Boomerangs

New York skyline

Traveling south, the New York skyline was breathtaking under a blue sky. 

traveling south on the East River

Like a boomerang, Ray Houle and Caryl Moulder have returned!

Platinum Loopers Ray Houle (Sideways) and
Caryl Moulder with Maddie

You may recall we began the Maine Event with Craig and Maureen on board, connecting with Ray and Caryl on the waters of the Caloosahatchee River on our very first day.

First a little boat name history. At one time Caryl and Ray had a Nova called Houlegan. When we met, their Mainship was named “Houlegan, again.”  Now they have a Rosborough, called Lit’l Houlegan. Thankfully, the person who customizes their embroidered shirts and hats manages to keep it all perfectly straight.

Lit’l Houlegan

Brick, New Jersey

To our delight, they trailered their boat from Cape Coral, Florida then launched her at the home of renowned looper authors George and Pat Hospodar, giving us the chance to rendezvous in Brick, NJ.

Curious about Boomerangs?

New resource:  Wonderopolis.org, check it out! Curious folks might wonder, 1) do boomerangs always come back, 2) what are they used for, and 3) how old are they?

Other folks, might skip this section and move on down to the photos.

really old boomerang

First, you have to throw it correctly for it to return. What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?  A stick.  Primary school humor.

Second, the natives of Australia used the boomerang to hunt animals in trees and bushes. Now the most popular use is sports leisure.

Australian hunting boomerang

Finally, when were boomerangs first used? Dating back over 10,000 years; originally the Aussie’s carved the hunting tool from bone or wood.

Bonus factoid, Guinness world record for longest boomerang throw is 1,401.5 feet. Held by an Aussie of course.

Brick, New Jersey

Back to our story. It was so much fun connecting with snowbirds George and Pat for a delightful evening of music and good food in their lovely home.

George and Pat

Dessert included cannoli and chips, thanks to Joey P.  It was decadent. 

Caryl and Ray

Manasquan River

Tied to the fuel dock we had the perfect vantage point of the official fish scales. This is a Sushi Grade Blue Fin Tuna, 189 lbs.

that’s a lot of sushi

The Largest Bluefin Tuna Ever Caught: 12 feet, 1,496 lbs., caught off Nova Scotia in 1979. Also impressive – the bluefin can swim 25 miles per hour, that’s 3 times the regular speed of Exhale.

Full Moon shining bright 8:24 pm, Manasquan River

Red Sky in the Morning – it was 6:35 am when we left the dock.

Red Sky – Sailor’s take warning

Havre de Grace

The red sky did not lie. It rained heavily in Havre de Grace.  Thanks again to Ray and Caryl who made this soggy stop delightful.

Annapolis

With Ray and Caryl on board we ventured to Annapolis, staying at one of the nicest marinas on this journey. 

Docked next to us was Noel. The family on board included 5-year-old James, and his 7-year-old brother, Troy William.  Both were extremely articulate, capable young fishermen.

James could be found fishing at the end of the dock by 7:30 am, with a life jacket over his dinosaur pajamas.  Clever layering since the pjs look pretty warm.

James age 5

Annapolis meant a lot of boat cleaning, in preparation for the Baltimore boat show.

Capt. Sideways, cleaning at the waterline

Thanks Ray for the boat scrub

Sandy – Best Blue Crab Cakes!

So what was the best part of Annapolis? Visiting with Sandy!!

Yes, this is the same Sandy who was on board Tonto’s Reward in Maine! She is also a beloved North Pacific owner, Road Trip is a rare 42.

She promised if we came to her home in Annapolis she would make us crab cakes. Let the record show her cakes were the best we had in Maryland, bar none.  Grilled to perfection. Generous lumps of crab, her secret ingredient was fresh basil.  Sooo delicious. Sandy really spoiled us!

Crab cakes, fresh corn, asparagus (for David B)
and london broil. courtesy of Chef Sandy.

Oh and Thanks for introducing us to OIB, the original iron bear.

Original Iron Bear (OIB) and Sandy

The next morning the boys were fishing again

James (5) and Troy William (7)

On the topic of crabs, thanks, Capt Rick, for passing on your cherished crab trap – those boys will put it to good use! We were touched when the handwritten notes were delivered to Exhale; these boys have exceptional parents.

