Washington, DC to Solomons, MD 2007

8/15/2007

Today we are in Solomons preparing the boat so we can leave her here for several weeks. We will be driving home to Chattanooga, TN tomorrow. This morning we give IT a much needed washing. It is great having Jerry here to give us a helping hand. The work goes much quicker with three people.

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Jerry, thank you very much. While Jeff and Jerry do the exterior cleaning, I work inside and clean from top to toe. Afterwards, Jeff and Jerry cleaned the raw water strainers and air conditioner filters. While they do this, I apply polish and wax to the stainless steel rails. We then filled the water tanks. IT has not looked this good for quite a while. We are comfortable leaving her here at Calvert Marina. The boats on both sides of us belong to live aboards. They both said that they would keep an eye on her. In addition to this, Bruce Goins of Bristol Tech said that he would stop by and check on IT for us. With so many eyes on her, she should be O.K. This will be the first time that we have left IT for this long and we are still a little nervous. Before leaving, we will close all the thru hulls and shut down all systems except for the refrigerator and battery charger.

This afternoon, Denny and Maud aboard “Joyden” loan us their car so that we can drive to Hertz to pick up our rental car. The Krogen network is really great. We load the car full of all our stuff. We leave room for the two dogs, two birds, and two hermit crabs which will be traveling with us tomorrow. We will have a full car once everyone is in.

This evening, Jerry treats us to a farewell dinner at Vincenzo’s Mediterranean Grill which is located here at the marina.

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We have a wonderful meal of mussels, pasta, and crab cakes. Jeff of course makes sure he consumes every last bite and drop.

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While at the restaurant, we see “Breakaway” docked on the floating docks just outside. We met Tony and Renne in Washington, DC at the Capital Marina. They are delivering to us a piece of mail which had not yet arrived when we left Washington. We stop by after dinner and pick up the package and say hello. Thanks again Tony and Renee.

We have enjoyed cruising with Jerry for the last ten days. This was really our first long term cruising guest aboard IT since we left Chattanooga. Jerry is a very capable boater and made for a good first mate. The added pair of hands and eyes was greatly appreciated. Sebastian has also enjoyed Jerry’s company. During the voyage, Sebastian and Jerry became good buddies.

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Sebastian even got to wear Jerry’s hat for a little while. It was a little large.

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We look forward to returning aboard IT and exploring more of the Chesapeake in several weeks. Hopefully the cool weather will have arrived by then. We will resume our logs upon returning.

8/14/2007

Today we are heading back to Solomons. We pull up the anchor at 8:00 AM and head back out the Wye River. We see several fishermen putting out crab traps.

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The Wye River supposedly produces some of the largest blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. We have enjoyed the Wye. It is home to some of the prettiest coves that we have seen on our trip so far. There are many fine anchorages along this river. This area will be high on our list of return places to visit this fall.

We work our way back out into Eastern Bay and are soon out in the Chesapeake Bay. It is another gorgeous day with not a cloud in the sky. We see very few other boats out on the water. We have an uneventful cruise down the bay. At 1:30 we enter the Patuxent River and soon see the entrance to Back Creek and Solomons ahead.

As we enter the Patuxent, we hear the Navy range boat trying to hail a sailboat named “Coaster” which is entering the Navy target range. The Navy is conducting target practice out in the bay. Earlier today we heard a call from the Baltimore Coast Guard calling all boaters to be on the lookout for a sailboat named “Coaster” that was overdue to Virginia. Jeff calls the Navy range boat and asks for a description of the sailboat. It is indeed the boat that the Coast Guard was looking for. The Navy range boat said that Coaster did not answer their calls but he seemed to be maintaining his heading. Jeff calls the Coast Guard and tells them of the sighting.
The sailboat is supposedly operated by a lone 82 year old man. We hope he is O.K. We later hear the Navy contact the Coast Guard and tell them that they had talked to “Coaster” and he seems to be doing fine. We did our good dead for the day. I am sure “Coaster’s” family was worried about him and the Coast Guard can tell them he is O.K.

We enter the Solomon’s harbor at 2:00 PM. Before docking at Calvert Marina, we travel into a section of Back Creek called the Narrows. The city has a dock here which offers free pump outs to boaters.

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This is a really nice service which we have not seen in any other towns. We next radio Calvert Marina and get our slip assignment. Our slip is DD20 which is out on the point of Back Creek. Our view is fantastic from here. From the bow, we can look out into Back Creek and see all of the boats coming and going through the harbor. We can also look out into the Patuxent River from this vantage point. This will be our home base for the next two months. This evening Jerry fixes us a new version of his berry fruit salad using strawberries.

