Departure 2011 CD & Del Bay

Departure 2011, Rock Hall, MD for MAINE

WE DID IT….we departed the docks for leg one of our 12  months onboard! The hardest part of any voyage is LEAVING THE DOCKS and we are glad to be underway. This is the 8th summer we have sailed from Rock Hall, MD, to New England and our third sail to MAINE….the #1 most beautiful place in the world. As “they” say, DON’T DIE BEFORE YOU GET TO MAINE!

B. E., Blue Eyes, Claire….Jeff n Sharon’s great daughter

We motored to Chesapeake City, where we enjoyed dinner with good friends John & Nancy IP40 Larking About and Jeff & Sharon IP35 Lucille. We also had a special visit from Claire, Jeff and Sharon’s daughter who I nicknamed “B.E.” for Blue Eyes as she has the most beautiful blue eyes of anyone I have ever met. Claire has helped us stow provisions for these trips since she was 7 yrs old. Now, it is off to college for her. We were so happy to see her!
After a fun dinner at the Tap Room, we enjoyed Dark ‘n Stormies on Island Spirit.

Monday, Radeen and I headed out of the cove at 0530hrs to run the CD canal with the best current speeds, thanks to Jeff and iPad Navionics lessons. We enjoyed a beautiful sail past Salem Nuclear Plant and down the Delaware Bay till 2 pm. Unfortunately, the Bay showed its ugly face with 20-25 knot winds on the bow. We made several tacks, sailing close hauled with a reef only to find ourselves no closer to Cape May because of the tide setting us back up the bay. With 8 miles to go, we decided to furl the jib and motor sail the last 8 miles bashing into now 25-30 knots of true SOUTH winds. This completes our 9th run down the Delaware Bay! Here are some photos of the first two days…

The Conrail Railroad Bridge which had a long train southbound, so we waited for a lift.

Sunrise over the Route 1/13 bridge which we have driven to and from the boat for many years!

This one is for JEFF, our nuclear physicist…THANK YOU for keeping us safe!

Off watch, relaxing under sail in calm beam winds.

Radeen with the iPAD and NAVIONICs for navigation…too cool.

After 13 hours, a much longer than usual passage, we are anchored off the USCG in Cape May, NJ.

We will DEPART 2011


We always say…the hardest part to any cruise is LEAVING THE DOCK! There is always one more

Wood Wax, the best for the deck

item to get, fix, repair, or test…always one more thing to do. This process will go on forever, unless you simply leave. So, we have reached the end of our lists and we feel as prepared as we can be for our 2 month summer cruise up to Maine and back to Rock Hall, MD.

We have only been in the water 14 days since launch and usually we take all of April, May and part of June to prepare for our summer cruise so this was a real challenge….launch ASAP and see how fast we can provision and get off the dock.

Arriving here on the docks from BERMUDA as crew on IP40, Larking About, only 15 days ago, we launched Island Spirit and began our work. We also ran one car to home and we picked up our clothes for the cold NORTH.

Here is a short list of jobs accomplished:

Oil change and filters
Fuel filters, 30 micron and yanmar
New Sea Water Impeller, yanmar
Transmission fluids, ATF for the KBW10
Install new shower sump and float switch, froze them over winter! New last yr
6 dock carts of food
Re-register dinghy…lost 2011 stickers, drive to DNR Centerville, MD
flush antifreeze out of water lines
bleach water lines
re-connect water heater
re-install our reinforced Kato davits, had them beefed up for 15 yamaha soon
launch AB dinghy off deck and hang in davits
rebuilt Magma propane grill
Treat great friends to July 4th weekend sail, with BBQ & Fireworks on anchor
polish stainless with
wax non-skid with Woody Wax….fantastic
re-paint markings on anchor chain (yellow every 25′ / white 100′ 200′)
rig jack lines
check rig tuning
Place two orders with Defender, delivered to marina complete in two days!
Test 12 volt system as if on anchor, inverter and solar good to go
Run home twice and take Dad out for late Father’s Day at Chesapeake Inn
Volunteer work on website,

NOW WE ARE LEAVING….YAHOOOOOO….not bad for 14 days of prep!

Jobs still needed…
Re-design reef #1 and #2 with newly purchased lines for single line system
Wax cabin top
Clean lifelines
Oil teak below decks
Touch up varnish under way
Learn new NAVIONICS on the iPad
Set up Bullet WiFi rig feeding into existing Verizon EVDO router
Convert network to all 12 volt off of 120 volt

So….as I said…THE HARDEST PART IS LEAVING THE DOCKS…and tomorrow we will!

Radeen’s new backing center storage!
Radeen’s new backing center storage items…GREAT

Radeen with new backing center stoage boxes…Happy GrL

We need to add weight to the level out the boat…so this was one solution!
It worked well…we stored all of this into the PORT BOW! No more List

Check out the non-skid decks after Wood Wax….they shine and have more traction!

2011 Prep Continues

Hayden in the bilge, cleaning! Thanks, Radeen!

