July 1-15, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 June 30 - I'm breaking my own rules. The month of June was fairly weak when it came to website updates. It wasn't a weak month it was just that we didn't do any cruising so this time I didn't keep the day to day updates. So, I'm starting out July a day early because I just want to.

Since we got back to New Bern, it has been Hot. I know I was whining about that in the last log but it was true. There was supposed to be a break in the weather on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. With that cold front came a HUGE storm and it was impressive. Horizontal rain, big winds, thunder and lightning - impressive. This morning I am writing this update from the helm station on the back of our boat in the Neuse River. WE ARE UNDERWAY AGAIN and it did turn cooler. So before I catch you up-to-date about New Bern and the bears, I wanted to capture some of the feelings I've had over the last few days.

Each day has been spent primarily cleaning up the boat. Not to the level I would really like because that will take weeks to get off years worth of cruising and that time will come when we get to cruising half time next year. The boat looks good and shines again and that is what I wanted. The dirt will come off quickly now and hopefully I won't be picking up too bad of stains on the side of the hulls from being in the intercoastal. We've really come to grips do with the fact that we do want to get a house again. Both Deb and I are looking forward to it but not before we do this trip up to New York and Boston along with visiting the Chesapeake again. I just can't stop now without this trip under our keels. I have never wanted to say "I wish I would have" and so far in my life there are few things I can say that about This trip will provide us a culminating experience for cruising on the east coast. I still want to do the Caribbean but that will have to wait for an improvement in the economy and it will be my plan to have the boat shipped south so we can take the gravy train ride back up the islands. Perhaps after a couple of years of doing Captain work and other odd type of jobs that don't tie us down. As a matter of fact I should create a Caribbean account and put 50% of what I earn into that account so we can make that dream come to reality.

The other feelings I've had center around getting underway. This morning as I undertook the tasks necessary to leave, I was excited again. I even had that little nervous feeling about "I wonder what might go wrong on this trip." I think that is what keeps people tied to docks but the reality is those things going wrong is what makes the trip just a bit more adventurous. It is going to be hard to transition from our Nomadic life back into semi dirt dwellers. However, I think the excitement of leaving will be renewed each time we get ready to go for a season someplace.

Bottom line is, as you can already tell, I am really excited about the trip ahead of us and the adventures that will be experienced. Just stay tuned over the next few months and, as always, we will take you along in words and pictures.

 We did find out what was up with the Bears in New Bern, North Carolina. First, just a bit of history.

Founded in 1710, New Bern was settled by Swiss and German adventurers led by Baron Christopher de Graffenried from Bern, Switzerland. Royal Governor William Tryon made this seaport the colonial capitol. So, it just happened that we stumbled into New Bern on it's 300th anniversary.

New Bern's flag honors the mother-daughter relationship with Bern, Switzerland. The flag's bear motif, which dates from the Middle Ages, can be found on city buildings, vehicles, and uniforms. The original flag, a gift from the residents of Bern in 1896, is on display in the courtroom of City Hall.

As it turned out, Bern in German means Bear. So that is where all the bears come from. If you look at the flag for Bern Switzerland, you will see many similarity's with the one from New Bern, NC. When you look at the side of the police cars in New Bern it says, "Proud to wear the bear." The officers wear the bear on their uniforms too. So now you know the "rest of the story."

Since we finished as much boat cleaning as I wanted to do, we headed into town yesterday with the expressed mission of going out to lunch, taking a tour of the Episcopal Church, and of course picking up a Pepsi at the location of the original Pepsi Cola recipe formulation.

The first church on these grounds was completed in 1750. Then a second church was built to replace the first on and it was completed in 1824 only to burn in 1871. The current church was completed in 1875.

You might remember the outside seating area I pictured in last months log. That was positioned by archeologists on the footprint of the first church and they still use it today on special occasions.

Below you can see the grand pipe organ along with the choir loft. It was closed off to visitors and I wish I could have gotten pictures of the organ along with the front of the church from that vantage point.

Below right you can see where they celebrate the service.

Overall this was a very well maintained church and it showed that a great pride is taken of it by the parishioners.


Outside on the steeple, was a crown and a wind vain. An Osprey has taken up residence in the crown and most likely it is a very protected area at 154 feet above the ground.


Then we were off to the corner store where Pepsi was invented. They had the best priced Pepsi's in the area at this store too. I wondered if they were subsidized in some way by Pepsi but didn't ask. Deb really didn't like the bumper sticker they were selling since she is a Coke girl.

