It feels like I haven't dropped an update here in a long time! It's funny what a few weeks of being tied to docks will do to you. We have found ourselves staying up later and waking later in the morning. A lot more lazy time…time at the pool at the marina.
Since our last post here, so much has happened. During that heatwave under which the entire continental US seemed to suffer for weeks, our main air conditioning unit died a tragic death. Given some time, patience, and a few hundred dollars in parts, it was probably repairable, but it was also 35 years old, and the technology has progressed with the years, so we decided to "bite the bullet" and ordered a new unit. It took about 3 yea—I mean days—to arrive at the local West Marine in Solomons, Maryland, and I had it installed and running within a few hours of toting it aboard. It was an amazing relief to get cool. We only survived the three days without it by taking advantage of the marina's saltwater swimming pool, but even it was starting to approach "hot tub temperatures" as the heat wave wore on. Suffice it to say, the new A/C unit works great!
On August 10, our slip agreement with Safe Harbor Zahnisers expired, so we moved Stinkpot to the t-head dock at Southern Maryland Sailing Association where I played music in July and again a few days before we cast off to leave Solomons—one of the perks!
After we got Stinkpot tied up and secured, we piled into our car and drove away. I had music to play: two pub shows in Massachusetts, an evening at the Towne Crier in Beacon, NY, an afternoon performance at the Middleburgh, NY Library at the behest of Sonny Ochs. The comings and goings of that music tour were well-documented in Chapter 38 of Folk on the Water, so I'll restrain from rehashing it here.
We returned to Stinkpot Monday, August 15, did groceries, and got ready for our final week in Solomons, which seemed to rush by. Laundry was done. Boat maintenance checks were done. On Friday night I played for the club members in the SMSA clubhouse. Saturday we drove to Rockville, Maryland, where I played a house concert at my friends, Scott and Paula Moore's house. Sunday we returned to the boat and restocked the larder at the local grocery emporia for our Monday morning departure. Monday, we rose and made ready for a 10-11 AM departure to take advantage of a favoring tide to ride the Chesapeake northard. At the appointed hour, we dropped lines, moved briefly over to the town pump-out dock to lighten our blackwater tank, and headed out of Solomons for the bay.
We tucked ourselves into what we thought should be the current and realized we were not making speed. I turned the boat around to see what would happen and our speed reduced even more, so we were indeed riding the tide. Turned back north, we decided our bottom must be fouled from a month-and-a-half of sitting mostly still on the dock. We decided to take our time and not "burn fuel for nothing," tucking into an anchorage behind St. Michaels, MD for the evening. Tuesday, we rose again and again delayed our departure to ride the tide, which we did all the way to the Bulkhead (free dock) in Rock Hall, Maryland, from where I'm writing right now, a morning later. We will remain here until we can get a diver to take a look around and knock off whatever detritus may be slowing our progress. From here, we have no idea where we'll go, but we may head up to the MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Association) get-together on the Sassafras River this weekend. We'll see. We out here to explore and enjoy, so we'll wet a finger and stick it in the air when we good and ready.