To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Week 37: Annapolis IV: "Waiting and Waiting"

Currently, Red Ranger should stay anchored at 38°58.586′N 076°28.415′W, Severn River, Annapolis, MD. So far, we have no reason to move. We're perfecting the art of hanging out.

Some other chores need to be done this week. Maybe I'll actually do them. But. We're waiting. There's a principle involved. Somehow.


It's about time to address the water issue. We've used up one entire tank. We'll need to refill it. The process works like this:

  1. Put the 30 gallon bladder in the dinghy and drive it to the water spigot in near bulkhead 1 in Ego Alley (before 11 AM).

  2. Take on 30 gallons of water.

  3. Pump the water from the bladder into the tank on Red Ranger. Easy if the seas are flat. Not so much fun when Scout is jumping around in the waves.

In St. Augustine, it wasn't so bad, but the sea state was usually very flat. The south anchorage is exposed to swells from the bay and can get rough.

In the Bahamas, we rarely bought 30 gallons at a time. We tried to get 5 or 10 gallons in our hand-carried jerry jugs.

Along the ICW, we would top of the tanks at the dock when we bought fuel.

Fetching water makes for some busy, busy mornings.

We also changed our filter. When we see the crud in the filter housing, we're extremely happy we installed a filter. CA bought a case of a dozen filter elements; that's about a year's supply.


We really need to address the "hazmat locker" on the aft deck. Last year, I fixed the drain hole on the propane locker. The holes were drilled ½" above the bottoms of the lockers. On the propane side, I reamed out the hole so it was at the bottom of the locker. This turns a tidy little drain hole into an unpleasant-looking "slot" in the transom.

The ½" of rain water slopping around the bottom of the hazmat locker wasn't too big an issue when were were moving up and down the ICW and back and forth to the Bahamas. But sitting here for several weeks, in the summer heat, it's developed a life of it's own. It's developed a funk swirling with algae and other goo. It's probably going to breed mosquitos. Or attract wasps.

It's not like it's a big job to fix the drain. Drill. Tape. Paint with epoxy to seal the exposed surfaces.

Step 1, however, is to wash the locker out. That was necessary anyway. The gasoline can we use for the generator had dribbled gasoline in there, so it stank. We used a lot of soap to act as a dispersant and gallons of water.

Step 2 is wait for it to dry. However, TS Andrea dumped a lot of extra rain in there. So I guess we're still rinsing it with even more fresh water. So, it will be several days until we finish step 2. Then we can get to drill, tape and paint.


We've been watching the neighbors coming and going from the anchorage. Memorial Day weekend, there were a dozen boats. Tuesday night, there were just one other boat.

CA thinks we should make a bigger effort to stop by and offer them any local knowledge. We don't want to look like stalkers, though.

But two of the boats, Archangel, and Magnetic Sky are multi-million dollar yachts. They don't really need much help from us. Indeed, they're probably worried about shabby little Red Ranger dragging anchor and scratching the finish on their immense luxury palace on the water.

Also, there were two huge (over 60' long) ocean racing boats: Rambler and Donnybrook here. They're impressive only because they're so huge and utterly bare of everything but the racing essentials.

Grace, whom we've seen in Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina, sent us some text messages on Thursday night. Mark was heading north to Maine, and only had time to wave as he passed by us. So now, we've seen Grace in four states. It's not like we're stalking each other. But we do wind up in a lot of the same places.

Tropical Storm Andrea

It was a wet, soggy, damp, gray three days waiting for Tropical Storm Andrea to work her way up the coast, inundating low-lying areas. We were happy that we didn't see winds above 20 kt. We wrung our hands over taking a mooring ball vs. gutting it out at anchor. We wrung our hands over whether or not we were dragging. We did a powerful bit of hand-wringing.

We have two neighbors, both huge Hylas yachts, and we've been worrying ourselves sick about whether or not we're dragging. We resorted to logging nightly positions to confirm that we weren't moving more than 200'. We have approximately 100' of anchor chain deployed and approximately 15' of snubber. Seeing 200' of swinging (from one extreme to the other) makes sense. Over 200' means lots of worrying about measurement error, scope and catenary.

During TS Andrea, we appeared to have drifted 230'! Are we dragging? Or is this measurement error?

Our rode connects at the water line, so our scope has s simple relationship to the depth. (Boats with anchor lines attached on deck have to include deck height in their scope calculations.) While I tried to drop the anchor in shallow water, we may actually be sitting in deep water: 30' or so. This means that our scope is probably as low as 4:1. We really need to ease out 30' to 60' of line. To do this, we need to get further away from Archangel. Which means starting the engine and driving a few yards away to reset the anchor.

But what if the anchor really is well set, what if we're not dragging? What if the 230' of swinging is simply 115' of scope stretched right to the limit? We hate to haul the anchor in and move when there's no real problem, just worry about a potential problem.

Stuck on the boat all day Friday meant playing quietly with computers, phones and iPads. Which means running the inverter and the Wi-Fi connection. With no sun, that means running the batteries down rather more quickly than days we spend ashore.

The Annapolis Wireless service is pretty good. $12 or so for a month of connectivity. We spend almost that much each day at coffee shops.

The Annual Report

Maybe it's creepy, but I find that it helps to summarize our year's accomplishments.

It's like writing a Holiday letter at year end. Except it's written on the anniversary of Red Ranger's launch.

Here's the Year Three Annual Report.

This Week

Engine Hours: 0. Diesel Gallons: 0. Miles Run: 0.

Read Aloud: The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicles. Book 2.


Attribute Value
Engine 0. h
Diesel 0. gal
Distance 0. nm