  We probably should go back to New Bern at some point because we missed some of the "tourist areas" along with the trolley ride. Since we were really in New Bern for utilitarian purposes, that wasn't too upsetting to me however and I probably won't make the trip back up the Neuse River just for that trolley ride.

I had everything ready to leave and that included cleaning the A/C strain+er for the umpteenth time. You see there is seagrass just floating by and about every day and a half to two days you have to clean the strainer or the A/C will go out on high head pressure which means to the non air-conditioning tech's out there that it quits. When it is 105+ heat index you quickly figure out that is a bad thing. I did all the other things like filling water tanks and getting rid of the last bit of trash plus checking all the oil's and other fluids and declared us ready to go. Deb got up to help with the departure and we were gone. Me motoring down the Neuse River and Deb back to bed.

You can see below left that we were leaving New Bern in our wake and in front of us are exciting times ahead. It's nice to be back cruising again.


 July 2 - We headed through the first canal and up into the wind. Why is is that every time we leave the wind is on our nose? The question for all cruisers. We found a place to anchor that was protected from the wind forecast for the evening and watched several barges pass us before heading off to bed. At 3 a.m. we awoke with the sound of wind. Not a breeze but pretty good wind - about 30-35 knots. It seems a thunderstorm just wanted to show up at our anchorage and blow rain horizontally at us for 30 minutes. I dutifully watched the GPS and looked out at nothing outside because the visibility was down to zero with the darkness and the blowing rain. Of course we didn't move because of our great anchor, chain, and of course the muddy bottom that holds like we were set in concrete. Back to bed but up early to leave at 6:30 to make a 65 mile day.

We passed through another sound and then the Alligator-Pungo Canal. Where do they get those names? I get the alligator part but pungo?

Wind still blowing at our nose but we avoided the sides of the canal where the stumps were and headed to our anchorage just before you get to the Albemarle Sound.


On Friday morning we pulled anchor at 5:30 am so we could make Elizabeth City by early afternoon. I had put out an anchor float just because I was anchoring in an area where stumps were everywhere. In the end I didn't need it but wondered as I un-wound the anchor chain from tree different spots that had to be tree stumps underwater in that stained water you can't see more than 3 inches into.

We crossed the sound in about 12-15 knot winds and it was rough again. Not horrible but the wind was right on our nose and we took 6-8 waves up on the front of the boat and over the first window. You can just imagine what this sound would be like in higher winds. Wait, we've been in it in much higher winds but we were going with them. When the guide books warn you, you know it isn't just you.

We passed the blimp headquarters that I believe is run by our military and then the Coast Guard Station before heading for our slip at Elizabeth City.

One of the things we heard had opened was a new museum and the admission was free. After securing our boat in a cross wind we took off to see the museum along with pick up some groceries.

The museum was cool for this size of a town. They had one of the original boats hanging from the ceiling that you can see below and they also tied in their history with the Coast Guard too.

The picture to the lower right might not make sense to you but it brought back some fun memories for me. This is an IFR simulator that was used way back way back when IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flying was getting started. It had all the instruments and believe it our not, when I was in High School I was part of the Civil Air Patrol and I was fortunate enough to get some time in one of these. Unfortunately, I didn't get much instruction but still it started out that interest that made me want to fly.

They have put together a timeline of history showing the earliest days of the Albemarle to today which includes old reflect's along with some replica's.

Personally, I always wanted a smokehouse and the one in the picture is reconstructed from original wood along with new. I guess I will just have to settle for a smoker instead.

The steam engine you see to the lower left was very impressively restored along with the Sea Nymph you see below.

And then walking back we ran across this Civil War memorial. It reminded me about my friend John who was a Civil War nut along with the fact that we are truly traveling in the South and even though the country was split in those days, we are united today.

 The grocery we were walking to had closed so we headed back to the docks.

Each of the docks were donated by either a group of people, individuals in memory of someone, or a corporation/business. They really have served this town well since they along with the town's attitude, draw cruisers in to stay the night and spend some money. We decided that since we didn't have to get off to an early start, we would hang around on Saturday and pick up some fresh veggies from the Farmers Market that is open Saturday mornings. Afterall, we didn't get what we needed at a grocery and this will be even better.

You can see below that my dockage was donated by a committee of 100.


