OCTOBER---Back to Work (Very Short Time) and Start the Journey South

We were in Annapolis at the beginning of  October. Worked at the Annapolis Sailboat Show for Fawcett Boat Supplies. Didn't know what product we would be selling until one week before the show when we attended the Orientation Program. Carl joked with people, "We'd probably be selling shoes!" Actually we sold organizing items for sailboats made by Blue Performance. Orientation included an overview of  the store, company philosophy, tips on selling products, etc. At the end of the session, we were introduced to the computerized cash register. I was given responsibility for opening, closing and balancing the register for our booth. I assumed our register would only be used by Carl and I so accepting this responsibility was easy. Later I found out that the register would be shared by another booth selling clothes from a company called Line Ryders. Use of the register made "sense" at Orientation but by the next day.....I had all kinds of questions. Stopped in at Fawcett's to practice a few more transactions and then compiled a list of questions. It was a worthwhile exercise because some of the functions used on the training program during Orientation did not work on the "live" cash registers used during the show. By the time the show opened, all questions were addressed and all went fairly smooth.

It was different going to work. Yes, it was only for 6 days! Up at the crack of dawn, dress for work (we were told to look professional and our wardrobe is "everyday nautical"), pack a few snacks, get in the dinghy and head to shore to catch a ride downtown with another cruiser who had access to a car. Stop for breakfast at Chick and Ruth's Delly and clock in by 9:30 AM. The days were long (9:30 AM to 7:30 PM) but the time went by fast. It was fun selling products to people who are interested or involved in sailing. Talked about sailing and cruising all day while getting paid for it! By the way, we haven't seen our paychecks....they were mailed to friends in Vero Beach!

Several of our friends attended the show so we met them for dinner after work. Ron and Jackie Baden from Michigan were in the area for about a week looking at sailboats and then attended the show for 2 days. Doug and Marianne Taylor from the Rochester, NY area were also at the show one day. It was fun to meet Ron, Jackie, Doug and Marianne for dinner.

Below are three pictures from the Annapolis Sailboat Show. The first picture is Carl on his first day of work. The next picture is of me  (also my first day of work). The third picture was taken the last day of the boat show after all of us closed out our cash registers (free pizza and beer from Fawcetts).

Left Annapolis on October 11 headed for Solomons Island. It was overcast with only 10 knots of wind--- motor sailed all the way to Solomons. Pleased to find NARWAHL, Ben and Carol, friends from the Sassafras River in the anchorage. Ben and Carol joined us on board for cocktails one night. Several boats we were anchored with in Weems Creek at Annapolis were in the anchorage.

Left Solomons with plans to stop at Deltaville for the night. However, making great time so decided to go all the way to Hampton. Were behind a Canadian boat, SEAYA II, most of the day. Called them on VHF radio to find out where they were headed. They had planned to stop in an anchorage in the Rappahannock River. However, when they found out we were going to Hampton, they asked if they could follow us in--would be arriving in the dark. Our general rule is "do not go into a busy harbor at night unless we have been there before". Since we had sailed both in and out of the Hampton Roads Harbor, we were comfortable going it at dark. On our way into Hampton Roads we shared the channel with a cargo ship and a US Navy Warship. The cargo ship was going very slow in the channel---he was on the green side and we were on the red. Riding his bow wave was like a roller coaster ride! Anchored at Old Point Comfort off Fort Monroe where we found two other Saga 43's-- CAMELOT and NOTTUS at anchor. SEAYA II anchored with us--when they left early the next morning they thanked us and offered us a rain check for a beer or whatever the next time we saw each other!

Next day we had a short journey (12 nautical miles) to Norfolk where we stayed at a dock---very unusual for us. Needed electricity to equalize the batteries. Before stopping at the marina, we ventured a little further down the channel to see the schooners that just completed a race from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge near Annapolis to Norfolk. We saw STELLA POLARIS, who we met on the Sassafras River last June and July. STELLA POLARIS participated in the race. Also saw the SULTANA, the schooner we saw at the Re-enactment of the Chestertown Tea Party on Memorial Day.

The following two pictures are of some of the schooners that raced from Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Norfolk. The first one is a picture of schooners at the dock and the second one is SULTANA. 

