June 15, 2010
Letís All Do the Rendezvous

June 1, 2010
On the Hard

May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West

May 1, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board

Apr 15, 2010
Key West Ė A Repeat Performance

Apr 1, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures

Mar 15, 2010
Mom Cruise

Mar 1, 2010
Okeechobee Bound

Feb 15, 2010
Chance Encounters

Feb 1, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise

Jan 15, 2010
New Frontiers

Jan 1, 2010
First Time Experiences

Dec 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port

Dec 1, 2009
Dealing With A Temperamental Lady

Nov 15, 2009
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Nov 1, 2009
A Cult Following

Oct 15, 2009
Somewhere in Time

Oct 1, 2009
Unlocking Our Mindís Eye

Sep 15, 2009
Its in My Nature

Sep 1, 2009
The Simple Pleasures

Aug 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote

Aug 1, 2009
Crab Crazy

Jul 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay

Jul 1, 2009
Bring On The Chesapeake

Jun 15, 2009
Our Last Leg North

Jun 1, 2009
Northern Migration

May 15, 2009
Priceless

May 1, 2009
Hello Goodbye

April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!

April 1, 2009
Don't Worry, Be Happy

March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound

March 1, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?

February 15, 2009
Slow Motion

February 1, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View

January 15, 2009
High Anxiety

January 1, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands

December 15, 2008
Pushing Into New Tennessee River, Upstream To Adventure

December 1, 2008
All Together Now

November 15, 2008
Kismet in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

November 1, 2008
Our Love Affair With The River

October 15, 2008
Big City Lights

October 1, 2008
The Adventure Begins

September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop

September 1, 2008
The Space Ship

Aug 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle

Aug 1, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!

Jul 15, 2008
The Second Time Around

Jul 1, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop

   

July 1, 2009
Solomons, Maryland

Bring On The Chesapeake

Lisa Targal Favors

By Jim Favors

When Lisa and I embarked on our two-year journey last September we had decided that the Chesapeake Bay would be our home for the summer of 2009. With so many ports of call, unlimited anchorage possibilities, and an area steeped in American history, it just seemed like a perfect place to spend an extended length of time. Our plan is to call the Solomons Yachting Center, in Solomons, Maryland, just off of the Chesapeake Bay and the Puxatent River, our home for five months. Because the Solomons are centrally located on the Bay it will make it easier to take side trips to Annapolis, St. Michaels, Mt. Vernon, St. Mary’s City, and Washington D.C. among others during our stay. Our destinations will all be within a hundred miles from our home base, making for a relaxed, laid back pace that will enable us to absorb all that the Chesapeake Bay area has to offer.

Our summer home away from home is located just off “The Bay,” conveniently located for sunset cruises or weekend getaways.

After nine months of mostly being on the move it will be nice to have some boating time concentrated in one area. To give you an idea, from the Solomons, we’re only 75 miles from Washington, 100 miles from Norfolk, Virginia, 55 miles from Annapolis, Maryland, and 80 miles from Baltimore, Maryland. With everything so close, we’ll not only be able see and learn more, we’ll burn less fuel and have less wear and tear on our boat. This is a win-win situation and one of reasons why the Chesapeake Bay is considered great cruising grounds. The tough part is seeing all of our Looper friends as they proceed, in their migration north, up into Canadian waters and not being able to continue on with them.

Prior to our arrival in the Solomons we’d made arrangements for our son Skyler and his girlfriend Sarah to drive our truck down to us from Michigan. It’s been nine months since we’ve had steady use of a vehicle so it’ll be nice to have the convenience and freedom to take road trips and run errands at the drop of a hat. Skyler and Sarah left Michigan and drove straight through for 15 hours, 825 miles, to be with us over the Memorial Day weekend. Lisa and I were excited because we hadn’t met Sarah yet and Skyler wanted all of us to meet in person. Sarah is a wonderful young lady and just as Skyler said, a special one. Our first day was spent relaxing around the boat, cooking steaks on the grill, and enjoying getting to know one another. We tried our best to make her feel at home in what, I’m sure she must think, is an unusual lifestyle ­– traveling and living on a boat. We hope we made as good an impression on her as she did on us.

Our son Skyler and his girlfriend Sarah enjoying time on Kismet.

As luck would have it there was an air show over the Patuxent River during the Memorial Day weekend with the Blue Angels as the headliner act. Little did we know how big a fan Sarah is of the Blue Angels. In order to get the best viewing vantage point we took Kismet to anchor out on the river near the Naval Air station, just off the runway where they were flying for the air show.

