Tuesday, September 4, 2012

St Michaels for Labor Day and Additions to the Todo List

One way to judge a successful sailing trip is when nothing new is broken when you return.  We I can't say that for this trip, but we had a great time none the less.

SRYC boats headed out for the east side of the Bay on Friday.  Coming up the Bay was a submarine heading for Parents Weekend at the Naval Academy.  It had its own 110' Coast Guard cutter following it.  Not something you see everyday.

Submarine heading up the Chesapeake Bay

Bonnie was her typical busy self, making solar lights as we motor-sailed across the bay.

Bonnie making the netting for a solar light
I didn't keep track of how many she made, but its probably is not going to be enough to make a dent in the pre-Christmas sales she'll have.

A completed solar light

We met the club boats in Shaw Bay and enjoyed a fun, progressive-style dinner across three rafts of boats.  At least that was the plan.  As I was running around the boat to clean things up a bit, as Bonnie was aptly designated the lead in dessert raft up, I heard a tearing sound along the back side of the trampoline.  Bummer.  I thought that would last another season.  I guess not.

I ran some lines on the underside of the trampoline to support it, in case someone accidentally stepped out onto it.  I checked it out and felt it was pretty secure.  But, it wasn't needed, as many of the group had consumed too much alcohol between the appetizer boats and the entree boats. They were more than happy for us to bring the desserts to them.  So, no risk of loosing anyone through the trampoline, and no clean up the next day - Yay!

We had a nice time, and as one of those who drinks the least, I was the designated dinghy driver to get everyone back to their boats.

It was pretty humid so we ran the generator and had air conditioning all night.  It was very nice!

The next day we headed to St Michaels, which was only about 45 minutes away.  We anchored in our usual spot, which is a shallow area about 4 feet deep at low tide.  Its behind (to the SE of) most of the boats and we usually don't get many boat anchoring too closely.  St Michaels can be a zoo on a holiday weekend, and it was true to form this weekend.  We counted about 70 anchor lights in the outer area off the harbor, and another 50 more in the coves and by the Maritime Museum.  We had the dinghys running about, the water taxi doing constant runs, the occasional Waterman, not happy with tourists, running his boat through the anchorage producing the biggest wake he could, and many a motor yacht coming it at 20+ miles per hour right up to the no wake buoy.

Saturday was Bonnie's day of events.  She was the planner for two events - dinner and the after dinner party. Skip and Judith were kind enough to let us tie our dinghy to the stern of their boat, so we did not have to tie up at one of the overcrowded dinghy docks.  It also made shuttling food for the parties easier.

We had lunch with our very dear friend Mark, who owns the town winery, and then he and I went to work on his 1974 Porche he is converting into an electric car.  It was very cool, although he has a lot of work to do before the car show he is entered in later this month.  We ran some of the wiring and got a little bit more done, but mostly we chatted and caught up on things since last we saw each other. Bonnie did some shopping in town and we met up in time to get showers on the boat before she had to prep for the dinner portion.

She set up the dinner at the Town Dock Restaurant.  It was a really good buffet, and the food was perfect.  In our minds, that is one of the best restaurants in the town, and the town has many good ones. 

Bonnie had the Town Dock Restaurant deliver the desserts to St Michael's Winery, where she arranged for Rich to be the DJ, and more food, cheeses, and wine waited for us.  The staff at the winery are great.  We met a couple of the new staff and immediately clicked like old friends.

It was the first party that involved dancing in the new winery location.  We all had a great time, and the staff danced with us.  We staggered back to the dinghy about 11, with a thunderstorm passing nearby and rain falling on us.  Back on the boat, we sat under the hardtop and watched the storm pass while enjoying the cool breeze.  We (I) still opted for air conditioning that night as is was so humid.

Sunday we spent much of the day with Mark, touring his new production facility in Federalsburg, MD. It was so nice to see how he is expanding and listen to all of his ideas.  He has quite a great vision, and I know the winery will continue to grow and be very successful.

Sunday night we had a happy hour, turned dinner, on Skip and Judith's 76 footer.  It was a great time with about 70 people.

Peggy brought her Ukulele with her and gave Bonnie a lesson.  They spent an hour or so on the bow and then as people migrated out there it turned into Bonnie's first performance.

It was a great time, as usual, and we left about 9 to head back to the boat.  We were expecting a storm, but it never came.  We went to bed, with the wonderful air conditioning again, and slept great.

In the morning we packed up and headed for home.  A big thunderstorm followed us and we did not quite make it home when it hit.  Bonnie was on the bow grabbing the mooring in 20+ knots of wind and heavy rain.  She is a Trooper!

On the way home the starboard engine was not pumping water the way it should.  I don't really have the time to tear it apart, so I'll probably pay someone to look at it.

I'll be ordering a new trampoline this week.  And I need to determine what instruments I want to change before we go south.  With the wind meter mostly dead, I think that replacing it, and getting a new depth sounder and probably a second, better autopilot are in order.  It'll be pricey, but necessary. 

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