Not another canal problem! October 20 to October 29

I am almost caught up with real time!   it has been another eventful week and near disaster has been averted yet again. We are now in Annapolis in Back Creek and enjoying a day of sun and relative warmth.

The trip from Sandy Hook to Cape May New Jersey went very well and was wonderful to have wind and freedom for Maraki to play.  It started out windy,cold and boisterous. We dress for comfort not for style in case you wondered.


but settled into a beautiful sail all the way down to Atlantic City. In fact it was so pleasant we made a last minute decision to keep going and do an overnighter to Cape May. The moon was full and the seas calm as we were not more than a mile off shore.

We passed Atlantic City just after dark and the neon lights and large Trump like hotels lit up the night for miles. Just at sunset we saw what we believed to be 2 right whales playing between us and shore.   Could not get a picture of them or the dolphins we saw earlier.  I went to sleep for a few hours and John stayed awake until midnight,   Then I got up and sailed until 0400 when i woke John up again.   Back onto the old watch schedule of 4 on and 4 off.   Feels good to be doing this again.

By early morning John was back on watch and motorsailed us around Cape May into Delaware Bay.  The sun was up and the wind mild but most important was that the current was pushing us(with a boost of 3 knots) north and west toward the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. So instead of stopping and resting like we had planned, we continued on.


This is a car carrier ship that looks ridiculous on the seas but i am sure all the cars arrive salt-free.

The Delaware Bay is shallow meaning we stuck to the channel marked for ships going up towards Philadelphia and the C and D canal.  It was even warm enough to take showers on deck and get out of our winter dress.  No pictures of the deck showers however. Maybe next time. The distance from Cape May to Delaware City is about 50 miles.


By mid afternoon we entered the Delaware end of the canal and still had the current pushing us so we kept going. Maybe we should have stopped but i think nothing would have changed what happened next.
Sailing and anchoring is forbidden in the C and D canal because of the amount of large boat traffic as well as being narrow. It opened originally in 1829 but has been improved upon until now it is 35 feet deep and 400 feet wide and runs for only 14 miles into the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay. We were planning on only going a few more miles and stopping at a place called Chesapeake City MD for the night. Suddenly I heard a noise down below. I yelled for John to put it in neutral as I believed we had hit something. John responded “I have no reverse” followed immediately that he had no forward either. Now this is not a good thing when we have a 3 knot current pushing us and sailing/anchoring are not permitted as well as having large ship traffic. There was also a bridge with large cement legs behind us.
John threw open the engine compartment and stated that the shaft was turning inside the boat so we either had no shaft or no propeller or we had neither. So we tried sailing to keep us in place as we called into a marina we had passed. We made a little progress but the wind did not cooperate much. It was a scary situation. Finally the marina came out and towed us into their marina. The next morning we were hauled out to find our propeller gone but the shaft was there. This big marina named Summit North luckily was able to haul us and now we had to find a new propeller. Our cousin Bryan is a naval architect in Seattle and with his assistance we determined what prop we needed to buy. However the prop shop was in Baltimore 67 miles away. We could wait for the marina to have one freighted to us or rent a car and go get it ourselves. So next morning at 0500 we headed with our shaft to the prop shop.

 Here is the expensive beautiful new prop and shaft ready to be installed.


A few days later we were ready to shove off again headed for the rest of the canal and then down the Chesapeake.


The morning we left Summit North we had heavy frost on the deck and the dock was slippery with frost as well. It is time to head south.
We made a big day of motoring/sailing to Annapolis and ended up with 30 knots of wind on the nose in not very deep water with a million crab pots to avoid. We were happy to arrive in Back Creek and get the anchor down.

This post was difficult to do and not sure why. Nothing wanted to cooperate. It may have been internet connection


7 thoughts on “Not another canal problem! October 20 to October 29

  1. Love the photo’s of you all bundled in winter coats, hats and gloves with a steaming cup of HOT sailing the boat. Definitely time to be south. what type of camera are you using?

  2. Frost on the deck? Definitely time to head south. Glad you were able to overcome the mystery of the disappearing prop and the hurdle of the on and off Internet connection!
    Lovely photos. Great adventures. More of the former and fewer of the latter, OK?
    Terry and the gang

  3. Hi Lucy! Love your pictures and stories-what an unbelievable experience! We miss you but wish you the best-look forward to future posts!
    Nicole Hunderman

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