July 7, 2008 - Oxford, Maryland
Actually we are currently in Appleton, Ontario and we have been here for the past few weeks.
New Bern to the Chesapeake:
As we mentioned in our last update, our trip up to the Chesapeake was uneventful. We anchored a few nights in places that were tricky to get into, but well worth the stress once we got into the beautifully isolated and protected basins at the end of a winding channel. We also had a near perfect cruise across the Albermarle Sound (which is littered with crab pots and can get very nasty in certain wind conditions). At Great Bridge on the Virginia Cut, we stayed a night on the town dock and visited the town which is a great place for provisioning. They even had a specialty bead shop where Olga could pick up a few essential supplies for her latest project.
On May 8th, we made our way through Norfolk, VA and all its bridges. There were a lot less Navy patrols and boats than the last time we went through and this time we did not have an escort through town as we did two years ago. We anchored across the mouth of the bay in Hampton, VA for two days while we waited for a weather system with very high winds and rains to pass through. On the VHF, we met m/v Joanne Marie (Lee and Joanne) and went to the Tap House for a few mugs on our last day. Joanne Marie had been trying to catch up to mutual friends aboard m/v Recess (Bill & Judy) who were a day ahead of us. Unfortunately, Bill and Judy had a schedule to meet so we never did manage to catch up with them.
We made our way north to Mill Creek on the Great Wicomico River for a night at anchor and then went on to Solomons Island. We got there just in time before the winds picked up to gale force. Just about every boat around us dragged in the anchorage but we held firm. The weather was severe enough to flood all the docks at the marinas and it was eery to see all those boats tied up to cleats which were under water. Because of the bad weather going through, we did not spend much time visiting the town but managed to hook up again with the crew of Joanne Marie at the local pub.
After 3 days we left for Oxford, Maryland where we anchored in Town Creek in front of the marinas.
Rock Hall and Oxford:
The highlight of our cruise in the Chesapeake was a return trip to Rock Hall, MD. There we met up with former fellow B-Dockers from Punta Gorda, Bill and PK (m/v Sundancer), who entertained us royally at PK's home there. When the weather turned on us again, they were also kind enough to arrange for us to stay a few days at a private dock compliments of a friend of theirs. Another major plus of this stop was hooking up with our friends Howard and Donna aboard s/v Malolo, on their back to Nova Scotia after wintering in the Bahamas. We had a great visit with them and got in some quality doggie time with Storm and Zephyr even though Misty was not impressed by them. Their enthusiasm and energy was a bit much for her and she worked hard at avoiding them.
When we went back to Oxford, we stayed at a marina to prepare the boat for showing. We worked for two weeks doing another round of cleaning, varnishing, repainting the engine room and emptying the boat of much of the "stuff" we had accumulated over the past two years . That included taking off 1500 pounds of lead ballast, a locker full of spare parts and tools, and a van full of food, clothes and books. As a result, the boat rose 3 inches at the waterline and should now get even better fuel consumption (i.e. use less) than before. While we were slaving away, Misty became quite bold, and jumped on the dock frequently to go explore her surroundings. The marina had a few dogs lying around and she even became friends with Sweetzer, a female yellow Lab and the gentlest of them all.
On June 4th, we loaded up a rented van that we had crammed full of personal effects and started driving to Ontario. It was hard to leave the boat back in Oxford . Our mood was not improved when we had to change vans midway because of a mechanical problem and had to unpack and repack everything. Oh well...at least we didn't have any problems crossing the border and Misty can now apply for Canadian citizenship.
It has been a month now and we have yet to adapt to life on land. Misty is not happy with being confined to Olga's father's house, especially with a big dog that barks a lot and really wants to make friends with her. Still, until we can work out where we go from here and write the next chapter of our continuing adventure, it's a great place to sojourn for awhile.
Andre and Olga, (not) on board m/v Mystic Bond