August 15-31, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 Aug 15 - We have been busy traveling into Manhattan for the last 2 days so it is time for a pretty big update. Not as many pictures as I'll have early next week because it was just time for Deb and I to head in and have fun. I'm going on a "photo shoot" on Monday. We'll see what we get if the weather cooperates. Back to the story.

We left Mattituck after another wonderful dinner and headed out at 6 a.m. The tides were to be with us and this 62 nautical mile day should take about 10 hours verses 11. As soon as I cleared the entrance at Mattituck (2 miles) the main sail went up and we motor sailed into the future. The autohelm was working just fine so I went to the front of the boat on watch and read a book. 460 pages and pretty good too. In the distance, to the right, we could see the entrance to Port Washington. The picture to the lower right is the lighthouse marking a rock island just before you get to Port Washington. Then I saw it. A gas canister floating in the water. I thought it might be a 20 pound propane tank but no.... It was bigger. I estimated it was 4 feet long and it was a hazard to navigation. I called the Coast Guard. We stood by for an hour while they tried to identify an agency that could come take care of it. Coast Guard - No E.P.A.-No Corps of Engineers - No They also said I shouldn't tow it so what do you do? I called a ship that was heading for me and the tank and asked he divert slightly to miss us. He did. After an hour the tank drifted out of the main shipping channel and I called in my last Lat/Lon position and the Coast Guard released me. Well, there went that hour savings the tide got us. We arrived at our mooring at 5:30 and an eleven and a half hour trip. Who knows what was in that tank? I hope they found it the next day because I would hate to hit that at night. At least they put out a warning on 16.


 Thursday I headed into town to find the train station and figure out ground transportation so we would be ready on Friday to head to the "city." That's what they call Manhattan here - The City.

We took a bus to the train station and then when we arrived at Penn Station in "The City," we took the subway south, or downtown, to Wall Street. No, I wasn't heading in for an investment. I was here to stand in the line you see to the left so I could get discount show tickets for a Saturday Matinee. You are supposed to look at a board for the shows available then pick three and stand in line until you got your chance to buy a ticket. We had picked a couple of shows and when in line I talked to a lady who it turned out had been to "every show" except the newest ones. She was here for a brand new show. I told her our choices and she said "they are old." Ok, Phantom and Chicago are old and we have seen Phantom as a movie. We kept taking and she said the new shows Billy Elliot and In the Heights are new and very good musicals. We talked some more and ultimately Deb and I decided on Billy Elliot. Ah to put your trust in a stranger in a line for tickets spelled tkts. But it's New York and why not?

This was all occurring next to the southport seaport which you see to the lower right.


 After about an hour and a half, we had our tickets and were off for a late lunch and victory glass of wine before getting on our adventure.

In the background you can see the Brooklyn Bridge which you may remember from a month ago when we sailed through the east river on our way up. You can also see it in the picture to the lower left.

To the lower right is the entrance of the east river meeting New York Harbor. This all has special memories for us. Not only because we just traveled it, this happens to also be the place I brought Deb six years ago on our trip to NYC when she was speaking at a conference. Memories.


 We headed north, or towards Uptown as they say in "the city." I have to confess, six years ago I actually asked a policeman why they called it uptown and downtown. Duh, north is up and south is down..... I felt pretty stupid but then remembered it was ignorant. Afterall, you can't fix stupid! Well, that happens to be one of my favorite sayings and I didn't have to ask twice. I even remembered it for this trip.

We passed by the legal court houses and government centers on our way to Chinatown. The building you see to the right is the New York Supreme Court.


 A bit of sculpture out front that the guys on skateboards were riding across and then jumping off the top trying to land on their board when they hit seven feet down on the sidewalk. I didn't see anyone make it but nobody got hurt either.

We walked a bit further and Chinatown just showed up. Deb was really excited because that is where she wanted to do some shopping for a bag. Well, she really wanted a good copy of a name brand bag but none were to be found. They were everywhere six years ago so what happened? She was disappointed.

As it turned out, she later learned that the importers of the "knock-offs" were busted earlier this year and all of the knock-off bags were confiscated. That business appears to be out-of-business for now. Deb was sad but I was thinking copyright protection. I didn't tell her however.


 We walked up further and went to Soho which just happens to mean South of Houston (pronounced House-ton.) So now you have a bit of the lay of the land because Elton John told you about Uptown girls and you've probably heard of Soho which is the demarcation between uptown and downtown. Just think of it this way big money uptown and less money downtown. Especially now that the market has been doing junky. I guess that is why Wall Street is downtown.

We took the subway up to Times Square on 42nd street and walked on north to the Times Square show. You get the idea from watching the New Years Celebration on TV but in person it is pretty amazing. All the people and All of the video screens.


