Memorial Day Weekend in New Jersey: Cape May & Atlantic City

By Memorial Day we traveled over 1500 nautical miles. New Jersey is the 7th state in our 6,000 + mile journey.

When we left Baltimore, it was no longer raining ūüôā

Chesapeake City – Schaefer’s Marina

We recommend a stop in Chesapeake City.  Memorial Day weekend was spectacular! Thanks, Donna, for bringing some great weather.

Schaeffers Sunset

Docking at Schaefer’s Marina, just northeast of the Chesapeake City fixed bridge, equates to front row seating for the live band. Notice Exhale is docked next to our table.

Cape May, New Jersey

New Jersey marks our seventh state. We noted the waters were significantly cleaner (considerably less floating logs and debris) as we traveled north along the Atlantic Ocean, loopers say that’s “running on the outside”,¬† rather than in the protected Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), or “inside.”

As the seas began to get choppy, we saw more fishing boats; those commercial fishermen are hearty stock  (this one is for you, Sam).

Fishing Season
Fishing Season

Cape May was lovely, worth visiting again.¬† Although we didn’t take many photos there, we got in MORE than 10,000 steps that day (that’s for you, Rodger).

Cape May
Cape May, NJ

Atlantic City

We endured rough seas, from Cape May to Atlantic City, turning the girls (including Maddie) green for hours. Surrounded by casinos, we were overwhelmed by the holiday weekend crowd.  It turns out, they were giving away a truck!

Atlantic City Truck Giveaway
Free Truck!

We heard the odds of winning the GMC truck were 3,000 to one, never mind that you had to play the slots to qualify, then you must be “present to win.”

Happy Memorial Day

Thank you to those men and women who served our country.  Most of all to our beloved World War II vets, Larry Straley and John Gill, Sr.

Memorial Day

Looper Parade

We got up before breakfast, and pulled away from the dock before sunrise. Lead by Phantom, the looper parade began at 5:05 am.

Break of Dawn2
May 29, 2018. Departing Atlantic City at 5:05 am
Break of Dawn departure
On the water early. Rick definitely got up before breakfast!

Exhale was the second looper in the procession, followed by HMS Vagabond, Meanders, and Island Girl. Late riser, New Freedom, joined us once the fog lifted.

A warm shout out to Scott and Beth who are preparing for a LONG hike!  Hope you join us soon on the water.

Next Stop:

The looper parade is headed to New York Harbor, hoping to anchor behind the Statue of Liberty; the weather gods will definitely decide. See you very soon 7 &8!

Baltimore, MD – ale houses, pierogis, and a side trip to LA.

Traveling with Looper buddies June, Tim, and Maggie on Subject to Change, we docked in Baltimore, at the Anchorage Marina, for a week.

Anchorage Marina – Baltimore Professor Trash Wheel

Whether you are an environmentalist, a science nerd, or just a kid at heart, the Baltimore Professor Trash Wheel is designed to make you smile (right, Sarah O!).

Baltimore Professor

Baltimore Professor2

We all agreed it was refreshing to see a colorful, educational approach to improve water quality in the harbor. The community project was placed in service in 2014, thanks to donations from the Pedersen Family and the Abell Foundation.    To Learn More Click Here.

Baltimore Ale Houses & Italian Food

The marina was easy walking distance to an overwhelming number of options for good food and drink.

Ale House2
Wharf Rat
Ale House
Ale Mary’s – for real!

The four of us chose La Scala, in Little Italy.¬† (Maggie and Maddie were on duty, guarding the boats). Meet Willie, our amazing waiter.¬† We spared you pics of the food, it was insanely delicious!¬† If you are in the neighborhood it’s a MUST – here’s a link to the restaurant menu. Molto Bene!

La Scala
Willie La Scala

Pierogi Festival with Tim & June

On Saturday, we found solace from another day of rain at the Holy Rosary Church in Baltimore. Built in 1927,  to learn more about the historic Polish church, click here.


The Pimms Royale drinks were a double tribute to the running of the Preakness and the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan.¬† The delicious pierogi’s were hand made; to me they tasted like my beloved polish Aunt Mancy used to make, when I was just a wee child.¬† Sweet memories.

