It was really great to be anchored again here in Spa Creek, Annapolis.
As I mentioned in another blog, the Harbormasters office here are really good to cruisers. You only have to register if you plan on anchoring in the Creek more than 3 days or if you wish to use a mooring ball.. You take your coordinates of where you anchor and tell them when you register. The Harbormasters boat comes around a few times each day and measures to make sure you are 200 feet from a mooring ball and 75 feet from the docks. If they find you closer than that, you will be asked to re-anchor.
The $1.00 showers up at the office are adequate and we have always had hot water. I also mentioned the cheap pump outs. The really great thing is that you don’t have to pull anchor and go to a dock for a pump out. They have a pump out boat that comes around. We know he does Spa Creek in the mornings so you just have to radio him on 17 and he comes to the boat. Awesome!
There is free water on a dock to fill up your water jugs and bring them back to fill your tanks. Its about a minutes dingy ride from our boat. This photo was taken after hurricane Michael went through and the weather turned colder.
And we are about a 5 minute dinghy ride to Historic Annapolis and the Harbormasters office. Our first day here, when we registered, we saw Stan. (We got to know him in 2014 when we stayed here for awhile. We were happy to see him as he was having some tests done back then and wasn’t feeling the best. He looks great). They have a crew working out of the office here and they take turns running the pump out boat, the boat for measuring and working in the office registering boats that want mooring balls. Stan used to say when he was working the pump out boat that he was the #1 man for the #2 job. Lol I expect most of the guys prefer the pump out job as they get tips. He only works in the office now. So bottom line, if you ever find yourself heading south on your boat, plan to make a stop for a few days or weeks at Spa Creek. The Harbormasters will look after you very well. The folks here in Annapolis and Eastport are very friendly.
Because of our access to fresh water, the Captain took advantage of that and washed the salt off the boat, windows and enclosure and scrubbed the deck. No photos of that because as he was working up on the deck, I was below defrosting the fridge and freezer, We have walked to the Laundromat a couple of times. It is not far from the dingy dock. Here are our West Marine carts loaded with the laundry in the dinghy. Do you recognize these laundry bags, Heather?
The first week here, Mike changed the oil and fuel filters and then we changed the transmission fluid and air filter. Unfortunately, while he was changing the oil, he broke the cap off of the oil fill cap. He had to go to the Yanmar dealer to get a cap.
Most of our days have been unseasonably hot, so we took advantage of the nice weather, to clean out the track around our spray hood and seal it with 4200.
Another day we replaced a stanchion base that got broken when we lowered the mast for our trip through the locks.
We have been walking lots as it is 2 miles one way to get to the West Marine, Fawcett’s which is a family owned marine store and Giant for groceries in Eastport. And there is always something we need at the hardware store. At least, we are getting lots of steps in, some days around 18,000. The first time we went, we bought 2 carts at West Marine and then went for groceries. When we were half way back, a lady stopped and told us to get in the car. She worked at West Marine and recognized Mike. She drove us back to the dock where our dinghy was. So nice of her!
And depending on what time we shopped at these places, there was always this fast food place across the street where we could have a bite to eat and use their free wifi.
The boat show was and always is a bustle of activity. Here are some photos taken from our dinghy. Lots of yachts in the show. And flags and banners everywhere!
I really should have taken a photo of all the dinghy’s at the dock. People were climbing over other dinghy’s to get to the dock. And little ducks were always perched on these logs that kept people off to the side and away from the show platforms.
We didn’t need much this year so just wandered in and out of tents browsing. And in one tent, I saw a couple talking to a vendor and recognized them right away. Mike didn’t so he wondered why I was just standing there. Lol When they were finished talking, I spoke with them. They are from Annapolis and I was hoping we would run into them. It was Greg and Lyn Long and their boat is named Paperbird. We met them in Lakeworth and crossed to the Bahamas with them. We all chatted for awhile and then ran into them again at lunch and visited some more. They sold their house, live on their boat here in the summer and Bahamas in the winter. They also bought a motor home and plan to drive to Alaska next summer. It was great to see them. So that was a highlight. The only photo I took inside the show was this; very fitting, don’t you think?
Persuasion was supposed to have guests while we were here at the show but unfortunately, they couldn’t make it work. Of course, we didn’t know the exact date we would be here either, because of waiting inside Lock 11 for 3 nights and then waiting for a weather window to cross over to Cape May. So hopefully on our way back, Ken and Frances, or maybe even down south.
The first Sunday we were here, we walked to church in Eastport. It was about a 35 minute walk. It is a pretty walk through Truxton Park. We took our cart because we wanted to get groceries on the way back.
This is a view of Spa Creek from the foot bridge.
And this is the church. We had walked to a church service when we were here 4 years ago with Jim and Cheryl from Amazing Grace.
One of the other highlights of being here was seeing two ladies that befriended us last time at church. Miriam and Ida. Ida was worried about her red nose from skin cancer but said she had gotten a good report on it and its healing nicely now.
