September 30, 2014

September 17-30, 2014  Days 143-156  Chesapeake Bay
Maryland Yacht Club
Pasadena, MD

What a wonderful ten days of vacation! We flew to Denver on September 17 and spent a day and a half at our son’s house in Littleton, enjoying our son and daughter-in-law, and our two grandchildren, Will, 3; and Abby, 7 months!  On Thursday, we took Will to the Colorado RR Museum in Golden, CO for a fun visit.

On Friday we all drove to Breckenridge, CO and met our daughter and son-in-law and four grandchildren (Ashley, 12; Nate, 10; David, 8, Rocky 6) for three days. They had driven from Texas to be with us!  We had two condos and spent wonderful family time, hiking, walking around shops, eating, and playing together. So all total, there were twelve of us! The aspen trees were in full color and we never tired of seeing them in the mountains. We all drove back to Littleton on Monday and spent more time visiting until it was time for Kari and Robert to drive back to Texas.

On Tuesday we rented a car and departed for Salt Lake City. We took a lesser traveled toad (US 40); stopped for lunch in Steamboat Springs and toured this scenic ski town.  We spent the night in Craig, CO which we thought was only appropriate!  Then Wednesday morning we stopped at the Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and in Utah – fascinating stop!  The scenery on this drive was spectacular both days!!

We arrived in the Salt Lake area in time to have dinner with Joyce’s 97 year old aunt, and her cousin, Melanie visiting from MN. We had a delightful reunion with them! We picked them up again Thursday morning and went to breakfast in the mountains, did some shopping, visited more family, and then drove to the Great Salt Lake onto Antelope State Park, an island on the lake. We saw hundreds of bison, many antelope, deer, and various birds.  It is a protected site for wildlife and we enjoyed the beauty of the island. The Great Salt lake is the largest lake west of the Mississippi. We completed the evening with dinner at one of Joyce’s aunt’s favorite restaurants.

On Friday, we made the long drive back to Denver in one day, taking I-80 through Wyoming. We arrived at our son’s house just before dinner, exhausted but happy to have made the trip to Utah!  More play time with the grandchildren and then we packed for our return trip!

Our son, Bill and grandson took us to the airport, but first we went to downtown Denver and toured the newly restored Union Station, and showed Will the California Zephyr that was leaving later that day.  We had breakfast at Snooze, and then then made the final leg to the airport!  We got back to Baltimore after 9pm and took the shuttle back to our boat at the Maryland Yacht Club. Since then, we have been busy with chores (cleaning, laundry, changing engine zincs, etc.) and making plans for travel.

We will depart here on Friday morning and begin to head south. We have decided not to go to Washington, DC this year as we thought we might.  We expect to be back in Poquoson October 8th or 9th and will stay for three weeks. We have Dr. appointments scheduled already and look forward to seeing family and friends!

September 16, 2014

September 12-16, 2014  Days 138-142  Chesapeake Bay
Maryland Yacht Club
Pasadena, MD

The last few days have been a whirlwind and we are behind with the blog.  We returned to the Maryland Yacht club as planned on Friday making the eight hour trip from Cambridge with no problems, although we did have three foot seas for a while on the bow.  We arrived after hours and docked ourselves in our slip which will be our home for the next three weeks.
Blue Angels in formation
The Pride of Baltimore
under full sail

abundant fireworks
Our friends, Donna & Amado arrived early Saturday morning and we took off immediately for the hour long cruise to Baltimore to watch the festivities of the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled banner. We anchored in the designated area near Anchorage Marina, and although we had rain off and on during the day, we did have a good time. We watched some of the tall ships and we watched the Blue Angels perform in the afternoon.  In the evening we had ring side seats on our boat for the truly spectacular fireworks which were set off from seven different barges.  What an amazing day!  We anchored over night and on Sunday morning and cruised into the Inner Harbor to see more of the tall ships and other boats there for the event.  We saw the Pride of Baltimore, the Lynx, the Sultana, the Kalmar Nyckel and more.  We also saw the Coast Guard’s Eagle and the WWII Liberty Ship, John Brown.  We left the Inner Harbor and cruised back to another anchorage past Ft. McHenry and anchored with many, many boats to watch day two of the Blue Angels, this time under sunny skies!  One of the smaller boats had trouble getting their anchor to hold and the Coast Guard came over to him twice. Bill suggested they tie up to us!  That worked out fine and they appreciated his offer.  The Blue Angels did not disappoint and we were happy to have stayed to see them.  There was a mass exodus at the end with boats racing to the go under the Francis Scott Key Bridge toward the Bay. We were waked constantly! We got back to the Yacht Club around 5:00 and said good bye to Donna and Amado.  We plan to see them again next summer!