 Deb and I went out for dinner and then headed back to the boat to watch the darkness settle in over the water while the town was getting ready for their celebration of independence.

This morning we will pick up those fresh supplies and then head into the Dismal Swamp. We are stopping at the visitors center this time so we should have some history for you next time we can update.


 July 6 - Boy this is a big update. I think there are about 60 pictures you will see! Enjoy.

Before I left, I just had to get a picture of the monument that describes the Rose Buddies. This is really a great thing just because we have been here before and enjoyed the company of Fred Fearing as you will later see.

I hope you will take the time to read the words that are on the monument because it shows what a person or in this case, a couple of people can do when they are committed to a cause. the cause in this case was Elizabeth City and I'll just bet the result of Fred and his "Buddies" have kept the Dismal Swamp open over the last bunch of years.

Thanks Fred and "Buddies."


We were very fortunate because we met Fred as you can see in the picture to the left back in 2007. Little did we know he would pass away the same year. Fred took us to his house and gave us a tour. One of his favorite sayings was "my wife was so beautiful, and she was so smart." He visited her grave every morning at the time we were there and I'll just bet he did that until he couldn't anymore. Like I said before, commitment is a trait that Fred had and it showed.


On Saturday, we didn't leave until we had time to go to the Farmers Market. It was a wonderful market and the veggies were very fresh. We had a wonderful grilled veggie dinner that night. You can see the market below. It was cool because the city set up the tents for the participants to be under. With service like that, I'll bet any town could have a market.

You can see we passed through the Elizabeth City Bridge and were on our way up the "Dismal Swamp."

As it turned out, we weren't the only ones heading north. We had met some wonderful people who were off on their Huckleberry Finn trip. Well, that's what I called it. As it turned out there were four boats who typically rafted up together on weekends who decided to head off for a week on their boats. They enjoyed life with each other and were having a great time traveling on the boats.

We knew they were also headed for the visitors center for the night so we figured we would meet back up there.

I slowed down because the lock was scheduled to open at 1:30. Being the guy that I am, planner, I elected a speed of 5 mph which would put me at the lock at 1:15 and plenty of time to get to the lock. In turn, I was able to get a few pictures of the river leading up to the swamp and we really enjoyed the "slow ride."

You can see below left a similar picture that I took three years ago of the canal dug through the swamp. I made a note then and will make it again that it shows the concept very well of a vanishing point. It is a cool picture that you will see other variations off in the pictures that follow.

Then we were invaded with dragon fly's. I just happened to get the picture below. No wait, that is an understatement. After 15 pictures, I got the picture below. Little did I know at the time the little guy was actually looking at me. Pretty cool don't you think. It's ok, you can say it, that's cool.

We continued to round corners of the river until we reached the first lock. This was one of the best trips we've had with regards to scenery and I'm thinking we will take it again but probably at about 4-4.5 mph instead as you will learn later.

I caught the picture of the mileage sign you see below and it reminded me of how far we've come along with how far we have to go. It is 1217 miles to Key West and 738 miles to Boston. Since we will probably go to Gloster that rounds up to about 2000 miles up the east coast. And all at a whopping seven miles per hour. I know, you are just shaking because of the speed we are traveling.

Then another picture of the canal.

And another. But this one has a great exposure with very dark to white. I really like this one and I'm sure it will be in a video frame at some point. Ok, back to the story.

As it turned out, the other four boats were at the lock about an hour and a half before it opened. There must have been plenty of water in the swamp because the lock master let them go through early so they were already at the visitors center when we arrived.

Below left you can see there is a new walking bridge that can retract which crosses the waterway. This provides access to the new state park building and paths through the swamp.

Below right you can see that boats must raft up so everyone can have a place to stay for the night.

Freedom tucked in behind the group and we were settled in for the night.

Then Deb and I went up and registered at the visitors center so we could stay the night. Of course they had every pamphlet known to North Carolina available but the most important thing was the dryer sheets which were supposed to keep the fly's away. Guess what? They worked!

Next we crossed that walking bridge and headed over to the visitors center. This is new. It smelled new and was very well done. I particularly enjoyed taking picture of the animals which had undergone a great taxidermy experience.

As you scan down, just remember that Deb wasn't part of that taxidermy experience.

You can see the foot bridge back in place to the right. It really does provide a great nature experience for those that are interested.

Now for the rest of the story. Not necessarily a nature experience.

