Annapolis, MD (map)
Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
While visiting with Salty Dogs' organizers Linda and Bill Knowles aboard Sapphire, one rainy evening in Hampton last week, we spied a familiar boat going up the river to downtown Hampton. It was another Catalina 470!
Next day, we tried hailing Onward via VHF radio and connected with him, and found out that Joe Roccio had already left Hampton, but we knew we'd see him again soon.
We overheard another radio conversation, and then got in touch with Hugh and Paula MacNeil, friends from Solomons Island who also own a Catalina 470 - Barra. They agreed to meet us for a meal, and what fun it was to see them again.
We discovered that we were headed in the same direction - north - the next day, and they told us about a lovely anchorage they knew, and we agreed to meet them there the following evening.
Barra was a couple of hours ahead of us leaving Hampton. We saw an impressive parade of naval ships coming into port - both US and foreign. All the crew in dress whites lining the decks as they entered port. Lots of spectators were out in other boats and lining the shore.
On our way past the Rappahannock River, we saw Gazela Primeiro. We speculated that she was on her way to join OpSail 2012 taking place in Hampton the following week-end.
With great directions from Hugh, we found our way to Little Bay, behind Fleets Island, Virginia and dropped anchor near them. They joined us for a meal aboard Lady, and we enjoyed our time together.
Charlie and I took the dinghy ashore, with a jar of soapy water, and figured out where her bow tube was leaking before taking a nice walk along the little beach where we found a couple of big horseshoe crabs that entertained us getting their way back to the water. After various boat-chores (including fixing the leak in the dingy, Charlie hoisted up the anchor and with just a little wind behind us, motored north, crossing the Potomoc River and anchoring in St. Inigoes Creek, which we had visited last year and enjoyed. Very quiet and lovely.
Friday we pulled anchor shortly after 0800. More motoring as the light wind was on our nose. We stopped in Solomons Island for fuel, water and a pump-out, then kept on heading north across the bay, then up the Choptank River and by 1900 we saw four beautiful Catalina 470s rafted together at Leadenham Creek.
We dropped our own anchor nearby. (After almost losing Quintessence, our Catalina 30 one night on Grand Lake, Oklahoma, we promised each other that we'd NEVER stay rafted up overnight again, no matter how calm the weather forecast.) Soon, Bimbo was launched, and we were welcomed by Joe on Onward, the anchor boat, John and Colleen on Dulcinea, Peter and Audrey on Light Waves and and Don and Mary Kay on Beckoning.
Saturday was busy as more Catalina 470's arrived. Larry and Wendy (remember them from USVI's last January?) on Comfortably Numb, Bob and Pam on Silhouette, Miles and Lisa on Irish Mist, Tony and Theresa on Southern Cross, and Jon and Marilyn on Escapade. 10 Catalina 470's in the same cove!
It was wonderful to clamber from boat to boat, and compare differences and customizations. We took lots of pictures of ideas for improvements that we saw that we liked. It was
great to make new friends.
Onward's foredeck was the setting for the spread of food. All kinds of yummy eats - lamb chops, sushi, shrimp, chips, dips, cheeses, cheesecake and cookies.
Sunday morning was another opportunity to check out each other's boats before folks had to leave.
We pulled up the anchor just before noon, and navigated out of Leadenham Creek, into Broad Creek and out the Choptank River. We crossed the bay and at 1820 we dropped anchor off Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard.
Next day we docked at Jabins, and met up with Miles and Anne Poor, (Karina) friends from the Caribbean 1500 rallies, who are helping us get the contractors needed for Lady's repairs. After one night at the dock, we moved to Silhouette's dock in Eastport, as they were headed out cruising for the week. What a huge gift that was. Bob and Pam also lent us a car, which made the daily trips to the hardware store and West Marine very easy. Thanks Bob and Pam!
We now have Lady repaired and plan to be in Bristol, RI within a week, via Block Island and Newport.