Back at Home Port. Wednesday September 1st, 2021

Written by Jack van Ommen on September 2nd, 2021

I am writing this on an Alaska Air flight from Baltimore to Seattle. There was a quick change of plans, caused by today’s storm from the remnants of “Ida”. My chance to see my brand-new great-grandson, Spencer, before he and his parents return to Scotland on the 7th, was starting to look a bit dicey. With the Labor Day weekend my chances to fly on my standby buddy passes was a consideration. Until last night it was still the original plan to park the boat at Kinsale, on the Virginia bank of the Potomac River and take the train to the Baltimore airport on Thursday or Friday.

But with today’s weather there was no alternative but to find a hiding place. I made it yesterday from the C&D Canal to an anchor spot just north of the Memorial Bay Bridge from near Annapolis to the Eastern Maryland Shore.

As an aside: shortly after entering the Chesapeake Bay from the C&D Canal, I was hailed by the crew of “Stephanie II” who were crabbing here. Watermen from Tangier Island who were my dock neighbors in Cape Charles when they were crabbing there in the early Spring.

While I was wokking my dinner, a Coast Guard weather warning came on; a strong NE was to set in at midnight and then get to gale strength from the South later today. Where I was anchored, I’d have some protection from the East but none from the North and South. I’d be a sitting duck. I have developed some apprehension for moving in the dark. But pulled the anchor and headed for Annapolis to hide on a mooring. Fortunately, I could retrace my late July outbound track on my electronic charts. When I started the engine there was a grinding noise and a hard clank. Scared the heck out of me. What to do here, re-anchoring and trying to fix the problem while at the mercy of the forecasted perils. I realized that the transmission control cable needs adjustment, by using the clutch I was able to get it in forward gear. I tied up to a mooring ball in the Annapolis harbor at midnight and reheated the wok.

The moorings cost $55 per day in the main harbor but the city has several more mooring fields. I am now tied to a mooring in the Saint Mary’s field where the daily rate is $25 and weekly $150. It is much better protected from the winds than the main mooring field. But the problem was how to get off the boat since the water taxis have packed up for the season. The harbor Master patrol boat hooked me up with the only other boat that joined me in the lower rent district. Bob and his lady on the power boat “Rebecca” hailing from Beaufort, N.C., he took me to shore in his dinghy. I needed a good shower and did this at the Harbor Master’s office.

Next was the challenge to get to the Baltimore airport. I found a service called Young Transport that offered rides to the commuter rail into the airport. But they are apparently also gone for the whatever reason. The driver in the local free shuttle suggested I take the #70 bus to the commuter train near Baltimore, the bus was ninety cents and the commuter day pass for a senior is $2.20 The predicted heavy rain was coming down hard on the bus ride.  I made it to the gate when boarding had started. And I was rewarded with a Premium seat.

Thursday morning the 2nd: I am at my daughter Lisa’s home. A beautiful late summer day. A break from the heat, humidity and ankle biting flies and a good night’s sleep in a real bed.

My new great-grandson and his parents are visiting friends in Portland and family in Centralia and back here on Sunday. They are returning to Glasgow on Tuesday.

I am in the process of “making a new plan, Van”. This sudden diversion, from the storm to Annapolis instead of completing the sail to Kinsale, means that I probably will fly back again on the 7th to complete the sail to Kinsale and then fly back once more to the N.W. and then celebrate my oldest son’s 50th birthday with his brother and sisters in Las Vegas on September 30th.

“Fleetwood” ‘s early playground. Vashon Island in foreground, on landing


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