Prism's Blog

Days spent in the northern Chesapeake Bay

Jon's Dirty 30

Oct 17, 2019 1 AM

It’s starting. Jon rolls out of bed and stumbles to the companion way. He has to go to the airport to pick up the first wave of family to arrive for his 30th birthday.

Jon’s little brother, Chris and his wife Marissa of SV Avocet, picked the cheapest flight getting them to BWI at 2 am. (fun for all parties involved) We had set up their bed the night before on the galley table, so as soon as they all got back to the boat they could hit the sack. 

Next to arrive was Clarke, Jon’s best friend and at this point part of the family as well. Jon and Debbie headed to the airport around 11 am to pick up Clarke while Chris and Marissa helped me prep Prism to leave the dock and head over to Spa Creek. 

Once again we will have 6 adults staying aboard like we did back in Costa Rica. This time though it is only for one night as we check into the Air BnB tomorrow when Jon’s sister, Tess gets in.

Our trip out of Back Creek and over to Spa Creek was quick. We made our way through the main harbor, under the bridge and all the way to the back till we ran out of water. The tide was low witch helped us find the perfect spot to set the hook. The airbnb was just 2 blocks up the street from the dinghy dock, we were ready for the shenanigans to begin.

The next morning Jon, Mom, Clarke, Chris and Marissa all headed into town to check it out and to meet up with more family for lunch.  I took off to the airport to pick op the last arrival, Tess, Jons sister.  NOW the fun is really going to start!

Once Tess and I met back up with the rest of the family for lunch we all headed back to the house to relax and catch up. Next thing you know we have over 15 people in the house drinking, eating and playing games. We were all having so much fun we forgot to call the restaurant to make a reservation for 13 of us! Yikes, we were THAT group who walks in as asks for a table for 13. whoops. Our server was beyond annoyed and did almost nothing to help our table. But at least we all had a good time. 

Our friend Bill had brought over his HC33 and anchored right next to us to join in on the birthday fun. We really wanted to raft up and get some quality time with the sister ships next to each other, but the rain and birthday fun got in the way. NEXT TIME BILL! 

Birthday trip to DC

Months ago when I asked Jon what he wanted to do for his 30th Birthday he said “I’d like to go to DC with my family” So that is what we did.

We were joined by more family members who live locally and piled into 2 cars leaving as early as we all could get moving after a night of drinking.  The only day that everyone was going to be in town all at the same time was Sunday. Which in one way is good and bad when it comes to traveling to DC. Pro: commuting traffic would be less. Con:  possibly more people.  Sunday came with lots and lots of rain. We still made it happen!

Once we made it back to Annapolis we cooked up a large meal at the air bnb and were joined by fellow sailor friends new and old.

Exploring Annapolis

The next day Annapolis welcomed our fresh hangovers with perfect weather. The sun was out and we were all ready to check out everything Annapolis has to offer. We checked out the Naval Academy and paid a visit to John McCain’s final resting place.

We ate cake, walked, drank, arm and leg wrestled and talked, boy oh boy did we do some talking!  Thank you so much Caroline for the amazing Prism cake ( and all the other cakes too), it was SO GOOD!!!

The 30+ year-olds of the group
SV Prism and SV Avocet

SV Avocet made a video about the birthday trip!

The Birthday is over

Holy Cow! It was crazy to wake up for the first time in over a year and literally have nothing to do nor anywhere to be.  As soon as we launched Prism it was a mad rush to get to Annapolis, then the birthday and all the family flying in and now nothing. 

We have Spa Creek pretty much to ourselves, only a few projects to finish and the sun is out calling our names to have some fun. So fun we will have.

Back to "cruising" life once again

” What do you want to do today” I asked Jon as we sipped coffee on the forward teak pad.  At this point we had explored most of Annapolis already when the family was here. We knew we wanted to go back to DC on a clear day to really see the sights. We also want to head up to Baltimore to visit our friends of MV Sea Life. Also on the list of things to do was spend more time with Bill (fellow HC33 owner) and possibly get some more projects done. 

