Trip to England: Hop-on Hop-off Cruise

One our first day in London we joined a Hop-on Hop-off cruise with City Cruises.

Hoping to get our bearings in London from this cruise.

My purpose in doing this on the first day was to get oriented to the lay of the land.  We took the underground from Earl’s Court station to Westminster.

We weren’t sure which slip our boat be using.

I had prepurchased “rover” tickets online so Charlie and I walked directly to the pier.  The boat was a little late but we boarded the first cruise of the day.

The Eye is visible from all over London.

The first stop was London Eye pier on the south side of the Thames.

Tower Bridge — a famous profile.

Then we stopped at the Tower Pier near the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. People get off and on at each stop.

We were eager to hear what this crew member had to say.

All during the cruise a member of the crew gave a running commentary.  It was both informative and entertaining.

The Cutty Sark

The last stop before turning around was Greenwich.  This is where we hopped off the boat.  The “Cutty Sark” was anchored in the harbor.

Goddard’s began as an eel pie shop.

We headed up the street to Goddard’s at Greenwich, a pie and mash shop.

Steak and kidney pie and mash.

Charlie ordered minced beef and I had steak and kidney pie.  All meals are served with mashed potatoes and gravy.  We enjoyed this local specialty.

Charlie and Jo standing on the Prime Meridian.

Then we walked up the street a little farther to the Royal Observatory which contains the Prime Meridian, the earth’s zero of longitude, which by convention passes through Greenwich, England. Charlie and I stood on this demarcation.

Greenwich Pier.

After touring the Royal Observatory we returned to the boat (it was actually a different boat because they run every 40-minutes.)

Greenwich Pier.

We rode back to Westminster and felt we had a good grasp of the important landmarks of London.

Do you take boat trips?

Bright and Early

We’re off on a road trip.


Sug, Charlie, and I have our bags packed.

In addition to one packed bag, each of us will have a bag of groceries.

Smith Island Ferries

We’ve tried to pack light because after a three-hour car trip from Baltimore to Crisfield (Maryland) we’ll transfer to a ferry for about an hour that will take us to Smith Island, the only inhabited offshore island in Maryland.

Crisfield Dock

All ferries (3 of them) leave from Crisfield dock at 12:30 p.m. We don’t want to miss the boat.

Smith Island can only be reached by boat.

I have mapped the trip in terms of time and distance. Smith Island is 12 miles offshore.  I have also mapped all the Starbucks on the way in case we’re running early.

Looking forward to steamed crabs.

Our plan is to stop at the one grocery store in Crisfield to get some lunch meat and a couple of rotisserie chickens to to add to our groceries to snack on.

Crab cakes waiting to be fried.

Mainly, though, we plan to eat a lot of crabmeat, including steamed crabs since Smith Island is home to waterman on the Chesapeake Bay.

We have never been away from the dogs before.

Unfortunately we can’t take the dogs but my son and his wife are going to stay at the house and care for the pups.

Do you have a favorite island?

Tyche is Setting Sail for New Waters

I told you here about a very nice couple and their young son and their Old English sheep dog came to look at Tyche a few months ago. Ultimately she was too much boat for them.

More recently a Naval Academy grad (yes they can sail) and his lady came to see if Tyche would be the boat for them. They are both experienced sailors and have access to her parents’ marina in Maine.

Tyche in her slip.

They inspected her fore and aft, checked the sails for dryrot and holes, and sized up the trailer.  Their verdict: $2000 is a fair trade for this boat.

The kick-up rudder makes shallow water sailing possible.

I took some photos on the day of the contract signing which ensure the buyers the boat will be in “as is ” condition as of that date.


Since the boat was listed on Craigslist I would only accept cash in payment as a precaution against scam.

The new hatch is a snug fit (the centerboard winch is just below the hatch out of the picture).

When she rolled out we thought we’d miss her but now can get to grooming the part of the yard where Tyche has resided all these years.

Tyche ready for hauling

Bon voyage, Tyche.

Don't forget the rudder.
Don’t forget the rudder.

Ship ahoy.

Pulling out off the driveway.
Pulling out off the driveway.

Anchor aweigh.

Up the street she blows.
Up the street she blows.

Godspeed. Happy sails to you.

The end!
The end!

Do you have trouble parting with belongings that have special meaning for you?

Yo, Yo, Heave Ho

We’ve been trying to sell our sailboat, Tyche, for a few years now.  She has been tucked in the back of the yard.

The boat was nestled in the weeds behind The Cottage.

Recently we’ve had some interested buyers so I decided she should be moved from her berth under the trees to a more open spot.

There’s space behind the big upended oak root left by Hurricane Irene.

