On a slow boat to China

Written by Jack van Ommen on July 30th, 2021

Now that I learned from the bartender in the Solomons to use my hot spot I get to do my internet on the boat instead of blowing up the dinghy and finding an internet connection. So, on Wednesday morning I did not get going until 11 am after searching for an open diesel station. I sailed most of the way. It got rough in the late afternoon. I stayed on the Eastern Shore but it does not have a lot of options to spend the night. I picked Poplar Island. Not sure of the status. Must have been a bird sanctuary. They are building long jetties and it is either a secret dark government project or a retreat for the billionaires. I found a sheltered spot from the strong southerly and had a good night sleep. But in the early morning the wind was whistling through the rigging form the west, totally exposed to the bay, and it did not take long for the waves to build. I was only a 100-feet from the lee shore. It was a real challenge to hand haul the anchor chain while the boat is bucking the waves. But when you have no alternatives, you find some underused muscles. I had intended to make it into the C&D Canal. I could see the Bay Bridge. But dead against the wind and the steep waves, I was not making enough headway under motor. I knew I had very few options on the Eastern Shore to hide. The forecast is for strong northerlies tonight. So, I bore off to the mainland shore and ended up in Annapolis. The 11 miles took me over 4 hours. I am moored right in the heart of town on a $35 a day mooring ball. A $4 water taxi picks me up from the boat and drops me on the main waterfront. The Harbormaster office is right there and they have free showers. I needed one badly to remove the layers of insect repellent, that for the most part seem to be useless on the flesh-eating green flies. I had been to the Boat show here in 2008 and picked up a used genoa sail here in 2009, before taking off for Europe; but I had never explored the town. I hiked up to the state capitol building. The oldest continuous functioning state capitol. Back “home” the North Hampton County seat, where Cape Charles pays their dues, claims this for U.S. County seats.

State Capitol






I had a Stella Artois and steamed mussels at the Middleton Tavern which was established in 1750.


Middleton Tavern







This picture shows the crowd at the “Pusser”. Looks like a good pick-up bar for your daughters to catch a potential Admiral from these awkward looking Navy cadets.

The Pusser P.U.bar


The harbor is a display of all sorts of water activities. Little tourist tour boats, large luxury yachts. The “Endless Summer” is here, I showed a picture of her on Face Book at full moon last June at the Cape Charles Yacht Center. There was an evening sail regatta and all the participants are filing back in. It reminds me of the harbor of Victoria B.C. on the Memorial Day.

My plan is to leave here early and try make it into Chesapeake City on the C&D Canal before the current turns at noon and then again have a favorable current on Sunday morning.


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