Friday, October 31, 2008

White Pepper visits King Tut

Jan and I are in Dallas at a medical seminar where I hope to catch up on 11 months of medical progress in 4.5 days.

Thursday night we went to the King Tut exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. It was remarkable. For 2 hours we were transported back to a high civilization that lived 3500 years ago. The art work was so detailed and natural that "modern" Western art would not even match it until the 16th century. Already contemporary art has receded well below the standards demanded by the boy king.

King Tut died suddenly and maybe unexpectedly at age 19. He was hurriedly buried ina small tomb meant for someone else and maybe that is why his grave was not pillaged by robbers. His untimely death and unscrupulous burial assured him the immortality that he desired so much.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On the hard in Deltaville

White Pepper has been taken out of the water for the winter and placed on stands at the Deltaville Boatyard. For land lubbers this is called 'on the hard.' We have never winterized a boat before. It was a sad and laborious process. Jan and I took six days. We would work a bit and then be morose. The picture is of Jan repairing the mainsail. At least the weather has been glorious-crisp, dry, sunny, and mostly calm.

Daughter and son-in-law, Kristi and Pat Robinson came for the weekend of Columbus Day. We all went to the Deltaville Seafood and Art Festival. It was quite elaborate with numerous artists, vendors, and a tasty buffet lunch. In addition the Deltaville museum has a nice sculpture garden. It is a little unusual in that all of the sculptures are large waterfowl and all done by the same artist. There were also colonial period re-en-actors and two llamas for the kids. It was a good effort for such a small town.

The big day will be Thursday, 10-16-08, when we fly out of Norfolk for Texas. That will be the end of a wonderful voyage of 10 months. When one journey stops another begins. We will try to get jobs in the Coastal Bend area. If we can save up enough money to refit the boat, we will cruise again--maybe in May of '09.

I want to thank all of the faithful readers of this blog. The comments and positive feedback have been wonderful. It has been a joy to pass along our adventures. I do plan to post to the blog occasionally between now and May. I may want to reminisces or pass along some longer posts about the characters we met along the way. So stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Onancock, VA

Onancock is on the short list of "must sees" in the Chesapeake Bay and justifiably so. It is old having been chartered in 1680. However, the commerce, shipping, oystering, and fishing are long gone. Left is beautiful country side, a lovely creek, some truck farming, and lots of old mansions (most of which are for sale.) The October weather has been amazing--clear, crisp, and dry.

We anchored a short distance from the Onancock wharf. We walked and explored. There was little to buy since we did not need antiques, paintings, or nick-nacks. Onancock is home of the well known Willie Crockett who paints water colors of the Chesapeake wildlife. We went to Market St. Methodist Church and met many lovely locals. There are first class restaurants here and an excellent wine and gourmet shop. There is no grocery store or marine store. There is no fuel close by.

Despite its obvious charm Onancock did seem to show a bit of decay. There are numerous derelicts walking about. They are quite polite. About 1/3rd of the restaurants are closed and numerous store fronts are empty. I suppose that in a declining economy travel and tourism are a luxury that can be foregone. I hope that Onancock hangs on till better times.

Mill Creek, MD to Mill Creek, VA

White Pepper said good bye to Joe Frost Thursday 10-2-09 wishing him well on his single handing adventure this winter. We were also sorry to leave Woodburn's, the best gourmet grocery store I have ever visited. We lifted anchor from Mill Creek, the Solomons, MD and headed south.

We had a pleasant close reach down the VA shore and across the mouth of the Potomac river in a gentle SW breeze. Entering the Great Wicomico River once again White Pepper turned south into Mill Creek, VA. This is a beautiful, short winding creek with only a few houses along the shore. There are no boat services and no access, but the creek did provide great protection against a stiff northerly breeze that unexpectedly blew in after midnight.

The next morning the weather service ALMOST apologized for surprise. We raised anchor early and headed east across the Chesapeake to Onancock, VA. An bumpy ride early yielded to a gently dying and clocking breeze. The afternoon was an exquisitely beautiful fall after noon. We sun bathed. Jan was very sad to see the Eastern shore of VA slowly come up on the bow.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Little Choptank River

I can't believe White Pepper spent 7 days in Annapolis. We spent 3 days at anchor in Back Creek and another 4 days back on a mooring ball in Spa Creek (in front of the Naval Academy). We made the move to wait out a slow moving extra tropical cyclone (low pressure area with lots of rain) moving up from the Carolinas. We explored Eastport and Annapolis. We visited the Naval Academy. The chapel and the crypt of John Paul Jones is quite impressive. We visited chanleries, bookshops, coffee shops and a few taverns. Eventually it was time to leave. We did leave Saturday 9-27-08 in rain squall. We would be just as miserable staying on the mooring ball as in the bay.

White Pepper motor sailed 32 n. miles south to the Little Choptank. This is a small less developed river on the Maryland eastern shore. In a gloomy dusk we slid into Hudson's Creek which is the most visited anchorage on the Choptank. We were alone in a lovely, protected cove. After our long day, Jan and I slept so late on Sunday that we stayed put listening to NFL football and doing some light chores. We could not go ashore. One of the aggravations of cruising the Chesapeake is that the shoreline is all privately owned. Cruisers and dingies are not welcome. Access to shore is almost always by way of marinas or restaurant docks. Sometimes we have to pay to tie up. It is quite a contrast to Florida, Texas or the Bahamas.

By Monday high pressure had filled in from the north. The weather is definitely getting colder. The sun is further south in the sky and the sunlight much weaker. Noon appears to be 9 am and 5 pm seems like twilight. Autumn is just around the corner. We had a spirited sail south to Solomons. There we plan to visit our new friend Joe Frost on Mill Creek.

I'll post pictures when I can get the lap top ashore somewhere.