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He serves this on top of waffles. It is really good.

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We enjoy dinner sitting out on the bow watching the other boats cruise into the harbor. It is a fantastic way to end our ten day cruise with Jerry.

Total Miles Traveled: 45

8/13/2007

We had a very peaceful night at our anchorage here in Leeds Creek. This morning Jerry and Jeff clean the generator raw water basket. The jellyfish have once again clogged this up. Jeff has had to clean it daily since arriving in this part of the Chesapeake. The jelly fish are everywhere and are being sucked into the basket through the generator intake.

We pull up our dinghy in preparation of leaving. When we go to lower our boom it will not go down. It goes up but does not go down.

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Jerry and Jeff determine that there is some malfunction in our hand held remote control. They take the remote apart and test all of the wires. After an hour of surgery, they find a loose wire and are able to fix the problem.

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Our davit is soon back in operation.

The resident swan stops by looking for her breakfast.

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We give her some more bread. Daisy is spying the swan through our boarding door. The swan does not like the sight of her and gives Daisy an evil hiss. We leave our anchorage at 10:00 AM and are in the Wye River at 10:30 AM. This river forks into two branches and we take the right branch. Today we have a nice breeze out on the water with overcast skies which makes for pleasant cruising weather.

We soon see our anchorage for tonight, Dividing Creek. We are anchored and have the dinghy in the water by 11:30 AM. Today was a very short travel day.

We take the dinghy to the end of Dividing Creek where there is wooden platform for landing. Up on shore there is a camp ground. We hike out to a dirt road which leads to several hiking trails. The dirt road seems to go in both directions for miles. This area is part of a Wildlife Management Area. There are several camp sites, a rustic lodge, and several hiking trails on the island.

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We hike one of the trails which makes a 1.5 mile loop. We see a snake sunning in the middle of the path.

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Susie is less than thrilled! Jeff scoots it out of the way with a stick. Sebastian tries to chase after it. Sometimes he doesn’t have good sense. The trails are very well maintained. We look forward to coming back here with the bicycles and exploring the area more. Daisy and Sebastian are very happy to be on real grass. They both just lie down and roll in the grass for several minutes.

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They seem very pleased to be here.

We have an early dinner of flounder stuffed with crab along with both sweet potatoes and new potatoes roasted in the oven. We decide to take the dinghy up the next creek, Granary Creek, and explore that area. The Wildlife Management manager is out with his boat crabbing. He is using a long line to collect the crabs. This line consists of about 2000 feet of weighted line with hooks to which chicken necks are attached. The crabs hang on to the chicken necks as the line is reeled in. His wife then scoops up the crabs with a net. There are several state cabins on this creek which can be rented out to groups or families. We return to our anchorage to find that a sailboat has joined us for the evening. The winds die down and the water becomes still. The night time sounds soon emerge. Tonight the sky is clear and the stars shine brightly in the nighttime sky. What a great anchorage this is.

Total Miles Traveled:10

8/12/2007

Today we are staying at our anchorage here in Leeds Creek. We put one of the kayaks in this morning and Jerry enjoys a paddle around the creek banks. Jeff and I take the dogs in the dinghy up the creek to explore. We are able to travel up this river for several miles before coming to a bridge. There are many large homes along the river banks. We see several watermen out setting crab lines.

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This afternoon, we take the dinghy across Miles River into the town of St. Michael’s. St. Michael’s is a very popular tourist destination. The main street is loaded with shops and restaurants. The small harbor is a zoo with boats coming and going one right after another. Today is Sunday so I am sure this is the busiest days of the week. It is a gorgeous day so everyone is out on the water. On our way in the harbor, we see “Balleyshannon” at anchor and stop by to say hello. Afterwards, we thread our way through the maze of boats into the small harbor and tie up at the dinghy dock. We have lunch at the Crab Claw Restaurant which overlooks the harbor.

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We are able to find a picnic table outside and the dogs are allowed also. Our waitress brings a bucket of water for Daisy and Sebastian. Afterwards, we make a quick run to the grocery store and they head back across the river to IT. We spend the afternoon reading, watching all the boaters go by, and just being lazy. We have a visit from a resident swan.

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She is looking for handouts. We oblige and throw her some old bread. I think she has done this routine many times with boaters who anchor here.

This evening, we are having dinner in St. Michael’s with Capt. Andrew and his wife Caroline. We dinghy the mile back across the Miles River to St. Michael’s Crab and Steak House.

