Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On the mooring ball

Kayaking Herrington Harbour South
Herrington Harbour South was a nice marina. A friendly harbor master met us at the dock. Clean laundry room, clean shower rooms, deli/grocery across the street and an excellent restaurant, all for a reasonable off-season (Boat US discount) docking fee of $61/night (cheaper than a hotel, more than a monthly mortgage payment). A good place to sit out a forecast of rain. However, the forecast was wrong (apparently common here on the east coast) and the sun came out the next day by noon. Kayaking and chores commenced.  The Captain gets antsy. 
Container ship traffic
Leg 3 Herrington Harbour for Solomon's island:  I knew we were in trouble when I got up and saw all the fishing boats heading out of the marina at 6:00 am. Apparently, it was not only a Saturday at the beginning of boating season, but the first day or rockfish season. The fishing boats are EVERYWHERE and towing at least 15 lines, some 200 ft long behind and BESIDE their boats (blog.potomacrockfish.com) . It's fine at the start, but after zig zagging for awhile the boats are no longer marking their lines.  We had the main up and are motor sailing at 5 kts. Finally, we clear most of the boats and get the genoa up and the engines off. This only lasts and hour before the wind dies and the fishing boats appear en masse again. 
Underway with the Captain up on the trampoline
The entry to Solomon's Island was relatively straight forward. The mooring ball field appeared where it was supposed be. With Lokie (starboard engine) dying as we passed over our mooring ball, we backed up and tried again.  Dang, that should have been easy!  Captain has the dinghy in the water before I can get the boat opened up.  We need a drink.  

Stats:  33 miles, 6:42 hours, avg 4.9 kts.

The first time we left the boat unattended.  "I need a drink."
We check in at the marina and are informed it's the Tiki Bar opening this weekend. We don't know what that is, but it's "a big deal."  We stop at the first bar that has a table and order crab chowder, fish sandwiches and gluten-free gnocchi (never seen that on a menu!)  At some point the Captain switches from beer (Yuengling) to Hemingway's (what I ordered). "We're gonna need some grapefruit juice." 
Found a drink (Hemingway at Kingfisher's restaurant)

Hemingway recipe:
Hemingway frequented the El Floridita bar in Cuba where the daiquiri was invented. He preferred the #3 with double the rum and no sugar (El Papa Doble).  In this area, it's shaken & served in a martini glass. Hemingway preferred it over crushed ice, but you can also do it in a blender. 

2-3.75 oz Rum (white, Bacardi or Havana Club)
Juice of 2 key Limes (1 oz)
Juice of 1/2 Grapefruit (4 oz)
6 drops-1/4 oz Maraschino liquer (also cherry brandy?)
(1 tsp simple syrup, optional)

Gluten-free gnocchi!
This is a mail stop (we're hoping a few packages catch up with us), so we're here a few days.  The mooring ball is $30/night.  (Not bad, but not free.)  We get all the marina services including trash disposal, bathrooms, free bicycles, shuttle to the grocery store, wifi and access to the dinghy dock (which is just across from us).  
It rained ALL night.
Our second day on the mooring ball is a nice day (Sunday). A short walk to West Marine and a bike ride to the grocery store. I declare another "no chore" day for me. Lazing in the cockpit ensues. Torrential rain all night. 
Free bikes at the marina.  Fixed gear with coaster brakes and a full load of Dr-Dek.
Third day on mooring ball:  We walk to West Marine and the post office in the morning.  The sun is out so I start my next big project. Master mattress out on deck to air out. Everything in guest berth moved to settee. Bike ride to West Marine to get Dri-Dek for master berth (warm bodies over cool water equals mold under mattress).  Dri-Dek installed.  Guest mattress moved to master berth. Sleeping bag aired out on deck. I take the shuttle to grocery store to stock up (next stop is anchoring out without a grocery store).  Upon returning I cooked a frozen pizza (cooked perfectly, by the way.  Love my Force 10 oven!) served in the cockpit.  Master mattress from on deck to guest berth.  Make master berth.  Reload guest berth.  I decided it was time for a shower and Captain sends me on my first dinghy solo.  Success = 2 outboard starts!  Hemingway's in the cockpit to celebrate with our kindles (downloading Hemingway books, including Islands in the Stream).  We watched the evening storms pass us to the north.
Dri-Dek under the master berth to fight condensation
Our mattress is right over the hull so cool water & warm bodies = mold :-(

Captain:  "That should be in the blog." Flexible tubing installed as outboard bumper (First Mate cringed every time the new outboard bumps the hull.)
Hey, nice bumper.  Very professional.

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