 Above is where they broadcast the NASDAQ information. Right in Times Square. Upper right you can see me trying to get a picture through the glass of the market data. And then to the left is one of the reporters who is providing his talking head to the Friday Closing Bell show.

They just don't have these displays everywhere and it is truly a show in itself.

These pictures were taken on Friday and it was about to get busy because it was almost quitting time and that means people were going to start getting thick heading for the subways and the trains.


 Times Square is really at the heart of the theater district and the advertising is everywhere. I don't know if it works or not but it is fun to look at. Well, I guess advertising does work or they wouldn't do it. Then again, based on my observations and conversations over the last few years, I'm not sure most companies know which advertising works and what doesn't. That may be my bias that if you can't measure something you can't improve it but I haven't found too many people who can tell what a particular set of advertising actually produced. Then again, it is a pretty cool place to just hang out if you like to watch people.

And as you can see to the lower right, people are starting to be everywhere and they are all talking on the phone or texting. The tourists are the ones gawking at the buildings and the signs.

 The one thing you have to really understand it that this is early at Times Square. This is transition time between work and theater time. So that means the restaurants aren't filling up yet and the people out are either tourists or people getting off work early. There are ton's of theaters down in this area and each one will hold from hundreds to a thousand people. So when theater time gets near all of those people will be stacking up waiting to get into the theater or to restaurants so they can eat and watch. It will get really busy but by then, we will be gone.
 There is Deb below watching me take some pictures. You should be able to pick her out in the picture to the lower right too.  

 And here is where I was taking pictures from. The top of these permanent bleachers set up just so people can watch people.

Then we found the restaurant we went out to dinner at six years ago. It was our big expenditure then. We were told you just have to go to dinner at a major restaurant in Manhattan. We chose Blue Fin and it was good but we didn't go back.

I also got to walk through the Hershey's store where they have chocolate in every shape, size, and color.


Saturday we walked up to the bus stop and the tide was out. The geese, ducks, and other birds were using the fresh water flowing into the bay to take baths and get some fresh water drinks.

Then off to the train and back to the city. We were heading for lunch then to the theater district to find our theater and watch the show - Billy Elliot.

We found a Thai spot for lunch which was very good then off to the show. I'll just say it was worth every penny. Deb and I both really enjoyed the music, dance, and the story. We were up in the nose bleed section but we could see everything and it was worth it. When you think of all of the people it takes to put something like this on from musicians, stage people, sound, lights, actors, dancers, etc, etc. I understand why the cost is what it is. Then again, we paid the discount rates.

We walked back through Times Square, but then again you have to, and off to the subway to head back and to our train. Arriving back at the boat at 8 p.m. we were both tired. This playing every day takes it out of you.

Today we have an old friend I haven't seen since high school coming up to see us. He should arrive by train at about noon so we should have a great day talking and reminiscing. Then Monday, I'm off for that photo shoot in "the city."


 Aug 15 late - Isn't life great! Meet Ingrid and Walt. Walt is a friend I had back in middle school and high school. After that, we lost touch. However, at the last class reunion, which I missed because I was on our boat, he heard about our adventures. He started checking our website periodically and found out we were coming north this year. He contacted us and we got reconnected. Pretty cool right. He made a 2 hour train trip up to see us today and it was a great reunion. Let's go back. Walt also had an interest in electronics in high school and had his Ham license. I hadn't progressed that far yet but it was only a few years in my future. Common interest surpasses socioeconomic conditions and common interest is what our friendship was based on. Of course there was also tennis.

Today we caught up on our past along with our futures. Ingrid is a sailor whom Walt has met and is very interested in our lifestyle. Walt has been sailing but has the same affliction as I do which is seasickness. I hope I've assured him that shouldn't get in his way. We had a great time talking about the past, what people are doing now, unfortunate incidents that have occurred to our classmates, and what is next for each of us. To put it in a nutshell, we spent 4 hours catching up. It was a wonderful afternoon and Deb and I enjoyed the entire time they were here. Life is good on the sailing vessel Freedom.

 Aug 19 - I went back to "the city" on Monday and took way too many pictures but then again, not enough. I had blisters on my feet from wearing "real" shoes when I got back from all of the walking. Ranging from the Wall Street to 86th street on foot, trains, subways, and buses. It was a good day.

First on the agenda was the Mosque they are wanting to build. Like the news people, I was interested and wanted to be there. How close was it really? Is it an affront to the people who died or is is protection against another attack? One question that will only be answered in time and another that can be answered easily - 2 blocks.

The building to the right and below left and right is where they want to build the mosque. What appeared to me to be a deserted building and previously occupied by a Burlington Coat Factory. From what I understand, there is another mosque even closer but it isn't in the national debate. What do I think? Wow, why did I ask myself that? Unlike the federal government spending your children's future, this is actually one time I agree with Obama. However, he messed up his message and should have said both of his messages the first time he spoke. That will come back to haunt him but bottom line is that religious organizations should have the ability to build houses of worship and the ability to worship in this country. However, if it were me running the organization there is no way I would have placed it here (he said wisdom.) So, they have the right but I question the wisdom too.

