Category Archives: USA

Top-o-da-Chesapeake

We’ve been following a boat since March.   Its a sailboat named LUV…

It was in the Dark and Stormy race to Annagada back in the BVI’s..  4 young kids on it from Spain.. they won almost everything!
We were anchored together after the race…
Back in Trellis Bay (BVI).. we anchored beside them again..   (Herb you may remember SUP’ing over to their boat, almost)
They took off the next morning for Turks and Caicos..  and we didn’t see them again..
Well that isn’t true if you count electronics…  They keep showing up on our AIS, which places them closer than 20 or 30 miles…
Our destination seems the same more or less, but we just don’t stop in the same anchorages..  small world on the sea
Perhaps we will run into each other yet!!!
As we were leaving Annapolis we were able to chitchat with the sailboat from Sarnia..  Still don’t know who they are, as we were passing at 5 knots…
But they are from Sarnia Yacht club and on their way home…  have to catch up with them later!
So heading up the Chesapeake it was a beautiful day…   super hot.. must have been 85 or so…
No wind at all.. so both Yanmar engines pushing us nicely along…
All of a sudden (don’t you love it when a story starts like that)….
Sticks..  humm… a lot of sticks…
Bigger sticks…  floating in the water…
Branch’s..  sticks…  now 4×4’s??…
KeerrrrrBANG..   our prop found one…   First time for that!   (And I just finished reading an email from Guy where he hit a deadhead and wrecked his prop!)
Were in an area that the channel is narrow, but the water is miles wide.. we can’t really go too far port or starboard…
I shut down one engine to reduce are chances of another hit by approximately 50%.
Up on the bow, Robin and Allie radio back to me a twisty course around the debris field
Running shoes..  Pacifier… the water is covered.. were just steering around the big stuff…
Eventually we passed it all…  no idea where it came from..  flushed out of a creek one must assume…
We hung out up on the deck enjoying the sun for the next hour or so…  forgetting to put that extra motor on..   (if we had music, we could enter some scary stuff here)
No there’s nothing wrong with the motor…   read on….
Is it getting colder??  Looking at Allie suntanning on the deck, we notice she is packing up..  hummmmm
far off in the distance we see the clouds look like they Might be getting darker…
Well we have radar… not the cool one on the top of the mast that turns round and round… no we have the ‘Intellicast’ one…
Wholly crap.. there’s a PINK storm crossing just ahead of us…  that can’t be good..
With zero wind..  and just a slight change in the weather..  we pull off the channel and drop both anchors…both with 150’ of chain.
Literally 5 minutes later the wind-o-meter read 47 knots…   The waves went from nothing to whitecaps.. to 3-4 footers.. (remember this is a small bay.. pretty interesting!)
It was raining ahead of us so hard it was black..
A small sailboat continued on into the storm,,, we lost sight of him in minutes
We were completely dry.. just windy…  Robin actually made dinner while we were waiting it out..
Within half an hour we were on our way again… the weather zooooomed past in front of us and was gone..  (bring in the bird chirping now)
Mr. Radar suggested more were on their way.. so we thru in the towel for the day and headed into a harbour just 5 miles away…
The weather didn’t really get too bad.. a couple hours later we were SUP’ing…
We found a really cool little side bay, and entered carefully with the SUP’s.. it looked really shallow, although our guide book said you could get the boat in there..
(My chart said otherwise)…
Sure enough.. coming around the corner we found lots of sailboats…  paddling up to one we struck up a conversation..
SailboatDude: “Hey… some storm we had”
Timbo: “Ya… we were out in the Chesapeake..  did you get much weather here?”
SailboatDude: “Laughing..  Are you kidding??  We had a waterspout 20 yards from our boat..   look at the tree over there!”
The storm was a direct hit on this place..  it uprooted a tree on shore just beside his sailboat.. Per the news it turned into a tornado a little further inland…
So remember that engine???…..  If Timbo would have turned it back on guess where we would be…  dead centre the storm…
Keep the Karma coming..  we need it!!!
Have a Great Day
TIMBO

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Leaving Annapolis

Finding it hard to hit the windlass button here. We could easily live in this town!!!
We go ‘most’ everywhere by boat (dingy).. The downtown is setup to accommodate boats first, cars second…
being a long weekend and graduation of the Marine Officers.. the place is Packed!

