We’ve really enjoyed our stay at the Annapolis City Docks. Tyler, the Harbormaster and his staff have really been accommodating for us and we’ll make sure we try to get back into here on our way back north in the spring. It’s another beautiful fall morning as the skies are clear, there’s no wind and the waters are relatively calm. Tracy is at the helm while a dockhand and I work the lines to clear the dock. Tracy takes Kailani out of Ego Alley and into the Severn River right alongside the United States Naval Academy as we head back out into the Chesapeake Bay. There’s about 8 commercial freighters anchored out in the channel all heading north. So Tracy takes us into the channel and turns south leaving a good safe distance between the anchored freighters and Kailani.
Seas are down and the current is slightly helping for the first part of today’s cruise, so everything is smooth. Tracy runs the boat for an hour, then Nick takes over and Tracy goes into maintenance/renovation mode and starts cleaning and staining the wood on the helm. The air is so beautiful today that when Tracy brings out the satin varnish, we’re still able to open a helm window and be comfortable, and that’s just in a short sleeve shirt.
We’ve been using the radar every day since we left Cape May, so we’re getting pretty good at identifying object, buoys, shoreline, etc. This will come in handy when the situation arises where we’ll only have the radar visibility. We both are getting more comfortable with the readings. However, it doesn’t help later in the day with me at the helm and a large commercial freighter approaching from about 3 nautical miles ahead. From this distance it looks to me like he’s staying on the starboard side of the channel, so I make a definite move to port and show him that we intend to pass starboard to starboard. As soon as I make that commitment, I get a call on the VHF from the freighter captain. He asks that he noticed we moved to port and it kind of confused him because he’s about to turn his vessel in a direction that will put him close to us and if I had stayed on the conventional port to port side of his vessel, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Lesson I learned was to make contact with the freighter before committing to a port to port or starboard to starboard passing.
As was previously agreed, once we crossed the Drum Point Buoy, we’d call Al Redfield and he would meet us at the dock for assistance. As we turned to corner towards SIYC, there was the Drum Point Buoy so we called Al, worked our way into the harbor and there was Al waiting on the dock for us. He had previously told me that his plan was to put us in the Commodore’s slip based on our size and the winds and he was sticking with that. The GPS estimated our ETA to be 1440 and we docked, tied up, and hooked up the electric and it was 1440! There was literally only one other vessel in a slip at the yacht club because we learned that earlier in the year all the vessels had to be moved to make way for a scheduled repair of the docks and once the job was done, everyone just kept their vessels where they were.
Al told us about the pot luck dinner at the clubhouse later this evening and we agreed to meet him and his wife there for dinner so we could meet some of the other members. We could bring our paperwork and money then for the slip so we agreed to meet up with Al later for dinner.
We had already decided to stay for two nights, so we brought the paperwork up to the clubhouse and paid Al for two nights. The weather didn’t look good for Friday, plus we needed some groceries and could always do another load of laundry. So during the dinner, Al agreed to be Uber Al tomorrow and shuttle us to the grocery store whenever we were ready as long as it wasn’t too early in the morning since he was planning to winterize his boat. After dinner, we chatted with some of the members for a while and returned to Kailani around 9:30 pm. I set up the coffee pot and we got an early start on sleep.
Friday morning brought another day of relatively warm air, but the winds that we had been expecting, showed up and it was quite breezy today. We did some chores around the boat, started the laundry and agreed to meet Al about noontime in the clubhouse parking lot.
Al showed up on time and as we headed out to the grocery store, Uber Al showed us some of Solomons Island’s best restaurants and museums along the way. He dropped us off in front of Weis’ Market and said he’d be in the parking lot whenever we were done. About 20 minutes later, we wheeled out our shopping cart and Uber Al asked if we left any food on the shelves for other customers! I guess we really needed to restock the Galley.
After shopping, returning to Kailani and putting away all the groceries, I finished the dryer loads of the laundry and brought all the clean and folded clothes back to the boat while Tracy caught up on some website work. She’s really trying to get all the blogs and media caught up so we can go forward with just daily posts.
Douglas Smith, the AGLCA Harbor Host, showed up around 4:30 pm after working for two days on his daughter’s house in Annapolis. We invited him aboard and we sat and chatted for almost two hours about the loop, boats and family. He told us that an editor of a local boating magazine had approached him about doing an article on AGLCA Harbor Hosts and the editor said she wanted some pictures of Doug with Tracy and I on our boat in the Solomons Island Yacht Club slip. So we agreed that he would come back in the morning before we shove off and we’ll take the pictures, and forward them to Beth Crabtree of SpinSheet Magazine. Afterwards, he and I went up to the clubhouse for happy hour while Tracy started working on dinner. I only stayed at the clubhouse for a short time. I wanted to see Al and his wife again to thank them for everything they’ve done for us because we plan to leave early tomorrow for the 5 plus hour trip to Chesapeake Boat Basin. After returning to Kailani from the happy hour, Tracy had a delicious steak dinner prepared and waiting for me. Nice to have fresh food in the galley! Another early night and we’re off early in the morning for Indian Creek and Chesapeake Boat Basin.