Well, as Forest Gump would say, that is all I have to say about that.


You can see construction occurring within a block of the site but this is construction of a new college.

Below, you can see construction on the new World Trade Center. I just heard today they are building a floor a day onto the building you see to the lower right.

I can also tell you that I felt just as bad when I walked by as I did in 2005. There has to be a feeling when you know that many people died in such a horrible attack.

To the right is a picture of a picture of what the building will look like when finished. Pretty cool looking.
Then I headed south to take a look at the Statue of Liberty from the land. As you can see, it was hazy today and you get her side view. Later, you will see her up close and personal.

Next stop - Wall Street. As they say on CNBC, the Financial Capitol of the World. I just had to walk by and see the exchange one more time. I had even talked to the broker I work with and tried to get on the floor. However, that was a problem since 9/11. With that said, Stalone got to walk on the floor today and I'm not so sure he is a better security risk than me. However, I'll bet he does have more money - wait, I'll guarantee he has more money than me (a bunch more) so that must be why he got on the floor and I just listened. Still, I tried.

I do think hanging the flag so prominently is a wonderful gesture. Hopefully it reminds us all to appreciate the freedom we have.

And a few more pictures.

I took this picture looking east down Wall Street and then turned around to find the Trinity Church. It was built in 1693 and what was cool is that it looks very much like the churches we saw in Sweden when Deb and I visited. (She actually had a speaking engagement so I tagged along.)

The interior is very nice but not near as ornate as the Basilica in St. Louis. As a side note, if you are ever in St. Louis, you have to stop by the New Cathedral on Lindell mid city.

I then took off riding and walking and took the picture you see to the left. It reminded me of the thousands of buildings which are a combination of businesses and apartments. The density of this city is just amazing to me and you can feel the energy everywhere.

I was walking up to Greenwich Village. I was hoping to see a bunch of hippies hanging out and protesting something. If you ever studied educational history, you know that historically, every 30 years, students protest something. We are overdue so I just thought I might arrive just in time for the start of something. You know, to be there on the first day of a protest. Perhaps they would be saying something like - Stop the war - Stop spending our money - Where are the Job's - Where is the American Dream - You insert something......... I don't know, I was just hoping somebody at NYU would be a leader and start a national conversation to challenge our thinking.

I was wrong.

All I saw was smoke coming out of a building - figure that one out! Homeless people and a few people that at least were dressing the way they wanted. Just perhaps, they were talking about a future protest.

I guess I was 45 years too late - the hippies are gone.

So, it was off to the Empire State Building. I was very much like Deb looking for the big Gorilla hanging off the upper portion but found it instead by the address on the map. I got in line, went up the escalator, stood in another line, then asked - How long after I buy a ticket until I go up? Simple question, simple answer. 20 bucks and an hour and a half. I would have paid the 20 bucks even with the haze but I wouldn't do the wait given the haze. I wasn't going to get a great panoramic picture anyway and there are more places to see.

So, I was off.

After another picture, I took off north and visited Park Ave along with Madison Ave.

They both looked like the street scape you see to the right. What differentiated them from the other neighborhoods were the trees, door men and the lack of diversity. Of course they had pretty fancy stores but those weren't on my agenda today and thinking about it, they really aren't ever on my agenda.

I was set on seeing the Frank Lloyd Wright design - the Guggenheim Museum. First, you have to understand I am a true Frank Lloyd Wright fan. His design philosophies of blending buildings into the natural landscape, using natural materials from the area, and of course opening up the buildings to the world are some of the highlights for me.

I looked at this building and thought what happened? To me it looked like he must have gone to a wedding the night before he was to deliver the plans. He must have had a hang over and simply drew the wedding cake and gave it a bunch of fast architectural speak to justify his design. Or perhaps he decided that there was nothing natural he could replicate and simply wanted to be different.

Well, I went, I saw, I didn't get it.

I had reached as far uptown as I was going so it was time to walk back down 5th avenue alongside Central Park. I came upon a museum with some performers outside and a bunch of people hanging out on the steps listening to them do their thing. They were pretty good but I still needed to head south. I had more places to see and a train to catch.

Below you can catch a view of escape. Escape is what it must be in New York because if you are anywhere else in the city you get concrete. Central park gives you trees, grass, water, and of course - a great environment. It reminded me of Forest Park in St. Louis. I spent quite a bit of time roller bladeing in Forest Park but I didn't have my roller blades today so I didn't get to do the interior tour of Central Park. Maybe in three years.

