Tuesday 14th June 2011
Distance run: 50 nmiles
We slipped the lines in Portsmouth on Thursday 9th and headed out of the river into Chesapeake Bay. We thought we might have to motor the whole way,but the wind picked up from behind after lunch so we unfurled the twin headsails and ran downwind until it was time to head into the buoyed channel into Jackson Creek. This was probably the narrowest channel we have ever followed and at one point it went very close to shore before turning ninety degrees to port and becoming so shallow we showed zero on the depth sounder. We made it into the creek,however, and it was worth the trouble as it was a very attractive anchorage surrounded by detached houses with lawns running down to the water's edge.
Shortly after anchoring we were visited by Jean & Kevin from Amakura, who had been here a week, doing jobs on their boat. In the evening we had a farewell supper with Kenny & Sarah from Loon aboard Nimue, and by the time we got up the following morning, Loon had left. We went ashore to the boatyard to collect the inverter we'd had sent to them, to find that they were unable to find it. They assured us they had never lost a parcel and not to worry,they would find it.
In the meantime we had the generator looked at as it is sometimes reluctant to start, and Steve helped one of their workers remove the cooker so that we could have new brackets welded to the sides. It was not until the cooker was ashore in their workshop that they told us they did not have someone who could do the work, and that it would be cheaper to buy a new cooker than buy someone in to do it! At this point we had no cooker on which to cook and with the generator in pieces we could not even boil a kettle for a cup of tea!
Needless to say we were not best pleased, particularly as it was by then knocking off time on a Friday afternoon. The generator was at least put back together before the end of the day,and Anne & Michael invited us to eat with them, so we didn't have cold baked beans for supper!
The following morning Steve & Michael set to work and within a couple of hours they had the cooker back in place and gimballing well. The only thing left to be looked at was the fridge and we were told the yard would look at that on Monday morning. So over the weekend we took advantage of the marina facilities (at a cost of $11 a head per day), using the laundry, the courtesy car to drive into town for supplies, the lounge with coffee machine and TV, the swimming pool and the barbecue.
On Sunday morning Nimue set off to head north to Annapolis,and it seemed very strange not to have them on the other end of the VHF Ch 06. We had been sailing in company with them since the British Virgin Islands, and were going to miss them,but we each have plans to meet up with friends in different places. However, we will no doubt meet up again later in the summer before starting back south again.
On Monday morning we were told the yard was too busy to look at the fridge until Tuesday. They still could not find the inverter.
This morning we were told they were too busy to look at the fridge until tomorrow and they still had not found the inverter. Enough was enough. We told them to forget the fridge and get our bill ready for the work done and suggested they needed to adjust it to compensate us $350 for the inverter they had lost. When we were told that they would not do this, we asked to see the boss.
He arrived half an hour later, telling us that he had another meeting in five minutes so we had to be quick. Needless to say the meeting did not get off to a good start! However, he agreed that he would waive the bill in light of the lost inverter,and arranged to have someone look at the fridge straight after lunch. He also offered us the two months storage we had originally booked for later in the summer free of charge.By the end of the day the fridge had been rewired and seems to be working fine.
Later we discovered that the controller for the solar panels had stopped working, but Steve was unable to trace any problem with the wiring, so it must have been a coincidence that it packed up at that time. The bow thruster had also stopped working when we moved the boat alongside the fuel dock, so although we had fixed three things, we now had two new ones to sort out. The bow thruster motor runs fine,but does not seem to be turning a propellor, so we assume it has dropped off! Such is the nature of boats. However, we will move on as planned tomorrow to Reedville, and then on up the Potomac river to Washington DC and sort these problems out at the next opportunity.