Log of the Rantum Scoot

This is a work in progress!  I will be filling in some details later on but this will serve as a rough idea of how we're progressing!

Thursday, Sept 5th, 2002    17:00 Enroute

Finally underway we're happy to be moving! The plan is to make significant progress towards the Chesapeake Bay.


Friday, Sept 6th, 2002    20:00 Block Island RI

Landfall is made at Block Island RI.  After 27 hours of motor sailing we slide into Block Islands Great Salt Pond (New Harbor).  The crew is ready for a little time on the hook!  Our plan is to hang out a little bit and then start out tomorrow afternoon after fueling up.

Pictures of Block Island

Saturday, Sept 7th 2002    14:00 Block Island RI

After a good nights sleep some snorkeling and showers we're ready to move along.  We fueled up and the famous or infamous Champlin's Marina.  Amongst blasting music and drunken Sea-Ray owners we fuel up and blow town.  As usual the folks at Champlin's were not much help! Unless you like loud music, second hand cigar smoke and obnoxious people this place is to be avoided!  Block Island is a great place and should be visited by all cruisers.

Sunday, Sept 8th 2002    18:00 Enroute

Another long passage of mostly motor sailing, we're off the coast of Atlantic city NJ and we are planning to make our way into the Delaware Bay. Nice weather currently but Tropical storm Gustov is down south and it's not clear where he's going.

Monday, Sept 9th 2002    22:00 Enroute

Entering the Delaware bay. It's very dark, no moon tonight and the bay is very wide, in fact you can't see both sides at the same time.  Some shipping traffic is on the bay tonight.  It's surprising but these massive freighters/tankers move at 15-20 knots even on the bay.

Tuesday, Sept 10th 2002    09:00 Enroute

Melissa pilots down the Chesapeake & Delaware canal.  We stop for fuel at the Summit North marina just off of the canal.  They are dredging the channel and it makes for an interesting approach to the marina.

Tuesday, Sept 10th 2002    14:00 Georgetown MD

We made our way up the Sassafrass River which is in the north portion of the Chesapeake Bay.  We ended up about 6 or 7 miles in and found a nice little spot to anchor.  We're in the town of Georgetown MD.

      Chesapeake Bay Map

Wednesday, Sept 11th 2002    09:00 Georgetown, MD

Today we took a walk to the grocery store that the cruising guide says is a mile away.  Turns out it's 2 miles away.  It's 95 degrees and the crew is not pleased!  On our way back a lady pulls over and asks if we want a ride back to the marina.  She turns out to be our waitress "Sissy" from the night before.  I later accuse Melissa of leaving too big of a tip!

   Later that day we move the boat further up river to be closer to the Marina's and dinghy landing spots.  We anchor amongst a lot of empty moorings.  A decision we later regret.  The remains of Gustov are forecast to pass off shore tomorrow no heavy weather for us this time.

Thursday, Sept 12th 2002    08:00 Georgetown, MD

We're slow to get moving this morning.  We're planning to begin moving for Baltimore MD this morning.  As we hang out the wind suddenly begins to pick up.  From calm to 10 knots like someone threw a switch.  As we discuss this and survey our anchorage we agree that we need to get out of here before we start to drag.  We don't have a lot of scope out on our anchor chain and we decide rather than adding to that we'll get going.  In the next five minutes the wind pipes right up to 20 gusting to 30 knots. Of course our anchor drags and we quickly find our selves involved with a mooring.  We spend the next hour or so trying to free our anchor chain.  It is of no use, we can't get free and the wind is gusting to 35 knots now.  We decided to cut the anchor rode.  We tied a fender off on the line and picked up a mooring.  

Later that afternoon I went over and SCUBA dove on the mooring and found the chains wrapped together.  We unraveled it and put it back on the bow!  No harm done. We got to enjoy the Georgetown Yacht Basin for the rest of the day.  The place was deserted, we had it all to ourselves!  The pool was nice and they had free bikes, though we found out too late to be of any use.  Fuel was reasonable and there was never anyone on the fuel dock.