In addition to the environments such as you see to the left, you also have a zoo where people from the city can actually see a cow. Of course they also have tours via carriage through the park or you can rent a bike.

Once you get to the south side, you are reminded that the city is still surrounding you.

I think the two buildings you see in the picture to the left in the distance are the Trump Towers. Yes, I just stood in the middle of the street and took this pictures. They quit honking after a bit.

Then it was back down in a subway and I thought - Jim, you haven't taken a picture of the subway yet. Well, here you are. I took this at an ISA of 3200 and it actually came out pretty good.

I popped out at Radio City and of course the Rockefeller Center.

You can see the building to the left along with some more pictures of the site below. The ice rink was closed and they had a restaurant down there. I guess it was too hot for ice skating.

Next, I went off to an electronics store on 9th street and had way too much fun in 40 minutes looking at all of the toys. You know what I'm talking about - cameras, video cameras, computers, sound systems, lighting, tv's. They had it all. But I was out of time. My train was almost at the station and I was going to be late if I didn't take my tired and aching feet and head towards Penn Station.

What is cool at Penn Station is that every afternoon they have live performances You see, everyone has to stand and watch the board you see below. They have to find out what track their train is leaving from and it is different from day to day. So, you have an audience - all you need is enough talent and unique entertainment to entice someone to buy a C. D. Of course you hope more than one will buy a C. D.

I want the job of booking the guys to play down here. The acoustics are full of reverb and it sounds good. Just think of that sound bouncing off the walls and down the station.

I arrived back at Port Washington with my newly purchased restaurant tools. Oh, I forgot to mention that. I was in China Town and stopped into a restaurant supply store and picked up some rings to mold salads along with a couple of other items. I needed some fresh carrots, green onions, and a red cabbage. We already had a regular cabbage. A molded salad with my dressing was on the meal list tonight with grilled fish drizzled in olive oil and fresh basil. Sounds good doesn't it? I picked up the fresh veggies on the walk to the dock. The meal was delicious.

We left at 6 a.m. with the tide in our favor. I listened to the weather and we had rain in the forecast for the afternoon and evening. No reason to stop and anchor at the Statue of Liberty because there isn't a chance of good night pictures. So we will just head on through to New Jersey.

To the left you can see one of the bridges as we approach from the north. Brooklyn on the left and Manhattan on the right.

Below left is an example of the swirling water in Hell's Gate. In the day, sailing ships could get stuck here trying to go through Hell's Gate when the current was in the wrong direction.

Don't you love the intricate work in the bridges? All of this was before the massive concrete structures and cables.

Beautiful buildings in the city too.


 I think this is the Chrysler Building. It is unique and beautiful.

Below right is the last we saw of Manhattan. You can see the Stanton Island Ferry docked to the lower right.


 I pulled over to the west side of the river once the East River had joined the Hudson River. At 9 a.m. in the morning, boats are everywhere but we could still get within several hundred feet of the Lady.

I tried to get pictures form all directions along with close up too.


Then we said, Goodbye.

We had already traveled 20 nautical miles in record time because the tide was with us. However, we still had 42 to go and we headed down New York Harbor for the Atlantic Ocean.

Fortunately, the seas were reasonable and we even motor sailed for half the day before the winds turned south and I had to take down all sails and simply motor on.

We had a great trip up this way and I'm sorry we didn't get further but that just leads me to a new plan to come back this way in 3 or so years.

Right now we are anchored about 30 miles north of Atlantic City and should be anchored there tomorrow afternoon early. We will play some and I've got to start looking for the right weather to jump back outside and down to Cape May then up the Delaware River. When? I don't know. I've heard there is some kind of storm forming in the lower Atlantic that may be coming this way. I'll have to pay much better attention and if we have to, we will simply head for Philadelphia. I guess we will figure that out when we figure it out.

 Aug 20 - Yesterday we motored down the intercoastal and to a fairly open anchorage. It worked but I wouldn't do it again because of the noise all night long. Today we were heading further south and were attacked by the green headed fly's in New Jersey. I mean ATTACKED. These guys were fierce and bite like no other fly's. We attacked back with the fly swatter, sprays, and fans. They continued on. Thousands against the two of us. I turned left and went out a poor inlet but didn't hit anything and we were offshore where we found refuge. Ahh, the feeling of not being bitten by a bunch of blood thirsty fly's.

