After spending our first night back in the Chesapeake anchored in the Bohemia River, we decided to take a mooring ball at the Sailing Associates marina in Georgetown, MD for a couple of nights. This would give Dave a chance to dismantle our malfunctioning windlass (that’s the device that raises and lowers the anchor) while it wasn’t being used for anchoring. Unfortunately, he quickly discovered that this wasn’t going to be something he could easily fix. Every turn of the gypsy (the wheel that holds onto the anchor chain as it is fed out) was producing a small pile of metal shavings. Dave feared this meant a gear was quickly being stripped by each use.
Since we were so close to Annapolis, we decided to call our broker at Annapolis Yacht Sales (AYS), Tim Wilbricht, who had helped us locate repair specialists in the past. He suggested we come to AYS to have them look it over and assess the damage first. Since Annapolis was only a day’s sail away, we decided to head there on Friday, arriving shortly after noon in Back Creek. Tim and Chris ( the AYS service manager) met us on the dock. Within minutes, Chris had the windlass capstan off and had determined the problem to be nothing more than a worn pin. Although he didn’t have any in stock, he fabricated one for us and had it reinstalled within a half hour. The windlass worked like a charm, and the entire repair was done at no charge. It’s just more of the excellent service we continue to receive long after our initial purchase from Tim and Annapolis Yacht Sales.
With the windlass repair already taken care of, we now looked forward to a weekend in Annapolis, with a long list of things that we needed and wanted to do. We had several re-provisioning items to take care, which started before we left the AYS docks. While Cathy topped off our water tanks, Dave visited their parts department to pick up some more zincs and some more of the special “French” curtain hooks that keep breaking on Orion. After taking a city mooring in Spa Creek, we took the dinghy to get some diesel to top off Orion.
Over the next few days, we took a trip to Bayshore Marine in Eastport for some more spare parts for the engine and a case of oil to take us through the winter’s oil changes. We visited Annapolis Yacht Sales pre-boat show open house, where Dave got some tips for handling the recurring problem with our auto-pilot’s compass from the Raymarine representative there. We visited Bacon & Associates to put our bikes up for consignment sale, stopped by the Maryland Dept of Natural Resources to renew Orion’s boat registration, refilled our gas cans for the dinghy and the generator, did grocery shopping and got some insurance quotes.
While in Georgetown, we had replaced the lightbulb in the bow navigation lights, but Dave wanted to ensure we had used the right bulb. (The one we had used was one that had been on board when we bought Orion.) When shopping at Fawcett’s for the bulb, he was told by a sales rep that Fawcett’s didn’t carry the bulb, but West Marine did. The Fawcett’s employee practically shoved Dave out the door, handed him his own bike and told him to take it to West Marine and back, without even taking his name. Dave managed to make it there and back in time to return the bike before the man’s shift ended. What a nice town!
Our stay in Annapolis wasn’t all work. We managed to get in a pleasant day sail with Dave’s former co-worker, Rob and his fiancé, Ming on Saturday. On Sunday, we managed to take in the service at the Naval Academy in the morning and met up with Ed and Billie Sutter, from our church in Reston, for supper that evening.
Although we had reunited with Merlin and Shango at Georgetown for a night while we were there, we parted company while they visited Baltimore and we went to Annapolis. After a long weekend, we came together again behind Dobbins Island on the Magothy River (just north of the Bay Bridge). They were interested in exploring the Chester River, so we sailed across the Bay to work our way into the Chester, a large winding thoroughfare just north of the Bay Bridge on the Eastern shore. We picked a spot on the Corsica River to anchor for the night. There was plenty of room and it was a beautiful setting. The winds were predicted to kick up the next day, so Merlin and we moved over to Langford Creek to pick up a mooring at the Lankford Bay Marina. The marina was a lovely spot to spend a few days, so we stayed through the weekend, taking the shuttle into Rock Hall for their 300th anniversary Fall Fest. It was another beautiful day and a great time.