We do our laundry every week or so. I like doing the laundry at a laundromat rather than a marina because there tends to be better access to laundry machines and the quarters needed to operate them. Today I took Franklin on the the 1.5 mile walk to the laundromat today only to find every single machine full. Note to self, do laundry on weekdays. The pram (stroller) works for groceries, supplies, beer , little boys and sometimes a bit of everything!
Shortly after arriving in Annapolis the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) office in Baltimore called and left a message on my cell phone.
The Annapolis Harbor pumpout boat took my cell phone number ostensibly for pumpouts. They must have reported us to the CBP because we shortly thereafter received a call from the CBP.
The CBP has been a constant source of angst and confusion on this trip. Every CBP office interprets the rules differently so every time we move to a new area we are expected to comply with a new set of rules. Worst yet, it is difficult to find out what the rules are.
Our situation in Annapolis is a good illustration. We called the Baltimore office when we entered this area almost a month ago because we knew we had entered a new customs area. We were given a general number to call and the operator had no idea what to do with us.
After we talked to several people we were usually sent into the yachts voicemail and asked to leave a message with our phone number. We never received a call back.
When we do talk to somebody we are told we did not need to call in the first place because our boat had never left US waters…. but if we don’t call they come looking for us. If are not in compliance we could face a $5000 fine and seizure of our boat.
For the last month we have had one of the most dangerous things a sailor could have on a boat – a schedule. We need to be in Annapolis on Friday, September 27th for the start of the job at the boat shows.
We planned on being ready to leave Deltaville on Friday, September, 20th so we would have a big enough weather window to find two days of favorable breezes needed to sail to Annapolis. On Saturday, we made a nice downwind run from Deltaville to Solomons Island, a little more than halfway to Annapolis. But since Saturday night the wind has been dead on the nose for the next leg of the trip to Annapolis.
There are two weather models we have bee watching since leaving Duluth: GFS (Global Forecast System) and NAM (North American Model) via passageweather.com. GFS was the more reliable from Lake Superior to Cape May, but in the Chesapeake NAM seems to have become more reliable. This may be because NAM is a higher definition model, ie: it gives more detail for smaller areas. For more discussion on the models see http://theweatherguy.net/info.html.
Both models predict unfavorable conditions for sailing to Annapolis by Friday, so we are resigned to a 40 mile motor. But how unfavorable is it going to be today? The GFS model predicts conditions moderating early today with light winds later in the day. The NAM mode predicts conditions moderating late tonight.
Our schedule pushes us towards betting on the GFS model, even though we know that probably is not a great idea and we will probably be motoring into a cold north wind. But the crab boats are going out this morning for the first time in a few days… maybe that is a good sign? Oh well, the sun is coming up, time to get out into the bay and find out!