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Ship's log of Krogen 48' Classic Solveig III: A cruise down the East Coast



11-18-2004

Here we are on the Intra Coastal Waterway (hereinafter in these pages ICW), having just finished our third day underway. We're greatly cheered by news from Nebraska that Barbara's mother, who wrecked her car and has kept us anxious for several days, is doing extremely well - more pain than she should have to put up with, but no broken bones, no heart problems, and a speedy recovery expected from cuts and bruises.

Our first evening out, in Solomons, was highlighted by a viewing of Rita, our favorite Border Terrier, across the water from where we anchored adjacent to Washburn's, our favorite boatyard. One of the humans who shares Rita's boat, Eric, is the sort of person given to humming happily as he contorts himself toward pretzeldom to change the charcoal filter on a holding tank vent or some other endeavor to make a vessel work better. As we prepared dinner we heard Rita, who probably weighs all of fifteen pounds, yelping ferociously, and saw her springing five or six feet in the air, aiming to chase off the mute swans who were circling the boat devouring the catfood Eric was flinging to them (don't tell Beacon, the Atkisson/Sawyer cat, about this). Rita clearly shares my position, not Barbara's, on invasive species.

Fresh swordfish for dinner prepared us for a daybreak departure, and we had a smooth sail down to Deltaville, on the Piankatank River. Barbara thinks "tank" is Native American for "river," as in Choptank, Piankatank, etc. John thinks that would be redundant - "Chop River River," etc. Probably it's not important. About half-way down we noticed that one of our stabilizer fins seemed to be turning in a subpar performance, like it was auditioning for the Redskins. After various maneuvers to untangle any debris failed, we followed our usual practice when we have any kind of problem underway and rang up Chris Washburn who, after a few astute observations about "W" and his people, promptly got the problem diagnosed (actuator - who would have thought?), and arranged for the part to be shipped to a place along our route and for them to do the repair as we came through.

Which is how we came to be at Atlantic Yacht Basin, just past the Great Bridge lock and double bascule bridge, at about mile 12 of the ICW. This means we experienced all in one day the thrill of (1) navigating through Norfolk, escorted in by three Navy warships (one U.S., one French and one Canadian) and a container ship, and entertained by a helicopter dragging something through the water and multiple tugs and barges headed in all directions, plus (2) the first part of the ICW, including four bridges that had to be opened and one lock that had to be negotiated. We did have one mishap - the tail fell off one of Barbara's fish earrings as we were tying up in the lock, for which the official period of mourning expires at 2:30 p.m. today (Friday). Otherwise, everything went fine, including squeezing into a 54 foot space along the face pier here without crunching either the identical Krogen 48 classic, "Coral Bay," in front of us or the Sea Ray behind. I erred on the side of crunching the Sea Ray but in the end missed both by decent margins.

As Chris had arranged, as soon as we pulled in a fellow named James Taylor promptly arrived to fix our stabilizer, and also crawled up the mast to change the lightbulbs on our masthead light and one of the spreader lights. We thanked him for that and also for the great job he did performing at the concerts for Kerry-Edwards. His blank stare was a little hard to read. Then we had wine and sumptuous cocktail fare with our fellow Krogenites," missed the news (Daily Show), got too full to eat anything but popcorn and pickles for dinner, and retired to prepare for another grand and incrementally warmer day. Today the sweats go in the drawer and the shorts come out.

Sorry to be long-winded. I'll write less when things stop happening.

J&B