Finally Leaving the Sassafras for “Still” Pond

After nearly a week in Georgetown and Frederickton, I was feeling a bit stir crazy and was ready to move. But we decided to hold out in Skipjack Cove until the 6th in order to allow some of the holiday traffic to subside. Finally, we pulled up anchor on Sunday, in the early afternoon, and motored down the Sassafras River with the intention of stopping over for the night in a place called Still Pond just south of the river and immediately off Chesapeake Bay.
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Hunkering down in the Sassafras

When we woke up the next morning the boat was covered in bugs, and we were unable to get internet connectivity on our phones.  Since we needed to be able to get online daily to teach our online classes, we decided to pull up the anchor and look for a better location up the Sassafras.   While we hoped to find a quiet, empty anchorage with just enough access to the ethers to keep us working, we ended up in quite a different place.
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Chesapeake City to the Sassafras

Our original plan was to leave Chesapeake City sometime in the early afternoon so that we could make it down to the Sassafras River. However, we decided to watch the US v. Belgium World Cup game in the afternoon instead. By the time the game was over, it was six in the evening. At that point, our options were to either stay another night in Chesapeake City or make our way to the Sassafras, knowing we would arrive in the dark.
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Chesapeake City

Ches-Logo-300px

We spent a restful night aboard Bear after the long haul from Cape May to Chesapeake City.  The next morning, we were eager to get ashore and explore the town, formally known as the Village of Bohemia.  In 1839, this area flourished when the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C&D Canal) was constructed and has since grown to a whopping population of 673.  The town is split by the canal, which is spanned by a tall bridge that allows supertankers to pass beneath.  See our previous post on the transit from Cape May to view photographs of a supertanker passing beneath the bridge.
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Cape May Architecture – Victorian Delights!

CM Arch23
Cape May is one of the oldest seaside resort towns in America.  The area was discovered by Henry Hudson in 1609 and became a booming vacation destination after the advent of the steamboat, which ferried in wealthy travelers from Philadelphia and Delaware.  A huge fire destroyed about half of the town in 1878, but it was quickly rebuilt.  Many of the painted lady-style houses, which give the town a distinctly regal feel, were constructed in the aftermath, between 1900 and 1920. According to National Park Service architectural historian Carolyn Pitts, “Cape May has one of the largest collections of late 19th century frame buildings left in the United States… that give it a homogeneous architectural character, a kind of textbook of vernacular American building.”
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From Cape May, up the Delaware, and through the C&D Canal

After ten days in Cape May, we had mixed emotions the Sunday before we left. As we tried to take care of last minute chores like provisioning and cleaning out Chip’s Jeep, we also managed to fit in a couple things that we had been wanting to do all week: walk through the lovely streets of Victorian homes, check out the lighthouse, and play mini golf. All the while, I felt elated knowing we would finally be underway again. But, at the same time, there was an ever-present sadness at the thought of departing, something I really have not felt before or since on this trip. I am sure my melancholy had quite a bit to do with leaving Chip and Barbara and their wonderful hospitality, along with some regret at not having done a few more of all the fun activities that they had told us about.
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Thank Goodness for Amazon: How to Fix an Autopilot

While in Cape May, we finally got our outboard working with some serious help from Morgan at Whale Creek Marina. We also fixed our autopilot without much help from anyone but Google and Amazon.
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Good Times in Cape May

Sadly, we have fallen WAY behind with our blog.  Luckily, this is due to the fact that we have had busy days, filled with fun and adventure.  While this post surely won’t do our time in Cape May justice, I will try to sum up what made our 10 days there pretty great:
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Trying to Fix Our Outboard in Cape May

Our 5hp Mercury came with Bear when we bought her. The engine was something that was not in the listing, but the broker had mentioned as being part of the deal. We had almost forgot about it before we left Branford, but David, the previous owner, reminded us to pick it up from the yard mechanic before we cleared out. At nearly the last minute, I managed to track down the mechanic and get our engine. He had forgot that he had it too, but we were able to find it on a rack in the back of his shop. I suspect that with a bit more time, the mechanic would have serviced the engine, but we did not give him that opportunity. Instead, we just strapped the engine, which had been sitting for the past two years, on the stern rail of the boat and figured we would get it working at some point in the future.
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The Currents of the Delaware Make for Ten Days in Cape May

An hour or two after we arrived in Cape May, while I was still winding down with a few beers in the cockpit, we broke out Eldridge (a book of tide and current tables, along with all sorts of other useful information) to check when the currents in the Delaware River would be in our favor.
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