On Monday we got a few chores done. Bill had to tighten the shafts that had begun to leak beyond tolerance. Fortunately Jim, one of our boater friends here had the right tool.  Joyce did laundry and ran errands with Peg who has a car here.  We tackled more chores today and are packed for our trip.  We will fly to Colorado tomorrow and spend a few days visiting both of our children and their families – all six grandchildren at once! We are so excited to see them!  After our visit in Colorado we will drive to Salt Lake City and visit Joyce’s aunt who is ninety-seven!  
Donna at the helm!

We may not post again until we return from our trip. 

September 11, 2014

September 9-11, 2014  Days 135-137  Chesapeake Bay
Cambridge Town Marina
Cambridge, MD

Bill and Laura Bender were our mentors!
Bill helped serve on social committee
We have been immersed in the MTOA Northern Rendezvous this week!  We attended seminars on topics such as boat maintenance, useful tools, electronics, ecology of the Chesapeake Bay, tips on cruising Long Island, cruising the Triangle Loop, and more.  We ate way too much food, met many people and made new friendships, helped work on the social committee, and we learned more about the way MTOA is structured. We have had several informal gatherings as well as planned events. We have had a great time and are glad we could attend!

We will leave early tomorrow (Friday) and travel 63 miles to the Maryland Yacht Club on Rock Creek, just off the Patapsco River.  We were there a month ago! This will be our home base for the next three weeks.  On Saturday, good friends Donna and Amado will join us for the weekend.  We plan to cruise ten miles to Baltimore and observe as many of the Star Spangled 200 Celebration as we can – tall ships, Blue Angels, fireworks, and more. We hope we can anchor out in designated areas to be able to see everything, and then return to the Yacht Club on Sunday.

September 8, 2014

September 6-8, 2014  Days 132-134  Chesapeake Bay
Cambridge Town Marina
Cambridge, MD

We departed our anchorage before 0900 on Saturday and arrived at the Cambridge Marina by 1000 and joined other MTOA members who had also arrived early for the MTOA Northern Rendezvous which starts on Tuesday. We were glad we came in the calm morning because the wind picked up in the afternoon.  (MTOA is the Marine Trawlers Owners Association.)

After we got secured and signed in, we took a walk to downtown Cambridge. Our walk took us through the historic area and we enjoyed seeing homes built in the 1700 and 1800’s. Once downtown, Bill found a barber shop and got his hair cut. Then we went to lunch at Snappers, a seafood restaurant on the water.  We got back to the boat and met more boaters as they arrived.

Informal gathering of many MTOA members
on Sunday afternoon

On Sunday we did more of the same – met more people.  Joyce also did some major interior cleaning!  At 5:00 several people brought lawn chairs and gathered on the dock by our boat and visited for at least two more hours.  We are amazed that there are three us here with Williamsburg, VA as our home port!

On Monday, Joyce took the city bus and went to Walmart to pick up prescriptions and a few groceries. It started to rain just as she returned and then it continued all afternoon.  At 3:00 we went to the registration area and picked up our packets and met more people. The Rendezvous officially starts tomorrow and we look forward to the activities.

September 5, 2014

September 4-5, 2014  Days 130-131  Chesapeake Bay
At anchor, La Trappe Creek
Choptank River, MD
Leaving the Port of Salisbury Marina

We had four foot waves to deal with off the wake
 of this 1000 ft container ship
Looking out of the anchorage
toward the entrance
We got an early start departing Salisbury on Thursday and retraced our route down the calm Wicomico River.  We only had to wait a brief time for one of the two cable ferries.  At 1045 we entered Tangier Sound, an then we entered the Bay at 1240.  We had a very calm and sunny travel day again! We arrived at our anchorage on Mill Creek which is near Solomons – yes, back across the bay, a total of 58 miles.  We went there because the anchorage was better than any other in our reach that day on the eastern shore.