Friday, Sept 13th 2002    07:00 Baltimore, MD

Today we need to get an early start for Baltimore as Scott needs to go to work from there.  We slip out at about 0700 and had a nice ride down the Sassafras river.  When we got into the bay it was blowing about 20 knots and made for a great sail down towards Baltimore.  A couple of hours later the wind dies and we had to motor into Baltimore.  There's a great deal to do in Baltimore's inner harbor.  We walked around that afternoon and grabbed some dinner, then it was time for Scott to go to work. Scott met the crew of DHL 468 BWI-CVG at their hotel within site of our slip and rode over to the airport with them.

Saturday, Sept 14th 2002    through Saturday, Sept 21st 2002 

Baltimore was a great place to hang out for a while. We were there for 10 days and we still didn't see everything. One of our first stops was at the National Aquarium of Baltimore. They have a great seahorse display along with a stingray pool, a rainforest exhibit and a dolphin show. They also have smaller displays throughout the building. We decided that since the Baltimore Science Center was only 100 yards or so from our dock, we would get a membership (which included free IMAX tickets). We went to the science center quite a few times when the weather was bad or we just needed to kill a little time. The Baltimore Science Center is the official visitors center for the Hubble space telescope, their entire space section was excellent. 

Some of our other Baltimore fieldtrips included a tour of the USS constellation, the lightship Chesapeake, the submarine Torsk, the Coastguard cutter Taney and Seven Knoll light house. All of these tours were very interesting. The Constellation was probably the most interesting. The day we were there it was not crowded and we were able to talk at length to one of the shipwrights who is involved in the restoration of the ship. He even showed the kids what they would have had to do if they were "powder monkeys". These were young kids that would run the cannon fuses between the hold and a hole in the deck which they were passed through.

Baltimore also has a great Children's Museum which we were able to ride our scooters to. We also scootered to the Flag House where Mary Pickersgill made the flag which inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the Star Spangled Banner, as he watched it fly over Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. We learned a lot about the war of 1812 while in Baltimore. 

As we wandered around to all these attractions, (which were all in easy walking distance), we stopped to watch street performances which included juggler/comedians, musicians, artists and dancers. We also often stopped to rest at a Barnes and Noble store that was right on the water front in a really cool rehabilitated power plant.  


Saturday, Sept 21st 2002 1000

We finally had to leave Baltimore though the younger part of the crew was very reluctant.  They were having too much fun there! We're heading for Annapolis, MD.  We had a nice sail today!  We get to Annapolis at about 1530 and it's a mad house!  Boats everywhere! Under sail, motor boats buzzing by and sail boats tacking abruptly.  We head for the inner harbor to check on a mooring as anchoring is not allowed in the inner harbor it's just to crowded.  We cruise through and find no vacant moorings.  It looks like a parking lot where there's about 200 cars and 40 spaces.

We decide to head for the outer harbor where anchoring is allowed.  Out there is crowded too.  We would have to anchor in about 50 to 60 feet of water and it was pretty rolly in there.  We opted to blow out of there and head down the bay about 3 miles.  We found a nice little place called Lake Ogleton.  It was surrounded by private homes there was only one place to land the dinghy at a community marina.  We anchored in about 8 feet of water.  It was very nice and it was very quiet, then the dreaded tubers (DT's) arrived.  Despite the 5mph speed limit the DT's zoomed around the tiny lake/anchorage.  They must have been residents I'm sure this would not have been permitted otherwise!

Sunday, Sept 22nd 2002 1000 Annapolis

We head up to Annapolis figuring that since it's Sunday folks will be heading out and we will find a mooring.  We find one right in the inside corner of the inner harbor!  Our theory was correct there were several open moorings when we got there.  They were all full again by mid afternoon.

Margaret and Ken (Melissa's parents) caught up with us here. We walked around town, we checked out the Naval Academy and the harbor area of Annapolis.  We concluded that it's a great town for adult sailor/partiers but that a cruising family won't find enough to occupy their time.  It reminded us of Newport RI that way. We might try to get here again during boat show time.  