We went the 10 miles offshore to Atlantic City and life was good. Anchoring in almost the place we did before I then went to the weather. Can we stick around until the airshow on Wednesday that Lou just told us about? Thunderbirds are to perform so it will be a good show! Answer - No. We have to leave in the morning. Darn. Why? They were forecasting 35 mph winds by Wednesday and 10 foot seas. We wouldn't be able to get out of here for at least a week and probably longer. Not good since we still have that storm building down south and who knows where it is going. I told Deb, we have to leave tomorrow and she agreed. In to Trump Casino for dinner and time enough for Deb to loose her 20 bucks and have fun. Now we are back on the boat and I just rechecked the weather. Winds have dropped but still 10 foot seas forecast. Who knows but we are leaving at 5:30 to 6 in the morning and should be down at Cape May by 1 p.m. Just in time for the winds to shift to the south and against us. However, knowing what always happens - I'm just sure we will have a good 4 hours then the winds will shift early and be against us. They aren't supposed to be big so it should work fine. We will probably use the wind shift on Sunday to head up the Delaware even though current won't be totally in our favor. You can't win them all but we can be at least to Reedy Island and out of any issues.

Unfortunately, we won't get to meet Lou and Meg this weekend but they understand. Thanks for following our site. The good part of all of this is that we will be able to spend some more time in Baltimore which we have never visited. Like every other place we visit, it should be a good time and you know we will have more pictures. 

Now, before I forget it - I just put a bunch of pictures and an inventory up on my Catamaran's for Sale link. This is for a Comanche and is a beautiful boat. If you might be interested, you can go check it out from the first page of our site or just click here.

  Aug 21 - Today was a great day!!!! We actually never had the wind shift to the forward area and we could motor sail the entire trip. Who planned this? Luck is what it is mate. Forget the research and go with the luck.

We pulled the anchor at a little before 6 this morning and were anchoring at 1 p.m. after filling up with fuel for our next leg of the voyage. Tomorrow we will be leaving at 5:30 or as soon as I can see to run out the channel of Cape May north and into the Delaware. We should have favorable tides until about 11 am and then it will be against us. What choice do I really have? Well, I could wait about a week for better tides but tomorrow the wind gods have once again looked down and said we will help you out. We should actually have 15 mph winds, according to, helping us out which means we may actually get to sail up the Delaware. After Deb arises, we may actually break out the asymmetrical spinnaker and really have a good day of it. We will just see.

We are hoping to meet up with a person who has been following our website and also a Gemini owner at Chesapeake City. That is about 60 nautical miles from here and we may or may not make it there tomorrow. The currents may not cooperate but we will just have to get out there and see what happens. In the words of my favorite sailor, Captain Ron, "if something's going to happen, it will happen out there in the ocean." Another day and another adventure.

I know you are missing the pictures but there really wasn't anything new today. I'm sure we will have something tomorrow because it is another day.

 Aug 23 - Yesterday morning we had planned on leaving at 5:30 and I was up at 5:15 - it was raining. It isn't that I won't leave in the rain, I just won't leave when it is dark and you can't see anything. I had to wait for the sun to come up and to see the banks. I do hate running aground especially when it is the shore you run into. I was able to get underway at 6 a.m. for the run up the Delaware River. We still had current in our favor but it just meant we would be going against the current longer that day. As it turned out that half hour added about an hour and a half to our day. Oh well.

In the picture to the right you can see what I mean about not fixing stupid. Whoever the guy or gal is in the sailboat certainly qualifies for stupid. This ship called the sailboat for 15 minutes. Nobody answered. We are talking about being in the middle of the main traffic lane, blocking a ship constrained by draft, and not having your radio on. The thing about being constrained by draft is important because it means the sailboat does not have the right away. Of course there is always the "rule of tonnage." The common sense rule that says when you take on a billion pound ship you will loose. Once the ship got by, he put out a call for another ship coming up the channel to watch out for the sailboat. About 30 minutes later I heard that second ship telling the coast guard where the sailboat was located. I think the sail boater learned just how stupid he was after it was explained to him by the Coast Guard.

The pictures below are just of a cool ship that is built to receive the tow.


We passed Reedy Island against the current and finally, no more rain - for the time being. We had run in rain almost all day but it wasn't that bad, just wet. At about 3:45 we entered the C&D canal and traveled with the current for about 30 minutes then it turned against us. It ultimately took another 2 hours to get to Chesapeake City.

After 63 nautical miles and 11 1/2 hours we arrived in Chesapeake City. Wouldn't you have known, they had a band for us. I don't know what it is but it seems everyone is celebrating our arrival. People were out in lawn chairs listening to the band and we arrived. Fortunately, they didn't all get up and say hello. They were cool about it and let us simply arrive.

We caught the picture to the lower right of one of the ships passing buy the entrance to Chesapeake City's harbor just as Tom and Karen arrived.

Who are Tom and Karen? Tom has been following our website almost since we started cruising. We've been emailing back and forth for the last month or so hoping we could meet up. As it turned out, we were able to arrive on a weekend when they could drive over and meet us for dinner. So, it wasn't 45 minutes after we docked, band playing, and we were off for dinner.

