Monday, December 21, 2009

Record Snow Fall

21"+ of snow in two days.  Digging out is no fun, but the snow was great to watch.  We made a trek to the boats to check them out.  The catamaran show accumulated a lot of snow.  We shoveled a ton or more  snow off of the boat. I was worried about the weight.

We have yet to cover the boat.  I am a bit behind schedule.  I have been looking at the other Blogs from the Caribbean and am very jealous. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

On shore for the winter

Desert Star is on the 'hard' for the winter.  We have lots of winterizing projects to do and need to ponder shrink wrapping her.  There are only about four places on the Bay that can lift such as wide boat.  It was a great sail down.  The wind was from the north at 20 kts and I motored sailed at 7 to 9 kts all the way down the Bay.  Of course it rained the entire time and was a bit cold.  But I am very glad I was not beating to windward on such a cold and nasty day.

Bonnie drove to meet me and we watched the crew put her up on blocks.  We tried her sitting a bit 'bow up' this year in the hope that less water would pool in lockers, etc.

We have a bunch of winter projects to get done.  Hopefully November will have lots of warm days for us to do work.

We have a lot of trips and events this winter as well.  We are trying to figure out where to charter this winter.  We also need to fit in a trip to Europe - of at all possible.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Aerial Photo

This photo was taken not far above the Chesapeake Bay bridge by a passing helicopter on an Autumn day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

PDQ Cookout

The PDQ Cookout was a big success. About 20 PDQ owners (about 10 PDQs) came and brought food and drink for all to share.  We really enjoyed sharing stories of our boats and adventures.  We hope to get together with all of them again, at future boat shows and of course in warm climates.

James of course was the big hit of the party.  With lots of knowledge and advice for all the PDQ owners.  He is a great guy and handy to know as well.  Someday we will get to meet his wife Jackie.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Boat Show Time!!!!!

Gotta love the boat show.  James is here for a moderate list of repairs and improvements.  Why does the head or holding tank always need repairs when James is around?  Lucky for me...

I was good on purchases - so far.  I did buy a waterproof bag.  I think I am developing a bag fetish.  I also purchased a new Cruising Guide for the Chesapeake. Bonnie can use it to plan our getaways for next year.  I went through most of the catamarans there.  The prices have skyrocketed due to popularity. Even 32 foot catamarans with outboards are $200K. 

No photos this time, sorry.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Its time for autumn wine making

Its that time of year, when the summer is over the and grapes are ripe, and ready for harvest.  Actually these we purchased from California - but its their harvest time too.

We purchased enough grapes for about 150 bottles of wine.  That should make holiday gift giving easier.

Bonnie's little Element handled much of it, but there were also two pick-up truck loads as we were working with some friends on their wine as well.

It was a messy job.  Picking through the boxes for moldy grapes, leaves, and foreign objects was a big job.

Wayne has a nice Crusher that breaks the grapes and pulls out a lot of the stems.  But one still needs to sort and pick out what gets through.

We also did some white wine grapes, where we only press the grapes and save the juice.

For red wine, it must sit in its skin to get the color and aroma of the more complex red wine.

It took all day and into the evening to get it all done.

But in the end we had a lot of juice starting the fermenting process.

Ours this year are Chenin Blanc, Ginot Grigio,Chardonnay, Old Vine Zinfandel, and Cabernet.

Let's home its a good year! 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sailing and Shooting

SRYC put together a Guy's trip.  There was a lot planned, but weather and a long time at the skeet range limited the activities.  We did get a good sail, lots of sporting clay shooting, and a belly full of crabs.  It was a lot of fun.  Tyler and Diogo came with me on the trip. 
I didn't shoot as well as I would have liked to.  It had been a few years since I shot last.  The mosquitoes were pretty heavy while shooting.

I found a leak in the hot water hose off of the water heater.  That explained some of the water.  I also found a good bit in the aft section from rain water.  I think I now have the two main sources of fresh water showing up in the bilge.  Its possible that some comes from the water tank as well, but I wont worry about that until I have the other two fixed.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Cruise 2009

We made the not too long trek to St. Michael's for the last long weekend of the Summer.
We went with the Severn River Yacht  Club and stayed at the Miles River Yacht Club just outside St. Michael's, Maryland.
28 Boats from 30 to 70 feet came.  Some stayed in slips and others rafted up. The ones anchored out gathered their dinghy's at the floating dock.
There were lots of dogs as well.
It made for a great weekend.  The Picasa site with all the photos is located at:  

Monday, August 31, 2009

PDQ Cookout Oct 9 after the Boat Show

For all PDQ owners, we are hosting a PDQ Cookout on October 9th in Annapolis from 5pm until 9pm. There will be food and drink, and you are welcome to bring your own additions as well. Go to the PDQ forum for more information, or send us a message. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Honeymoon

We finally got away for our honeymoon. With the house sold, bills paid, kids home, Ashley signed up for college, and the cat getting better after $2000 in medications, we packed the car and headed for the boat.

The weather was great, although there could have been a bit more wind. The trip up the Chesapeake was easy and we timed the tide well. The C&D was also easy as we anchored at the mouth of the Elk river and waited for the morning tide to take us through.

Oddly enough we found the restaurant and fuel dock in Chesapeake City closed. It looked as if it was being remodeled.

We got water at a marina father down and were fine on fuel to Cape May.

The Delaware Bay was the usual droll trip. Nice lighthouses and occasional pod of dolphins, but little else.

Its always a long trip and half of it is usually against the tide.

Ship traffic was much lighter than usual the entire trip.

