July 30, 2014

July 29-30, 2014  Days 93-94  Chesapeake Bay
City Docks, Inner Harbor
Baltimore, MD

Entering the Inner Harbor 

Engineer Bill!
Viewing Carried Away
from our ride on the water taxi
We cruised up the Patapsco River, under the Francis Scott Key Bridge and into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Tuesday morning. We were happy to find space on the city dock finger piers.  These cannot be reserved ahead of time, but with power and water hookups and close proximity to many venues, we preferred this over one of many marinas.  We finally connected with staff from the dockmaster’s office and got checked in.

We had lunch on board and then set out to walk along the harbor.  The inner harbor is home to many restaurants, shops, museums, an aquarium, performance pavilions, marinas, historical ships including the Constellation, water taxis, paddle boats, tour boats, and more, while providing a great deal of wide walkways and park areas.  It is a very inviting area for people of all ages. We browsed through the two story Barnes and Noble, housed in the former Power Plant facility.

Ft. McHenry
Then we hopped on the Circulator, which is a free bus that we took to the Baltimore and Ohio RR Museum.  We spent two hours here and would like to have had more time seeing these massive locomotives.  We returned to the boat, had dinner, and then took a long walk along the harbor.  We decided to spend one more night here!

On Wednesday, we took the water taxi to Fells Point and connected with another water taxi that took us out to Ft. McHenry.  We had a wonderful time touring the fort and museum.  What a history lesson! We stood on top of the ridge and could see the cannons aimed at where the British ships were firing at them on September 13, 1814. When the firing stopped the next morning, Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner. 
Baltimore is gearing up for a Star Spangled Celebration of the 200th anniversary of our national anthem and will have tall ships, navy ships, Blue Angels, fireworks, and more for four days in mid September. We hope to return to see some of the festivities, although we do not have hopes of being able to dock here! 

The Harbor at night

After our tour of the fort, we took the water taxi back to Fells Point and had a very late lunch at Kooper’s Tavern.  We eventually returned to our boat and relaxed.  We had a light dinner later in the evening, and talked with friends and family on the phone.

We will depart Thursday morning and go back across the bay and anchor on the either the Wye or Miles River.

July 28, 2014

July 27 – 28, 2014  Days 91-92  Chesapeake Bay
Maryland Yacht Club
Pasadena, MD

Regatta on the Chester River

The Maryland Yacht Club
We left our peaceful anchorage on Langford Creek at 0930 on Sunday and headed back across the Chesapeake Bay. We passed more than one sailboat regatta on the way. It was good to see lots of boaters out on a Sunday!

We entered the Patapsco River and then entered Rock Creek arriving at our destination at the Maryland Yacht Club at 1:45.  After we got checked in, we met Gold Loopers Jim & Peg Healy on Sanctuary. They invited us to join them for dinner at the club.  We had a very good meal and an enjoyable evening sharing stories.   

Peg took Joyce shopping with her to Giant, Home Depot, and Michaels, on Monday.  This was not a day to be out on the water with the high winds we felt all day.

Tomorrow we will make a short journey to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and spend one night. 

We plan to return to the Maryland Yacht Club again in September!

July 27, 2014

July 24 - 26, 2014  Days 88-90  Chesapeake Bay

At Anchor
Chester River, MD

We wanted to see more of the Chester River, so we pulled anchor at 1020 and went as far as Chestertown and anchored off the docks of the marina in the historic downtown.  They have a dinghy dock so we were in good shape to tour the area. (Once again, we have been here by car, but are quite happy to be approaching from the water this time.) Chestertown is quite charming and dates back to the 1600’s. It is also home to Washington College, founded in 1782.
One of many lovely historic homes in Chestertown
We spent two nights here, and enjoyed every bit of it. We walked round the downtown on Friday, had lunch at the wonderful Lemon Tree Restaurant, did a little shopping, checked out a couple of art galleries, and admired the architecture of the historic homes, buildings, and churches.  On Saturday we went to the popular Farmers Market and brought back the best sweet corn we have had yet, plus salad items and a few baked goods that were hard to resist.