They took us all out to eat last time and of course, wanted to do so again. Ida likes a Chinese restaurant that is in the Giant grocery store plaza so we went there. They are sisters, born and raised here on the Chesapeake. Miriam moved to Minnesota when she married and raised her 4 kids there. Ida stayed here, married and had 2 children. Miriam’s husband died 5 years ago and she moved back here with Ida. Ida’s hubby died when he was 67 so she had been alone for awhile and Miriam does the driving as Ida goes with a walker from back surgery. It was good to see them again. Ida is 85 and Miriam is 78. Miriam married again 3 years ago to a man from their church whose wife died 4 years ago. He is older than Miriam; he’s 90. Miriam still drives Ida around, although Ida finally sold her older Cadillac and Miriam has a SUV now. Unfortunately, I didn’t have their phone number to keep in touch all these years but do now, so will check in from time to time. We went to church the next Sunday and then went to Ida’s for lunch. A couple days after that, we walked to her place for lunch and I took the ingredients to make chili and leave the leftovers for her. Mike went across the street to buy rolls for our lunch and get some dessert, He fixed her shower for her and she so appreciated it. She was very grateful for lunch and the company and it’s nice to hear her stories. Here’s Ida’s place with Mike toting our cart to the back door with the lunch goodies.
During our time here, we also had some good chats with Jim from Blossom II. We had met him on the dock at Waterford and then helped each other raise our masts in Castleton on Hudson. Blossom II on the left and Persuasion a bit behind to the right.
Of course, hurricane Michael blew in while we were here. Jim left on Blossom II a couple days before that happened and we were worried about him. He is 72 and traveling by himself. His buddy Brian had left Hamilton, ON with him to bring the boat this far. Their wives came to visit the weekend of the boat show and pick Brian up. We finally heard from Jim and he got as far as Virginia which is why we were worried, hearing that Virginia would be hit hard. He was in Deltaville at a marina where the winds were 60 kn and no power there or in the town for 2 days.
As for Persuasion, we took a mooring ball. Winds got to between 30 and 40 kn and there was lots and lots of pouring rain! We certainly didn’t want to have our anchor drag and no anchor winch to get it up in a hurry. And after all that rain, our dinghy need to be pulled up to empty out the water.
It was so deep that the gas tank was floating and on its side. One of the harbormasters had just come on duty. We hailed him over to pay for our ball as we had taken it after dark. He talked to Mike about where we could rent a generator and he offered to drive us when he got off work. So nice, these guys! But there wasn’t any to rent anyway. All rented out!
We stayed on the ball for 2 days because of the rain. After hurricane Michael, the temperature dropped considerably. And just like that the hot days were over! We went from record high temps of 30C every day, to a high of 18C some days and a low at night of 9-11C. Thank goodness for our buddy propane heater. Mike picked up our regulator and Persuasion went back to anchor. He got the regulator installed but not before we had to dig out all kinds of tools and wires and all. Of course he started working on it right after breakfast. Mom always said “there’s a place for everything and everything in it’s place” And I dug everything out to get what he needed so nothing was in it’s place. What a mess! But we got the job done and order was once again restored.
Thinking we were in the clear when this was done; but no, we needed an alternator too. So, Mike ordered that and it came within 3 days. And the generator we ordered at the boat show finally came in on the 18th. Apparently they were back ordered because so many were needed in the Carolina’s when Florence blew through. Then, with hurricane Michael, the distribution center in Virginia was closed for 2 days because of no power. Normally, we would be okay without a generator because we have the solar and wind. But some days it was overcast and no sun or wind, so our batteries got depleted. We stopped running the TV, used lights only when neccesary and saved our power for charging the phone, Ipads, computer and the fridge. Starting the engine didn’t help because we needed the alternator. Grrr! The generator would have done the trick but oh well, we will be ready if it happens again. And the alternator is in and working! There’s the old one on top and the new one installed! Mike said when all this was done and we used the generator “I guess Christmas came in October” No kidding!
Oh and speaking of hurricane Florence, Michael read on Soundings, an email newsletter, that Annapolis Harbor and Spa Creek was so full of garbage and debris that the city had to hire workers to clean it all up. There is so much work going into the boat shows here. Docks to be set up and floating docks to be set up for tents and boats to be placed in just the right spots. This year the power boat show was the week after the sailboat show. We certainly had the better weather for the sailboat show. Although hot, except on the day we went it was warm and overcast, it rained for 2 days of the power boat show and was cold. One day though, we were coming back from showers and a guy working on the lot at the show, asked us if we were cruisers. He said “You guys should come and work at the show with us next year, we have lots of cruisers working and we’d love to have you. Check out our website and come on out next year and help us”. so…should we or no? Lol
I will just add a few more photos of our views from Persuasion in Spa Creek.
Rowers going by in the evening
Pretty mallard ducks swimming by
A blue heron watching all the boaters going by
A pontoon party boat with a great slide for the grandkids. Reminds me of many happy times of your pontoon boat on Kempenfelt Bay, Kees and Monica
So folks that was our stay in Spa Creek. Should you decide to go south with your boat, make sure to have a stop over here for a few days or few weeks. You’ll be sure to enjoy it. And I could give you Ida’s phone number. She and Miriam would love you to visit.
On another note, we missed being home for a couple of our kids birthdays while we’ve been here. Our baby, Sarah turned 29 on October 14th and our oldest, Scot, turned 39 on October 17th. Next year, we will home to celebrate with you for milestone birthdays!
Speaking of milestones, wished we could have been in NB to celebrate this one! This is their photo which was on Live at 5 News, October 18th; Claude and Pat Steeves. Marking their 60th Wedding Anniversary is amazing! You two are an inspiration, great mentors and wonderful examples to all who know you. Mike and I as well as all our family look up to you and love you. Happy Anniversary you two and here’s to many more years being in love.