Now the question is what do we do first? How about we go back to DC. This time Jon and I were up at the ass crack of dawn to beat the traffic. We made it to the city center with practically no traffic, crazy I know and on a work day! We found parking easily and made our way to the Capitol building. This is now my second trip to DC, the first being just a few days prior in the rain. Today Jon was looking forward to taking me through everything and the history of our country. If you didn’t know, Jon is a history buff, absolutely loves it!

We walked ALL DAY! From 7am till about 4 pm when we started to get hungry and loose light. 

Naval Academy Halloween/All Saints Concert

We were told by locals that this was an event we could not miss! After looking it up and getting a few more reviews about the show Jon and I decied to bite the bullet on the $35/ea ticket and make a date night of it. The concert is located on the base in the main Naval Academy Chapel. 

We got all dressed up and got tickets for the 7pm show. The line wrapped around the entire base as people waited inline to get the best seat in the house. Jon and I were in the middle of the line, but split up when getting inside to look for “spots ” where we could squeeze in. We lucked out, and found seats up front and center.

In just a few words the show was great and the Chapel Organist was incredible. We enjoyed ourselves but, was it worth the $70? No, not really in our opinion.

Up to Baltimore


After spending a week or so just enjoying the quite life we decided to head up to Baltimore to see our friends on MV Sea Life and to possoblly get some projects done.

Our trip up was pretty much a motor, no winds and we timed the tide to suck us right up. We grabbed the slip next to our friends at Henderson Wharf Marina.

The next few days were filled with lots of laughs and reminiscing of our tropical memories. Caroline spoiled us rotten while we were there and we loved every second of it.

Jon and I were also lucky enough to be in the area during the infamous Tug-o-War between Annapolis and Eastport. This was something we were told we truly could not miss.  MV Sea Life go pretty much every year and they strongly state they are always on the Eastport side. So we drove down to Eastport met up with some friends had breakfast at the Boatyard Bar and Grill then walked over to the tug. 

This tug is the longest international** Tug of War over water in the world! The line crosses over the entire Annapolis harbor! There are 7 or 8 rounds which are so entertaining to watch. Jon even participated in one of the rounds! Which of course  Eastport won. Well Eastport won all but 1 round,  so I guess we were on the right side!

Time to get some projects done

In true Prism fashion, as soon as we pulled into the marina we had all our shit all over the dock. Jon was working on getting our pressure water system up and running along with doing a deeper dive into the very very small leak we have in our transmission, while I was cutting up our old sails. The plan is to make sail bags out of our old tanbark sails, this is yet another project that is on the “when we get around to it” list.

On the rainy days of the week or so we spent in Baltimore we were lucky enough to have a fury visitor come by. Howard the cat belongs to, well no one as far as he is concerned, but his parents are the crew of MV Sea Life. Howard is a big boy and only tolerates you if you are feeding him or catch him during the 15 seconds  a day he allows others to show him affection. I would still try every time to give him some love and would be gifted a quick swat of the paw with claws. Someday Howard, we will be friends.

We had to wait a few days for the right weather window to head back down to Annapolis and when we got it, we SAILED!

Winter is coming


When we left Baltimore we headed back to Annapolis, but this time we headed into Back Creek to anchor off Port Annapolis Marina and to be close to our friend Bill.

For the next week Jon and I thought about what our winter plans were going to be. At this point we were both really hopping to jump off and head back to Panama. But after a closer look at our cruising kitty and some of the systems we still needed up upgrade (like our batteries) we came to the sad conclusion that we did not have enough saved to push off this season. 

With this sad new realization fresh in our minds we hung in Back Creek for a while with friends and waited for a weather window to head back down the Chesapeake. 

The weather is only getting colder and the windows are becoming father and fewer in-between. We needed to move southbound and fast.

The last 2 days in Annapolis we were freezing! Temps were in the teens and our little solid fuel heater was barley keeping the boat warm enough to live.


Our weather window was here, the winds had finally let up but the temps we still very low. The morning we pulled anchor, we literally had ice break off the mainsail as we made our way south. Bur.


Panama, you will just have to wait till next year

Jon and I will be staying state side this winter and summer once again. The refit took longer than we thought and we added many more projects which means we spent a lot more money.

So, we are still going to sail south, just not that far south.  We need to pick up work this winter to help build up our kitty once again. 

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