Side trip to LA

We left Exhale safely docked in Baltimore to make a side trip to LA.

Hummingbird Mo and Craig

This little hummingbird nest is at¬†Craig & Mo’s.¬† Hey Murphy – thanks for not actually eating Maddie.

Alisha Radiation
Alisha – radiation #8 of 28
Alisha and Claire
Alisha and Claire

It was a treat to spend quality time with Alisha, Erik, and “Klaar’in”;¬† and, Maddie finally met Alisha’s cute little frenchy Josephine (or Josey).¬† Te Amo Mija – you look mahvelous!

Project with Leo and Abby 2
Project Time for Abby, Rick and Leo
Project with Leo and Abby
Abby delegates.

It was also a great chance for Rick to create a project, with the help of Leo & Abby.¬† By the way, you guys did a great job on the baseboards for the “visitors”.

Donna on board

Back in Baltimore we were joined by Donna, sometimes referred to as Rick’s “other wife” but really she is my sweet boating buddy.

Donna on Exhale

Donna Francis Scott Key Bridge

Francis Scott Key Bridge
Francis Scott Key Bridge

So glad to have you on board, Donna!

Happy Birthday, Zach 5/25/1981

Big Hugs for AZS, love you very much.


Next Stop:

Chesapeake City, then Cape May.  Aiming to be in New York on the 30th, the weather gods will decide. See you soon 7 &8!

Meanders in St. Michaels

Meanders Rendezvous

Meanders is a very special¬†49′ North Pacific.¬† Trevor introduced us to her captains, Marty and Anders (think “Me” & “Anders”) Liljequist (yes, he is a Swede) in Connecticut, in 2015.¬† Let’s be brutally honest – we had been searching for the perfect boat for years, never finding the right fit.¬† Without a doubt, from the moment we walked on board, we knew we wanted a 49′ North Pacific.¬† Roughly one year later, Exhale was launched.¬†¬†Now Marty and Andy are based in Stuart, Florida (east coast); and we have become close friends.¬† ¬†So close that they were our shelter from Hurricane Irma, but that’s another story.

Meanders (in front) and Exhale

In May 2017, Tom & Nancy Rea, 44′ DeFever owners (land based in Petoskey, Michigan), purchased Meanders.¬† Imagine our pure childish delight when the sister ship docked next to us in St. Michaels, Maryland!

Sister ship, Meanders, NPY49

Bucket List Item Checked – Crab Fest!

It’s a great day when Rick gets to check off something special from his Bucket List!

Ice cold draft beer; Check.  A long table, covered in newspapers, filled with friends; Check.  All the fresh crab you can eat, seasoned in Old Bay; Check.

Crab Feast
Loopers! Rick, Mary (Exhale), Nancy, Tom (Meanders), Tim (Subject to Change), Frank (Jubilee), and June (Subject to Change). Photo by Cally Rogers-Witte (Jubilee)

 St. Michaels, Maryland

That’s right, it’s spelled without an apostrophe, again.¬† Not sure why.¬† St. Michaels was beautiful.¬† Walkable.¬† Repeat-able. We walked more than a mile each day, Rodger. ūüôā

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

We spent half a day walking around the mariner’s museum, and barely scratched the surface.¬† Now we understand why everyone receives a 2-day pass!

The original hull of the nine-log bugeye, Edna E. Lockwood, seen here, was carefully removed.  To properly restore the historic boat, the replacement hull is being made from the same type of wood as the original, built in 1889.   To learn more about the restoration click here. 

Dog Heaven in Maryland

These boat dogs have an amazing life touring the Great Loop, Maggie (a lab-ra-doodle aboard Subject to Change) and Maddie were welcomed into numerous bars in Maryland, offered drinks, dog treats, and a special menu! Customer/Critter service was superb.

