The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Where Oh Where, In Delaware?

Tuesday we had another great cruise of roughly 63 miles.  From Baltimore, we retraced our steps down the Patasco and turned north to pass through the most northern part of, and bid goodbye to, the Chesapeake Bay.  I hope someday to return here on a boat.  They say you could spend a lifetime on the Chesapeake and never see all of its rivers, creeks and anchorages.  The towns are boater friendly and when blessed with good weather as we were it was hard to leave.

But leave we must, so up through the north bay, the East River, and through the C & D canal, aptly named as it connects the Chesapeake Bay to Delaware Bay.  The C & D reminded me of the Sacramento River above Rio Vista as it was lined with rip rap and plenty deep.  It was built for, and is still used to get freight from Philadelphia to Baltimore. 

Delaware City is just north of where the C & D enters Delaware Bay.  The marina is on a 75' wide channel.  It is owned by Tim, the same guy who met us at Carter's Cove Marina a couple of weeks ago.  He was here to greet us, as were several other loopers. 

The Marina is 4 long docks end to end, probably 1,500' long.

Here's a shot of two of my favorite girls, Carrie and Once Around.

As every boater knows, when everything seems to be going great, watch out, something is broken.  Sure enough, the night we pulled in we noticed an idiot light (what my dad used to call them) on the helm telling us that our engine room bilge pump was running.  So, my bilge rat bride and I crawled around until we determined that:  a) there was some water in the well of the bilge, maybe 2 gallons; b) the bilge pump was NOT running, although it should be; c) there was diesel fuel mixed in with the water in the bilge!; and d) the problem was not an emergency and would wait till tomorrow.

So off we ran to Crabby Dick's.  Dick's is a unique little bar/restaraunt and we enjoyed the local fare.  Carrie also bought a " Crabby Dick's tee shirt for her dad, whose name is Dick and who would have loved this place.  She also bought one for me, I think just because I was acting like one. 

On the walk back to the boat we passed a little local construction project where they are improving the docks, putting in paved walkways, period light poles, etc.  This is exactly the kind of work our crews do, and I took a moment to give them an unofficial inspection.  Not bad work.  In fact, My first mate spotted one money saving device that we think Safety Ted back home should look into for us.  Here was someone's idea of a warning barricade.

It's a little hard to see in the photo, but the plastic chair holds up an inverted tomatoe plant cage draped with barricade tape (or was it crepe paper?) and held down by 4 rocks.  Cost effective!  Dina, be sure Safety Ted gets a look at it!

Next morning we entered the engine room again.  After an hour or two we had replaced the bilge pump and identified what we believe to be the fuel leak.  It had escaped our attention before due to it's location and close proximity to the bilge well, so there was no trail of red diesel to notice easily.  In any case, with a little help from Billy, another looper from Godspeed, (who happens to be a retired diesel mechanic!  It pays to have friends in high places on the loop) we believe the line is fixed as well.  Now, where in the heck did that water come from?  Still working that out.

Here is (from left to right), the motor vessel Godspeed, Pam, Billy and Sugar Baby.  They hail from Louisiana and are about halfway around their loop.  Great folks.

Due to the day spent in the engine room and a foul weather report, the Admiral and I determined one more day in Delaware City was a good idea.  So, today we got the bikes down and rode off on what we were told was a few mile trip to New Castle, Delaware, where William Penn originally landed and declared all around this area to be property of King George.  The town was gorgeous, I'll let the photos talk for themselves.  However, it was really NINE miles away, uphill with the wind in our face (both ways of course).  We'll sleep good tonight!

I think I was trying to call a cab!

Before we leave the topic of Delaware I must pass on one more bit of historical trivia.  Delaware rightly claims to be "The First State" (it even says so on their vehicle license plates, so it must be true right?).  Well, it turns out that the Delawarians (really that's a word) declared their independence from England on June 11, 1776.  It was almost a full month later that the other 12 colonies got on board and all 13 signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776!  I guess it's a good thing for Delaware the other 12 didn't say, "No thanks".  Gutsy folks those Delawarians!

Next stop...Cape May, New Jersey.  Is that anywhere near Tony Soprano's place?

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