We had a great seafood dinner, wonderful conversation, and then headed back to our boat for a nightcap and more conversation. Tom and Karen had to work this morning and honestly, I was sleepy from a full day on the water.

It was a great time.


This morning, I took a walk and wound up in a spot to get a picture of the public free dock and the Chesapeake City Bridge. Not only does the town arrange for bands to great you, they also have a dock with enough room for 3 boats to tie up for a maximum of 24 hours. We lucked out and got one of those spots. Well, they probably reserved it for us since they did have the band and all.

There were a bunch of restaurants and this is obviously a destination for boaters on the weekends. I can say it is a nice small town. They just finished dredging the harbor so now it is about 10 feet deep throughout making it even more desirable of a stop.

The walk through town highlighted a bunch of homes built in the middle 1800's. They have kept their historic heritage alive.

Of course I did find one other person who happened to agree with my thought's on stupidity and wanted to share that with you.

Today we are not leaving until 10:30 when the current shifts and then only moving about 5 hours. Easy day. Tomorrow we should arrive in another city we've never visited, Baltimore.

 Aug 24 - We left the C&D Canal with a ship on our stern. We had just raised our sails when I saw this guy coming and thought - "Jim, you really should get out of his way!" Of course, I did.

We headed to the side of the channel and he decided that the middle was just fine for him. You can see below he missed us.

One other thing about the pictures below, remember them. Is he heading for Baltimore, Washington, Norfolk or points beyond? You will see later.


 I don't think I've had a rant about other people anchoring lately so you will have to endure it right now. We came in and anchored out of the way of everyone. Trying to be respectful of our generator plus simply not wanting to anchor on top of other people, we try to anchor a respectful distance away from everyone. Afterall, when you look at the picture to the lower left, you can see there is PLENTY of space in this bay.

This guy and his family came in and dropped the anchor with their bow downwind and dumped all the chain on top of the anchor. Do you see a problem coming? Then they hopped in the dinghy and headed for shore.

First thing to notice - look at the white top of the square that happens to be our life sling. Second thing to notice is the lower right picture and see where the boat is after they were gone for an hour. Not where they left it!

I offered to help him re-anchor but he decided to load up his family and head someplace else - hopefully a dock!

  A front was starting through and we just happened to get a few pictures as you can see below. Great sleeping!

 I forgot to tell you that as soon as that ship passed, we shut down the engine and were sailing. We had a great sail before we started up the engine and went into the anchorage. Then today, Tuesday, we left our anchorage and within 20 minutes the sails were set and we shut down that engine again. We had a great sail today all the way up to the bridge heading into Baltimore.

I'm not sure if Jimmy Buffett gets as good of a nap as he had today but with the engine off, sails set, and only a foot or so of sea's, he slept wonderfully.

You can see the bridge leading into Baltimore to the lower right.


Just after the bridge, you see a very uniquely painted buoy. This patriotically painted buoy marks the exact spot that Francis Scott Key composed the Star Spangled Banner. We diverted over to the buoy and sang as we sat in the water.

Ok, we missed a few words but we had the right idea and intentions. We love our freedom and our Freedom.

The shots below are back at the fort that is now abandoned and then the fort that must be a national park. You can see close-ups if you continue to scan down.

We are headed for an anchorage in the Inner Harbor. To get there, we pass by a bunch of docks which are designed to unload very large ships.

Just as we are approaching the ship you see to the lower left, I said to Deb - "That ship just passed us yesterday." Cool. He was heading to Baltimore.

Then we started seeing more of the office buildings making up Baltimore.

And a few more that make up the inner harbor.

You have been wondering, don't lie you really have been wondering if the City of Baltimore would do something special for our arrival. You are not to be disappointed. James Brown is playing in the tent you see to the right and we will be able to hear him from our anchorage. They knew better than to offer to pick us up because we are anchored in 20 feet of water and want to make sure our boat is secure before heading for shore. However, the gesture is very much appreciated!

Are you actually buying any of this? James Brown really is playing and it is just a few hundred yards away.

To the lower right you can see a picture of the Inner Harbor and it is really cool. They have dragon paddle boats all around us and we are the only ones anchored out. Now to find a place we can tie up the dinghy or get the water taxi to come by and pick us up. That is tomorrow's problem. Tonight - Listen to James Brown and make sure we our anchor is set.

They really are trying to clean up the harbor. The blue machine runs around all day and has a conveyor inside that picks up trash swept in from the gates that are in the open position. It's a start and hopefully they keep it clean.

Tomorrow we will figure out a way to get ashore and then explore all the shops and tourist areas. I found a frayed line on the rudder so I have to hunt down a West Marine and pick up some line but more on that later.

Overall, we've slowed down again and are looking forward to reconnecting with the Chesapeake.