The dogs got served first.
Dog Bowls are standard at every table
Maddie and Maggie belly up to the bar

Hooper Strait Lighthouse Restoration

Built in 1879, this screwpile lighthouse was stationed in Chesapeake Bay until 1966.¬† Opened to the public in 1967, the lighthouse includes an exterior “privy” (notice the slender, closet-like outdoor space) that drained into open water. No pump out required.¬† To learn more about the Hooper Strait Lighthouse¬†click here

MORE Lighthouses

We never get tired of the lighthouses.

Mooring Ball Lessons in Annapolis

Running with Subject to Change from St. Michaels to Annapolis, we stayed in a mooring field, adjacent to the city harbor.

Annapolis Mooring Field

Better than Yoga, we watched June adeptly perform her acrobatic moves as she retrieved that ball.  It appears the DeFever stripper poll (a standard amenity) has paid off again!

June is a pro! Subject to Change

Bay Bridge – Heading to Baltimore

A foggy day on the Bay, with limited visibility, as we headed to Baltimore.

We Love these Wipers

Yes, it was raining heavily OUTSIDE of the pilot house.  Loving those wipers.

Bay Bridge
Passing under the Chesapeake Bridge

A magnificent view that can ONLY be experienced from the water, as we passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Next Stop:

Baltimore.  The boat will be docked for a few days at the Anchorage Marina with Subject to Change.  Next week we take a side trip to Los Angeles Рsee you soon, Danielle, Sandra and Mija!





Anchoring Out – Crisfield and Solomons Island

Happy Mother’s Day

V formation training

Flight training begins on ground, demonstrated by these adorable baby Canadian geese, practicing v-formations.

Just Breathe

We anchored out with Reality [check]¬†in St. Marys, Crisfield, and Solomons Island, Maryland for a total of 6 days “on the hook.”¬† It was more than serene!

When you anchor out, it is imperative to have a reliable dinghy to get ashore – especially when you have a dog that needs to “stretch her little legs”. When your dinghy chokes frequently, it’s rather nerve racking.¬† The engine seemed to cut out at all speeds, indicating the fuel was not flowing properly. Rodger and Rick spent several hours trouble shooting, cleaning, and replacing parts to enhance the fuel intake.¬† For good measure, we officially named the little dink Inhale,¬†hoping she would just breathe!

Naming the Dink
What are you naming the dink, Rodger? So far it looks like ..HAL.
Naming the Dink2
Naming the Dink3
Launching Inhale


In early May there were only two restaurant options in Crisfield, the first one is not worth mentioning, the second was Cafe Milano, which had some pretty yummy pizza, including a Veggie mix that made Rodger smile.¬† ¬†Best of all they delivered the pizza to the marina!¬† We did tour the small local museum, where we learned …

how to tell the difference between male and female crabs.¬† Let’s just say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

A lesson in oyster anatomy

For the curious, here’s a few Crab Basics from Baltimore Magazine.

Traveling on the Chesapeake

We continued to travel with Reality, enjoying the calm waters.

CrabPot Minefield
LOTS of Crab pots
Fishing Creek Lighthouse

Crab season in most places runs from April through October. Unfortunately, the location of the pots seems unpredictable.¬† With no warning, you can suddenly find a minefield of little bobbers that are difficult to navigate around.¬† If you wrap one around your prop, it’s a really bad day.

Solomons Island

Thanks to Reality, we connected with more loopers in progress at Solomons Island (Tim and June Sneider, Subject to Change; Barb and Don Cavin, Cavara; both 49′ Defevers).¬† Exceptional company!¬† There’s something special about those Defever folks, for sure.¬† Loving the looper life!

Named after Isaac Solomon’s Oyster Packing Facility,¬† Solomons Island was delightfully walkable.¬† Historic homes and lovely views abound.

We shlepped Rodger and Lorrie around Solomons Island (maybe it was the other way around).

Solomons Ark
The Ark of Hungerford Creek
Lorrie at the Tiki Bar – tough to get a drink around here.
Gov Thomas Johnson Bridge
Gov Thomas Johnson Bridge

On Saturday night we took the newly named “Inhale” across the river to a delicious meal – and it seemed to be breathing just fine. Our little watch dog, also known as Kudro, was left to guard the boat.