We pulled anchor after lunch on Saturday and went back down the river to Langford Creek – another beautiful anchorage on the Chester River.  We keep finding places we would definitely return to next year! This new location would give us an earlier start on Sunday morning to head across the bay.
The Schooner Sultana is a replica of a Boston built merchant vessel
for the British Royal Navy 1768-1772
and is used for many educational purposes


July 24, 2014

July 22 - 23, 2014  Days 86-87  Chesapeake Bay
At Anchor
Corsica River, MD

Sunset on Worton Creek
Our two weeks stay at the North East River Yacht Club came to an end on Tuesday with our 0900 departure.  We had a great time there and will definitely go back sometime!  We had a calm, sunny day and took a short four hour cruise to an anchorage in Worton Creek. This is south of the Sassafras River.  We went up the creek past the marinas but decided to go back and anchor near the entrance where it was much wider. We shared the spot with two sailboats. We cooked dinner on the grill and enjoyed a quiet evening.

The Russian Embassy
is tucked in the trees
On Wednesday we decided to find another anchorage and cruised farther south to the Corsica River.  It is one of the branches off the Chester River and is very pretty with homes and trees dotting the jagged coastline.  We anchored just past the Russian Embassy, housed in a red brick mansion built circa 1920 by John Raskob, who built the Empire State Building.  We were surprised at the relatively little boat traffic we have seen this week.  It was a bright sunny day and we are enjoying the peacefulness! Again, we cooked dinner on the grill. Our sunny day ended with a summer storm that hit hard in the evening but fortunately we survived the lightning, rain, and wind.

July 22, 2014

July 18 - 21, 2014  Days 82-85  North End of the Chesapeake Bay!
North East River Yacht Club
North East River, MD

We enjoyed listening to the weekly AGLCA radio talk program Friday morning. Our Looper friend, Tom Ray (Raydiance) was the guest speaker, and he gave a very good presentation of his and Linda’s two month cruise on Lake Superior.

Our good friends, and former neighbors from the 80’s, Donna & Amado Fernandez and their Golden Retriever, Baloo arrived Saturday morning. We had not seen them in a few years and it was wonderful to have them on board.  We went to lunch at the Wellwood Restaurant in the small nearby historic town of Charlestown, and shortly after we returned we got everything ready for a boat ride!  We went down the North East River into the Bay and turned north on the Elk River at the Turkey Point Lighthouse.  We took them as far as Hollywood Beach which is where Bill’s family built a summer cottage in the 1950’s.   We were amazed at the number of cigarette boats we saw on the river, until we learned they were in a Poker Run for charity!  We had dinner on the fly bridge while we were underway, since we did not get back until 7pm.  It was a fun cruise! 

Donna & Amado
We came back to our dock and visited all evening catching up on old times!  We were so glad they could spend the night! We continued our visit through Sunday afternoon when they had to depart to return to northern Virginia. We are already discussing plans to travel together again. Cruising with friends is the best! By the way, Baloo acclimated to the boat extremely well!

We spent Monday preparing for our departure on Tuesday – made a final provisioning trip, returned the rental car, washed the boat (again), did laundry, and of course plotted the course to head south on the Bay!


July 18, 2014

July 16 - 17, 2014  Days 80-81  North End of the Chesapeake Bay!
North East River Yacht Club
North East River, MD

We spent Wednesday on the boat working on chores – they seem to regenerate themselves!

We left by car on Thursday morning for our day out.  We drove through the nearby town of Charlestown, MD to check out the location of the Wellwood Restaurant. We also stopped at their tiny post office to mail a package. 

