storm surge. Talked to the Deltaville Marina Harbormaster (after our arrival in Deltaville) who said they ran around on September 1st and 2nd pulling boats out of the water and stowing things away that the wind could blow away. However, there was no wind and very little rain as Earl passed by. Hurricane Earl continued to the north where it caused considerable damage to the eastern coast of Canada. I'll tell you, this is as close to a hurricane as I want our boat to get!
On Friday, September 3 we officially closed the cottage. Carl uses an air compressor to blow the water out of all the water lines and puts antifreeze in the traps of drains and the toilet bowls. The breaker for the water pump is turned off and the furnace thermostat turned to the lowest setting. Won't be back until sometime late spring 2011. Hopefully the cottage makes it through another winter without us around.
As soon as the cottage was closed, we headed to Grand Rapids where we stayed two nights with Pam and Brian. Friday night Brian grilled some fabulous steaks. Saturday morning, Pam, Brian, Carl and I drove to East Lansing for Michigan State Football---the Michigan State Spartans versus the Western Michigan Broncos. Met Al and Laurie for a tailgate party. Before the tailgate got going (that is the eating started), Pam, Laurie and I walked over to Jamie's house to check out where Jamie (Al and Laurie's daughter) will be living this school year. Jamie then walked back to the tailgate with us. During half-time, I spotted Gary Crankshaw who worked at the same company that Carl and I retired from so I walked down a few rows to talk to him. Sitting next to where Gary was standing--- Deb and Chuck Mann who also worked at the same company. It was fun chatting with them during half time. Sometime during the third quarter, we left the game (Michigan State was way ahead--final score 38-14) to go visit Tom Kelly. Several weeks ago, Tom fell down the stairs of his trawler, GORTA MOR, broke his ankle and is off his feet for at least six weeks. Tom was glad to see us. I thought I said my good-byes to him back on Beaver Island in July so it was good to see him one more time before we left Michigan for winter cruising.
The first two pictures were taken at the house Jamie is living in. On the left---Pam delivering her "house warming" gift. Next is Jamie giving her Mom a MSU tee shirt. I didn't know it was a gift exchange day!
The next four pictures were taken at the football game. Football means tailgating. This tailgate featured hot dogs with chili plus lots of other dishes including scotch eggs (thanks Brian for being adventurous).
Below is a picture of Tom Kelly (GORTA MOR) and Carl.
On the road from Grand Rapids around 7:00 AM Sunday headed for Deltaville. The drive was uneventful--nice scenery and lots of Highway Patrol on the road keeping the Labor Day Weekenders' speed down. Arrived in Fredricksburg, VA at 6:45 PM where we stopped for the night. Checked out our bed for those pesky bed bugs before agreeing to take the room. Didn't see any appleseed sized bugs or any sized bugs for that matter!! Drove to Deltaville the next morning before the Labor Day traffic started up. Assume VA Highway 17 to Norfolk would be very busy in the afternoon. Mike and Kathy (SAPPHIRE) had arrived in Deltaville on Sunday. They left Lansing on early Sunday morning driving all the way to Deltaville. Nice to have someone around that we know when working on the boat.
DISCOVERY looked pretty good--just a little dirty. Took us a couple days to unpack---I sorted through the cabinets, drawers and bins looking for things to take out as I unpacked stuff from the trunk. Put the dodger and bimini up to give us protection from the sun and any potential rain. Mike helped Carl fix the bookshelf---the box had pulled away from the frame so it needed gluing and screwing. Put water in the tanks so we can wash dishes and brush our teeth. Doing simple meals while we are on the hard---cereal for breakfast and yogurt for lunch. We usually eat at the marina's screen porch--a salad and something to throw on the grill. At first there were only 2-3 cruiser couples using the porch at night but as time went by and more cruisers arrived it was packed. Almost needed a schedule for the grill.
Below is a picture of the screen porch both exterior and interior. It is a great place to meet up with other cruisers. Right by the water so on hot days it is a cool place to prepare and eat dinner.
I am responsible for scrubbing and waxing the boat. I enjoy doing it because it is a mindless task with results that are immediately visible. At first glance, the deck looked pretty clean but as I started scrubbing I noticed the runoff water was very gray--mostly dirt from the road. The hull was cleaned really well last May (to remove the ICW moustache) so it required just a little elbow grease. Carl bought me a new random orbital polisher in Grand Rapids before we left---been wanting one for years. When I turned it on---heard a bad noise and then nothing happened (no noise at all and no movement). Quickly drove over to Wal Mart where I purchased another polisher. I can't imagine waxing the hull without the polisher---my shoulders could not take it. Took me four days to wax the hull and I must say it looks so good (not just my opinion but the opinion of countless people walking by the boat)!!!!
Kris and Craig (TILT) arrived Wednesday, September 15. It was great to see them again. Both of them worked like "Mad Men" to clean and wax the hull plus paint the bottom. They wanted to get into the water as quickly as possible. Kris is redoing all the teak and it is easier for her to work on the teak in the water ("Easier" is not the right word. Stripping the teak is not easy at all. Perhaps it is more convenient working in the water than on the hard).
Meanwhile, Mike on SAPPHIRE pulled his mast off the boat because of corrosion at the base of the mast. Mike cut off the worst part, cleaned up the mast and then made his own mast step. A very resourceful and talented guy. He also raised the waterline and repainted the boot stripe. SAPPHIRE like DISCOVERY stayed "on the hard" the entire month of September.
