Sunday, July 27, 2014

Month-long Sailing Trip: Baltimore

(actually, the neighborhood of Canton)

--Blogpost written by Bob

Friday, July 25

In the morning it was very windy, blowing 10 to 15 knots out of the north and it was cold (61 degrees F).  It was windy all night long too and the wind kept blowing off our mosquito nets and the mooring line created an irregular clanging sound as it rubbed against the anchor all night.  It was not a very restful night for me but Maggie slept like a rock.

We departed from our mooring in Havre de Grace at half past 9 in the morning.  Getting off a mooring is easy compared to pulling up a 44-lb anchor with 30 feet of chain and 5/8-inch diameter anchor rope.  The rope and chain has to be rinsed off using our deck wash system before stowing it in the anchor well.  With a mooring buoy, we simply remove the mooring line from the bow cleat and we are off.

We might be overdoing this obsession for quiche for breakfast while underway.  Maggie served it up a little differently this morning--with watermelon and our newly acquired boat plates.

It took one hour to motor through the long narrow channel out of Havre de Grace.  On
this photograph of my chart plotter screen, the channel is in white while
the surrounding blue area is shallow water.  The boat's position is
in the center of the screen.  While it may look narrow, I believe we had
a channel width of 200 feet and a channel depth of 15 feet or more.

The distance from Havre de Grace to Still Pond is only about 17 nautical miles.  The wind died soon after we got through the channel, so we ended up motoring the whole way to Still Pond.  I have added an addendum to our Still Pond blogpost to describe what we did in Still Pond this afternoon.

Saturday, July 26

In the morning we were awoken by rain--it was only a brief shower but the skies were overcast.  

We usually make individual cups of coffee in the morning in our galley before heading
off somewhere.  I usually have one cup of decaf coffee (Starbuck's VIA) and Maggie's
coffee is brewed in a single cup drip device, pouring hot water into the open top.

After a cup of coffee, we raised anchor (actually, Maggie raised the anchor this time) and we headed out into the bay.  As we turned the point, the wind was in our face and there was a swift tidal current coming up the bay--we could tell it was about 2 knots by our GPS and seeing the flow past a buoy in the shipping channel.

This is a typical buoy marking the end of a trout line or bait line.  There are usually identical
markers on each end of the line.  A long line with baits attached extends between the
two buoys.  Crabbers who use this technique for catching crabs, run their boat slowly
along the line and as the line is slowing raised out of the water, they scoop the
crabs off and into a basket with a net.  For some reason this method is not
used as much in the southern part of the bay.

The distance to Anchorage Marina in Baltimore is 28 nautical miles.  As we approached Baltimore, the skies began to clear up.

The Craighill Channel Lower Front Range Lighthouse is located just off North Point as
you enter the Potapsco River from the north.  It was built in 1873.

We entered the Potapsco River just north of the ship's channel and
went under the Key Bridge (shown above).

Just north of the ship's channel after passing under the Key Bridge, a red, white, and blue buoy
marks the spot where Francis Scott Key (while held captive aboard a British warship and watching
the bombardment of Fort McHenry) wrote the Star-spangled Banner.

The first things you notice coming into Baltimore Harbor are the big ships in the industrial waterfront,
large office buildings, and huge marinas.  The waterfront looks complicated and massive.

Fort McHenry defended Baltimore during the War 
of 1812.  It looks so small and insignificant from the water.

The Baltimore metropolitan area is home to 2.7 million residents.  Baltimore's history includes the writings of Edgar Allen Poe and H.L. Mencken, the music of James "Eubie" Blake and Billie Holiday, as well as the city's role in the War of 1812.  Canton is a small neighborhood of Baltimore located on the north shore of the Potapsco River and east of the inner harbor.

Anchorage Marina is a condominium marina--most of the slips are owned by individuals
who use them or rent them out through the marina office or otherwise.

We were able to get a very desirable slip on the outside
of P Dock--it cost us $90 per night.

Saturday night was windy and cool, thankfully.  I would imagine
it could be quite hot here this time of year.

Sunday, July 27

Our jib sheets run through these very rugged blocks--the position on the track is adjustable.  You 
can see Lizzie has found a nice cool spot on deck. She has such an eye for color too!  The 
purple color is a towel that is hanging on the starboard lifeline while the 
yellow line is our shore power cable.

As we have done for other places we've visited, we are including some images of the neighborhood of Canton in Baltimore, where we are berthed for this leg of this trip.

Captain John O'Donnell was the first person to transport goods from Canton
(Guangzhou, China) and named his plantation after Canton (China).  The
land was sold for expanding waterfront industrial use.  A statue of 

Captain John O'Donnell stands in the square in Canton today.

In more recent times, Canton has undergone gentrification as town homes, condominiums,
and large marinas occupy the waterfront where waterfront industries once thrived.

We had lunch at Mama's on the Half Shell located on the square in Canton--it was excellent!

This is a typical street in Canton away from the waterfront.  The two-story town homes
are usually very old and have been nicely renovated.

This is one of the best bakeries in the area--it is located on the square in Canton.  After dinner, 
we picked up dessert at Vaccaro's--it was absolutely delicious!

With only a few days to go until this trip is over, we still haven't used the
mainsheet traveler or the main sail for that matter.  We've used
the jib a lot though.  I'm hoping we do a lot more
sailing during the remaining days.

This has been a nice stay in Canton!  There are so many restaurants, coffee shops and a grocery store all within easy walking distance of the marina.  All of our stops have been different and nice in their own way.  From this point, we will be leisurely heading home with one-night stops in either the Magothy River, Whitehall Bay, and/or  Annapolis.  All these stops will be covered in the last blogpost of this series after we arrive in Galesville at the end of the month.

Thanks for following our blog!

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