While Carl worked on projects at the dock, I did my walk around Norfolk. Spend a couple hours in the General Douglas MacArthur Museum. Went out for dinner with Rose and Keith from CAMELOT at an Oriental restaurant with a very humorous waiter.

From Norfolk, we started down the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) taking the Dismal Swamp route along with CAMELOT and NOTTUS. Stopped at the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center just before dark. Invited our "raft" over for cocktails (MIDWATCH--met them at Weems Creek, WILLOWS WIND--never met before, CAMELOT and NOTTUS). By raft I mean, MIDWATCH was tied to a sea wall, WILLOWS WIND tied to MIDWATCH, CAMELOT tied to WILLOWS WIND, DISCOVERY tied to CAMELOT and finally NOTTUS tied to DISCOVERY. The raft almost went from shore to shore!

The following picture was taken from DISCOVERY's stern. The Dismal Swamp is so beautiful in the morning at sunrise.

From the Dismal Swamp we went to Elizabeth City where we attended the Crusiers' Wine and Cheese Party sponsored by the Rose Buddies. The Rose Buddies starting these parties over 30 years ago. I remember them being featured on The TODAY Show years ago. After the party we went to Thumpers for dinner and to watch part of Monday Night Football. Elizabeth City has a new museum that opened in 2007. The museum has a very impressive gallery on silver---tableware, mugs, platters, services, etc. Several pieces were made by none other than Paul Revere!

From Elizabeth City we passed across the Abemarle Sound, down the Alligator River, through the Alligator Pungo Canal, down the Pungo River (in fog as thick as pea soup I might add), down the Pamlico River to the Neuse River and up to New Bern, NC to attend the Southbound Cruisers' Gam. 250 people attended the gathering which included speakers, social activities and a nautical flea market. After cruising one year, we had met about 1/3 of the people who attended the Gam. One highlight of the Gam was the Eileen Quinn Concert......she says she sings to the nautically disinclined. Her songs can make the audience roar with laughter or bring them to tears.

The next three pictures are from the Southbound Cruisers' Gam. The first picture is of George and Lynn Stateham who talked about how to get ready to cruise and what cruising was like. The next two pictures are of the Pink Discussion Group and the Blue Discussion Group. What is of interest is the women formed a circle with their chairs and every time another person joined them, the circle enlarged. On the other hand, the men's discussion group formed an unorganized random array of chairs as another person joined their group


When the Gam was over, we headed for Beaufort with NOTTUS via the ICW.

The following picture is DISCOVERY meeting one big barge and tug on the ICW on our way to Beaufort. That tug was really working to make the turn plus it had to deal with several sailboats traveling in the opposite direction.

The original plan was to leave Beaufort Sunday afternoon--going out the inlet to the Atlantic. As we went out, the waves were breaking over the bow and sea spray was getting us wet. Is this a good idea? Do we want to continue doing this for 24 hours or more? Decided it wasn't a good idea so we turned around. Found a spot to anchor near the US Coast Guard Station. Dropped anchor at high tide and I wondered if we were too close to shore--I could see some unusual waves off to our port side. In the morning at low tide, decided , yes we were just a little too close.

Are we too close?? Look at those birds standing on the beach just off to the left!

Finally left Beaufort Monday morning at 7 AM. Sailed non-stop to the St. Mary's River Inlet arriving Wednesday morning at 7 AM. This 48 hour passage on the outside was relatively easy. Carl and I use 3 hour watches 24 hours a day so that one person has the opportunity to get some rest while the other person is on watch. I had to wake Carl up around 2 AM on Tuesday because  a huge ship was marching quickly up my port side---it looked like our course would intercept. Carl tried to contact the ship by VHF radio without any success. Finally, we slowed down to idle speed so the tanker could pass by us (could hear his engines and smell his exhaust). Well, to keep things consistent, I once again woke him up again around 2 AM on Wednesday because another ship was marching up my port side. This time it was a cruise liner. Called him on VHF, he answered. The cruise ship asked us if we would alter our course 20 degrees so he could pass in front of us. We did as requested and received a call back from the Cruise Liner thanking us for our cooperation.

The first of October found us in Annapolis and by November 1, we were anchored at Cumberland Island, Georgia. Traveled about 725 nautical miles. Trying to follow that 75 degree air temperature line!

Submitted on November 5, 2006 by
Marilyn Thoreson



Trip log