Since we skipped breakfast, we had brunch in Avondale, PA at 10:30.  We were content to drive around – passing through small towns such as Oxford, and our favorite Chadds Ford, home of Andrew Wyeth.  It is also home of the Brandywine Battlefield, a battle we lost during the Revolutionary War.  Soon we were driving through Springfield, Delaware County where Bill lived as a child and teenager. We went past his house and also talked to a neighbor.

We decided to drive into Philadelphia to see the waterfront at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River. We were quite surprised and impressed to see the changes and renovations that had been made since our last visit there a few years ago.  It was impressive. We spent time browsing through the Seaport Museum and could have spent a few more hours there!  Bill also talked to the Dockmaster at the marina. While he was doing that, Joyce spotted a Looper boat Sereanna.  We had not seen them in almost two years.  They were not on their boat, but good to know they were docked there.  Who knows, maybe we will venture there someday?

We left the harbor and headed to Downingtown to visit Bill’s Aunt Bette. We went to dinner and had a wonderful visit with her.  We returned to our boat at 9:45, calling this a very good day!


July 16, 2014

July 12 - 15, 2014  Days 76-79  North End of the Chesapeake Bay!
North East River Yacht Club
North East River, MD

We continue to enjoy our stay here in North East, MD, although it is hot and humid and we are faced with frequent storms.  We think the air conditioning issue is fixed. Bill removed the water pump and reinstalled it and it seems to be working. 

Bill finished his bird carving class and is pleased with the results.  He brought them back to the boat Sunday but had to return them to the instructor Tuesday. The birds will be entered in a carving competition of other students in October at the Ward Museum in Salisbury, MD.
Oyster catcher decoy
Black bellied Plover decoy
We met more yacht club members Saturday night and enjoyed having Ann and John visit on our boat. 

We took a short road trip to Newark, Delaware and ran some errands there.  We are taking advantage of having a rental car.  We also had dinner at Woody’s, a local crab house and one of our favorites.  Crabcakes are not to be missed!

Relaxing in the shade
We will drive to Pennsylvania tomorrow and visit Bill’s aunt.

July 12, 2014

July 10-11, 2014  Days 74-75  North End of the Chesapeake Bay!
North East River Yacht Club
North East River, MD

Thursday was a mixed day for us.  Joyce took the rental car into the town of North East and got an overdue hair cut!  Then she wandered through many of the small shops.  Bill cleaned the exterior of the boat while she was gone so that seemed to work out!

By mid-evening we realized one of the air conditioners was struggling.  After checking several possibilities, Bill thinks the through hull is clogged. That means getting a diver here as soon as possible!  So for now we have turned off all air-conditioners.  That makes for an uncomfortable situation in this heat and humidity. 

At 11:00 pm we had another wind and rain storm come through!  This is the third one this week!
Dinner at the club

On Friday, Bill attended a bird carving class in Elkton, MD. This is a three day class taught by a well known carver, and Bill has looked forward to this for several months.  When he returned we went to the clubhouse for dinner and enjoyed the music and meeting some of the members. One couple, John and Lynn stopped by our boat afterwards and joined us on our sundeck for a couple of hours. We enjoyed sharing stories with them!

We are still working on getting a diver.  David, the dock master has been helpful in getting us in touch with local contacts, so hopefully we can do this Saturday.

July 10, 2014

July 7-9, 2014  Days 71-73  North End of the Chesapeake Bay!
North East River Yacht Club
North East River, MD

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
North East River Yacht Club
- our home for two weeks
We departed Annapolis early Monday morning to head to our destination of the North East River Yacht Club in North East, MD.  An hour later we were passing under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a bridge we have driven across, motored under, and once even walked across as part of an annual Bay Bridge Walk! We had a steady wind behind us and we saw relatively little boat traffic!

Sailing Camp!
Carried Away on the end of the transient dock
C & D Canal Museum
We arrived at the Yacht Club at 3:00 and this “steady wind” at 20 mph is now on our starboard side. This was one of our most difficult docking experiences, but thanks to Bill’s skills, and the good help of a yacht club member, we were able to get tied up on their transient face dock.  The Yacht Club runs a weekly summer sailing camp for kids 7-18 and we have enjoyed watching them each day in their small sailboats. The youngest are in boats called “Optimus”.

