Monday, May 14, 2012

“Next To Me” Becomes a Treehouse

Days on Cruise:  52

Distance traveled Saturday: 37.0 miles

Distance traveled today (Monday): 9.1 miles

Total trip odometer:  1,156 statute miles


Since leaving our anchorage at Mobjack Bay’s East River we’ve moved north to the tiny town of Deltaville.  The crowd of 35-40 Looper boats who left Norfolk last weekend dispersed, some moving north rapidly, some more slowly, some heading to the west shore of the Chesapeake and others heading to the east shore.



We stumbled upon 10 or so of them at Regatta Point marina, including friends Charlotte and Stephen who we met back at the beginning while still in Fort Pierce, Florida, as well as newer friends Tom and Barbara from Louisiana who are buying a boat here in nearby Urbana, Virginia. We had dinner with each couple one night at Cocomo’s.  Tom and Barbara picked us up in their car to take us to dinner, and the next night we went with Stephen and Charlotte in their dinghy and were joined by another couple, Michelle and Marc. Great fun both nights!

Mother’s Day was also nice. The marina put on a Mother’s Day Brunch for all cruisers in port, attended by about 60 folks, and Cathryn received phone calls from all three of our adult kids, as well as talked to her Mom and Dad, all of which made her happy.


Today we drove the boat 10 miles to Deltaville Boat Yard. See the interesting duck blind we passed, above? Captains Chris and Alyse Caldwell won a gift certificate for a free haul-out and bottom cleaning at this boat yard, and because their boat is in Florida, they gave the gift certificate to us.  Nice, huh?  Since we’re due for a bottom cleaning, replacement of zincs, and wanted to make sure our props were okay because we lightly bumped a couple of deadheads in the Dismal Swamp, we decided to get it all taken care of at once.


We quickly discovered we had chewed up a crab pot line somewhere along the way.  While not uncommon, we were lucky it hadn’t bound up our shaft.


John, Matt and Mac at Deltaville Boatyard are great! They got the bottom pressure-washed, confirmed we need new zincs, and then told us the bad news: in the process of checking our props and shaft, they learned we have a worn cutlass bearing that needs to be replaced. We would not have found this if we had a diver do the bottom cleaning and zincs, so we’re even happier we had the boat hauled! For free, no less.  We probably could have completed the Loop uneventfully without changing the cutlass bearing, but we’re committed to maintaining the boat, not just fixing it; former owner Peter delivered it to us in good shape and we want to keep it that way. Remember that acronym  B.O.A.T we talked about earlier?


Luckily this cutlass bearing is not a big deal repair. We should be out of here tomorrow midday for less than a “boat buck”.


So, “Next To Me” was placed on the hard, a 9-foot ladder to the swim step was brought for our use, and we’re spending the night on the boat in their gravel parking lot, a new experience for us. Now the view out our sundeck windows is all trees, so it feels like we’re living in a treehouse.  It’s weird  to not be rocking in the water.


Good thing we’re not attempting to meet an onerous schedule to arrive somewhere up north in a hurry.

We enjoyed seeing lots of what they call “watermen” on our short journey today, working hard to make sure all of us have plenty of crab to keep our tummies happy.


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