Bill was content to sit on the bridge and watch several planes in their flight path out of the Patuxent Naval Air Station – F-18’s F-35B, T-38, an Osprey, and a C-130.

We spent a very peaceful night at anchor (after the planes left)!

On Friday, we left the anchorage and went back across the bay in a north east direction to the Choptank River.  Again we had a nice crossing and traveled 41 miles. We had not gone far when we received a text from friends on Splashdown – they spotted us on AIS even though we were not close enough to see them. We will see them in October back in Virginia! We entered the beautiful La Trappe Creek, off the Choptank and anchored in a large basin near the entrance.  By nightfall there were several boats anchored with us.  We saw several boaters swimming, but the jellyfish we spotted were enough reason to keep us onboard.

Love this house on La Trappe Creek
near our anchorage
Tomorrow we will travel just seven miles further up the Choptank River to the town of Cambridge, MD and spend a week at a marina.  During this stay we will attend the MTOA Rendezvous which is being held at the marina Sept 9-11.  We look forward to meeting more boaters, and attending seminars and social activities.


September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014  Day 129  Chesapeake Bay
Port of Salisbury Marina
Salisbury, MD
Just a short posting tonight. Today was a work day- cleaning all the isinglass, doing laundry, changing sheets, filling water tanks, and charting the course for the next two days.

We did have an interesting thing happen today. We were on the fly bridge cleaning windows and noticed a marine police boat pulling out of its slip. The policeman was alone on the boat, backing up while talking on the radio.  Instead of turning around, he continued to back up and came very near to hitting us so Joyce yelled at him to get his attention. We decided he appreciated that since he smiled and nodded to us!  Well, it was a very close call that we are happy to have missed.

We will depart early tomorrow and cruise back down the Wicomico River and cross the Bay to an anchorage. 

September 2, 2014

August 29-September 2, 2014  Days 124-128  Chesapeake Bay
Port of Salisbury Marina
Salisbury, MD

We got an early start on Friday, leaving Vienna at 0755 under a sunny sky. We had the current with us and made good speed at 9.2 mph for over two hours.  We left the Nanticoke River and entered Tangier Sound at 1030. By 1110 we were entering the Wicomico River, which we would follow for 20 miles to our destination.  It is a pretty river, lined with trees and homes.  We had two cable ferries to watch for and only had to wait for one of them. We also passed one tugboat, but saw very few other boats on the river. 

A pair of eagles watching over us
as we left the Nanticoke River
We arrived in Salisbury and stopped at the fuel dock first. Then we tied up on the bulkhead. After we got settled we had Enterprise pick us up.  We had a few small errands to run and then returned to the boat for a quick dinner.

A beautiful estate home for sale on the Wicomico River.
The horses on the front lawn are statues!

Just had to wait a few minutes for the Upper Ferry
to dock and lower the cable.
On Saturday we stopped at the Ward Museum which houses an excellent collection of carved decoys and shore birds along with other special interest items.  The attendant told us about an arts/craft show in Chincoteague, VA so we decided to make the hour long drive south of here. We stopped for lunch in Chincoteague and then went to the show. It was primarily a show of decoys.  Bill was able to pick up a few bird carving supplies while we were there and we also enjoyed seeing the instructor he had earlier this summer.  After browsing through a few shops we returned to Salisbury and again had dinner on board.

Joyce woke on Sunday morning with a bad case of vertigo which lasted until Monday morning.  She could not even keep food or drink down and was pretty miserable for over 24 hours.  Luckily she was ok on Monday and we ran lots of errands – including a two shopping cart load of groceries at Walmart.  We had dinner on board again and relaxed for the evening.

Today, Tuesday (our planned day of departure) we did return the rental car but decided to spend a couple more days here at the marina. We needed time to get some chores done, and it is much too hot to think about anchoring out!  It is 95 degrees today and here it is September! This is by far the warmest day yet!