Last bit of running around yesterday…
Refilled both propane cylinders, which is always tricky when cruising.. most places are “exchange” these days.. try that with marine aluminum 10 lb tanks..
A rental car has been my solution to this more than once.. They don’t tend to place large propane refill stations along the waterway!
This of course allowed a run to the Mall to keep the girls smiling.. then a quick stop at the doctor for a rash on Allie’s foot and hand (Notice the new watch)..
She convinced the doctor to say the band may be contaminated and a new watch would be a good idea!

Blue Angles were here all week.. we watched a practice one day and the full show the next.

No sense in even trying to take pics of that… even with front row seating we couldn’t get any shots other than small dots in the sky… sometimes you realize the iPhone is really a phone and not a camera!

Cruising back from the airshow we found a boat from Sarnia! Our hometown…

Does that mean we are getting closer??
No one was onboard… have a look at the pics and let me know who they are….A small sailboat hailed us over.. the wind was down a bit and they were rowing back to the yacht club, more than a mile away.. we gave them a tow..up and under the bridge..
Many other boats were sailing so they quickly said… drop the line, drop the line… (Nothing worse than your buddies at the YC seeing you come in by a stink-boat)

Big thunderstorm last night.. been along time since we heard that!.. But today is beautiful and sunny…

So…. up come the Anchor’s this morning.. we are heading up stream to the C & D Canal.. that will dump us into Delaware bay (Is there a Nascar Race at Dover soon?)…
There is no better geography lesson than visiting the places.. It’s funny, we have heard of all these places for years but try and put a pin on a map where they are…

Thanks for use of your place Bruce and Barb !!! Your the BEST!!!!

Have a GREAT DAY !!!
TIMBO

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A Visit to the WhiteHouse

Well I knocked and knocked but no answer..  apparently our buddy Barack must have been down the street at the neighbours.. certainly not in the house painted white…
Pretty cool town to explore..  we received some advice from an FBI agent at the bar..
don’t try and drive into Washington.. take the train in.. so we did..(worked out GREAT no traffic or parking issues!)
She said if we gave her more time she could get us clearance to enter the white house..
hummm..  sitting bar stool to bar stool we convinced her Timbo was a Canadian Ambassador,,,
not sure the ‘OK’ from the big boys would have gone through anyway..
Smithsonian visit to the air and space was really cool..
My favourite was the Wright brothers plane..  this is not a mock up.. it’s the actual first plane in the world..  now thats cool eh
Rented bikes for the day..  very smart system.. for $7.00 you get a pass…
you can use the bike for 30 minutes for free.. then return it to another station..
When you need the bike again, you just take another.. and return it within 30 minutes to the next station…
if you go over it’s something like $2.00  but we were timely getting from A to B to C etc…
The bike stations were EVERYWHERE…  very smart… we were able to criss cross the town with ease.
Lunch was the best burger I’ve had in a Long Long time..  wow..  yesterday I had sea food all day…  What a change up eh!
So sleeping on SOLID ground…  what’s with that eh??
Bruce and Barb showed us where the key is kept..  big Mistake there guys…
We might be here a while!!! ha!!!
If anyone’s in the area drop by Friday Night.. were having a pot luck dinner party
 …………………. (JUST KIDDING!!)  ha!!!!
We rented a crappy little car for a day or two.. it’s cheaper than a mooring ball!!
I was doing 80 MPH today with no wake…  Toooo Weird!!!
Well time for a LONG HOT BUBBLE BATH in our house..
The water holding tank in this place must be HUGE!!!! we can’t seem to empty it!!!   🙂
in other news…
Today we rode in
1) Dingy
2) Car
3) Train
4) Bike
5) Flight Simulator
Have a Great Day!
TIMBO

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Annapolis May 24 Camping

With a north wind and a north destination, the Yanmar Turbo’s were zingggggin to get us to Annapolis before the last opening of the bridge (and sunset!)
It was 85 miles.. we showed up half an hour early! Good job Island Dancer and it’s driver AutoVanHelm,,, Ummmm great breakfast onboard thanks to Robin!!!

Arriving to the bridge I called on the VHF to let them know we needed an opening (and directions to the bridge.. busy place!)
He said.. no problem, opening in 3 minutes.. have a nice day..
Perfect.. I lined up behind a large barge.. The bridge opened.. a tug came through.. the canal opened and the barge started to go through..
I lined up Island dancer to the narrow opening and started entering.. Allie (the ever so sharp eye) started yelling from the bow.. THE BRIDGE IS CLOSING!!!
She repeat this many times, As Timbo found FULL REVERSE on both engines.. tachometer needles bent, again the Turbos were coming in VERY HANDY…
WHAT THE HELL?? Stopping more than 50,000 lbs of Island Dancer is not usually a quick process.
Robin called on the radio.. Spa Creek Bridge Spa Creek Bridge.. This is Island Dancer… we are entering the bridge..
Bridge Dude: “Sorry I didn’t see you”
Bridge stopped closing and reopened..
I need to pull the masts to get down the Erie Canel to Lake Ontario… but I was planning on different technique to remove them!!!!

