3 November, 2014
Eleven and a half hours later, we’re pulling into Smith Creek, just west of Point Lookout on the North shore of the mouth of the Potomac. We’ve read some mixed reviews about this spot, but the location is right. There’s a brand new fixed face dock, but a lot of single boat slips that are in really poor shape. I guess that accounts for the mixed reviews. Anyway, Alec, the dock dude directs us to the face, and we’re secured in a flash. Decided not to anchor out, as the forecast is for 25-30 knots with gusts to 40, and if we ended up here for a few days, didn’t want to have to move. Also, Justin trailered our dinghy here from Solomon’s today, and put it in the water here. We need to grab it. White Star is tied at the wall, and she’s reunited with Alizann, secured on deck within 20 minutes. We’ll take a test drive later, as it’s getting pretty dark. There are some very tired boats here that don’t look like they’ve been moved in a long, long time. Besides us, there is only one other transient boat here. On “Lady Gus”, Wayne and Linda tell us that they arrived just today, and are going to wait out the weather here. We don’t get any “Trick or Treaters”, so we’ll just have to eat the treats ourselves. Through the night we can hear the wind rising, and as predicted, it is gale force by morning. Waves out on the Chesapeake aren’t too big yet, but the winds are supposed to continue until Monday. As we don’t want to get stuck in an anchorage half way to Deltaville, we decide to hang here. During the day, Suzanne and I get some office work done, me in the pilothouse with the laptop, her down in the office, doing month end on the desktop. One of the cruisers across the way has some pretty loose lines, and is banging the adjacent boat. I give Alec a call, and he goes out to retie. 45 minutes later, I look up, and the piling that the bow has been retied to is leaning at a precarious angle, the end poking into the starboard porthole on the bow. Alec and I go out. I bring a 200’ line so that we can snag the piling and pull it across to the next dock over. Bad news, the tide is falling, and the piling top is jammed under the lip of the porthole, and won’t budge. We try to heel the boat by standing on the opposite rail-no dice. Okay, A call to his boss. Another 45 minutes of falling tide, and Joe shows up with a comealong so we can really crank on my line. Long story short (sort of), half hour later, in the driving, 50 degree rain, we get ‘er retied, and the errant piling pulled away into the adjacent empty slip. I ask Joe if he should call the owner, and he tells me he doesn’t know who it is-boat hasn’t moved all summer. I’m thinkin’ maybe the guy would have been happier if we’d let her go-seems like there are a lot of boats tied up here with the same stories. Tied here, slip fees not paid-just abandoned. What a shame, I’m sure that there are folks that could give these boats enough love to revitalize them if given a chance. We have Wayne and Linda over for a 5-7, and what a story! They’re from Minnesota, have never had a boat larger than a runabout, and decided that they wanted to liveaboard. They retired, found a 34 year old custom built 42’ cruiser, sold all their stuff, and moved aboard exactly 4 days ago. A professional captain brought them through New York, and left them and their boat on the Chesapeake Bay. After 2 days on their own, in moderate seas, they pulled in here, and are very anxious about leaving. Seas are forecast to moderate by Monday (to 1-2’), so Suz and I suggest that we can help them off the dock, and they can travel with us. We offer to swap crew, as both Suz and I are 100 ton captains. They’ll think about it. Hey, we’ve got our new digital antenna, but are out in the stix, and there ain’t no channels here. The little restaurant here is closing today, and they’re having an emptythefreezer allyoucaneatbrunch today. The joint has a couple of stools around the homebuilt bar, and a couple of tube type TV’s from the last century, but they have satellite-oh, and buck-and-half beers. I’ve got control of the remote, ‘cause the bartender doesn’t work on Sunday, and we’ve got snacks (crab legs, mussels, rockfish, fried chicken, wings, crab cakes, fries, onion rings,-you get the picture). After Brady vs. Manning XVI, we roll back home to find that the “Lady Gus” gang is contacting their captain to take Wayne and the boat to the Intracoastal Waterway, while Linda drives his car down. We’re a little concerned about their level of preparedness for living Their Dream. Maybe we’ll see them along the way.
Monday morning dawns crisp and clear with a 15 knot breeze. We have a gorgeous run down to Deltaville, VA, complete with dolphin and pelican (they started appearing around the Potomac) sightings. We’ll do a quick overnighter, maybe picking up a few extra oil filters and impellers for our spare parts bin, as there are a couple of boatyards and a West Marine there.
Signing off for now-