Some of the people we had met took a tour of our boat and noticed I had a guitar on board. Deb said, "Jim plays guitar and sings." Well that was pretty much all they needed to declare there would be a party tonight, although I think there would have been a party anyway, and I was the entertainment. These guys love music and as it turned out, they loved my music too. Everyone had a good time but that isn't the entire story. You have to remember we are at a visitor center which to the layman means a rest stop on a highway. People were getting into their trunks a bringing down beers or just sitting in their cars listening to the music. It was a good time. By the way, thanks Randy for the pictures below.

Then another picture with even better black to white exposure...

I, surprisingly, arrived at the last lock first. I left early but then lost the "crew." Now that is a pretty surprising thing for a sailboat to leave four power boats in my wake. There had to be something with that story.

I had already called the lockmaster and he was going to get me through quickly then with my binoculars I saw them coming around the bend about 3 miles up. I called the lockmaster to let him know that more boats were coming and he said as long as I was happy waiting he would be flexible and wait for them. Cool, lets wait for them to arrive. Now I called them and found out that one of the boats had hit something which evidently damaged a prop and he had pretty bad vibrations so they were moving slowly. But that isn't the whole story. The same boat had lost a transmission earlier in the trip but continued. So now we have a one engine twin engine boat with a damaged prop on the good engine.

They continued on to the lock and we all went through together.

This lock, which is the last or first on the Intercoastal Waterway, should be known for it's lockmaster. Not only is he flexible, he is also a great conch horn player. Evidently he is a good conch horn maker too. You can see his collection of conch that people have brought him over the years in the pictures to the right and below.

As it turned out, one of the guys had a conch that wasn't cut properly. The lockmaster filed it down and made a very playable conch before we finished locking through.

Cool lock and great lockmaster.

You can see a picture Randy took of Freedom as we were locking down.

When we got finished locking I took off but ended up meeting back up with them again. Randy took Pretty Lady in tow because of the vibrations. I quickly learned that nothing, and I mean nothing, can keep these people from a good party. In this case fireworks tonight.

Once again, the dramatic difference between the swamp and Norfolk is truly impressive. We quickly began seeing navy ships which were being worked on or finished. This year we didn't see any subs but we did see lots of ships.

Now a bit of a diversion from the big ships and the little guys like me. Wait, not like me because I wouldn't make the mistake you will see.

Meet the boat "It's all good." Well, everything isn't good because you just have to check out his rigging. The spreaders are drooping down and if he raises a sail with any wind at all, the rig is coming down. So sorry, so sad. And he has kids aboard the boat. Hopefully he won't turn off that engine.

To the left you can see one of the naval vessels you've seen before. However, you saw this on our website being built in Mobile AL. Now we see it being finished in Norfolk.

You can also see us, on Freedom, in front of that ship just before we turned in for fuel at the fuel docks. Thanks again Randy for the picture.

Then below right you can see the New York. You may have seen this ship on TV because it was in New York before it was brought back down to Norfolk for its final commissioning. It has steel from the World Trade Center in it and you can see the tribute to the World Trade Center in it's design.

I have to say it is really cool being on the water in this area.

We passed Hospital point and our new friends had already started rafting up to get ready for the fireworks. Like I said before, what does a boat problem have to do with getting in the way of a good party. I'm sure they had a wonderful July 4th with each other and really enjoyed their trip. I know we have.

Then there were more boats to see.

We passed Norfolk, more naval ships and of course avoided the larger vessels that were coming into the harbor to either unload or load. I particularly liked the bow wake from the vessel below.
  And I could also dream of landing my airplane on the deck of one of the two carriers. I really do think I could do it because they go so fast and my plane lands so slow. On one hand I wish I could try but on the other I know they would shoot me down for even coming near them.

We turned the corner into the Chesapeake and it was like "WHAT HAPPENED?"

I had listened to the weather and it was to be 5-10 knots out of the southeast. We were heading north so no big deal. It was instead, 17 out of the northeast and seas were 3 feet right on our beam. Lot's of fun.....right...

We got to our anchorage and had a good dinner after picking up a few things that were knocked around on the boat.

The next day we were off on a 53 nm day heading for my friend Bernie's house. He also has a Gemini and lives on the Chesapeake. By the way, Bernie is the guy I knocked off his recipe for dressing three years ago so we knew we were in for a good dinner.

We passed the remains of an old light house and then turned into the river at Reedville. Reedville is a fish processing plant and you can see a picture below of a boat coming in fully loaded and the picture to the right of one coming out that is unloaded. Now that is allot of fish.

