2012-10-14 Fall Cruise #5

On Saturday Jack & Kathy Tennar along with Neil & Merle Brown drove down from New Jersey for a weekend visit. Below is me, Jack & Neil “doing our man look”


Kathy, Merle & Annette enjoy an afternoon of browsing the small shops that line the lovely downtown area.


Below we were able to observe a large Car Carrier transit the canal



 As quickly as the weekend started it ended and it was time to start heading for home. We did not have the best weather for our trip home. The forecast called for 18-22 knts of wind coming directly from the south which is the direction needed to go. We secured the boat the best we could and off we went. We split the 75 mile trip into two days but they were certainly long ones!

We did get to spend one more night in the lovely anchorage at Worton Creek which made the long haul worth while!

A more detailed map of our complete trip is available at: Magnolia Map

2012-10-11 Fall Cruise #4

After leaving the truly spectacular Sassafras River Magnolia transited the Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) Canal as far as Chesapeake City, MD.


Most ships going from or to Baltimore from Philadelphia, New York or Northern Europe transit the C&D Canal. Some of the largest ships in the world can and do pass through this canal. Thankfully we did not need to share the waters with the really huge ones. The barge and tug at anchor was plenty large!


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Upon arriving at Chesapeake City we took advantage of the Anchorage Basin just off the canal which gave us a wonderful view of the Chesapeake City Bridge.

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The C&D Canal is owned and maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers. (Canal Information) There is a small really enjoyable museum dedicated to the history of the canal. We had a very enjoyable visit. It is only open Monday – Friday though!


In preparation of friends our friends Tennars and Browns arriving we brought Magnolia into a slip to make it easier to have guests aboard. As you can see we needed to park right in front of that 53 foot Carver Power Boat. As you might know Annette does most of the boat driving in our family and this was no exception. Annette slipped Magnolia right in front of the Carver in-spite of the fact the Carver’s bow extended beyond the dock!


2012-10-10 Fall Cruise #3

002After spending a couple of days in Georgetown the Admiral decided it was time for some sightseeing so we moved Magnolia a few miles down the river to a remote corner creek where Harmon Plantation is located.  Harmon was an old Tobacco Plantation and though it was not open for touring we were able to tour the grounds after Blossom our dinghy brought us ashore!






Okay, I get why you might like a place like this….


Time to pile back in Blossom and head for Magnolia….hate to be late for Happy Hour! This was  literally “our anchorage” with not another soul in sight!


2012-10-08 Fall Cruise #2

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With our departure from Worton Creek to the Sassafras River the weather had not obviously improved but we just slogged along the best we could praying for some sun!

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Perhaps we are a little biased but darn she is a good looking lady!





Yes, this one even more so!!! We decided to get off the boat for dinner and head over to the Kitty Knight Inn in Georgetown, MD. It was a lovely evening!


Yes those are Magnolias…must be a sign to get back to the boat! Not as easy as you might guess from the below!


We are going to walk where? for what?


“No Anthony we are not walking to  Elkton to see some stupid Rocket Motor”


“but Annette we got to see this cool historical maker….and George Washing slept here too!”


2012-10-06 Fall Cruise #1




After spending Friday at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and time in the crowds, Magnolia was ready to get out of “dodge” and head up the bay. The forecast was for winds to clock from SW to N and we wanted to be at anchor by the time that happened. We had a lovely 35 nm trip north with the main sheeted all the way out anchoring in Worton Creek. Neither of us had been there before so we looked forward to exploring a new anchorage.




I am sure many of you have driven over the Bay Bridge but have you driven under it? It is actually pretty imposing looking at it from underneath!


As we entered Worton Creek the first thing we see is sticks with birds. The obvious question is do they have their own stick or is it first come first serve?




Worton Creek ended up pretty nice!

2012-10-06 Annapolis Boat Show

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Annette and I attended the Annapolis Sailboat show again this year and unlike last year I actually stepped onto a boat! See, we have Magnolia, she is in my mind the first and last sailboat we will own! (Granted we will see and of course the Admiral will have some input on that!) There was one boat from Gozzard displayed there. Our slip neighbors are very interested in the brand so I promised them we would tour it! The boat is truly “art.” In addition we had a our shopping list (purchases & information).

