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Our SSB/Ham radio is now up and running. The job isn’t 100% complete as we still need to have a rigger install the insulator in the top of our shroud. It is functioning though as Bill demonstrated by talking to a guy in Texas.

Bill Trayfors adding some shrinkwrap to a connection.

This is the radio’s new home and it already has some company.


  1. Whooooo! How exciting! I can hook you guys up with a fabulous rigger back here in Annapolis if you do the work out here. Have fun learning the radio!

  2. Congratulations! Just barely copied you on the check-in this morning.

  3. Welcome to hamdom! You already know my callsign, but I’m off the air for the moment. Enjoy!

  4. Welcome to the land of SSB! Enjoy the Cruiseheimers and their ilk. Don’t forget to hook up with Herb Hilgenberg and Chris Parker for your offshore passages.

    Fair Winds,

  5. Hi,
    Just ran across your website, love it! This has nothing to do with SSB/Ham but I did want to mention a few spots worth pointing out on your way down the river…if your not already gone. We spent four great years cruising the Potomac until we moved in Feb 09. As you head down the river just North of the Wilson Bridge on the Virginia side is Alexandria City Dock , this area is great!!!!!! The city dock is at the end of King street in front of a building that used to be a Torpedo Factory. It should be between Red 4 and Red 2. The Torpedo Factory is now an art institute and you can go in and see the art, very nice!! Walk under or around the Torpedo Factory and you will find King Street. You will find every kind of restaurant, bars, ice cream, antiques, art, and anything else, it is an awsome area you can’t pass it up. Everything is within walking distance and they are usually having some kind of celebration or festival nearby. There is a Chart House restaurant on the pier (can’t miss it), pricey but great food. I can’t tell you how nice this area is. As you head down the river Alexandria City Dock is located to starboard between The Old Dominion Boat Club ODBC, and The Chart House Restaurant in front of a building that says Torpedo Factory. “A” dock is just North or to the right of the ODBC dock. The City Dockmaster (call on 16) will guide you in and help you tie up. If you plan on stopping I would radio ahead for an end tie or you could anchor out and dinghy in.
    Another noteworthy spot is Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home. When you come to GC 73 it should be off to your 2:30 up on the hill.
    Another great place to stop, eat and grab a cold one is Tim’s Rivershore restaurant (there are two). The first one is WNW of G 45/R 46 at about 38 34N 17 15.5W. You can anchor out and dinghy in or call them and they will come and get you. Real casual and great food! Google Tim’s Rivershore.
    Right across the river from Tim’s is Mattawoman creek, I see you have been up there. We have anchored in 6 feet of water countless times East of Red 46 at 38 33.36N 77 12.18W. Our boat draws 4.5 feet and we never touched. The bottom is really soft mud. It’s a great anchorage! Can get busy on the weekends but quiets down at sunset.
    Another spot to look at if you have time is Mallows bay East of Red 40. There are over 100 ship wrecks in there, most are only visible at low tide (what is left of them). There is one steel ferry that is sticking up, should still be visible, we climed all over it. You can anchor just out of the channel (WX permitting) and dinghy in and explore the wrecks. Be careful of the wrecks just below the surface, go slow. We used our Kayaks at the time so there was no danger of puncturing the dink. Google Mallows bay it’s pretty interesting. Here is a good link
    Just South of Mallows Bay is Wade’s Bay East of Red 32. You can anchor in about eight feet of water on the South end of the bay, check your chart. You can dinghy in and walk the shore at low tide, it is littered with fossils. It’s a nice stop in good weather. Check out (that’s not me by the way!).
    The other Tim’s Rivershore restaurant is at Fairview Beach, almost due South of Green 23/Red 24. 38 20N 77 14.8W if I am not mistaken. Pretty much the mirror of the other restaurant. Good food, casual, relaxed, great place.
    I see you stopped at St Clements Island on the way up river. St Clement’s is open to the public from sun up till sun down. We anchor on the SE side just South of the big pier and dinghy in, walk the entire island, it’s a good time. You will see the welcome/rules sign just on shore at the pier. It’s free.
    If you need to stop for the night there are some great anchorages along the way South, on both sides. Port Tobacco river is nice but exposed to the South. We anchored numerous times at Chapel Pt. 38 27.7N 77 01.8W in about 6-7 feet of water. There is a nice restaurant up the river on the left, it’s a bit of a ride in the dinghy but it’s nice.
    The Dahlgren weapons test facility you are familiar with, we have anchored in there several times at 38 19.1N 77 02.181W in about 10 feet of water. We anchored just South (100′) of the military dock and 50′ from the shore in 10′ of water (you will see USCG, range control, and other small military vessels). After dinner about sunset the USCG came in and docked, they all stood on the dock and stared at us for 5 minutes and left. I guess they figured a 31′ sailboat was not a threat but just in case, I left the vhf on all night. We never heard a peep from anyone and there was nice shelter all night while the Potomac was in a tizzy. There are two channels into Dahlgren, you will see them on the chart.
    Although a bit off the track, another nice place to stop is St Mary’s City 38 11.5N 76 26W. There is a college there and just a few minutes walk up the road on the right is a historical “area” that is really nice. Overall that is it at St Mary’s but it’s a really nice anchorage.
    Just immediately past the mouth of St Mary’s river is Calvert Bay/Smith Creek. Up in there on the right is Point Lookout Marina 38 07N 76 24W, pretty nice, decent facilities, Spinnaker’s restaurant is pretty good-the beer is cold. Sometimes they will loan you their truck to go to the grocery store, it’s a few miles down the road. There are great gunk holes all in that general area, you can see on your chart. Plenty of good places to anchor.
    Almost due South of Calvert Bay on the Virginia side is Lewisetta, there is a small marina there with a fuel dock, small store, wonderful couple own it. There is a great place to anchor called “The Glebe” at 38 59.45N 76 28.6W, there is about 10 feet of water and you can go quite a ways up where it is very well protected from almost any direction. We holed up there for two days waiting for a storm to pass, it was perfectly calm and peaceful while the Potomac/Chesapeake was in a rage. Watch your charts and follow the channel, need to stay in the channel entering Lewisetta/The Glebe.
    The Potomac is a great cruising ground but it is pretty shallow in places and that takes some getting used to. Over all we had a great time and we hope you enjoy your trip back down river. Looking forward to your updates and hope to see you out there. We depart in June ’11.
    Take care!

    • Dave… that was an amazingly detailed comment! Thank you. Sadly we received it just when we had reached Smith Creek at the bottom of the Potomac. 🙁

      I’m sure it will be good intel for any others reading this blog though, so I really appreciate the contribution! Please keep in touch and let us know your cruising plans.

  6. Second the motion on Herb and the offshore info he provides. But don’t abandon the blogosphere, even though I know how much fun it is to be on the air. I can tell you from experience that Rebecca will get faster and more responses than Mike will! Of course, in code, you can’t tell the gender of the ham on the key, so that doesn’t apply!

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