We arrived at Bernie and Pat's knowing that we would be anchored out. It was hot so we immediately started up the Honda Generator along with the A/C. Life on the boat is good with A/C at anchor!

Then I headed in to check out a radio problem on Bernie's Gemini. It turned out that he had a good antenna system and a good VHF radio but his problem was the stereo had a tuner that had gone out. Well, that just meant a replacement stereo instead of an antenna or worse a cable in the mast for the VHF. Fortunately, I have the right stuff on board to check out these systems.

To the left you can see Freedom at anchor and I just thought it was the perfect picture framed in the trees.

After a wonderful rib dinner, which I must say I didn't knock off because Bernie held his rub a bit close to his chest, we had a great conversation about the Gemini while Deb and Pat talked about other more important issues. We had a great evening and will be stopping back by in September on our way back through.

We left this morning at about 7 a.m. and were reminded once again that we aren't in Kansas anymore. It really is a bay you need to keep an eye open because you can get run down by one of these little guys.

We arrived in Solomon's Island at 3:30 and as always, I take the path to the left of the island just to see what's up. We traveled back into the inlet until we arrived at a spot where there wasn't anyone else anchored so we can without worry, run our generator. Why? It was 101 degrees this afternoon and tomorrow it is supposed to be 102. Now that sounds like a time you want to run your airconditoning doesn't it? Still, you have to be considerate of others.

Right now we are planning on getting some provisions tomorrow along with a propane fill then moving on to Annapolis on Thursday. We will have to watch the weather because there are supposed to be storms coming with the upcoming front. I guess we will just have to see and play it by ear.

It's great to be back in the Chesapeake.

 July 11 - It just turns out you can't hide anywhere anymore. I got an email from a person who has been following our website and he said, Jim, I think I saw you coming into Solomon's the other day and when I checked your site, it was you. Are you still around. Of course we were and that is how we got to meet Larry and Clare who also own a Gemini 105 but a much newer model than we own. I had fun talking to Larry and hearing his stories. We had lots of good conversations but I think our focus on sailing was what intrigued him most. I gave him some advice on flying his screecher even though I don't have one but the reality is it is simply an asymmetrical spinnaker on a roller drum that you can't adjust quite as much. I hope he is able to use some of the tips.

We left the next morning which would have been Friday in what was to be good weather. It was except for the weather towards the eastern shore as you can see below. There was a bit of a storm brewing over there that ultimately got over to us with some wind and rain but our visibility was just fine.

You might see some people on the lighthouse to the lower right. They are painting the structure. Now that would be a cool volunteer job wouldn't it!


Yesterday was pretty much a day with rain. No, not pretty much, it rained all day. I actually had a great day because I'm working on a course for the company I took my Captain's Class through last summer which is the Sailing Endorsement for the Coast Guard. I was able to almost finish it yesterday and all I need is some information from that company to get everything done. It is really kind of fun to be developing curriculum again on something I really love. It reminds me of when I was back teaching.

I also took some time to make up some dough for a Ciabatta bread. It is something I've been looking for and I modified the recipe I found on-line. It isn't perfected yet so you won't find it on our recipe page just yet. Still, it aged well and after 18 hours I pulled it out of the bowl and it ended up on my cast iron flat pan to rise again for 2 hours then baked. It looks good but I have a few modifications before it is ready for you to try. By the way, it tastes good too.

Now for a story. Yesterday morning we had the harbormaster stop by our boat even though we are anchored. No problems, he just wanted to let us know that here in Spa Creek they have a sewer line leak. GREAT, raw sewage in the water. Don't swim and if you get water on you, wash. Duh! I'm glad he told me, I don't know if I would have thought of that. Fast forward to today.

I got up this morning and there were people wading out into the water with crab nets tending some crab lines. On at least 5 occasions people in boats went over and warned them about the sewage. They just blew it off and kept wading and fishing. Did I say Duh before? I was so blown away I didn't get a picture. So that is why I have a picture of the people crabbing to the right. Still, would you eat crabs out of a creek that has a sewage leak? Duh, right.

This morning we headed in for the dreaded laundry. While walking in we saw this replica of a scallop boat. It was hard to miss since it is next to the dinghy dock so don't think I really searched this thing out. These are they type of boats they used back in the 1800's and one of the cool things is the side boards you can see that act as keels.

