Rain, Rain, Rain and more Rain! - 38:57.74N, 076:28.90W

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sat 17 Oct 2009 16:47
We are back in Annapolis and it's still Boat Show time. Having left Herrington last Sunday we spent a few pleasant days in anchorages on the South River where we met up with 'Lilypad 'again, before taking the chance of finding a spot to anchor in Back Creek on Wednesday whilst the show was still on. We worked on the principle that sailboaters would come to see the show and anchor close by whereas powerboaters want to be plugged in to aircon and wouldn't think of not being in a marina for the show. The theory worked to some degree - there are no anchored powerboats but the whole of Back Creek is filled with Snowbirds (affectionate term for cruisers sailing south for the winter). There wasn't a spare buoy to be had even at $30 per night and the anchoring field was pretty much taken up. The weather was predicted to give us some wet and windy days over the weekend so nobody was likely to be moving on in a hurry.
Anchoring in Back Creek is a lottery. The holding here is indifferent to say the least and getting the anchor in to stay is an accomplishment in itself. We also had the added complication of having very little swinging room available and in total we tried 4 different locations up and down the Creek over the course of 2 hours. 3 of those locations were not great options in a perfect world, the 4th where the anchor finally caught hold of the bottom was the best for most wind directions and simply perfect for the predicted wind direction forecasted. It started to rain a short while after we shut the engines down and it hasn't stopped since! We are now into our 3rd consecutive day of rain varying from persistent mizzle to down pouring with 20 knots of wind thrown in for good measure. The diesel heaters have been continuously operating since arrival with temperatures struggling to get into the high 50s. Our sleep is occasionally punctuated by a drip of cold condensation from the overhead hatches which somehow manages to catch us squarely on the face. A form of Chinese water torture. In fact we have to go round the boat wiping the aluminium surrounds on the hatches to keep the condensation at bay.
The reason for being back in Annapolis is to finalise the replacement dinghy before heading south to warmer climes. We had visited the dinghy centre whilst attending the Boat Show last week & as mentioned the second hand dinghy we had wanted to buy had sold. Another was arriving the following Monday, so a re-visit with Ajaya was imperative to achieve the objective.
For 3 days we have not been ashore or even further than the engine controls in the cockpit. The Scrabble board is set up late afternoon and after dinner we have been sitting down to watch a DVD movie courtesy of our friends in Lanzarote who sent loads of them over to us whilst we were back in the UK recently. They are very much appreciated on these daggy days at anchor! Hopefully tomorrow the rain will clear which will see people emerging from their boats like bears from hibernation to forage for much needed provisions or to go ashore just to stretch legs. The boat anchored next to us has a small dog which is sent out into the rain from time to time to find it's particular 'spot' on deck to do what dogs need to do. He or she will also be glad to get ashore as well!
So, in the last few weeks the Chesapeake has changed from summer into autumn mode (which feels like winter). The trees are changing colour, gone are the predictions of showers and thunderstorms on the daily weather forecasts as the vast land mass that is the USA rapidly cools down in its northern sector. With depressions moving up the east coast and cold fronts coming from the west this area seems like a war zone for the various systems meeting up. The water temperature has dropped from a balmy 80 degrees to under 60 making any form of water sport unattractive to say the least. It's time to head South.