We have the BEST campsite for the long weekend.. dropped the hooks of Island Dancer down Spa creek in Annapolis..
Views in every direction are Amazing! and this campsite is as always FREE!!!

Our friends Bruce and Barb opened the doors to their beautiful home in Annapolis…
We can’t thank them enough.. Geeze that Tilly hat sure was an awesome find to put us in contact with these great friends!
Downtown is just walking distance.. or as we did last night.. you can just take the dingy and park front and center to everything!!!… very interesting town!
The naval academy is graduating this week, so the town is full of Sailors dressed in perfectly pressed White uniforms, with their families in tow..
Blue angles are based here, and will be performing a couple times this week..

You likely have heard of ‘kissing the cod’ in Newfoundland.. well here in Annapolis you MUST have an Oyster Shooter..
Have a look at Robin’s attempt!!! Timbo had 4 or 5 of them!! no kidding!!

And this you will NOT BELIEVE… we went to a Sushi restaurant for dinner last night.. and again TIMBO tried everything and didn’t DIE!!!!

Today we are renting a car and heading to Washington DC.. not sure Obama is there.. but if he is I’ll say Hi for you

Thanks again soooooooooo much Bruce and Barb!!!
Don’t worry, we won’t have any big partys in your house.. Timbo never has big partys 🙂

Have a Great Day!
Timbo

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Where’s Jessi anyway?

Well she’s back in Sarnia waiting for us to show up!   ha!!!   

Sending her little pics and videos now and again…  isn’t technology awesome! 
Maybe we can get her down here (or is it Over Here now?)  for one more adventure..  
Here’s a video when we arrived at Crisfield Mayland… (to Jessi) it was miserable.. 
But… the sun came out.. and you know what.. it turned into a beautiful place!!!
After watching Top Gun in the warmth of the cabin below during the constant nasty rain…   
See how many CRABS you can count in the photo’s..  I think there are 5… one is moving…
This is the CRAB capital of the WORLD!!!   The town is on a dead end road.. you can’t DRIVE THROUGH TOWN..
 but that doesn’t matter.. the CRABS are in the Chesapeake.. and thats all that matters here!

Check out the second video of Allie buzzin’ Island Dancer..   just raw video’s with this pretty darn slow internet..  (we thought when we arrived to the USA everything would be lightnin’ fast…. hummmm) Good thing we are on island time??

Hoping to make Annapolis Tomorrow…  Its about 85 miles and I think it’s into the wind…  Dooh…  Can you say YANMAR TURBO DIESEL (times 2)  we need to average over 7 knots to make it there for the last bridge opening of the day..
Have a Great WEEKEND!!!
TIMBO



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Wind Waves and the Rain – YUK!!!

Weather has turned typical MAY 24 for us here… The weather report was showing high winds beyond 35 knots starting Friday..
So heading up the bay Thursday we were surprised to feel a brisk 39 knots!!!
The wind continued all day.. luckily it was mostly behind us, so Island Dancer could just surf the waves.. making the journey comfortable (If you didn’t look at the wind meter)..
See a pic of Allie during some of the highest winds… no not the one on deck.. the one on the couch down below sound asleep!

With sails reefed hard, the words of Bill Butler echoed in my mind.. “A little bit of sail on the main and jib and let it blow 40.. who cares!”
Of course it started blowing 43 after that.. ha! Into port 10 hours later.. we’re now in the state of Maryland! A town called Crisfield…
Knowing the forecast was for things to get much worse with rain and blowing wind all night, we set two anchors with tons of chain…
At 4am our computer indicated we were dragging.. it seemed to reset.. so we let out more chain.. and has been good ever since..
although we are Very close to the riverfront crab shacks.. when this storm is over Im sure we could step out of the back deck and onto their patio!!!
Hunkering down here today… it will be raining at least until noon.. haven’t had weather this bad in many many months!!!
Looks like a Movie day aboard Island Dancer!!!
Heater is on… were snug as a bug waiting for this to blow through..Have a Great Day! Stay Warm!!
Timbo