We arrived in Cape May, via the canal, late in the evening and anchored off of the Fisherman's memorial. I had not been to Cape May since 1978 and Bonnie had never been there.

We were on the inside of a mooring field in 4' MLW. The perfect place for a PDQ to escape to.

The tides were typical for Cape May, about a 5' change. The boat was fine as I planned for Mean Low Water (MLW), but access to shore gave the dinghy a bit of an exercise. I realize now why hard bottom RIBs are so popular.

We met a couple that anchored nearby with a Gemini. They were finishing up a six year cruise in the Caribbean. They had a lot of ups and downs. It was great sharing some wine with them and hearing about their adventures.

We walked into downtown Cape May, then rented bikes. We went to the Lobster House, toured the water front and shops, saw lots of incredible old homes and went up to the top of the Cape May lighthouse. We ended up staying two and a half days as the wind and rain one day convinced us that it was a great day to do boat chores.

We purchased some fuel a Utsch's marina in the Jerry jugs. The PDQ did not look like it would fit in the fueling slip. The trip out of the inlet was great, and we spotted dolphins right at the entrance. There were 2-4 foot following seas and Bonnie's first ocean experience was a good one.

We rounded the end of the Cape between the shoals and beach and caught a Bluefish.

The trip up the Delaware bay was just as long as the trip down. We fought the tide for two hours then with the tide change, we made a good 8 knots plus most of the way and the entire C&D as well.

We got caught by the tide change running NW up into Harve De Grace. It took a while, but we were anchored by 9:30pm. My mind was blank as to where to anchor, so we decided to anchor directly off of the Concord lighthouse.

We had a nice tour of Harve De Grace the next day and also found an Art Fair there. The photo above was taken from the lighthouse.

We really wanted some fresh fish for the grill, and found a place on Google Maps that was near the water. We had to tie up to an old barge and trek through a field to the store - only the find out it was a restaurant. But the people there were very nice and sold us some Rockfish at a good price.

I BBQ'd the fish at the mouth of Bodkin Creek as the sun went down. We made it home the next day by 2pm. As we motored down the creek to the mooring Bonnie said she refused to grab it. She wanted to stay on the boat. But we bowed to the responsibilities of life and tied up.

We did send the kids a good message from a shop in Cape May. And we learned that a week on the boat was easy. We are certainly ready for more adventures.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The house has sold. We closed today. We are one house closer to the dream of living in Annapolis in the summer and spending winters on the PDQ. Only one house to go...

We did pretty good on the house considering the market. It was a great place for the kids to grow up. Fishing, swimming, tennis, basketball, and a playground all within a few hundred yards.

Now we just have to cram 3 houses and 2 boats worth of stuff into 2 houses and 1 boat, with only a year or so to sell another house.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We're Married!

We did it! Barefoot on the beach, on a beautiful summer day with 67 family and friends watching. It was a great event; fun, casual, and light hearted. The Justice of the Peace spoke little English and every couple of paragraphs had a pause for the translator. Of course, we each said 'Ce'.

The reception was a hundred feet from the beach in an outdoor pavilion called the Steak House. The resort was grand, and the entire event (and week) could not have gone better.

The honeymoon has yet to happen though. We had planned to sail north upon our return, but came home to a sick cat, and a contract on the old house in Herndon. We are looking to escape in early August.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Off to the Dominican Republic for our Wedding

We are off to the Dominican Republic for our Wedding. Photos and stories to follow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prep for Honeymoon

Its less than 30 days to our wedding in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately with 5 kids in tow and about 50+ other family and friends we won't be sailing down.

But assuming the weather permits, we will fly home on July 8th and within a day or two set sail north on our honeymoon.

Our goal is to try for at least Block Island in the time we have. As we both own small businesses and five kids ranging from 16 to 22 will be left guarding the houses, we are not sure how long we can escape for.

Bonnie has never sailed in the ocean, but has sailed on watches for over 150 miles. This will be a big experience for her. I made my first run off the Jersey shore at 16 - long before GPS. My dad taught me how to use a radio direction finder in the mid 1970s.

We expect to sail via at least one stop at Long Beach Island where I grew up and discovered sailing as a boy.

I am slowly prepping the boat for the trip. Sandy(s/v Page 83) gave us and old main sail and we have a spare so we are ready for any blow-outs. ;-)

We still need to get the spinnaker fixed.

The spring thunderstorms appear greater in number than a typical June. Perhaps its just the timing during boat project days.

This weekend is the Friday night party at Mears. Bonnie has volunteered to help and I will bring the boat around for the night.

Last weekend we only had one night on the boat, as it was Prom night the next night for Ashley. We met up with a young couple who have plans to live aboard their boat. Bonnie and I are very happy, and envious that they are have such a great plan at such a young age. If I could only go back...

I had an old Honda 5hp outboard in the shed I loaned them so they can get around in their ancient dinghy and avoid water taxi charges. Hopefully it will stay reliable for them. Eventually when they make their way south, they will need a tougher dinghy and bigger engine as it will be their 'car' in the Caribbean. Until then, there was not reason for them to buy an engine.

Their Blog is really cute to follow. Its at We'll all expect great adventures from them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weekend in Rock Hall

We spent the weekend in Rock Hall with about 20 boats from SRYC. It was a great time. We broke the spinnaker. The head was dry rotted and snapped. No 50 kt winds this time. Another sail to get repaired. :-(

We took the trolley to Chester town for the wacky boat race. It was fun to watch. We had a wine and cheese party at Will's house. An incredible place on the edge of the river.