Between loads of laundry and waiting for it to dry we walked up the hill and got this picture of the harbor. Annapolis is a pretty cool town.

Now for the rest of the story. We had seen our old cruising friends Bill and Christy while we were in Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas and I knew they were coming up to Annapolis to work for the summer. They've got a good gig working on boats and it allows them to cruise in the winter but restock the kitty in the summer months. After a few emails and a phone call we got together for a wonderful dinner last night. We were catching up on where we've all been and sharing about where we were going that I didn't get a picture. Then today, Bill picked me up and drove me off to the obligatory West Marine stop, then the wine store, and finally groceries. We were very efficient and stocked bunches. I took a great picture of Bill at the dock with all the stuff but for whatever reason, it was out of focus and the picture stunk. Sorry Bill. Regardless, we had a great visit and really enjoyed getting back together. I know we will see them again in September when we come back through this way.

This morning I signed up for an account on Facebook. I haven't exactly figured out how to really use it to keep everyone informed about when we update the website but I'm just positive that some of you have Facebook accounts and can fill me in. Yes, I'm asking for some help about how to most effectively integrate Facebook into our website. Here is why.

I'm hoping it will allow me to notify you when I update the website. Second, I get emails from time-to-time about questions on the Gemini that I answer to the sender. However, others may have the same question. I'm hoping that can also be done on Facebook so everyone who is a "friend" will see the answers and can probably help out on any other information too.

So, become my "friend" and I'll learn how to use this tool. Hopefully it will help out.

By the way, tomorrow we head north for the C & D canal.

Finally, I just had to take these pictures. A real paddle wheeler came right by our boat. Not simulated, real. Pretty cool I thought, and in focus too.

 May 13 - On Monday morning at 6:20 in the morning you hear the Naval Academy starting their exercise. Go Navy. I got the picture to the right just before we pulled anchor to head on up the Chesapeake towards the C & D Canal. By the way, C & D stands for Chesapeake and Delaware. This is the canal that connects the two and you will see it in this update.

Of course the wind is on our nose so we motored and then motor-sailed during part of the day. The bridge across the Chesapeake is a very well engineered thing and really pretty.

As we were getting close to the end of the Chesapeake, we started seeing more and more navigation aids. You can see a light house on the cliff below right.


In the picture to the left you can see some of the rain clouds that are hovering just above where we were going to anchor on Sunday night. We had hoped to stay at Chesapeake City but the problem was they are dredging the area so no anchoring. We anchored about 5 miles from Chesapeake City. The plan was for me to check weather and it was possible we would have to anchor here for a day and a half. However, after looking at the weather radar, I decided that the thing to do was to go ahead and go through the Canal and then anchor next to Reedy Island. This is essentially the only anchorage available on the Delaware. That is where we are tonight, which is Tuesday night.

Below left you can see the entrance to the canal. To the right you can see the tower and if you look about 1/3 up you can see a green light that says commercial traffic can enter. This is the traffic light just for ships.

To the right is the red 0 which marks the start of the C & D canal.

Below left is a lighted range marker that is a very interesting shape and design.

Below right you can see two lights on shore that are another range. This shows that I am just a bit right of the desired course for a commercial ship. Regardless, we were in 39 feet of water so I think I was just fine.

I was pretty happy starting through the canal because I already had a 2.3 knot current helping me out. You see I normally go 5.9 knots with no current and if you add it all up you get to 8.2 knots. Wait, there will be more.

It became very clear to me very quickly that this canal is designed to be traveled at any time in essentially any weather. In the picture to the lower left you can see all the markers that declare "this is the edge of the canal."

You also have been privileged to find the home of Skipper and Gilligan.

Then the current really peaked and we had a 3 knot current helping us out.

They don't have too many services on the canal but there was the one pictured in the lower pictures. What I thought was cool was the bulkhead where a tow can tie up. The smoke stacks that are on the bulkhead show some creativeness I thought.

Then we got to Chesapeake City and could see the dredge in operation. They left a narrow opening but only for those with boats at the docks. We will have to stop here on the way back so we can see about the restaurants that are available.

I took the picture to the lower left just to show you can't always trust your GPS. Sometimes the cartography isn't dead spot on. I'm not grinding my way through dry land, the map is off.

I was totally amazed that the entire canal is lined with lights. This would be VERY easy to go through at night.

Instead of taking gas pipes below the water, since it is so deep, it is easier to take it up and over.