Baltimore – Here We Come

Next Up – Baltimore Trawler Fest sponsored by Passage Maker – come visit! We will be in Baltimore from Sunday September 26 through Sunday October 3!! Slip A-31

Milestones: Birthdays – Bruce Peck, September 23; Lenore Bigsby, Sept 24; David Floyd (aka #8), Sept 27; Roger Berardinis;

The fixer

Capt. Rick loves projects, and he keeps the engine room pristine clean (you can never have too many paper towels, right Sideways!?). Thankfully Capt. Rick has a keen ability to diagnose and fix almost anything – including the air conditioner sensor. The task of putting everything neatly back into the cupboard was a bigger challenge.

What would Rick do?

Plans? We don’t need no stinking plans!

It is no surprise that before we commenced our planned adventures on the Great Loop (~ 9-month voyage in 2018) both the schedule and the route were carefully charted. Ah yes, all you experienced boaters, you can hear the roar of laughter.  

IF you stick to a schedule, you find yourself in rough waters. Simply stated, a rigid schedule is dangerous. For us, the reality of the ever changing water conditions, and a credible threat by the crew to jump ship, taught Rick to relax his planning mode a little (I said a little).

Three years after completing the Great Loop, the journey to Maine is “subject to change”. A loose schedule makes sense, EXCEPT when you face a national holiday.  Memorial Day weekend is the official launch of summer boating everywhere. Translation: Good luck securing a last minute reservation at a marina, and forget about finding a quiet spot to anchor.

Giving Thanks to Mother Nature!

A nasty storm did us a favor, causing fair weather boaters to cancel their holiday plans, and opening up space at a well-protected marina, a respite from the storm.

Windmill Point, Virginia – May 29 (Saturday) and May 30 (Sunday)

The marina was “sold out” for the weekend. Sincere thanks to the harbor master who put Exhale on the wait list; he said only a handful of boats would arrive before the storm. Tied securely we stayed for two nights, pounded by the rain.

Spring Cove Marina, Solomon’s Island, Maryland – May 31, 2021

With the rain behind us, we traveled north to the beautiful Solomon’s Island.

Hello Annapolis, Maryland! – June 1 and June 2

Two days in Annapolis, rain free. Can you believe it Tim & June? Tied to a mooring ball (at $35 per night), we reunited with Tonto’s Reward (thanks for slowing down, Bert and EJ). Treble in Paradise arrived on June 2.

Annapolis architecture is divine, with well-preserved structures dating back nearly 400 years. Home to the US Naval Academy and St. John’s College, constructed in 1696, the area is extremely walkable with LOTS of local shops and restaurants. And it’s very dog friendly!

Celebrating June Pride

Annapolis City Center bronze statues – “Alex Haley, shares stories with a diverse group of children.”

“We must be in this place as one village. It is not enough that we learn to live together, we must learn to respect and love each other.”  Mandinka Elder, Roots 

Still Pond anchorage, Maryland – June 3, 2021

Anchored out with Tonto, we found a lovely gunk hole. What’s a gunk hole you ask?

Wikipedia says: Gunkholing is a boating term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes.

Maddie takes her time on a little beach walk with the boys.

Delaware City, Delaware – June 4, 2021

The marina in Delaware City was a bit remote. Although it was slow to get an Uber or Lyft driver, there were plenty of bikes.

With great effort, the 3 musketeers are together again.  Treble in Paradise, Exhale and Tonto’s Reward docked in tandem.

Thanks Treble for speeding up.

Milestones:  Craig Adford, Amanda Saylor, Mark Marlow and Skyllar June bug, all on June 1; Sue Gillespie, June 2 and Lorrie Swink, June 3.

Congrats to #DougAndDanaAndABoat! The NP4906 – original Exhale, and former Mimi’s Oasis (Hello to Grant and Nancy Jonsson) – was officially named Tumbleweed; she’s “Back in the Saddle Again” :-). Looking forward to our reunion Doug and Dana!

Next Stop:  Cape May – South Jersey Marina