We passed inspection with flying colors due to the captain’s thoroughness.

No sooner had we got our anchor set, amongst the hundreds of other boats, the US Coat Guard showed up with all their lights flashing requesting to board Kismet. It was a routine vessel inspection and we passed all the requirements, which included a secured thru-hull (no black-water discharge), fully charged fire extinguishers, properly dated flares, the proper number of life jackets, as well as having all of our registration papers in order. We were good to go and after their departure we settled in to watch the big show.

Our necks were held at a 45-degree angle for 60 minutes enjoying the sights and sounds of the Blue Angels. It was well worth it.

Lisa and I have had the thrill of seeing the Blue Angles fly, several times, in our home waters of Traverse City, Michigan, during the National Cherry Festival. To see them fly in our 2009 summer homeport waters was a big bonus and a real hit with Sarah. As the six jets thundered into the sky the performance started, 60 minutes of sheer delight. While they were doing their maneuvers, flying in a pattern or individually, they’d fly directly over us close enough for us to make out the pilots heads in the cockpit of the planes. As they passed overhead we could feel the reverberation of the jet’s exhaust, we were that close.

Before we knew it our enjoyable weekend with Skyler and Sarah came to an end. We had three fun-packed days of games that I never seemed to win, sightseeing, talking, laughing, cooking, eating, and making memories.

Skyler, Sarah, Lisa and I visited the Calvert Maritime Museum where we toured Drum Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1883 and decommissioned in 1962.

After the couple left, it was back to work. We needed to get the boat hauled out of the water for normal periodic maintenance. In a year and a half we’ve logged 725 hours on Kismet, which under normal, seasonal, summer usage would equate to five years of hours at 150 hours per year. With that in mind we had the boat pulled. After having the hull pressure washed it was on to sanding the bottom in preparation for bottom painting. While out of the water we also wanted to pull the prop off and send it in to be scanned, so it could be adjusted to factory specs. There was no visible damage but after 750 hours of travel time and with the boat already being out of the water it made sense to have this preventative maintenance done.

I’m a hands-on kind of person who likes the challenge of a project or goal to look forward to. Others might say I was a type-A personality who likes to be in control, others may say something else! Whatever the case, this is why I decided to tackle the bottom-painting project myself. First I had to arrange to have the boat pulled at a boatyard that permits self-serve work. Next I had to research and buy all the materials so that I’d have everything on hand and could go to work without interruption as soon as the boat came out of the water. Bottom paint, tape, sandpaper, and paintbrush, thinner, rollers, and rolling pan are just some of the items needed for this project.

As our Kismet is being lifted out of the water for bottom painting I’m thinking of how much larger it looks when work has to be done as well as how I’m more comfortable when she’s in the water.

Based on my research the key components to a proper bottom-painting job are preparation and materials. Before I started to sand the hull we had the bottom pressure washed clean of any algae, slime, or barnacles. The sanding knocks off any remaining loose materials in addition to roughing up the area so the bottom paint has a good surface to adhere to. To determine the proper material I had to ascertain if I wanted a single or multi-season paint, if my boating would travel mostly in moderate or in extreme fouling conditions, what the average water temperature would be and if I wanted a painted hard surface or an ablative material.

With the boat out of water, the bottom pressure washed and me being dressed for the occasion I’m ready to get the dirty project underway.

My choice was a multi-season, moderate fouling condition, and ablative paint to protect against barnacles, slime, grass, and algae buildup for either fresh or salt water. I found that most bottom paint companies have a flow chart on their website. Because most bottom paint companies have six to eight different bottom paints to choose from I found the flow chart to be extremely helpful in deciding on the final product.

After cleaning and sanding the bottom, taping off the water line it was time to get to the final step. It really doesn’t matter how neat you are this stuff seems to always end up on your shoes, face, arms, and in your hair; at least it does for me. To help reduce the mess I bought a deposable white jump suit, wore old shoes, a hat, and a facemask. Two coats later and a third on the leading edges, the bottom was ready for its reintroduction to the water and several more seasons of cruising, including our Chesapeake Bay explorations.

Kismet is looking tall after four days with the bottom job completed, zincs replaced, and the prop tuned up and re-installed.

In the first three weeks at Solomons we’ve accomplished quite a lot. We’ve had a nice visit from our son Skyler, met his girlfriend Sarah, got our truck delivered to us, and have all of Kismet’s maintenance finished. With the big bottom-paint job out of the way, we now feel free to concentrate the rest of the summer on our goal of exploring the many facets of the Chesapeake.