Also arriving in Deltaville: John and Sandy on MOONSTRUCK ; Rick and Linda on SOJOURNER; and Norm and Barbara on BLOWN AWAY. John and Sandy own a Sage 43 like DISCOVERY. We met Rick and Linda 5 years ago in Eluthera and haven't seen them for at least 3 years. Met Barbara and Norm our first year in Deltaville which was three years ago.Also met a few new cruisers (at least new to us)---Doris and George on GRACE and John and Suzanne on The SUZANNE. Alan and Doreen (KIAH) returned to Deltaville after spending 3 months in England visiting family and friends. We met Alan and Doreen in Trinidad.
Deltaville Marina held a Crab Fest (Customer Appreciation Day) one beautiful Saturday afternoon. All the crab you could eat, side dishes provided by cruisers and employees and free refreshments including Legend Beer. (Note: The Legend Brewing Company is a microbrewery making beer for the Richmond area of Virginia since January, 1994. Legend is one of the few craft breweries in this region producing both lagers and ales, which require different yeasts and maturation conditions. All Legend beers are unpasteurized and made from only two-row and specialty barley malt, hops, water and yeast. I enjoyed their seasonal beer "Legend Octoberfest".) When cruisers are involved in potlucks--there are great side dishes. Picking crab is hard work---great effort with a small delicious reward. Mike (SAPPHIRE) is one of the quickest and best crab pickers around. Really enjoyed the crab fest.
Below are pictures of the "Michigan Contingent" at the Crab Fest. On the left are the guys (Craig, Mike and Carl). On the right are the girls (Marilyn, Kris and Kathy).
Oh, what to make for my "dish to pass"? Carl suggest scotcheroos (the same thing we brought to the MSU tailgate). Pieces were taken even before the party started. On the right is a bushel of crabs.
Had to have lessons on crab picking. At one time we were pretty good at it. The challenge at this crab fest---"no mallets". Some of the guys would use their clinched fist to break the claws---not me. As previously mentioned, Mike (SAPPHIRE) is the best crab picker around. Carl is watching his every move in the picture on the right.
September 23--full moon. Took this picture at sunrise. My camera could not capture it's beauty.
By September 24th--finished all the waxing (the cockpit and smooth vertical parts of the deck). Carl has three coats of paint on the bottom. Oh, DISCOVERY is "looking mighty fine". The boat is essentially ready for launching but we won't launch until the first part of October.
On September 25, Stots and Cathey Reele stopped by the boat. They lived across the street from us in the early 80's (when we lived on Eagle Ridge Drive outside of Kalamazoo). Cathey and I became very good friends. Many good memories of shared dinners, watching movies, shopping, going to restaurants and just visiting. Carl and I enjoyed their three daughters--Carl teased poor Aline constantly. It was a sad day when Stots accepted a new job that moved the family to New Jersey. Anyway, they are retired and have a home in Scottsville, VA (close to Charlottsville) and a beach house at the North Carolina Outer Banks. Stots and Cathey were traveling from the beach house to the house in Scottsville. Deltaville was sort of "on the way home" so they stopped to visit us. Showed them around the boat before going for lunch at Cocomo's. The following day, Carl and I drove over to their home in Scottsville where we stayed for the night then returned to the boat. I am hoping that next spring we can stop at their home and stay a few nights longer so the four of us can tour the area.
On our way to Scottsville we stopped in Richmond to see Ladona Reele Smart. Stots and Cathey stayed with Ladona on after visiting us in Deltaville. The last time I saw Ladona she was a young teenager and now she is a wife and mother to a cute little guy, Tyler. The first picture is Tyler next to his grandfather, Stots. To the right is Tom, Tyler and Ladona. The last two pictures were take at the Reele home near Scottsville. Cathey is a quilter so I took a picture of her with a few of her quilts.
One more short road trip in September---up to Galena to see Karen and Dave (FREEBIRD). Dave organized a cocktail party so we could see most of the neighbors we had met in 2006 when we spent so much time on the Sassafras River. Lots of catching up to do over appetizers and drinks.
Pictured on the left is Dave (our host). The picture on the right is Karen (our hostess who is on the left) along with Joyce who is on the right. (STELLA POLARIS).
The left picture is Ben and Carol (NARWAHL). On the right is Joe and Ronnie. Ben, Carol, Joe and Ronnie live in the same neighborhood as Dave and Karen. They call the neighborhood "The Shire". We got to know this gang the summer of 2006. The last two pictures were taken during the party. I did not get a picture of Joyce and Tom standing together---sorry guys.
I'll close the September activity log with a report on the weather. Had the greatest weather when we were working on the boat (sunshine with temperature in the mid-80's with a day or two in the mid 90's). It was dry--in fact too dry. All that changed on September 29 when rained 0.5 inches and then on the 30th---rained 10 inches in 12 hours. A mass of tropical moisture rode up the coast with Tropical Storm Nicole (she was officially blown out but still was moving a ton of moisture). Along with the moisture came strong winds in the 50-60 knot range. The strongest wind was from the southeast to southwest. Deltaville is open to the south so some boats had difficulties (anchored boats were dragging and boats at the marina were pulling cleats out of the dock).
The month started with Hurricane Earl and ended with Tropical Storm Nicole. Earl was a non-event while Nicole dumped rain along with strong winds. I guess this is why we stay out of the hurricane zone!
Tried to get pictures of the rain. It was much worse than the picture shows!!
October 1, 2010