Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chesapeake Bay

A lighthouse pictured here in the Chesapeake Bay marking a bad shoaling area.
 The Annapolis harbor was having a sailing regatta and there were hundreds upon hundreds of sailboats everywhere.  The marinas and surrounding areas were all booked and it was a maze just get to through them.  Craig left me at the helm for 5 minutes (which I confess I don't captain the boat much) and low and behold I have three instances of weaving a bit to miss a sailboat under 'sail'...which means he ALWAYS has the right away when using his sails.  Craig came up laughing at me wondering what I was doing! 
We've realized on this trip that you just can't possibly do EVERYTHING on this trip the first time around.  Craig and I will probably do another Great Loop adventure when we retire (we are not technically retired right now..haha).  The Chesapeake Bay is FULL of potential fun ports and tons of fun things to do!  We can see why people spend the summers just hanging around here and end up living or storing their boats in the area.  It truly is fun and interesting.   

These past few weeks we're getting the impression that the kids want to do what normal kids do.  We've steered away from the big cities and touristy areas and stuck more to the eastern end of the bay.  Each port is at minimum 6-20 miles on average off of the middle of the bay.  We will come back someday to do diligence to the area. We are ready to venture north and continue the journey now.

With that being said they have delayed the opening of the Erie Canal Lock System due to the record high water levels in the area.  They have not officially announced the actual opening, but you don't want to be the first ones to enter the canal due to high levels of debris either.  We're still over 400 miles away, but it's good to plan ahead.

The kids enjoyed doing normal fun kid stuff...like jumping off the swings!

 Being goofy and laughing a lot!
There was a motorcycle rally right next to our boat that was a lot of fun. There were almost 2,000 motorcycles in attendance. 
 Great view from our aft deck, but I took the picture too early in the day before they all arrived. 
 My parents are big car collectors and I've been attending car shows my entire life.  They've always been drawn to the truly unique ones like a Messerschmidt, Isetta, Dominos Pizza Delivery Car, American LaFrance Fire Engine, Mayberry police car, etc.  So Dad, what is this???
 Funny to see the 'Negotiator' docked so close to the action (see boat on right). 
 Ryann Rachel turned 8 this week!!  She was very excited, although her birthday wish was to be on top of the Statue of Liberty on her big day.  We plan to celebrate again when we reach her in New York. 
This is one huge bagel. 
 She wanted to make her own cake and it was delicious.  We had a fun day doing everything she wanted to do and celebrating all day long. 
 She seems to already be looking and acting older. 
 Making their own fun at the laundromat is easy. 
 Skooters were a hit in the big parking lot next to the boat.  They used a whole bucket of chalk to make roads, homes, restaurants, grocery and gas station. If only it were that easy to get groceries and around town!
 Ryann met a beautiful Chesapeake Bay Retriever. 
 Ryann was so full of energy all day long!
 The Chesapeake is known for their watermen at sea.  It's the way many people have made a living for so long.  
 This old railway system has been used for a long time as the owners were from the 4th generation and their son was taking over the business soon.  They actually put boats on this rail system to bring them out of the water.
 Once a boat was out of the water you could move tracks to get it where you wanted to go.
 First community pool of the whole trip and it was black water!
 The Chesapeake doesn't seem to calm down much in the way of winds.  It's warm and sunny out, but when in the wind it feels cooler.  We have had some terrible winds here and at the dock we're taking it all on the beam, which is very uncomfortable and we've been off the boat a lot because of it.  The bottom side of the boat was physically out of the water rocking for quite some time.  
 The driftwood looks like a fish.
 The playground of Jaxons dreams!
 Morgan with her new bike and Jaxon in his new seat!  Now we have a great place to put laundry too. 
We plugged into a bad power surge and blew our battery charger out.  It made a loud pop noise and thankfully didn't start a fire as it was all burnt out.  So glad we had a surge protector for the Wii, stereo and DVD player.  Luckily there was a West Marine in the area so we waited for a new one and will head out of port in the morning. 
We're expecting 15-20 knot winds with gusts even higher, but at some point you just need to endure the good with the bad.  We've been rocking and rolling in the harbor for a few days and are ready to move on.