Sunday, August 23, 2020

I got in trouble today (no pics, just a story)

Not with the boat -- we haven't gone anywhere since Nick's.

Being here a marina boaters (liveaboards) tend to get to know one another. We even have had some socially-distance dock tails of late, where we spread ourselves apart while having conversations.  It's funny how much we've missed the social aspect of boating -- we are a truly conversive group.

Anyway, us ladies went out to lunch this past week. The topic drifted to boating, as it does, then it further drifted to piloting. I swear, I did not bring it up, but when we talk about piloting I am adamant that women need to take the helm. I make the case repeatedly that, should something happen to their husbands (heaven forbid!) that's already going to be a stress, and now add piloting and docking the boat... and further add on they may be doing that alone! Seriously, everyone on the boat should know how to do everything. Women need to know how to dock the boat.

One of the women at lunch was Debbie, crew of Janus. She and her husband, Frank, bought their boat in Maine earlier this year, so it's fairly new to them. She mentioned that had never occurred to her, to be the one driving the boat, and that she'd consider that.

Even we have changed roles a bit in inQuest for the same reasons. If something happened to me, Russ needs to know how to dock the boat. He has done it a couple of times, on walls and t-heads. His next task will be putting her in a slip. But I digress...

I knew that Janus was due for some maintenance Monday, so Debbie and Frank would be heading out today. Returning from the morning dog walk Frank was untie-in the dock lines. Once he saw me he pointed at me. "This is your fault," he said. I looked up to see Debbie at the helm in the fly bridge. "I don't know about this, Jax," she called to me.

"You're going to do fine. It's a perfect day." Which was true -- no wind, little if any current.

And she did. Debbie backed her out, and took her down the fairway, made the tricky 90-degree turn onto the main fairway, and off they went.

Given we were all wearing masks I couldn't tell if Frank was smiling or not. But I think I may have gotten myself into trouble. But if Debbie feels a little more confident today, I also think that's worth it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Nick's!

 

Yay, we did something! We went out to lunch.

Recently I'd been invited to have lunch out with some of the ladies boaters in the marina. But I couldn't make it that day. They went to Nick's Fish House, and raved about it. It wasn't the first time we'd heard about the place and had it on our "want to go" list. But they added, "You can boat there," which was easier for us than walking/biking/scooting to the place.

Seated on the Crab Deck
So we did. Weather was perfect all afternoon. Sunny, warm, calm.

We left around 12:30, got there about 1:30. After eating a pear and gorgonzola salad, a crab pretzels (you'll have to google that; it's a Maryland thing) and fish and chips -- all of it was wonderful -- we started the engines and came right back. 

Round trip about 3 hours. Great for us.

The docks at Nicks. You can just see inquest on the t-head.
We called both the restaurant and marina asking permission.
No one answered. 
No tickets were given so... we're good!




Friday, August 14, 2020

Something happened!

 No, we haven't moved. Still in Baltimore. But we woke to the image below.


That's the Antares. As we faced the two military ships (both are supply vessels only, no weapons, just so you know) the Antares was the one on the left. The Denebola was on the right. Turns out, the Denebola had an appointment somewhere for reasons, so they needed out. That required the Antares to move first.

Took this pic the day we arrived in Baltimore.

Over the last couple of weeks we notice activity on the two ships; engines would run, and their cranes were in use. All in prep.

These sister ships weren't made for military use. They are really just shipping ships. But they were so expensive that only the Navy could afford them. So...there's that.

We listened on the radio as tugs that maneuvered the massive ship were orchestrated throughout the morning. It was very entertaining.

Tug holding it in position while lines are released.
There are 2 on the starboard side.

Tugs pull it from dock, a third tug helps move the bow.

...starting the turn...

Lots of swells in our marina from the working tugs.

Starting to head down river, finally.

You notice the little orange craft? That one of the Denebola's life boats. No idea why it was in the water but it stayed out of the way, then followed the big ship to it's next destination.

