Cruising the East Coast and the Abacos in our Camano Troll
Monday, October 12, 2009
Upper Chesapeake Bay
We watched Arabella, a charter yacht, heading through the C&D Canal from our free berth at the floating dock. And then went to the Tap Room again for some more crabs and the Admiral's birthday dinner (she had ravioli).
After three days, we headed on down the Bay toward Annapolis, catching up with Charisma (spelled with the Greek letters) who we raced against for many years in Off Soundings.
The weather was still a bit unsettled, but it wasn't a bad trip. The sailboats were slogging through it with reefed sails.
Sandy Point Lighthouse is just north of the Bay Bridge.
We anchored in Spa Creek in Annapolis for a few days and woke up to a number of pretty sunrises. We had great visits from the Skipper's two children and their spice and some of the grandchildren. We also met up with Patty (our daughter's good friend from college) and Jerry for a nice Mexican Dinner at a neighborhood restaurant away from the touristy downtown.
Considering the fact that it was a Boat Show week, the anchorage was relatively quiet. There were a lot of people around, however, and it was a bit difficult to get the dinghy into one of the road endings to be able to walk ashore.
We went to the first day of the Sailboat Show (we took the water taxi from the boat to the shore), mostly to look at the equipment (toy) booths. We bought one toy -- a wind scoop with screen that will fit in a port hole to increase ventilation in hot weather, at least when there is a breeze.
After another day's wait for good weather, we departed toward Solomons Island, passing a lovely anchored Concordia yawl on the way through the outer anchorage.
It was a fairly uneventful trip this time as we passed by the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse which I think may be the last screwpile lighthouse outside a museum. Then we hung a right at Cove Point toward Solomons Island.
There was a Krogen rendezvous at Calvert Marina where we had driven to the Trawler Fest the week before from Annapolis with friends from Shangri La. We went by the Calvert Museum with its lighthouse and tour boat.
It's a pretty exclusive area, but there are some run-down docks, including this one complete with a sunken 35-40 foot boat. We dinghied ashore for a few groceries, another dozen crabs for the skipper, and a dozen cherrystone clams which we indulged in that evening.
The next morning it was off toward St. Jerome Creek to meet up with the skipper's brother on his boat. There is a nice house right at the mouth of the creek. We anchored off a mutual friends' house. Unfortunately, they were off on a short cruise on their own boat, so we missed them. We hope to catch them on the way home in the spring.
Brother Jock and his crew showed up a little later and we rafted together for cocktail hour before splitting off for the night. The sunrise the next morning was pretty spectacular. (That's Jock's boat on the left.) We got an early start in somewhat questionable weather and discovered that it was snottier than we expected, so we turned tail and headed back to the anchorage to wait for more favorable conditions.
So, here we sit in a lovely protected cove while we listen to much bigger boats on the marine radio talking about the cruddy conditions out on the Bay. Nothing much to do but to listen to music, read books on our Kindles, and write a blog! It sure beats work!
[NOTE: I have shrunk all the photos this time because it makes it easier to edit the post. A simple click on any of them will enlarge it. They are all high resolution. Once it's enlarged, you can right click on it and save it if you want to.]
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We started this blog in August 2006 when we were getting ready for our first winter heading south in our new powerboat, named "Sesame". The newest entries are first and the oldest are last. General information is in this column.
Most of the photographs are high definition. You can click on any one of them to see the photograph full size. If you want to steal one, click on it. When you get the full-size one, right click and "Save as" whatever you want. I would only ask that you give proper credit if you use them for anything other that your personal delight and delectation.
The Admiral and the Captain
Enjoying a Meal Ashore in Abaco
Powerboating on the East Coast
We are Judy and Allen Ames from Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Our boats have all been called "Sesame" (Ameses spelled inside out?). The dinghy, of course, is named "Open".
After 60+ years of sailing, the last 25 aboard a Nonsuch 26 and a Nonsuch 30, we went to the "dark side" and bought a slightly used 28 foot trawler, called variously, a Camano Troll, a Camano 28, or a Camano 31 (see below). This blog starts with our first motor boat trip down the East Coast from Connecticut to Key West and back during the winter of 2006-2007. (We had done a similar trip on our Nonsuch 30 a couple of years before. That trip is pretty well documented in our WebShots albums -- http://community.webshots.com/user/allen_ames) It then picks up with our third trip which took us across the Gulf Stream to Abaco on New Year's Eve 2007.
Like most blogs, the most recent entry is on top and you have to scroll down to get previous entries. You can also click on a specific date at the bottom of this column.
We welcome comments or questions. Just hit the word "Comments" at the end of any entry or email us at: Sesame130@comcast.net. You can send the blog to anyone else by clicking on the envelope with an arrow at the end of each entry.
Sesame, Camano Troll #130
Doing 13 knots
The Camano Troll is a "semi-displacement" trawler, 28 feet long on deck and 31 feet overall if you measure the swim platform and anchor roller. She has a 200 horse Volvo turbo-diesel which can push her up to about 13 knots when we're in a hurry and don't care that we're getting less than a mile per gallon. Normally, we cruise at 7-8 knots which is far more relaxing and gets us close to four nautical miles per gallon. We love the 360-degree view from the main cabin and inside steering station and it's even nicer on the flybridge in good weather.
We have most of the amenities: Hot and cold running water, refrigeration and freezer, 3 burner propane stove with oven, shower and enclosed head, and plenty of room for two people. We have replaced the large dining table (which made it possible to convert the dinette into a double bunk) with a smaller one, but have a 5' x 7' pop-up tent and blow-up queen size mattress that fits perfectly on the flybridge for occasional guests (our penthouse!). The bridge also has plenty of room for a couple of lounge chairs.
We have three AGM batteries on the "house" side of our 12-volt system. To keep the small chest freezer, refrigerator, and various toys going, we usually run the engine for a couple of hours a day when we are at anchor or moored in order to keep the batteries charged We also have a 110 volt belt-driven generator which runs off the main engine to power the microwave, airconditioner (and reverse-cycle heater), etc. Smaller 110 appliances, a TV, computers, and rechargers run off a small inverter. A 7.5 amp solar panel helps keep the house batteries up in sunny weather giving a little more TV and freezer time before we have to start up the engine. Of course, all of the 110 system works when the boat is plugged into dock power too.
We communicate by Verizon cell phone and get our internet through a Verizon air card or WiFi wherever and whenever service is available. (Verizon is not our favorite vendor, but it has the best coverage all the way down the East Coast.) We have external marine antennas for both the air card and WiFi. Where we don't have cell service (Bahamas, some of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Maine) but can get WiFi, we use Skype.
The boat was built in British Columbia but the factory has recently been sold and they say they will begin building in Washington state. See the links below for more pictures and specs of the boat.
Our title is a leftover from an old English teacher's fondness for alliteration rather than a true description of the contents. Actually, we plan very carefully to avoid having it become a saga, or even an adventure! We refuse to have a real schedule or dated itinerary for fear that we would be tempted to venture out in poor conditions. If we want to meet someone along the way, we give them the choice of when or where, not both. The only exceptions are when we are relatively certain that we can reach a destination easily and safely at least a week before a specific date. Even then, we make it clear that all "plans" are subject to change or cancellation.
Traditionally, there are two kinds of cruisers: those who are happy in slower boats (sailboats and slow trawlers) focus on the voyage, while those with fast boats are all about the destination. We definitely belong to the former group.
Our goal is to do virtually nothing, and do it well!
Or, to invoke the greatest all-time boating cliche, as Kenneth Graham's Rat says in The Wind in the Willows: Believe me, . . . . there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing . . . . about in boats -- or with boats. . . . . In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.