We are in Annapolis MD getting ready to continue down the Chesapeake Bay.
We hung out in Atlantic Highlands doing exciting things like shopping at the farmers market. We got some of the best fresh tomatoes and after a quick run to the store for bacon we have been eating a lot of BLT’s. Cori had an opportunity to catch up with one of her co-workers and I got to do problem solving with the outboard. After bringing Cori to shore I was on my way back to the boat when the outboard just quit, sort of like running out of gas. It would restart then kill. I knew I had at least a half tank of gas so that couldn’t be it. I was lucky to get a tow back to the boat then started thinking it through. For some reason if the tank was more than half full it would run. We had a problem with the fuel pump last winter and had not replaced it since it was running fine. I decided that it was a pump issue and started to look for a pump. I finally got connected with Gateway Marine. They had what they thought was the right pump but the part number was different. Their top mechanic verified that the new part replaced the old one and it was the correct part. Next problem was they were about 5 miles away and we had no transportation. Richard Ketchow, the owner drove over to the marina to pick me up and bring me to the shop. After verifying with the photo I took of the part on the outboard we had a match. They also made sure that I had a replacement O ring and a replacement screw and washer in case one went overboard. Then they gave me a ride back to the marina. That is OUTSTANDING customer service and I greatly appreciate it. If you are in the Atlantic Highlands area and need help with an outboard five them a call, 723-787-2212. I am rethinking all of the nasty things I have said over the years about New Jersey. We had a couple of days of intermittent rain while we were there waiting for a favorable window. We had a group of boats traveling from Canada come in and anchor around us when unexpectedly a boat that had been there for several days started to drag it’s anchor. I would like to say thing happened but it and one of the Canadian boats got together and caused some bent parts on both. The marina was able to contact the owner and bring him out and he got his boat re-anchored securely. That is one of the big worries, no matter how well you do your job you are under the mercy of other boats around you. We have spent more time here then we had planned but traveling by boat is all about choosing your weather window.
Monday morning and two things happened: the forecast was favorable for a trip south and it was 56 degrees. It was time to move south. The winds were forecast to be 15-20 with winds out of the west to northwest with gusts to 25. This put it on our beam or slightly behind us with the wind coming off the land and only building 2-3 foot waves. We pulled anchor motored out of the bay and set sail. We had several inlets that we could duck into but we were planning to go all of the way to Cape May, the mouth of the Delaware River, in one shot. We had a great sail all day and during the night we fired up the motor when the winds dropped. We continued to motorsail through the night and arrived at Cape May at sunrise. As the sun came up we motored into the harbor, passed through and caught the Cape May Canal into the Delaware. Going up the river the winds were light and on the nose so we motored up the river and anchored near the entrance to the D & C canal. In the morning we slept late to catch up on sleep and to wait for a favorable current. At noon we entered the canal and motored through into the Chesapeake Bay and anchored for the night in the Sassafras River riding a favorable current all of the way. In the evening we got the charts for the Bay out and started planning the next couple of days. We planned to stop another night before going into Annapolis but once we were underway we decided to continue on. We need the boats bottom cleaned and we started making calls to dive services to find someone available. We found one that could “maybe” get to us on Monday. We planned to stay over the weekend so that was not a problem. We arrived in Annapolis and motored up the river to Weems Creek. We had heard that the cost of the moorings in Annapolis had gone up so we were looking for a place to anchor. It turns out that the Navy has moorings in Weems Creek that they use for hurricanes and they are available for use. We tied to one of their moorings and settled in.
Saturday morning we walked to Enterprise to pick up our rental car and as we walked by the stadium we discovered that they were playing ECU that afternoon. Once we had the car we made a run to Bacon and Fawcett’s, two marine supply stores, Trader Joe's and then to Red Hot and Blues for ribs.
Sunday, the 20th, we planned to make a trip into Washington DC. September 20 is the anniversary of my brother’s death while serving in Vietnam. Being this close to Washington I wanted to make a trip to the Wall. I have visited there many times when I am in the area but this was the first time to be there on the day. It is always a moving experience. We walked over to the WWII Memorial then back to the car and drove over to Georgetown for lunch then back to Annapolis.
Monday Cori took the rental car to Glenn Burnie to pick up a replacement solenoid for our starter. The present one is causing a problem. It is a hard part to find and we have found prices run from $50-300. Obviously I am not going to pay that high of a price. One shop we called looked it up and said there was no way they would sell it to me for that price. An honest dealer, he knew that what his catalog showed him was far more then it was worth. He did give me the name of a shop to call. They have the part, just under $50 but they are not open on Saturdays. The diver was going to try to make it later in the day and clean the bottom. We didn’t hear from him until the end of the day and he will put us on the list for first thing Wednesday. Cori got back at lunch time and after lunch I started on the starter problem. I was able to get the solenoid loose from the starter but not off of it. Next I tried removing the starter. There are three bolts and one is just about impossible to reach. By adding extensions onto the socket wrench I was able to get to the last bolt and remove it. Now that the starter was off life was going to be better. When I compared the two solenoids side by side there was a difference. One had three connections and the new one had four. I called the dealer and he explained that that particular solenoid came in two versions, if my old one had three connections I just had to use those connections and didn’t need the fourth. I decided to trust him and reinstalled everything and made the electrical hookups with only one bright flash when I shorted the battery cable. We gave it a try and it all works. The real test will be when we try starting with a less than full battery charge which is when we were having the problem.
Tuesday and it is overcast again with a threat of rain later in the day. We took the dinghy to shore and walked up to the coffee shop to use their WiFi. The forecast is better for traveling on Wednesday so we are planning to continue on once the diver has the bottom clean.