Moseyin’ Back to Homeport

As we’d arranged, Mosey On’s crew took a day on the 16th to thoroughly explore the bazaar that is the US Powerboat Show in Annapolis. We were not really there to look at boats, rather the stuff that suggests ‘solutions’ to boaters’ issues or desires…we talked to life raft vendors (we think a life raft might be prudent before we venture much further off shore)…a piece of expensive gear you really hope you never get to use! I visited with the company that manufactured our outboard motor (for the dinghy) to see what I needed to do to ‘winterize’ the motor properly….only to find out that the motor will do that itself at the press of a button…(I should have read that part of the manual…). Fender covers in a wide selection of colors, fitted sheets for odd-shaped mattresses, electronic geegaws, new and improved marine toilets – all the flotsam and jetsam that filled the display tents jammed into the heart of old Annapolis. At the end of the day we sought-out a quiet dinner, then beat a retreat back to Mosey On and a good night’s sleep before Friday’s first light departure for our run south to North Carolina. We made the trip in five travel days with a one day layover up the York River across from Yorktown to allow some foul weather to pass by.

The end of the power and sailboat shows generally mark the end of the Chesapeake boating season and the beginning of the ‘great Fall migration’ when anyone with the boat (and the time) to do so, heads south to warmer waters. Some go offshore around Cape Hatteras and others head down the more protected waters of the ICW (Intra-Coastal Waterway). However it’s done, some planning is required and attention to the weather (wind and waves) is key. I should note that the option to go offshore has some real attraction (as opposed to the ICW) due to the deeper and more open waters, fewer ‘obstructions’ to navigate, and no low bridges to open.  Alas, weather conditions offshore relegated Mosey On  to the inside passage this time.

One of the important things we have learned from this year’s cruise has been the value of what is popularly called “crowd-sourcing”: defined in Wikipedia as “the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional {sources}.” There is, of course, an App for that. With an internet connection (and what self-respecting boater doesn’t have that?) you can read what your fellow cruisers have to say about a secluded anchorage or a convenient marina. There are comments on uncharted obstructions and developing shoal waters in dredged channels. You can read of the experiences (good and bad) other boaters have had in yards where they’ve gone for service. You read these like restaurant reviews…realizing that some folk will always have an issue. Yet you ignore these markers at your peril.

As a less structured example, we came out of the Great Wicomico River into the lower Chesapeake with a strong wind running against the tide. The day’s cruise was shaping-up to be an unpleasant slog into confused seas. But as we poked the bow out of the Wicomico and looked ahead, we saw a string of cruising sailboats heading south across our path and well short of the marked channel. Looking at the chart, we determined that they were taking a path across shallower water and closer to shore to be sheltered from the blow. As their draft was the same as Mosey On’s, we fell in behind and cruised along in their wake. It was not a straight course, but we followed the coastline keeping to a safe depth and enjoyed substantially reduced seas from those out in the channel. We would have been more circumspect in taking Mosey On into these waters on our own, but we were traveling in van with clearly well-handled boats and skilled
crew.

Over these many months, we found the cruising community to be consistent ‘subscribers’ in adding to that ‘database’ of shared knowledge and experience: underway, on-line and on the dock. It made a trip like ours much more manageable and interesting. We joined-in along the way and reviewed marinas, raved about some anchorages, and sadly ‘dissed’ a few. We’re back in our home port now and plan to ‘sit a spell’ and let the weather settle. We’re not sure of our next destination or when, exactly, we plan to head out. But Mosey On will be ready and another great adventure assured!   Life is a journey indeed…Have a great trip!

Coming up the drive..

Coming up the drive..

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