September 2004
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On Monday August 30 we left Tidewater for the short ride across the harbor to Anchorage Marina. The Forth Annual Southbound Cruisers Rally was scheduled for Sept 7 - 9 at Anchorage Marina.  The first few days were spent cleaning the yard dust and sugar dust off VILKAS. What is sugar dust? Well, Tidewater Yard is right next door to the Domino Sugar Plant that runs 24 hours a day processing sugar and syrups. Even with all of their controls the plant emits a fine dust that is kind of sticky.  Also during those first days of September a lot of time was spent watching the news as Frances was beating up the Treasure Coast of Florida.  We had spent the past two summers in Ft. Pierce so we were very interested on what was happening being that Ft. Pierce was ground zero for France and later in the month Jeanne.  As it turned out Harbortown Marina had significant damage to several docks.  We have friends that either lost their boats or received damage both in the water and in the yard.

The Southbound Cruisers Rally was a great success with over 250 boats were registered.  The speakers were great and we met a lot of new cruisers as well as renewed friendships with cruisers that we have met over the past couple of years.  After the rally many boats stayed at the marina for a few extra days to ride out the remnants of Frances and Ivan. 

September 21, 2004 - The weather finally turned for the better and we headed out for Annapolis.  The 5 hour trip was uneventful until a couple miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridges, where the Magothy River enters the bay.  The heavy rains from the remnants of the hurricanes had washed a lot of trash into the bay.  So for the last few miles we had to keep a close watch and dodge the floating debris.  We arrived in Annapolis and took a mooring about 1600. 

We always enjoy Annapolis and this time was no exception.  Friends of ours, Rick & B.D. were back on their boat at Port Annapolis so we hooked up with them for lunch the next day.  We had not seen them in over a year and had a great time.  We had planned on staying just 2 nights but ended up staying a third when I discovered a leak in the hose from our propane tank.  Rick has a car in Annapolis and drove me around to get the parts that I needed.  It was very much appreciated. 

September 24, 2004 - We left Annapolis at 0915 a 6 hour trip across the bay to St. Michaels.  While we were in Annapolis the flood gates on the Sequahanna River dam at the north end of the bay had to be opened to allow the flood water to flow into the bay.  This action allowed large amounts of debris to flow down the bay, only this time it was not the small branches and trash that we had before but large logs 5 to 8 inches around and up 10 feet long as well as other trash. So again we had to keep close watch finally getting out of the trash as we entered the Eastern River.  We arrived in the St. Michaels area around 1400.  It was Friday and we had read and heard that St. Michaels is a very popular place on the weekends so we opted to head up the river a couple over miles and dropped the hook in Hunting Creek.  Hunting Creek was an enjoyable anchorage very quiet and relaxing.  We stayed 2 nights and then moved over to the north harbor at St. Michaels.  By the time that we got there at 1500 most of the weekend crowd had left so we had no problem finding an a place to drop the hook. 

St. Michaels was a real joy.  A neat little town with good restaurants and many shops to wonder through.  Their Maritime Museum was especially nice with displays covering the history of the Chesapeake Bay.

                              St. Michaels Harbor

                       Museum Training Vessel

                   Vessels being restored

               Lighthouse at the Museum