Today is our 12th day since launching. It was a FUN day…up at daybreak, 0500, working website jobs and making coffee. Then we made a list of the boat jobs needed to prepare for our sail to Maine. Today’s list was:

  1. Flush and clean the bilge! Is the pump working and is the float switch working?
  2. Change fuel filters, primary 30 micron and secondary Yanmar 
  3. Check transmission fluid and seal
  4. Replace sea water impeller
  5. Clean stainless steel with new product
  6. Hit the pool for a swim

 So, Hayden brought the hose below and cleaned the bilge and confirmed the pump is working fine. Next, we started with the engine, drained the fuel system, removed the Racor filter and dropped in a new 30 micron fuel filter. We then replaced the Yanmar engine fuel filter and re-filled the fuel system and purged the air and ran the motor. All was great…easy jobs.

Drop the starter to gain access to the impeller cover!

Next task was to replace the sea water impeller. On the 3JH2E Yanmar the starter needs to be dropped in order to get access to the impeller. Due to this….I have not replaced this impeller for 5 years! I thought it was time. So I dropped the starter and used my cool impeller puller to remove the old one and installed a new Yanmar impeller picked up at Haven Harbor. With a slick application of lithium grease, I was able to fit the new impeller into the water pump and get the fins leaning the right way as this pump rotates clockwise when viewed from the stern.

After lunch, Radeen took on the job of using the new Spotless Stainless cleaner and sealer, treating every stanchion and the bow and stern pulpit. This stuff is FANTASTIC! She brushed on the foamy liquid with a one inch brush, let it set for 30 minutes and then hosed it off! After that, rust is removed, the stainless is sealed, and it SHINES like brand new! It took her 3 hours to do the entire boat, with no hand-rubbing and the stainless looks fabulous now.

After this, we decided to hit the marina pool and cool off as it has been hot and humid here in MD and we needed a dip. So off to the pool we went.

This fun day was wrapped up with a cocktail party on CAVU, an Island Packet 380, with good friends from IP-45 Elena Paige and IP-35 Eau de Vie. Then we all had a fun dinner at the Harbor Shack. We are so blessed and so lucky to live this cruising life and to share the adventure with great friends. “They” always say….it is not the cruising…but it is the friends you meet along the way that make it so memorable…We would have to agree!

New impeller installed, this pump rotates clockwise so the fins lean left.

Handy tool…impeller puller, used to remove the impeller

Rusty stanchion base BEFORE Radeen cleaned it cleaning

Radeen working on the stainless with product

Brushing SpotlessStainless on with a foam brush

The same stanchion base after cleaning, all rust removed!

REWARD….let’s hit the POOL….ahhhh!

Wendy & Craig Celebrate the 4th

Wendy, Radeen and Craig leaving the creek

What a great way to celebrate the 4th of July, along with the kickoff of our year aboard, with great friends, good sailing, a BBQ and Rock Hall Fireworks and Parade! We had a wonderful weekend with the goal of having NO PLAN….and I love how this worked out. We left the dock Saturday around 11 am for a daysail and to enjoy lunch on the water…next thing you know, we are sailing under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for Annapolis, MD. Why?….because it is THERE….and we can! It is wonderful to share adventures with fun loving friends who enjoy sailing, know who to live on a boat and how to “go with the flow” and take it all in. We honestly had no intentions of going to Naptown, but there we were, under the Spa Creek Bridge on mooring #58.

We were treated to LIVE music and beautiful singing by Craig playing his traveling guitar. Then we realized we were the only boat in the harbor with LIVE MUSIC onboard.  Thank you, Craig! After a wonderful home cooked meal by Wendy, we enjoyed a trip to town and the crazy crowded streets of a holiday weekend. We were happy to return to the peacefulness of Island Spirit for a restful night.

Sunday, with thunderstorms in the forecast we braved the Chesapeake Bay crossing back to Rock Hall expecting to have no sailing winds. We hoisted sails in the Annapolis Harbor and motored out to the Spider where we killed the motor and had a wonderful beam reach sail under the center span and up to Kent Island. There we then took another gybe downwind to the Patapsco River. Then we had a fast reach back across the bay directly to the Rock Hall Harbor. The winds built to a high of 18 knots and we were treated to yet another unexpected day of great sailing!

Arriving in the Rock Hall Harbor, we dropped anchor off the Sailing Emporium where we set up  for a BBQ with Rob and Debbie in anticipation of the massive fireworks display. They arrived with the #1 treat anyone can bring to a boat….ICE CREAM and warm blueberry cobbler! UNREAL….so, Wendy suggested and everyone agreed that it would only be right that we should have this BEFORE the BBQ, as we would not want the ice cream to melt or the cobbler to cool. WHAT A FIRST COURSE!

After the traditional BBQ of hamburgers on the grill, we enjoyed the fireworks over the harbor and the colorful reflections on the water. Thank you, good friends, Wendy & Craig and Debbie & Rob for making this July 4th a special celebration with great friends. We had a blast…

Rough sailing days on Island Spirit

The girls visiting on the deck

Craig is a great sailor and loves to sail


Great friends, Rob & Debbie. (Rob commissioned Island Spirit!)

Craig, Hayden and Rob….great friends

Fireworks over the bow in the harbor

At the 4th of July Parade
Everyone loves a parade…even CRABBY the CRAB