Sunday, May 13, 2018

Back on the Loop---Again!

I have lost track of how many times we have stopped and re-started the Great Loop, but here we are again. Just like last year, we plan to finish the last part of our Loop this summer- barring any unforeseen trip-ending events. To this end, we trailered little Mara Beel from Guttenberg, IA to Georgetown, MD. While waiting on boat work we reconnected with good friends Foster and Susan for dinner at Schaefer's Canal House in Chesapeake City. We cruised together in 2014 and they rescued us last year and drove us to the Philadelphia airport when Mark injured his back. After some engine software updates, (we can now use an app to monitor or engine) a new impeller, etc., we splashed MB on May 8th.

Waiting for work on our Volvo engine at Outstanding Marine- great service and wonderful people!

Huge Car carrier passing by

Canal House in Chesapeake City

At Lewinsky's in Delaware City with Susan and Foster- both of them are technology geniuses and great people!
Our son Brandon and his family flew into Baltimore on the 10th for a family wedding. Mark drove to BWI to pick them up in a rental car while I waited with our truck and trailer in a mall parking lot just off I-83. After a late lunch they drove our truck/trailer to Harrisburg, the wedding location, while we returned to our boat in the rental car. Our daughter-in-law, her parents, and our two grandsons will drive the truck and trailer back to Wisconsin and (hopefully) pick us up at the conclusion of our trip in late summer. Yes, this was one of my flow-chart type plans.  :) Whew!

We were then free to take off, which we did at 0700 the next day, May 11th. We immediately realized we were not getting a GPS signal on our chart plotter, so we headed back to the fuel dock to sort it out. It only took us an hour to determine 1) Our antenna was not communicating with the GPS, and 2) how to fix that. On our way again!

We had an uneventful ride to Delaware City via the Sassafras River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. 40 miles in 8 hours- no rush and good mileage, 3.2 mpg. The C&D Canal connects the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays and cuts off several hundred miles between the Atlantic and the Chesapeake.

Mark next to our tiny floating home with Skya in the background (for Dinotrux fans like our grandsons)

Susan and Foster met us again in Delaware City and we had a great dinner at Lewinsky's- can you picture Bacon-wrapped Siracha Meatloaf?? Yum!

We decided to spend another night in this location due to weather. Our next leg of the trip would be Delaware Bay, a wide and shallow body of water in which you try to avoid opposing current and wind direction. These conditions create significant waves that are close together- not a fun ride. 

We met Will and Halcyon on Ohm 3 and took the ferry to Fort Delaware with them. Fort Delaware was built on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River between Delaware and New Jersey in 1859 or so.  We had a wonderful tour guide, but there is not much of a story here. As a fort it is disappointing - take this from a girl who grew up in Fort Madison, which is quite an interesting fort. Fort Delaware never fired a shot offensively or defensively. Its claim to fame was the housing of Confederate POWs during the Civil War. Fort Madison also is home to the Iowa State Penitentiary, where my father used to treat inmates' foot problems. So Fort D. didn't wow me as a prison, either- but it was something to do.
The moat around the fort
Inside the fort

Fort Delaware

We had been eating out every day, so I wanted to cook a meal on our generously-provisioned boat. The oven can hold nothing larger than a 6-cup muffin pan, which is OK. I made a lovely Creamy Spinach, Sausage, and Potato brunch casserole, with Mark's assistance. All went well until we realized that the tiny propane oven periodically turned itself off for some unknown reason. (I am going to need a lot of wine on this trip.) After 3 such stops and re-starts and and an hour later, we did have a delicious meal. Guess I need to learn how to use my new Instant Pot instead of the oven.

It tasted great!

Saturday evening we huddled in the marina laundry room during a severe thunderstorm with hail and a tornado watch- no problem.

Sunday morning the forecast for Delaware Bay was favorable- so said the guy doing the weather briefing at the marina- so we set out with two other boats. As the Bay widened, the waves intensified, and we were all beaten up. There was near mutiny on our vessel. It was not quite as bad as our experience a year ago in the Atlantic, but if this happens again I will be on the next plane home. That's a promise. We are in a marina we don't like in New Jersey tonight- Worst Mother's Day Ever- even though all three of our kids called or Facetimed, and grandson Thomas celebrated his 4th birthday today. Today was not good, but tomorrow will be better!

FYI- you can click on the "Our current location and routes" link on the home page to see our location and progress since we started used our InReach Tracker.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, the adventure continues! Enjoyed all of your pictures and wish you calmer seas ahead.