Herrington Harbour, Herring Bay

38:46.58N 76:33.82W
 
Monday 1st August 2011
 
Distance run: 20 nmiles
 
After another farewell supper ashore (barbecue ribs - delicious) with Michael & Ann on Thursday evening, we parted company once more as we lifted the anchor and headed out of Annapolis towards Herring Bay on the West coast of Chesapeake Bay.  Here, at Herrington Harbour North, we will have the boat hauled and stored ashore until the end of September, while we return to the cool summer of the UK to see family and friends.
 
Although we had looked at the tides to check that we would have a favourable current for the trip south, we hadn't actually checked depths in the bay and so were a bit put out to discover some depths of 7 feet in the bay on the approach to the dredged channel.  We would arrive on a falling tide, two hours before low water.  Whoops!   Some careful calculating told us we would have 0.2 metres of tide (about 8 inches), and as the diesel and water tanks were only half full, we thought we would be ok. 
 
The marina had said we could arrive anytime and told us where to dock (in the Queen's English we say 'berth'), so with 0.1 metres of water below us at times in the dredged channel, we edged into the marina and found our slip (US-speak for berth - we are becoming fluent in American English!)  We are now berthed alongside on M dock, waiting to be hauled out.
 
The marina has very nice, clean shower and toilet facilities, an air-conditioned lounge with TV and power sockets for laptops, a gym (hmm...not sure why we would need one of those...), a laundry and a pool - I think I could like it here!  The locals seem very friendly and helpful.  We asked one lady the way to the marina office and she said "Oh it's way too far to walk in this heat- jump in the car and I'll drop you off." When we went into the office to check in, the receptionist ticked our name on a list and said, "That's it, you're here!"  I wonder if it will all be this easy?...
 
On Saturday we took down the two headsails and folded them into their bags.  Scott and Freddi from Washington arrived around lunchtime with some ladders, electic polisher, power tools and an extension lead for us to borrow.  Scott also pointed out the 240v electic socket on the dock which we didn't know was there, being unfamiliar with US sockets, and he took us to the chandlery and picked out the plug we would need to make up an adaptor for our power cable. Steve later made one up and we now have mains power on board.  (This means I can power the laptop and catch up with the blog -hooray!) Scott and Freddi drove us into Deale, the local town and we had a very nice pub lunch.  It seems the downside of the marina is that it is a bus ride away from anywhere and there is only a bus at weekends.  No matter, we don't really need much, and there is a West Marine chandlers on site if we need anything when working on the boat. We also have the folding bike, so if we really need something,one of us can ride into town.  (What do you mean, you know which one?!!)
 
Yesterday we were doing a few more jobs in preparation for the boat being lifted when a familiar voice called "Hello" and there were Anne & Michael from Nimue!  No, they had not sailed down, but had hired a car and had been down to Solomons to check out a boatyard where they might store Nimue and stopped off here on their way back.  They had planned to have Nimue hauled here too, but wanted to see the other boatyard for a comparison.  They still plan to have her hauled here.  Michael drove us into town and we stopped at the hardware store for a look around.  It's useful to know what's available when working on the boat.  The portable air-con unit was very tempting, but way too big and heavy to keep on board!
 
After stopping at the pub for a quick pint, they took their leave saying that they may well bring forward the date of hauling so we may see Nimue here before we leave for the UK.  We then changed the oil in the engine and generator and finished readying the boat for hauling.
 
This morning we were up early in case they wanted the boat in the slings first thing, but apparently the big travel lift which we need is being repaired (nothing major it seems).  A few small boats have been lifted out and the guys in the yard know we are waiting.  If nothing much happens in the next hour or so,we will wander up to the main office and have a chat with them.  As we only have two weeks before we leave the boat, we don't want to waste too many days just waiting.