Ken and Margaret found a hotel for the night with a pool, so the kids were keen to head over there as swimming in Annapolis harbor didn't seem prudent.  Melissa and I got to do some re-provisioning and grab some dinner.  The kids decided to stay with their Grandparents for a couple of days while we moved the boat to Washington DC.  

Monday, Sept 23rd 2002 

This morning we had a few things we needed at the boat store so we waited for them to open and ran through.  It was a very well stocked store named Fawcett's Marine supply.  We found all kinds of stuff that we HAD TO HAVE.  We finally broke down and bought a good pair of binoculars.  We found that night sailing demanded a better pair than what we had.  We were also in need of the next chart kit Norfolk-Florida Keys,  a cruising guide or two, a recording barometer which we had been looking for, for some time, more wooden plugs for thru-hull plugging and various other items.  We were underway by 1030.

Today we needed to cover some miles but with the late start we were hard pressed. We got in a fair amount of sailing before the wind it was comfortable if not a little warm.  

We made it to Solomon's Island, MD we scouted around and decided to anchor in Mill creeks Bow Cove.  It had a muddy bottom with marginal holding, but was very pretty.
Picture of Rantum Scoot in Bow Cove

We fired up the grill and enjoyed a nice tenderloin of beef for dinner. The only thing missing was the kids...:-)

Tuesday, Sept 24th 2002 1000

We got up early but had to do a couple of things on the boat.  I had to SCUBA dive the boat to replace the zinc on the prop shaft. We wanted to make sure we had one before getting up to DC and shore power. We got going about 1000 and worked our way up the river we had to contend with a couple of Navy test ranges and were asked via radio to take certain heading to remain clear.  

I never realized how big the Potomac River is.  It's very wide at the mouth and for many miles up, it's also very long! 95 miles from the mouth (Point Lookout) to Washington DC. We got into Monroe Creek MD at about 1700.  It's a neat little creek off of the Potomac.  We went up in a couple of miles and anchored in about 10 feet of water between Red 10 and 12.  We actually went out to dinner that night and I enjoyed some MD crab cakes! We met a nice couple Dawn and Paul from Old Greenwich CT.  They were cruising south and had been out since June.  We had a very restful night with nary a boat going by.

Wednesday, Sept 25th 2002 0700

Today we got an early start our plan is to rendezvous with the crew at Mount Vernon (The estate of George Washington).  We got off early enough that we beat the test range guys to work.  We didn't have as fair a current today however making only about 5.5 knots.  We got up to Mount Vernon just after 1400 and were able to tie up right at their wharf.  This is a great way to arrive at the estate and we highly recommend it! Just be sure to call ahead and check with them. They're very nice and were helpful.  We carried about 8-10 feet all the way in and out of the private channel.  

We walked around and saw George and Martha Washington's tomb, the farm and of course the mansion.  We had been there before but it's always fun to go back.  The kids had never been there so they found it very interesting. We shoved off from there at about 1700 and snuck over to Piscataway creek.  We bought some fuel and ate in the restaurant at the marina.  We were the only ones there but the food was good and the people were nice.  

We went back to the boat and Melissa and I took a nap while the kids watched a movie.  We needed to get underway at about 2200 in order to be in position for a midnight opening of the Woodrow Wilson bridge which is I-95 right in Alexandria VA. In other words traffic on the Capital Beltway was going to come to a screeching halt so that we could go through the drawbridge. It opened at the appointed hour and we glided through (with a look back at the traffic jam we had just caused), and up towards DC proper.  Melissa had made arrangements for us to tie up at the Capital Yacht Club which had been highly recommended by our new friends Dawn & Paul.

The recommendation turned out to be a great one.  We have very much enjoyed the hospitality of the CYC members and staff.  It's location along with the amenities have made it very comfortable.  They have a nice club house, pump out, 50 cent per load washer and dryer, great security and helpful staff.  We met the most cruisers we have ever met there in the clubhouse.  The place always has cruisers passing through or as in our case hanging out for a little while. 

Washington's attractions are many and anyone interested in finding shore side distractions has years worth available here.  We will be adding the sites visited here soon.


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