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Norfolk Virgina – Mile Zero

Island Dancer entered the ICW – Intercoastal waterway, in Florida at mile marker 1025… today we made it to Mile 0… a bit of a naval town NORFOLK Virgina
The scenery certainly has changed in the last few days.. 2 nights ago we anchored in the most remote area ever… pulled off the ICW with only a view of tall grass, trees and Frogs!..(and bugs)
Last night we are anchored under sky scrapers… both are nice… but..Allie and Robin really love the MALL !!!
We had to go through 4 swing bridges and a lock yesterday,,, all timed to open on the hour or half hour..
They have these spaced out for powerboats, thats for sure.. I JUST made it to each one, but had to run both engines hard with the boat running over 8 knots..
most sailboats cruise at 5,6 or maybe 7, which would put us late for each opening and wasting about an hour each time…
We only had one bridge to wait for.. a train came barrelling through town with 141 cars attached.. we bobbed around for almost 45 minutes by the time that was over…
Cool town with street car trains, tons of shops, and lots of people!… Strange!!!

Heading in the direction of Annapolis this weekend… We have a funny story for this…
2 years ago sailing in the BVI’s on our 30′ nonsuch sailboat… my buddy Rusty (Steele) saw a hat floating in the water
We had full sails up and cruising along… so my first reaction was.. “wow a hat… as I looked at the chart to see where we would be anchoring for the night:”
Rusty “Timbo I think thats a Tilley”
Timbo “Oh ya.. are you thirsty?”
Rusty “You know those are indestructible”
Timbo – Pausing a bit…”…..You want to turn around don’t you?”

Well we slacked off the sails and cranked her around… picking up the hat with a long pole…

Inside there was a ‘secret’ pocket with $5, a name and a phone number for Bruce
That night we found happy hour and commenced to put the $5.00 to good use.. and called Bruce
Timbo “Hey Bruce.. This is Timbo.. have you lost your hat?”
Bruce “OMG, well yes… where did you find it”
Timbo “St. Maartin”
Bruce “What?? St. Maartin? We just lost it 2 days ago up in the BVI’s thats more than 100 miles away!”

Had a lot of fun making out that we were on a super yacht (blue with a heli pad) etc.. and were spending his money as we spoke…
He was pretty happy we found his hat…. so a few days later we met up and he was all smiles wearing his beloved Tilley again.

Before we left that night, Bruce make the following comment

“Timbo.. If you are EVER near Annapolis you must stop in… I have a deep water dock and a house right in town… you can stay as Long as you Want!!!”

So… guess what! Called Bruce last night, and we’re all meeting up this weekend!
He’s convinced there was $7.00 in the hat and wants it back… we will see about that!!!
🙂

Have a GREAT DAY!
Timbo
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Dewey Decimal System = Google

We spent some time exploring the maritime museum of North Carolina… Pretty neat place
This is Pirate Blackbeard’s ol stompin grounds…

He ran his famed Queen Anne’s Revenge vessel aground here, parts of it are now in the museum.. cool bits and pieces from the 1700’s!!
He was eventually caught and killed.. they hung his head off the boom on display as they sailed back into town…
This was all done to make new pirates think twice before dropping out of high school
… to become a pirate on the high seas..
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Some more school work for Allie this week.. we introduced her to GOOGLE from our younger years.. walking to a library, I opened up the card catalog and started flipping the cards “surfing the paper net”
She was quickly asking.. “Whatcha doin??” …. “Im just on GOOGLE”… let the fun begin!!!
Allie found a book she wanted in the card catalog.. then tried to rip the card out of the drawer… no no no.. they lock em in.. you have to WRITE the dewey decimal code on a piece of paper… “Dewey?  Your making this up Dad”  🙂
ok.. now what.. walking the isles we quickly found the book… WHAT A SYSTEM!!!!

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Cruised over to Oriental NC.. a nice trip up the Intercoastal waterway.. Reminds us of the trent system back home.. very beautiful
We had a whistle stop along the way.. huge storm came barrelling through.. rain and wind.. we pulled off the road.. dropped the anchor and went below..
Just 10 minutes later it was gone and the sun was out in full force… up the anchor and back on the road…

Enjoying these little towns.. moving each day north towards Norfolk… should be there later in the week
That is if the Fog clears out this morning!! wow.. haven’t seen FOG in a year!

Have a Great Day!
Timbo

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Land Ho! Welcome to North Carolina

Florida to the inner banks of Cape Hatteras a 460 nautical mile journey!