All alone on a Saturday where is Donna now
All alone on a Saturday night. Sure wish Donna would come hang out with me …

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

Next Location:

We said goodbye, for now, to Reality [check] in Solomons Island, they are waiting for a part to repair the heat exchanger (it’s a B.O.A.T).¬† Looking forward to seeing them again in Baltimore (we also need to retrieve the treats we left behind for Maddie)!!

Next Location РSt. Michaels, Maryland.  Maybe.

St. Mary’s, Maryland

Anchoring out takes skill, practice, and patience. If done right, the reward is a quiet, peaceful, adventure.

St Marys River
St Mary’s River

In the US, waterways are public.¬† That means you can anchor almost anywhere, outside of a designated boating channel (which would be dangerous and plain stupid, by the way), for free.¬† ¬†Rodger, Dodger, it’s free.

St Marys River sunset
Sunset on St Mary’s River

St. Mary’s, Maryland

Exhale anchored out with Reality at St. Mary’s College of Maryland; a peaceful little cove.

Reality and Exhale anchored at St Mary's
Reality and Exhale anchored at St Mary’s
St Mary's 1840
St. Mary’s College 1840

Sundial Lesson

While visiting the campus we learned how to tell time like ancient mariners, using a sundial.¬† Lorrie and Rick (the CPA’s of course) were able to accurately read the sundial, plus a one hour change for daylight savings time.¬† Something new, something fun.

Bagels for Breakfast

When we anchor out, we eat pretty well, especially when our boating buddies join us!

Rodger's bagel a work of art
Rodger’s bagel was a work of art.

Thanks, Lorrie for the Lox.

Cruising the Chesapeake

We were up close (but not TOO close) to a Liberty Ship (American Mariner) used by the Navy for live target practice.

Princess Anne Lighthouse

Early Mother’s Day Wishes

Sending warm wishes to all the moms in our lives!

Springtime in Maryland for Carly

Next Stop РCrisfield, Maryland (we arrived today, May 9), followed by more quiet coves on the Chesapeake Рnow that we are getting better at anchoring.  Thanks, Reality Check.

Shucking Oysters in the Chesapeake

During the 19th century, oyster beds in the New York Harbor became the largest source of oysters worldwide. Can you imagine six million oysters, every day, on the barges tied up along the city waterfront? And, at the time, oysters were cheap and mainly eaten by the working class.

Meet fellow boaters, Joe and Cathy Davenport.¬† ¬†They have¬†a bed of oysters on their dock in Deltaville, VA! Let’s just say, there was NO doubt about the freshness of the oysters!

Joe taught Rick and Rodger how to harvest and shuck the live oysters. Given how much we love oysters, that’s a skill that could come in handy for a long time!

Oysters on the Half Shell
Oysters on the Half Shell

Cathy makes oysters rockefeller

Three oyster shuckers
Three Amigos
Master Shucker Rodger dodger
Rodger – Master Shucker

Thanks Cathy! Your Oyster Rockefeller was oh, so, delicious.

Dink Racing

Of course Reality’s dinghy (they call it a dink) is named “Check”.¬† Maddie wasn’t so sure racing was a good idea …


DeltaVille Cove
a peaceful Sunday in Deltaville

Cruising the Chesapeake

This week we cruise the waters of Chesapeake, stopping first at St. Mary’s, Maryland, to anchor out with Reality.

Reality approaching SmithPoint
Reality approaches SmithPoint

SmithPoint Lighthouse

SmithPoint 3
Smith Point Lighthouse

By the way, we are in Maryland!

We don’t have a plan, and we might not have good cell service – but you can be sure we will be having a great time with these guys! Enjoying our sixth state on the loop.

Next Stop:

Enjoying the Chesapeake, anchoring out with Reality [Check]; slowly going north towards Baltimore (see you there, Donna), after a side trip to Los Angeles – see you soon, Danielle, Sandra and Mija!

Norfolk, VA – AGLCA Spring Rendezvous

AGLCA Spring Rendezvous

America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA) rendezvous at the Waterside Marina.¬† Proudly waving nearly 70 white (in progress), gold (finished) and platinum (multiple loop) flags.