This is the highest draw bridge for a train that I've seen. I just had to put it in the picture.

Then we finally saw a ship that was heading down the Delaware just as we were leaving the canal. Once again, we aren't in Kansas anymore.


 This patch of confused water is because the water is flowing up the Delaware River while the water in the canal is coming into the Delaware. Lets just call it confused water.

We entered the Delaware just as we were getting a flood tide, which means it is coming in. Based on the calculations I had made and updated there was no way I would get to the next canal heading to Cape May before night fall. I happen to have a rule that is rarely broken which says, don't arrive at a new harbor at night. There are so many lights that it is too easy to do the wrong thing even with a GPS and mess up your boat. It is better to arrive at new places with there is daylight.

So we passed another ocean going vessel and now we are paying the price because we are down to 3.7 knots.

 Tomorrow morning we will pull anchor at 3 am so I can catch the tide running down the river. That is unless it is raining. I don't have radar so it is best that I can actually see what is out there. You might remember those big boats that we are playing around with and understand why it's best to see them.

I'm wondering if I'm getting roasted from the inside out because we are anchored across from a nuclear power plant. Hopefully all is good with their radiation.

By now you've figured out we are in water we have never seen before. Really Cool. Our plan is to be in Cape May, NJ tomorrow night then on to Atlantic City. We are hoping for a great trip from here on to Boston.


Jul 14 - It is interesting. The weather is a changing living thing just to prove that, we had a wonderful experience today. Well, wonderful may be a gross overstatement.

As you know, we were planning on pulling anchor at 3 am. I was up at 2:30 and you couldn't see the flashing red light that was 100 yards from our boat because of the down pouring rain. I knew quite a bit better than to leave then. Afterall, there are other dangers out there. The rain slowed way down at 4:15 and I was able to confirm we had passed the worst of it on my broadband card and computer. Time to get ready. I pulled 50 buckets of water that were almost full out of the dinghy which means about 200 gallons. Then pumped out the residue. Next it was time to tell Deb it was time to go to the bathroom. Afterall, if she has to go to the bathroom I'm not really waking her up. Am I? Then we pulled the anchor and she, rightfully so, was back to bed.

I made my way to the opening marked by a flashing red which was about 100 feet wide in the dike at Reedy Island. The interesting thing was the track on my GPS was not the same as the one in the daylight. Good thing I waited for the rain to quit otherwise I would have ripped the rudders and outdrive off the boat.

We got outside the anchorage and started down the river only to see all those lights you see above. I'm really amazed I got this picture although it did take me 3 tries. It really was about that dark because at first all I could see was ton's of lights. It was only when the ship was on top of me that I could make out the outline. Afterall, it was still raining lightly and there is no moon right now.

Starting from the left, you can see a yellow light, a red light, then two white lights on top of a red light then a white light. Those lights make up the boat and it was immediately recognized as a boat in tow. That is what it is called and you can immediately recognize it with the two white lights at the top and the flashing yellow on the front. The rest of the lights are because most of the reds are making that dike protecting the anchorage while at least one of them is a reflection of my red on my boat. I'm happy I was able to capture this picture so you can get the idea of what it's like when you are in a busy waterway and why you probably need to study a few things if you are going out at night especially when there is no moon in a light rain.

Then to the right you can see the light house and horn that marks a shoal.

We passed another little boat and the cool part is that I could see the Captain in the window looking at our boat with binoculars. I waved and he waved back. Cool. By the way he had a better ride than we did. It was just after this that the wind came on up and from the wrong direction. It was supposed to be light wind blowing across the Delaware. Instead, it became 10-15 knots blowing right up the Delaware against the current. After 30 minutes of taking waves over our bow every 30 seconds I thought I either have to come up with something else or go back. GO BACK, I hate to but it was an option. I turned to the port and got out of the channel giving up the last 2 hours of favorable current and slowed down. That helped a bunch and became manageable. When the current changed to against us and with the wind it became just a rough ride.

After leaving at 4:30 in the morning, we arrived in Cape May at a little after 1 p.m. Not bad actually. It's raining again and it is supposed to be finished sometime tonight. Winds are supposed to be somewhat favorable tomorrow for us to head offshore and on to Atlantic City. We will be staying 2 days there because Deb loves the casino's although she will have to get by on a 20 buck gambling budget. We will have pictures for you in a couple of days. On top of that, we will be meeting up with a cruiser we know from the first time we were in the Bahamas.

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