Number 2

14-22 November 2003

Dear Friends and Supporters,


Well, we survived the big blow in last week, anchored safely in Cape May Harbor, NJ. Once the winds let up, we took a day off, went grocery shopping and then got ourselves underway again.

From Cape May, we traveled through the Cape May Canal, which cuts thorough Cape May over into Delaware Bay. The canal saves several hours of hard slogging around the southern tip of the Cape, where the seas, winds, tides, and currents always find some way to disagree with one another producing a sloppy choppy uncomfortable passage. Then heading northwest up Delaware Bay, we stopped and anchored off a nice little sandy beach at False Egg Island Point (not a false egg, but a false point). We went ashore in the dinghy and made a little beach fire, sitting on a piece of floating dock that had been washed up there, probably by Hurricane Isabelle. The beach was littered with horseshoe crab exoskeletons ("shells") shed by these living dinosaurs.

Continuing up the Delaware, we cut west into the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, a 13 mile canal that connects the Delaware River (thus the port of Baltimore) with the Chesapeake Bay (thus Annapolis, Washington DC, and down to Norfolk VA.) We over nighted in South Chesapeake City. Jonathan and I visited the canal museum and then the canal dispatcher's office. The dispatcher spent about a half an hour showing us all about the canal and used his remote CCTV cameras to give us the whole "5 dollar tour".

Note that there is no city there, but there are some houses and antique shops and the "Town Hall". The people were incredibly friendly and helpful. Jonathan has been trying to get something set up on his laptop requiring an Internet connection. One upscale restaurant invited us to sit at the bar (we had sodas) and use their telephone to dial in. The next morning, the nice folks at Town Hall gave up one of their two phone lines for 40 minutes for the same purpose, and showered us with commemorative lapel pins and very nice ball point pens.

The "Pride of Baltimore II" was tied up across the canal from us. It is a replica of the privateer from the 1800s, a gorgeous wooden tall-ship with wickedly raked masts (they lean backward quite a lot). As we left South Chesapeake Harbor, the "Pride of Baltimore II" fired its cannons across our stern (much to our surprise).

Tuesday had us motoring (still) down the Chesapeake. The "Pride" was cavorting off Annapolis across the Bay, firing its cannons again, bringing to mind the long tradition of pirates on the Bay. Swan Creek hosted us to the night, though it was not a very protected anchorage. NOAA Weather Radio was calling for a gale for Wednesday and before we retired, we decided to stay the next day in Swan Creek and go into Rock Hall Harbor, a small town nearby.

In the morning, though there was a small craft warning up, it seemed nice, and the prediction was for high winds (from the south, where we want to go, of course) but not until late afternoon. In a moment of bravado, the Captain (who shall remain unnamed) made the decision to run down 10 miles to Kent Narrows where there is good protected anchorage from south winds.

This was a BIG mistake. By the time we made the main Bay, the wind had already piped up to 20 knots, coming straight at us from the south, dead ahead. Let it be noted that the Bosun's Mate (Jonathan) said at this point, "It's not too late to go back into Swan Creek". An hour later found us pounding into 30 knots gusting to 40, and making precious little headway. In another hour we were still an hour out of Kent Narrows in a full to strong gale, winds 40-45 gusting over 50. Tons of water over the bow, lots of motion. Wind at 50 knots is very strong and the noise that it makes through the rigging can be a bit frightening.

In one of those ridiculous but predictable idiocies, the electronic maps we had purchased (which show all the buoys and depths on the GPS unit, along with the boats position and heading) ran out 2 miles north of Kent Narrows, leaving us with only the boats position, heading and land outline, wind blowing 50 knots (this is about 55 mph), waves four feet and breaking, so much spray in the air that the crew could only look around the dodger ("windshield") for a few moments at a time, and the entrance to the "Narrows" only 25 feet wide. All the crew did their part and we entered the awfully narrow Narrows at about 1530 hours. Jonathan, a real sailor's sailor, was calmly reading below in the salon through most of this excitement, but came on deck to man the helm through a critical half hour while the Captain (still unnamed) searched the paper charts for the best hope of pulling through with ship and crew intact.