At first Charlie hooked her up to the lawnmower but the tires just spun. Then with his helpful little tire pumping contraption he pumped both the tires on the trailer that carries Tyche.

Tire pump plugs into car cigarette lighter and pumps up low tires.

With the tires fully pumped and the mower hooked up to the trailer, little by little Tyche sailed across the yard.

A ride-on lawnmower is a handy machine.

She is now settled into the free space behind the big root where the Hurricane Irene trees fell.

Out in the open but behind the big root.

We figure there’s less chance of peripheral damage from falling branches and an easier exit when someone does decide that they must have her.

The look says: “Are you still following me?”

Now we can get the back of the yard cleared up before winter sets in.  The ground is covered with zillions of acorns that have begun to sprout.

Have you used your mower for things other than mowing the grass? Like what?

Bon Voyage, Tyche!

A very nice couple and their young son and their Old English sheep dog came to look at Tyche a few months ago. They were just getting into the sailing game and for my money the Ensenada 20 is a great starter boat for day sailing and extended cruising  in protected and larger waters.


1977 Ensenada 20 (draft and displacement varied by model year)
LOA: 20′ Poptop Up: 5’6″ Headroom
LWL: 17’6″ Poptop Down: 4’7″ Headroom
Beam: 7’1″ Sail Area: 174 sq. ft
Displacement: 1600 lbs Main: 91 sq. ft
Ballast: 550lbs Jib: 83 sq. ft
Draft (keel up): 1’9″ 150% Genoa: 137 sq. ft
Draft (keel down): 4′ Spinnaker: 294 sq. ft
LWL Height: 27’6″ PHRF (little data): 288 – 317


Cabin space is enormous for a 20 footer. The couple especially wanted to see the boat because they feared a twenty foot boat was very small and instead came away with the impression that it was both adequately large and spacious enough for their family of four. The pop-top (in the up position in the photo below) is great but catches the jib sheets when up while underway and limits visibility. So if we’re cruising we generally put it in the closed position.

Tyche in her slip.

The swing keel provides stability and minimum leeway while sailing close to the wind, yet minimal drag when running.  It’s very handy in shallows since significant keel is still exposed below the hull when fully retracted; it provides good stability in light winds and reduces swing when anchored. The swing keel winch is conveniently located just behind the cabin hatch in the cockpit.

The kick-up rudder makes shallow water sailing possible.

The kickup rudder is a real benefit not just when the bottom is shallow but also when some rocks or submerged logs have made their way into the channel. We can also leave the channel before deeper keeled boats because the Ensenada can go just about anywhere.


The mast is of very heavy constuction for a twenty foot boat therefore spreaders are unnessary. Even with the added weight the mast is not difficult to step.The heavy tabernacle and shroud placement eliminates side swing during mast raising.

The new hatch is a snug fit (the centerboard winch is just below the hatch out of the picture).

The foredeck is extremely large and unencumbered.  A great place to lounge while underway or at anchor.

Tyche ready for hauling

The young couple really wanted the boat but felt, after looking at her, that she was larger than they expected and a boat was a lot of responsibility. So while we’re ready to say “Bon Voyage” Tyche is still available.

Do you have a hobby which requires big equipment? Is storage a problem.

Ahoy, Tyche (pronounced Tie – key)

I have a sailboat. Her name is Tyche.

Tyche on her Trailer


So what’s Tyche? I mean, who’s Tyche?

Goddess Tyche


Tyche was the Greek Goddess of Fortune, Chance and the non-predictable. We’d call her Lady Luck. She was the personification of Hope, Luck and Wealth, a capricious dispenser of good and ill fortune.  She was portrayed holding a double-sided rudder that could steer men to good luck or bad. In archaic Greece Tyche was considered to be the daughter of the god Oceanus and ruled the religious beliefs of sailors who often had to rely on her. Tyche was, therefore, also revered as the savior of sailors from the dangers of the sea, thus the association with chance and luck.

So I thought it really a terrific name for a boat.

Tyche in her slip


This Tyche is a twenty-foot 1973 Ensenada sailboat. The Ensenada 20 is a great sailboat for day sailing and extended cruising in protected and larger waters.  She sleeps four.

Tyche Cabin Interior


This boat has sailed the Chesapeake Bay and her tributaries.  The beauty of the Ensenada is that although she has a 4-foot draft when the centerboard is down; pull it up and the draft is only 12 inches which allows cruising back river areas and places other boats can’t go.

Tyche ready for hauling


She’s a great gal, more like a goddess.  Tyche even comes with her own trailer.  It won’t be long until she’s ready to be turned over to a new owner.