2018 Spring Looper Rendezvous
Looper Rendezvous – photo by Lorrie Swink.

Majestic entry to Norfolk harbor.

The Towne of Lower Norfolk County was established in 1680.¬† The mouth of the Chesapeake Bay is home to “Naval Station Norfolk”, the largest navy base in the world.

Harbor Entry3Located on¬†Sewell’s Point Peninsula, in the northwest corner of the city, the station is the headquarters of the¬†United States Fleet Forces Command, with over 62,000 active duty personnel, 75 ships, and 132 aircraft. The base also serves as the headquarters to¬†NATO‘s¬†Allied Command Transformation.

Harbor Entry4

Harbor Entry5

Waterside Marina, Norfolk VA

Located in the center of the waterfront district, this lovely marina is easy walking distance from historic monuments, museums, restaurants, shopping and more.

Waterside Marina

Greeted by Blue Angels!

When the Blue Angels flew overheard, we knew the AGLCA gathering was going to be spectacular!¬† It didn’t hurt that the timing coincided with the annual NATO Celebration.

Blue Angels fly over Exhale
Blue Angels fly over Exhale

NATO Celebration

Exhale docked one block from the grand stand – perfect vantage point for the NATO parade, celebrating its 29 member nations.

Photo from Virginia Arts Festival.

I love a parade, especially when it includes small town bands, like the one from Boardman, Ohio, Irish bagpipes, and of course classic cars!

Boardman Ohio Marching Band
Boardman, Ohio Marching Band
Book Mobile
A Book Mobile! Cherish the memories.
Bagpipes for Maureen!
Classic Cars
Classic Cars

My favorite antique car is the Model-A, like the one my parents drove on the rugged AlCan Highway, when they moved from Pasadena to Alaska in 1947 Рwhere they homesteaded after the end of World War II.  A quick google search revealed between 1925 and 2007, Ford Motor Company operated Norfolk Assembly, a manufacturing plant located on the Elizabeth River that produced the Model-T, sedans, station wagons, and the F-150 pick-up trucks.

Photo from Virginia Arts Festival.

AGLCA Loopers

We heard over 300 people attended the spring rendezvous! Unfortunately, we do not have a count for all the critters.¬† Let’s just say it was a bit overwhelming for Maddie, who sniffed her way around the numerous boat cats, dogs, and even a parrot.

Thanks so much to all the new and old friends we met and reconnected with in Norfolk! If you achieved Gold or Platinum level we are jealous, but,¬†thanks for the sage advice, and hilarious stories, including Sea Trek (Bruce and Beverly) and Allison Leigh.¬† For those of you, like us, in “Progress” we look forward to meeting you again along the waters, with special mention to Namaste and Bucket List (so glad to reconnect), Nine Lives (our Dismal Swamp buds) and HMS Vagabond – possibly the most beautiful restoration we have ever seen.¬† And, our sincere thanks to our new “mostly vegan” friends on Reality (check) who successfully enticed us to take a train followed by a looooong and winding stroll to wally world (thanks, Lorrie and Rodger).

A word of encouragement to our new friends who are “Planning”,¬†including Eric and Sheryl, don’t over plan.¬† We hope you find a special boat/home on the water, that you can truly enjoy, just as much as we love Exhale.

Thanks Norfolk 

Incorporated in 1705, Norfolk is home to roughly 245, 000 people.

Norfolk Postcard
Cold Weather Mermaid
Norfolk Full Moon

Congrats to Jamie, David & Tyler

So excited you moved to a new home.¬† Can’t wait to see you guys in Cleveland!

Utopia Launched

Pop the Champagne corks for our beloved friends and land-based (or “dirt”) neighbors, Dale Morgan and Ann Hughes!! We are beyond thrilled you launched Utopia and started your Loop!¬†¬†Can’t wait to see you on the waters!

Norfolk Sunset

Travel safe everyone.

Next Stop:

Heading to the Chesapeake (stopping in Deltaville, VA); then north towards the Hudson.