The Mears Pointe Marina fueling dock was the first thing inside the protection of the "harbor". We tied up there, just for some respite. Bob Wilson, the marina manager, came out to greet us, and upon hearing what we were up to with the Family-to-Family Project, invited us to stay overnight at no charge, an offer gratefully accepted. Bob is descended from the Ivans (spelling uncertain) family, Mormons prominent in the "Colonies" in Mexico of the 1890s. (Sister Webb could look to see if there is such a family with an illustrious heritage.)

We were forced to sit out another day in Kent Narrows, with small craft warnings up and the winds over 30 knots (again!). Used the day to purchase the missing digital maps for the GPS, cleaned out the huge stack of manuals for everything aboard and sorted it by system: engines, electronics and navigation, radio equipment, deck gear, entertainment systems.

Friday broke clear and calm. Set out early, seemingly waking the night drawbridge attendant to lift the Narrows bridge for us. Had a beautiful trip for the day, sails up and "almost enough" wind to scoot us along south and a bit east down Chesapeake Bay. At sunset the Bay to the east was grape-purple, quite startling. Arden quoted "the wine dark sea". Pushed on late into the evening to make sure we would be able to arrive in Norfolk, VA during the mid-afternoon on Saturday.

Saturday was a fabulous day. Temperatures in the 50's overnight, morning warm already at 0700. Chesapeake flat and smooth and mirrorlike. Arden reported that the Bay was wine-colored again at 0630. A wonderful trip down the remainder of the Bay and through Hampton Roads and into Norfolk Harbor. Managed to sail the last little bit of the way. Arden had an interesting experience with the Navy here.

Took a slip at Ocean Marine Yacht Center in Portsmouth (across the river from downtown Norfolk). We stayed here on our way north in June. The biggest attraction is that they have a courtesy car which we borrowed and went grocery shopping, and plan to use to go to church in the morning. Norfolk had their big "illumination" event this evening, lighting up a ka-billion holiday lights outlining all the major buildings downtown. Very impressive. Tomorrow we start in earnest down the Intercostal Waterway.


And if you found that boring you should be on board to hear Jon exclaim from time to time "I'm bored!" We just tell him he's boring and let him figure it out.

In our small world there is actually a never ending array of things to look at, fix, clean or do. When I am not shucking oysters (we bought 100 of 'em and gorged) or making pancakes for the guys I pass the time reading, drawing pictures of my shipmates or just marvelling at the sunset, sunrise or great panoramas of sky and water. I also keep the log and am chief windshield cleaner.

If I really get restive I set my hair on fire like the other night as I swished over the hot clay flower pots keeping us warm on the stove . I smelt something very unpleasant and with a squeal realized my hair had caught fire. The captain and bosun had it out in seconds and I only lost the top layer.

To keep them all amused, this evening I ran the boat into a restricted naval sector and had the little cop boat racing towards up with his siren going. We apologized and turned about but I'm sure to be reminded of that one ad infinitum.

Pressing on and keeping the goal in sight while learning to tie knots and read charts, water, wind and. sky. Its a grand experience. Now, if I could just get Jonathan to do his schoolwork......Grrrrr.


....... I'm bored. I've been honing my video game skills (SKILZ) to keep on the edge of sanity. not quite sure what side of the edge I'm on now (my parents may dispute this at times) but I think I'm on the good side.

It might please some of you I have started to do something productive whatever it might be.

I also set myself a new record of finishing 2 fairly hefty books in 2 days . That's it for Jon for now because here at the "port" is the only place where I can get reliable interweb and I have to finish some downloads and save my friends from speaking to my father [who takes over his computer and instant messages with them while Jonathan writes his piece of the newsletter - kip.

Our best wishes to you all,

let us hear from you,

The Hansens

Kip, Arden, and Jonathan Hansen


The Family-to-Family Project

c/o Kip and Arden Hansen

153 Malden Tpke

Saugerties, NY 12477

(845) 246 0131 (home)

(845) 987 2759 (cell


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