 Aug 27 - We've headed into town for the last few days and the reality is that we were running out of provisions. My cousin Julie would make fun of me when I said we went to town and bought a pan. Well, we went to town and bought groceries yesterday, twice today, washed clothes, and of course went out to eat several times. We saw Fells point, Little Italy, and the Inner Harbor. Each are different neighborhoods and have great food. We simply have been enjoying Baltimore but in the end, it is very much like many other towns we've seen. After all the towns and all the miles, they are all starting to look the same. I really don't know if that is a result of all of the towns or if it is a statement of the current times where people are copying the success of other places meaning that ultimately you won't have to travel because it will all look the same. Perhaps and architect can chime in here or maybe you just have to go to small towns where the character hasn't been imported.

To the right is something that wasn't imported. This is a sub from WWII and sunk several ships in it's day.

Below you can see that dragons still exist in Baltimore. They are attacking from our stern although we've held them off all day and into the evening.

Bottom right you can see where we are anchored just beneath the World Trade Center for Baltimore. We are the little white dot.

And to give you a better perspective, I went up a huge hill and took both the picture above right and the panoramic picture below.

And another of the area. Now you can start to make out our boat.

Ok, if you are the only boat anchoring out, how do you get to shore? This is always the question for cruisers. Where do I land the dinghy? I had been advised that all I needed to do was go to the dock by the sub and tie up my dinghy on the side the water taxi's don't dock. What I found were signs that said "NO DINGHY DOCKING - YOU WILL BE TOWED." Alright, that's a problem. I figured I would just call the water taxi and they could pick us up. No, they won't pick up from a private vessel. I ultimately put on the engine and went and talked to the harbor master's office. This is where the fun begins. Think about Five Easy Pieces. I motored over at their opening time and they said we don't have dinghy access. I then asked what if I tie up my dinghy to one of your walls and pay dockage? They said it would be 20 bucks for 5 hours. I said, what if I had a 10 foot boat and wanted to dock it overnight? They said, it is $1.50 per foot and it would be $15 from the time you pay until 12 noon the next day. I said, I'll take the overnight dockage. They said sure. I paid my $15 bucks and went to lots of their places I could dock and the world was just fine. Why didn't they tell me that when I walked in the door?

They turned out to be wonderful people and I think I must be the first guy that actually tried to work out a fair way to use the dinghy. Everything I read on line talks about how to get around the system and I don't believe in that. It costs money to maintain docks and I don't mind paying my fair share. However, I did cut my stay by a day because of the rate. In Key
West it is 8 bucks a day and they provide water. Regardless, all is good and we saw everything we wanted to see. We also enjoyed some wonderful food. Last night we headed back in to Phillips because we heard a good jazz singer and piano player were performing. They were better than good and we had a wonderful time. Good food and good music. What more can you want?

Today, Friday, we are off to Annapolis to pick up some parts and do some maintenance. Life is Good aboard Freedom.

  Aug 28 - We are back in a place we've been and have taken so many pictures of that I thought I would just catch you up instead of the typical pictures.

We left Baltimore on Friday after pulling the anchor and heading out of the Inner Harbor. Now what is it with me and floating tanks? Yes, we were almost to the Francis Scott Key Bridge and there was another one floating in the channel. I did the right thing, stopped, called the Coast Guard and reported the tank. It didn't take as much time as it did in New York to report the Lat/Long, color, size, weather conditions, etc to the Coast Guard and then they said I could continue on. Five minutes later, I got a call from someone verifying the location and he said he was going to try to snag it and tow it out of there. Wonderful. All is safe in Baltimore once again and Freedom once again has helped out under the Francis Scott Key bridge. Pretty interesting isn't it that Freedom helped out this time and when Francis Scott was around they were fighting for Freedom.

We arrived in Annapolis at about 2 p.m., anchored, stood anchor watch for about an hour then put on the dinghy motor to head in for dinner. I had posted on Facebook we were here and when we got back we already had an invitation for a cruisers happy hour. So, back in the dinghy and over to Back Creek where we met back up with Bill and Christy along with a couple of other people we had met in the Bahamas. It is truly a small world. Unfortunately, our friend Bess wasn't there because she was working. Hopefully we will see her before we leave Annapolis.

Today, we were off for a nothing day. We decided to take the bus to a mall and look at all the stuff/trappings that people buy and keep working to continue to buy. We walked out after a couple of hours without buying a thing. We simply didn't need anything. Then it was off to Trader Joe's and we did need some fresh basil - actually a plant so we can keep picking the leaves and some garlic. Am I starting to sound like a who-knows-what? Oh yeah, I had a blowout on my left sandal. I guess it is time to look for some more sandals. It was fun and we took the bus back. Tomorrow we are off to West Marine for some parts along with grocery shopping. I have a frayed spinnaker halyard so I need to pick up a new one and then use a Becket splice to attach the shackle. This will be my first Becket splice so that should be a good story. I am buying extra line length for the next time it frays and in case I mess up. There is a great U-Tube video on making the splice so along with the instructions I should be just fine. I also have some more projects so we will be around until Monday then moving again on Tuesday.

