So…….we WERE making some great progress and enjoying the stops despite the restrictions the pandemic brings to all of our lives. But now it seems that DONE DIGGIN’ has decided she wants us to social distance ourselves from home and family and has us stuck in Solomon’s Island, Maryland.
After traveling from New Bern to Belhaven, Alligator River, Coinjock and Norfolk we finished up the ICW portion of the trip. That means our last lock (this makes 104 I think) and entering the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake is a big, beautiful body of water that can be as calm as glass as it was on our first day from Norfolk to Deltaville, or rough and rolly as it was on our last travel day from Deltaville to Solomon’s Island.
We knew when we pulled into Solomon’s that we’d have to sit at least a few days because winds were predicted to be gale force which made travel a NO GO! Then two days went to three….to four….to five. We took a couple of bike rides to the grocery store (and liquor store to restock the beer and wine 😃), which we do when every we’re at a dock for more than a night. Like everyone else, we are eating most of our meals at home (boat) now, I feel like all we do is grocery shop, cook, clean up, repeat!
While we were stuck, I decided to catch up on laundry. I’ve done laundry in many, many marinas at this point and have usually found the facilities to be clean and comfortable. Not the case at Solomon’s Yachting Center. The trash was overflowing, the floor hadn’t been swept for weeks, and I had to wipe down the tops of the machines with Clorox wipes before even touching them. But I got the laundry done without any clothes touching any surfaces, all the while whining about how much I miss my washer and dryer. Another way we pass time in bad weather is watching Netflix or Hulu. WiFi has honestly been hit or miss along our travels and of course the connection at SYC was awful – Strike Two for Solomon’s Yachting Center. We did know the pump-out there wasn’t working but thought we’d be ok until we got to the next port, but as time went on we NEEDED a pump out. Strike Three you’re out SYC, we moved on day 6 to Calvert’s Marina where the pump-out and WiFi work nicely and it’s $20 cheaper per night. We should have come here in the first place.
So, Saturday morning we were up and ready to leave the dock by 6:45 as the sun came out over a beautiful, calm bay. We were looking forward to being another day closer to home when the port engine alarm sounded. Danny went down to the engine to see what was happening while I steered the boat – he came back up and said “we’re going back to the dock”, the engine was overheating. We came back in on one engine (he docked beautifully by the way), tied up and he started working. That was yesterday, and he’s still at it. A hose from the transmission cooler came apart in his hand while he was trouble shooting, so at the very least that needs to be replaced, though he’s still not 100% sure that’s what caused the problem. As our luck would have it, it’s a holiday weekend and none of the boat part shops around here are open until Tuesday. Until then he’s down in the engine chasing the problem (and swearing quite a bit – I stopped asking “what?” every time he bangs something and swears because I got yelled at this morning 😉). Our Looper friend Kevin has been calling and giving him ideas which has been helpful. If he can fix it, he will, he’s very determined – some might even say stubborn! If not, we are hopeful a nearby mechanic can lend a hand. Can you say 💵 💵 caching!?!
So, here we are. We really thought we’d be very close to home or home by now, so it’s disappointing. We literally have only 9 travel days until we pull into the river and our mooring is waiting for us, but as of this moment we don’t know when we can get going again. But this is really the first time we’ve had a problem that has delayed us this long, and we are tied up safely and trying hard to remedy the situation. It’s a pretty area, we’ll make the best of it when Danny’s not in the engine. We’ll get there.
Happy Memorial Day to all of our friends and family. Hopefully we’ll be home soon. Love to all,
Captain (Mechanic) Dan and Cruise Director Jodi