What struck us was the number of boats that had zero sense and were in the way of the operation. Seriously, people, don't you see the floating building coming at you?!

Once the Denebola was under weigh another round of tug boat dancing pushed and pulled the Antares into the slip the Denebola vacated. It was fascinating to listen to on the radio and watch. But the entire process took hours.

Back, back, back, back...

Tug in back pushing the stern into a twist

Man, this ship is ginormous!

We assume a harbor pilot is controlling everything.
Over the radio he'd say, "Bridget, back 90, 1 bell. Patrick, idle forward."
Bridget and Patrick are the tug names, not the folks driving them.

...and we're in!

Just as the Antares got parked some looper friends came up to visit us. We went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant in Canton. It almost felt like "normal."

Jayne and Jonathon, crew of Bella Gatto


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

...thought I'd wait for something to say

 I haven't posted in a while since, frankly, there hasn't been much to say. We're hunkered down in Baltimore still, not traveling much due to the heat, not doing much due to the pandemic. Thus, no blog.

But the heat looks like it will break this weekend. So we may be underway soon. We plan on heading north to Bohemia Bay. We were there last year and the harbor hosts were incredibly kind and helpful. We'd love an opportunity to take them to dinner or something (if, of course, we can do so safely).

From there we'd head back south, staying on the east side. We'd been told a great place to anchor was near Chestertown. If the heat subsides that's very doable. We have a generator so we could run AC. But we'd like not to do that all night long. Noisy for us. Noisy for neighbors. 

We'll see. Hopefully I'll have fun pics to share. Here's more gratuitous sunset and sunrises in the meantime.

Sunrise. One thing about boat life, these don't get old.

New toys. Got us some electric scooter.

Not from the hurricane, just angry skies.

Me heading out for groceries. I feel a little like a ninja.
Inquest in the background.

Sunset #1

Sunset #2. This was a goodie.

It's a long walk for us to the club house on the C dock.
You can see inQuest on the D dock. It's literally a 1 mile hike
between the two. Quick dinghy ride, though.



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

During

Throughout yesterday and today we've heard many folks report that Isaias was just not that bad. Even we, as I type this, are in the height of it, but we experience occasional wind gusts and have had about 6 inches of rain.

However, we just heard the Southport Marina (we didn't stop there this year but did last year) got completely trashed. The winds were so strong they broke the pilings holding the piers.


Before


This morning

Our hearts go out to everyone who was down there. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hurricane a-comin'!

TS Isaias in Florida. Odds are it won't get
much stronger. Fingers crossed.
Having lived in New Orleans for a while I've been through a category 1 hurricane. Isaac. It was a bit unnerving. Enough so that we would have to be convinced to stay for a 2, and would definitely flee for a 3. 

The brunt of Isaac started around 2 am. For us that meant water, with the force and volume of a fireman's hose, sprayed onto our bedroom windows. Without stopping. For hours. But that was nothing, since we had power and water throughout the ordeal (the only thing we lost was cell network). Meanwhile in the rest of the city they lost power and lived without it for weeks.

Calm on the fairway so far.
There is a small craft advisory now.
The bay's probably challenging.
Isaias is heading this way. (Hm, it's always the "I"s for me). We'll be watchful, but currently aren't worried. There's never been a story of how Baltimore was wiped out by a hurricane. True, the weather is getting really weird so there's a first time for everything. We will remain vigilante and watch the forecast.

Fireboat testing their water spout.
I just thought that was kinda nifty.
To that end we made sure we have extra lines to secure the boat if need be. The thing that concerns us is not the wind, nor rain, nor waves. It's the tide. Tidal surges during hurricanes can vary 4 to 6 feet (more in some places), and that's either way, up or down. THAT is where the trick will lie. The pilings around here are over 6 feet, so we should be good there. And there's about 10 feet beneath us.

For now things are calm. Skies are partly cloudy. The hurricane will be here Monday night or Tuesday. If it gets too strong, however, we won't hesitate to check into a hotel.