 Aug 29 - Ok, I did take a few pictures as we left Baltimore Harbor. When you have ships passing you by as close as this, you do have to take pictures. We really aren't in Kansas anymore - or should I say in Kentucky Lake. Truth be told, this is just a day in the park now. Really, they come and they go and the bottom line is that we just get out of their way and all is good.



 Now, there is that thing about propane or other tanks out there. When there is a hazard to navigation, I feel like I have to report it especially since I'm a Captain with a Masters certification along with some other stuff. The guy below left is coming out to pick up the 4 foot long tank I reported in the channel near the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

You are going to think we are crazy. I don't think we've been to a "real mall" in years. I mean one that has tons of stores and all those other things that you go to a mall for - Not necessarily Victoria Secret but you know what I mean.

We had a great time and were almost in sensory overload. We didn't buy anything. We still had a good time riding the bus out and back. I'm not too sure any of our readers really ride the bus.

Then yesterday morning, while I was eating breakfast, we heard the Star Spangled Banner along with screaming. On Sunday the Naval Academy is off so what was up? When I went in to take a walk, I found they had a marathon or something going on. It was pretty big because I saw numbers larger than 5000 going by. That is a big run. No wonder they were waking Deb up!

Then on my walk I saw the boat to the lower right. I remembered it as soon as I saw it and it was giving charter rides in the lower Keys. Some boats are truly unforgettable.

I walked over the Spa Creek bridge and took this picture from that bridge. You might actually, with a big magnifying glass, be able to see Freedom back there. We are back there somewhere.

I also headed over to the Farmers Market and they had some great veggies. Peppers that I will grill Monday along with some more peppers we will keep for a wonderful salad or something. The basil we picked up because living was just as cheap as cut and dying.

Now that looks like a problem. Yes, a real problem. This is a section of our spinnaker halyard and it is frayed. It isn't the only line that is frayed but this one was frayed in several places. I pulled the halyard out a couple of days ago and pulled a "messenger line" up so I could pull the new halyard back through. Of course the real issue was that the spinnaker halyard had a shackle on it. So I had to put a Becket splice into the halyard and wouldn't you know it, I've never done a Becket splice. That never stopped me in the past so I picked up a new halyard that was 10 feet longer than the old one in case I had the same problem in the future. Then I got the right size fid and took an hour to make my first splice.

Looking to the lower left, I think it looks pretty good even if I do say so myself. It really does look good.

Next I had another problem which was the down line for my starboard rudder had frayed and it had to be replaced. I was able to accomplish that and all is now good on Freedom with respect to lines. Tomorrow, I have a couple of other maintenance issues and then Deb and I are off for a couple of groceries. Groceries means a bus ride and that is always fun.

We are going to be around in Annapolis on Monday and then are leaving for Oxford on the east shore Tuesday to meet some friends on another Gemini.

I hope everyone is having as much fun as we are.

  Aug 30 - Air conditioning. It is interesting isn't it. Yesterday my unit was going off on high head pressure. Ok, for the non-technical, that means it was overloading the compressor and the breaker of sorts which monitors the pressure of the compressor was blowing and turning off the A/C. That was a problem. I checked the water flow and a few more items and figured that I would have to seek professional help. Then I slept on it. Ok, this is actually true so you have to just go with it. During the night I thought back on all the lectures I sat in while I was at Ranken Technical College. Those lectures, which I was evaluating the teaching technique rather than the technical information, brought back thoughts of what causes high head pressure. Then I thought about the books I had read on air-conditioning and remembered that high head pressure is caused by one of several things - over-charge, constrictions, lack of cooling. I'm absolutely positive that I missed something here but just go with me. This morning I got up and decided to check the sea strainer ever though I saw water coming out yesterday. I found some junk but not much in the sea strainer. What I did find is a bit of a crimp in a feed water line. I fixed both things and also found a dirty air filter. The dirty air filter is what I think was causing my problem but the rest of the system is completely checked out.

Tonight we are sitting here at anchor and the A/C is working wonderfully. Life is COOL on Freedom while it is 92 outside and humid. Truth be told we are getting cold and will probably be shutting the thing down shortly.

On the other hand, Earl is worrying Deb. Isn't there a song that Earl must Die? I'm going to show you a picture of the path that I'm hoping is going to be true below. It says Earl isn't an issue and we should only get some wind. I'm starting to save these images just to see how the forecast changes. If you are worried about us, we have our eye on the storm and will be running up the Potomac if things get bad then putting out 3 anchors with one in reserve..

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