Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Thursday, July 3.  This morning we continued our voyage through the naval ships.  We passed an entire row of aircraft carriers, including The Enterprise and The Ronald Regan.  We crossed Hampton Roads and headed out toward Thimble Shoal.  We have decided to go up the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake, and we are headed toward Onancock Creek.  The day is fair, and the sea is calm.  Kay finally started to read Michener's "Chesapeake" again, and that kept her occupied for most of the day.  Pearce set the course, and let Hal do the driving while he contemplated the sea and the sky.  A rain shower came by in the early afternoon which Pearce tracked on the radar and tried to dodge, but it caught up. Behind the rain came the wind.  The calm seas began to roll a bit, and Kibon began to surf.  It wasn't too bad, but once we changed course to head toward Onancock, we would be broadside to the waves.  Pearce knew that Kay would be more than unhappy, so he suggested we continue straight ahead toward Tangier Island.  We came into the harbor on the island and were amazed at the separate shacks with crab traps piled on the docks surrounding them.  Each shack was its own little island.
We tied up at the Parks Marina -- that's the Parks family, not a Parks and Recreation facility!  Docking, with electricity, was $25 a night.  When the dock master suggested we hurry up if we want to eat dinner before they close at 7, we zipped up the screens and hitched a ride on one of the golf carts that are used for transportation.  We arrived a few minutes before seven and enjoyed a freshly caught fish dinner.  After dinner we walked around the town.  The houses are a conglomeration of styles and sizes.  They sit close by each other on small lots because much of the land is marsh.  The town is on several islands separated by the marshes.  Two of them are connected by a wide foot bridge.  The graves in the cemeteries have large stones on top of them.  A few of the graves date back to the 19th century, but apparently the major settlement only dates from the early to mid 20th century.  Tangier Island has an airfield, but we didn't walk that far.  That is one of two ways to get here.  The other is by boat.  There is a general store, a post office, a church, a school house, and many gift shops and restaurants.  Two ferries visit it to bring supplies and tourists.  We saw two cars -- one in front of the church and the other a utility vehicle.  Everyone has golf carts, and the speed limit is 15 mph.  Radar enforced, so says the sign.  There are some motor scooters and a lot of bicycles. 
Friday, July 4.  Happy Independence Day.  Pearce changed one of the filters in one of the engines, and we headed out again.  Since we had gone a bit farther yesterday, we had only a short 10 mile hop up to Crisfield.  We checked out the diesel at $1.28 a gallon and dockage at $1.50 a foot plus electricity.  We passed both up, and we tied up at the Captain's Galley for lunch.  Crab cakes are famous at this place, so that's what we had, and they were delicious.  We walked up the street about a block to the seafood store and bought some fresh scallops for dinner.  The fresh produce stand that one guide book mentioned has closed up, but we rode our bicycles six or so blocks up to the Fresh Pride for vegetables, fruit, and milk.

While we were having lunch, we looked across at a few boats tied up to the town dock, called Sunset Dock.  We walked over to read the Do Not signs and found that Do Not Tie Up Overnight was not among the list.  So we moved Kibon over there.  It is right on the waterway coming into the cove where the Marina and the Coast Guard are, and two small ferries tie up at the base of the dock.  We bounce a bit, but not anything like yesterday afternoon; we presume that things will quiet down in the evening.  There's all kinds of interesting activity to watch, including crabbers and fishermen here on the dock.  One enterprising couple filled two large coolers with crabs.  That's more than we've ever had to pick back in Hemlock Cove, or even want too!  We're looking forward to the beautiful sunset -- the fireworks are tomorrow, so the sunset will be today's celebration.

Saturday, July 5.  We started out early today because we expect a long day.  The Chesapeake kicked up during the past two afternoons, so we decided to get a head start.  We had read about a cut from the Honga River across Tilghman Island.  We came up the Tangier Sound, took a left turn into the Hooper Cut. and then took a right turn into the Honga River;  We came into Hooperville, looking for lunch.  The guide was wrong again.  No food.  We bought diesel for $1 a gallon.  The dockmaster didn't approve of our idea to take the shortcut;.  After he and Pearce looked at the chart, and he made some suggestions, we continued north.  We negotiated the channel and kept lookouts for the local boats.  Not too long after we went aground while rounding the green marker, a local boat cut the marker to the other side and gave us enough wave to bounce back into the channel.

We cautiously motored under the bridge and headed for the channel markers.  We had been given instructions to go from marker to marker, but to also honor the stakes that the local  people had put in to mark the shoals.  We must have got a little to the wrong side of the channel, and we went aground again  -- a bit more solidly.  While we waited for the tide to come up, Pearce went swimming and began scrapping the barnacles off the sides. After a while, he realized that Kibon was drifting away from him.  Kay dropped the anchor, we drifted back to the last mark, and after starting back up in the channel, we slowly continued across the shallow bay.  Did we save any time with this short cut?  Probably not, because we had to travel more slowly through the shallow areas.  We tried to enter the area on a rising tide so that we would have enough depth, but we were a little early.   Pearce said that he really wanted to know the real keel depth -- it seems to be about 4 feet.  We have a keel below the props --good advantage.  The deep part seems to be amid ships, at least that is where Kibon settled into the mud.

After we re-entered Chesapeake Bay we continued up a small bay between Little Choptank River and the Choptank River where we anchored for the night.  It is called Trippe Bay and is not mentioned by the cruising guide, but we spent a restful night.

Sunday, July 6.  We headed out early this morning and motored up the Bay.  We passed the Choptank River which is the setting for James Michener's "Chesapeake" and continued by.  Pearce and Jerry Sachnoff had taken their El Toros down to Cambridge on the Choptank a few years ago and enjoyed the weekend races.  We would like to return to the Cambridge Yacht Club, but today was not the day -- too early in the day.  We were headed for Kent Island and a marina on the western side.  Pearce has been having trouble with Hal's connection from the Furuno GPS to the Robertson Navigator.  A Martek installer in Palm Beach had attached the Furuno to the system.  When Pearce called for assistance, he was directed to this marina where Martek had another distributor.  Kay was disappointed to find that we were miles from the Kent Narrows where all the stores were, and the marina does not have a courtesy car to take us anywhere.  

This marina is OK, and we've decided to enjoy what they have.  Friends Marilyn and Dale Brous always stopped at the Hemingway restaurant on their trips south to Florida and back north again to Long Island.  That restaurant was just up the pier from our transient dock, so we enjoyed oysters and crabmeat for lunch.  We spent the afternoon at the pool and enjoyed some Bloody Marys after our exercise in the water.

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