Boat & Dinghy Ladders – Magnolia has a swim platform on her stern that drops down and allows for SUPER EASY access to and from the dingy or from the water if swimming. Unfortunately this platform can not be deployed unless the dinghy is in the water and out of the way. From a safety standpoint “no good at all”. We decided to go with one of the Up-N-Out Ladder  (www.up-n-out.com). The best thing is the ladder can be deployed by someone already in the water which is a HUGE safety step forward. While we were there we also opted for one of their dinghy ladders as well which will make the Admiral happy so she can comfortably get in and out of the dinghy in those nettle free coves around the bay and beyond! These are ladders are not inexpensive but they are made as solid as you could ask and fold up compactly. Granted this whole paragraph is written before I have even tried them out so will report out more later.

LED Lights – With the exception of one LED light in the aft head, all our lights are traditional which translates to a battery sucking sound every time a light comes on! Five (5) of our cabin lights use a E-27 bulb so thought this would be a good place to start! Keith over at the Boat Light Store (www.boatlightstore.com) hooked us up. I generally/always have what I want to purchase in my “minds eye” and of course that did not come off the shelf. Keith suggested using a particular LED along with an E-27 base adapter would provide me with what I wanted. To make it all work, Keith had to break out his soldering iron, but in the end it worked perfectly and we happily have them installed on Magnolia.

Galley Countertops – The Admiral has not been over excited about the countertops in the galley so we have been on the lookout for a quality craftsman to perform the upgrade. We had a very good conversation with John Norton from Annapolis Harbor Boat Yard (www.annapolisharbor.net). He seemed to “get us” and suggested we send him some measurements and pictures to give us a “ballpark” estimate. I am simply relating a first impression but thought I would share.

Navpod Electronic Housing – We recently purchased a new “pod” for our new cockpit chart plotter. Rob Walsh from Ocean Equipment (www.oceanequipment.com) gave me some tips and pointers for cutting the pod to accept our chart plotter, including using a rotor zip cutting tool.

Charger/Inverter – Magnolia has a old Freedom Xantrex charger inverter installed along with a new Xantrex LinkLite battery monitor. After hearing Nigel Calder speak at last weeks GAM I started wondering if the technology had improved to the point where we should consider upgrading in spite of the fact the equipment is still functioning perfectly fine. After speaking with Chris Hanranhan (www.tekris.com) we decided against any upgrade at this time, but based on his unbiased advice we will certainly consider his service when we do!

Two other products we purchased and will try out are the Poli-Glow (www.poliglow-int.com) UV Protectant for fiberglass and Spotless Stainless (www.spotlessstainless.com)

We also met the marketing director for Kanberra gel which we swear by for eliminating boat smells on Magnolia. See Annette’s testimonial video on the Kanberra Facebook page.  Annette also upgraded her Sailrite SZ1 with an accessory pack on sale at the Sailrite booth.  See Annette’s blog post on www.seamlesssailor.com.


I nearly forgot the TriTip Steak Sandwich from the Fleet Reserve Center. If for no other reason, this is your reason for attending the Annapolis Boat Show!!

2012-09-30 Annapolis SSCA GAM


(Our approach to Camp Letts – this was the day before the main events and we still felt like we arrived late to the party!)

Annette and I belong to the the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) which holds one of their three GAMS here on the Chesapeake at Camp Letts on the Rhode River, just south of Annapolis, MD. In the “old days”  a Gam occurred when two sailing ships came upon each other they stopped yelled news and exchanged information between the ships. The SSCA format allows cruisers to exchange information among themselves and the experts in a variety of fields from weather all the way to boat systems. We had the opportunity to participate in seminars and discussions on topics ranging from weather, medical issues at sea, various boat systems operation and maintenance.

We had never heard Nigel Calder speak but I have several of his books which are very good at going into the technical details of a particular boat system. The thing I did not expect was how good of speaker he was and funny!!! I mean really funny

There were so many great speakers that on several occasion Annette and I had to “divide & conquer” on a couple occasions. As an example while I attended “Anchorages on the Intercostal Waterway (ICW) and was listening to Lin & Larry Pardey (two REAL rock stars of cruising) on how best make your boat unsinkable! In my mind that sounds like a really important topic!

The Seven Sea Cruising Association capitalize the same idea. We are lucky that one of the three GAMs are held right here in out back yard. (Rhode River just south of Annapolis. The “Super Stars” of the cruising world come and give educational and entertaining talks and discussions.


In addition we met with some attendees from last year and met some new people also planning to make the “trip south” to the Bahamas in the fall of 2013. My buddy Greg suggested I make badges which said, “Magnolia is heading south in 2013, are you?” It was a call out to “our” class of 2013!

All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend. We learned a lot and hopefully be able to hold onto some of those lessons as we get started on our own adventures! Next week is the Annapolis Boat Sailboat Show. Annette I will be attending and working at the SSCA booth on Friday and then we head on our big year end cruise right after! It is certainly fun crunch season for us!!