Thats a new record for us..   Back home that would be like sailing from Sarnia to Tobermory 3.5 times without stopping…   

Yaya…  all the salty sailors are pointing at the computer screen and laughing right now.. 

no it’s not an ocean crossing, but we didn’t see Land or a Walmart for 3 days and nights!!!  🙂

If we were to go the inter coastal waterway, this journey would have been 11 days at 8 hrs a day behind the wheel..  

Your limited to only cruising during the day.. and we cut off more than 100 miles going in a straight line.



What did we see… well lets sea here….



1) Dolphins…   LOTS of dolphins…  every single day… Looking off in the distance you would see one jump…  Then they would notice us and literally come flying over..  it was soooo cool..

They would play in the bow wake for 5 minutes or so then take off to who knows where..  We would practice talking to them in dolphin language…  I almost have it down now!



2) Ships…   Land of the cargo ships…  we would go a full day without seeing anything, no land, no ships, nothing at all.. then BAM..  the AIS lights up with 10-20 ships.. and of course a few are always pointed right at you…

More times than not, they would see our heading and actually change their course..   love this technology!!!



3) Fish…   Caught another fish.. this time a big nasty barracuda..  Big TEETH on him…  so we didn’t invite him onboard!  



4) Sunrises and Sunsets – All awesome..  beautiful out here!  



5) Blue water…  60 miles offshore the whole way… we saw our share of water!!



Weather was almost perfect..  we could have used a little more wind some days, but better than thunderstorms eh!

The Gulf Stream is Strong…  We easily picked up a couple knots of speed at times (>10 knots boat speed at times)…  and in the right direction!!!



But let’s backtrack a little on how we got here!



It all started Wednesday… we woke up with full intentions to go to Cape Canaveral and visit the Kennedy Space Centre…

Checking out the bus map, it’s not on the route… a bit out of the way I guess when you blast off rockets now and again…

Then the final straw was my buddy Al… He’s not the easiest one to open his wallet and I think he’s rubbing off on me..  

$55 a head… what?  It was free when I was there (when I was 5 years old)!!

So… up the anchors Crew!!  and before we knew it, Island Dancer was pointed north in the Intercoastal waterway…

Arriving 5 hours later at a town called New Smyrna, snowman our weatherman suggested we had many days of sunshine ahead of us…

Hummm…  guess we should pick up some groceries and head out to sea!  



Dropping anchor, we dingy’d over to the town dock where we met our new friend Ron..

Ron and his best buddy Coco were out for a walk when we approached the dock

It wasn’t long that we learned the only grocery store was more than a few miles walk and certainly out of reach for us.

With the sun getting lower in the sky, we didn’t have a lot of time to play around if we were to get out in the ocean today…  what to do?

Well Ron looked at his watch and asked… “Just how long do you plan to be in the grocery store???”

in Unison:

Robin “20 minutes”

Timbo “5 minutes”



Ha..  well next thing you know we are all jumping into Ron’s truck with Coco as co-pilot..   

It wasn’t a few minutes before we learned Ron was a Harley guy.. and at 71 years old had just sold his bike during ‘Bike Week’   

Lots of stories were shared of biking trips between us…  so nice to run into such a friendly person to help us out!



It was exactly 1 hour from dropping the anchor..  dropping the dingy from the davits..  boating to the town dock..   meeting Ron..  Over to the grocery store (10 minutes shopping)…

back to the dingy.. back to the boat.. dingy stored up in the slings..  boat stowed fort offshore passage, anchors up..heading out to sea… sails up and CRUISIN!!!



Without meeting our friend, we would be eating Kraft dinner for 3 days…  Allie was happy to have a grocery cart of fruit not to mention real food like chicken, beef and sausage!

Thanks again Ron!!!


Internet is super slow here, so I’ll only add a couple pics for now..
Time to hit shore and find some breakfast!!  Were in Beaufort NC

Have a Great Day!
Timbo


Here’s the AIS Screen Shot… ok I guess more than 10-20 boats.. more like 100 eh!

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Cocoa Village

Neat little stop here in Cocoa Village.. hanging out with Family (Dan Pat Lindsay Jamie and John)
Girls did a day of shopping while the guys hit the marine stores, auto stores and of course Walmart!

Changed out the oil, oil filters, racor primary and secondary fuel filters on Island Dancer.
With 3 engines (including the genset) that’s 9 filters and many jugs of oil!
Nice place to restock those items… 1 gallon of 15w40 can be $40 in the islands.. Walmart same brand $12.88

Heading up the coast today staging for another ocean passage..

Have a Great Day!!!
Timbo

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