On Tuesday, we arranged to have Enterprise bring us a rental car which we will keep for the two weeks we are here.  We made a big provisioning trip to Walmart that afternoon! Tuesday evening brought a strong windstorm that seemed to appear out of nowhere.  Weather reports that the wind was gusting to 50 mph.  It was coming directly at our stern and caused the upper window at the stern of the flybridge to become unsnapped and unzipped!  At the end of the storm we found two people standing at our dock looking further up river for their sailboat. It had been on a mooring ball across the river but the storm had other ideas for it. We do not know where they found it or the condition it was in.
Steam engine
On Wednesday we drove into Chesapeake City and took a tour of the small but well done C & D Canal 
C& D Canal Museum
Museum. It features the history of the old

Chesapeake and Delaware narrow canal, the locks and the progress to the current wide canal.  It was very interesting and we had the whole place to ourselves.  Next we treated ourselves to a nice lunch at the Chesapeake Inn which faces the C & D Canal. We walked through a few of the small shops in Chesapeake City, and yes stopped for ice cream.  We drove around the town of Elkton before heading back to the boat. An hour after we returned, another storm approached. We were much luckier this time with rain and wind. We are sure some people had it worse that we did. The forecast was wide spread and included 60 mph winds with hail.  We had dinner on board and discussed plans for the remainder of our stay here.

We will continue to update the blog every few days during our two week stay here.

Sunset on Wednesday

July 8, 2014

June 30 - July 6, 2014  Days 64-70  Chesapeake Bay!
Annapolis Harbor on Mooring Ball
Annapolis, MD

A view of  the docks from our mooring
We spent seven days in Annapolis on a mooring ball in the middle of a busy harbor during the Fourth of July.  The mooring balls were full with occupants going to shore by either water taxi or by their dinghy. Tour boats of many types and sizes passed us frequently, and many boaters were just cruising around, some coming into dock in Ego Alley. It was a “happening place” and we enjoyed being there in the midst of all the excitement.  We were glad we arrived on Monday because the mooring balls cannot be reserved in advance and there are only 12 of the size that our boat requires.

There were two Looper boats there also – Why Knot (Darrell and Lisa) and Sunny Days (Terry and Lola).  We got together for lunch with Darrell and Lisa on Wednesday and also did some provisioning. They had moved to a marina by then and had a courtesy car.

On Wednesday afternoon we finally decided that the eight house batteries had outlived their usefulness.  Bill found a local company who would deliver them to the dinghy dock after the store closed at 7:30. He laboriously disconnected the old ones and carried them out of the engine room and got them loaded in the dinghy.  When he returned, he brought the sales person with him, who offered to load them onto the boat and install them for an extra fee.  Sold! It was after 10 pm when they were finished but it was an important decision to make.

Darrell and Lisa
Spectacular view of the fireworks
We had both Looper couples over on the Fourth of July for dinner and fireworks. We had a fun evening and a perfect view of the fireworks launched from a barge on the river.

The new Plebes at the Naval Academy

On Saturday we took a guided tour of the Naval Academy.  The tour was fascinating and we were in awe of the architecture and the history. The plebes had just begun earlier in the week and we could hear them each morning as they were put through morning drills.

We took a dinghy ride on Thursday up the beautiful Spa Creek and on Sunday we took a longer ride up the scenic Severn River. We took the dinghy to the dinghy dock on most days to walk around the historic area which is full of shops and restaurants. 

Spa Creek
We finally said goodbye to Annapolis, leaving early Monday morning for a 55 mile trip to the North East River Yacht Club in North East, MD.  After seven days we needed water and were ready to be hooked up to power. But, we know we will go back some day!
One of the many yard patrol boats at the Naval Academy