Chesapeake City to Elizabeth City
Elizabeth City, NC
2010 10 17
From Chesapeake City to Annapolis was pretty mundane. Exiting the C&D Canal in moderate winds out of the north we bent on all the cloth we carried and sailed our brains out all the way to Annapolis. No trimmming of sail, no grinding of witches, just a nice relaxing reach all the way to and into Annapolis. It was the Thursday before the Boat Show, actually the first day of the boat show, open to the press but Spa Creek just in front of the show site was not very populated.
The hook was down before the sun and the crew followed shortly after.
Next day we did a run through Annapolis, the Budget Committee proceeding uptown to find herself some new offshore duds: her old Gul brand gear, some German brand, having proved itself inadequate to any task beyond a mild drizzle.
The BC found some very handsome and serviceable Helly Hansen clothing at her favourite Annapolis boutique and purchased them over my strenous objection. I mean Canada is at war with bloody Norway. Trading with the enemy is treasonous unless you are a large American or German corporation. Price had nothing to do with it. It never does in these things.
While the BC broke rank with her homeland I made our agreed upon purchases from Boat Show vendors: a new EPIRB from Defender and a rigid boomvang from Garhauer. The two of us collided at the agreed upon place at the show and shared lunch. The BC needed a new carrying box for groceries and laundry which we got from West Marine for a pittance and Curmudgeon found some grommets to repair the mainsail cover at Sailrite. Six hours from dinghy down we had returned to Meredith and had the dinghy deflated and back on deck.
Next morning we sailed out of Annapolis and made our way to Solomons Island. At Solomons there are two choices for anchorage. Many people try to find a spot along the main waterway close to existing marinas and boatyards. Room is at a premium, the anchorage and marinas are loud with partying and a great time is had by those who prefer this life.
Meredith is more sedate. We were shown a great spot last year by friends Tony and Linda on Oneday. Rather than entering Solomons proper if you take a starboard turn down the Mill River you find acres of lovely little coves and protected water to drop your hook in quiet splendour. This alternative to party town Solomons is generally overlooked and your anchorage along the river is largely solitary.
Having arrived at Solomons late on Saturday we called Border Protection to call in our position. It was Columbus Day weekend in the USA and thus a holiday weekend. We were told by the human operator that "the office is closed. You will have to call back Tuesday after 9 a.m. to make your report."
We found ourselves incredulous. We expressed our concern over waiting 3 days to report our position when such a big damn deal had been made about the reports all along our route to date. The operator was implacable, repeating her mantra "you must call back on Tuesday after 9 a.m."
When pressed for her name so we could enter in our ship's log our attempt to report in accordance with her government's rules the prissy little bitch on the telephone refused to give it. I mayhave sounded a bit agitated on the phone.
Any idea how many Tamil Tigers I could have landed in the 3 days before anyone bothered to take my report - the one that the government issued paper says must bTe made "IMMMEDIATELY".
Hell of a system they got there. I feel safer already.