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We have a very enjoyable dinner with the Barksdale’s. Capt. Andrew gives us some local information of a great anchorage on the Wye River just a few miles from here. We plan on going there tomorrow. We dinghy back across the river in total darkness.

8/11/2007

The cool air has finally returned. We wake up to a beautiful morning with temperatures in the high sixty’s. This morning Jerry joins us and the dogs for our 6:00 AM morning hike up Federal Hill. I am sure people wonder what we are doing marching up and down the hill bank with the dogs in tow. After our hike we fill the water tanks and prepare the boat for our departure from Baltimore. We pull away from the docks at 8:00 AM. We have a very enjoyable cruise through the inner harbor.

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On our way out, we pass the garbage boat going up the harbor for their daily rounds.

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The city does a great job of keeping the harbor clean.

We travel back out the Patapsco River and are back out in the Chesapeake Bay at 10:30 AM. Being a Saturday, we see many other boaters out in the bay.

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We hear a distress call of a 51 foot Sea Ray taking on water and sinking. We listen to their conversations with the Coast Guard as we are not too far away. They are able to make it to a marina nearby which has a travel lift and are safely hoisted out of the water. That has to be a scary feeling. At 11:00 AM we pass the entrance to Annapolis. We see over 100 sailboats coming out into the bay. There must be a regatta today.

At 12:30 we make a turn to port and enter the Eastern Bay which leads to the Miles River. We are soon in the Miles River. “Balleyshannon” , a Selene trawler, is following right behind us. We met Bill and Barbra while docked in Washington, DC. They radio us to say hello. They are heading over to St. Michaels anchorage for the evening. As we reach St. Michael’s, we see Leeds Creek across the Miles River to our port. This will be our anchorage for the evening. Our charts show that a shoal has been building in the entrance channel. Jeff decides to call Capt. Andrew, a friend who runs the marina in St. Michael’s, to see if he has any local knowledge on the entrance before we go in. Capt. Andrew gives us instructions on how to enter the creek. The channel is very narrow but we have no problems. We never show less than nine feet on the depth sounder. Once outside of the channel the depths rise to 3-4 feet very quickly. We spot a nice place to anchor with a sandy beach on shore for the dogs.

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Only two other boats join us for the evening at this anchorage. I am surprised there are not more boats as the anchorage at St. Michael’s is loaded with boats. Capt. Andrew and his wife, Carolina, stop by in their boat to say hello. They live just across the Miles River in St. Michaels. We arrange to meet them tomorrow evening for dinner in St. Michaels.
We have an enjoyable evening at anchor as the temperatures have really cooled down from what they were several days ago.

Total Miles Traveled: 45

8/10/2007

During the night Jeff heard someone yelling. Sebastian barked several times. He assumed it was someone up in the shopping area and went back to bed. This morning, Jerry said he had gotten up when he heard the yelling. He said someone up on shore was yelling help and call the police. He saw a fellow boater next door up and looking around. He didn’t see anyone else on the docks so he went back to bed. This morning the boater next door came over and told us what happened last night. He felt his boat rocking and was awakened. This morning he saw foot prints on his boat. He said he saw someone with a hooded sweatshirt getting on the back of our boat at 2:30 AM. He asked the guy what he was doing and he said he had never been to this area and was just looking around. The hooded sweatshirt guy then left. It was the boater we heard then yelling for help and call the police. That is kind of scary. Jeff and the other boater went to the harbor master’s office and also the local police station this morning and filed a report. They said they would do extra patrols around the docks tonight. Tonight we will also be on the lookout.

This morning we took the dogs with us for our morning exercise and hiked up and down Federal Hill twenty times with the backpack full of weights.

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The hill is very steep and it is good training for our Kilimanjaro Mountain climb in January. There was a similar hill which we hiked each morning while in Washington, DC. I don’t think the dogs were too happy when they saw we were again doing the hill hikes. They thought there were through with the hikes after we left Washington.

We spent several hours touring the National Aquarium this morning. They have a great frog exhibit and also a special section on Australia. Afterwards we watched their dolphin show.

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It was very enjoyable watching the dolphins interact with the trainers.

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The aquarium does a great job with all their exhibits. This is our third visit to this aquarium over the last ten years and we enjoy it each time. Being volunteers at the Chattanooga Aquarium, we always enjoy seeing how other aquariums operate.

After visiting the Aquarium, we walked several blocks to Little Italy for lunch at Chiaparelli’s Italian Restaurant. The food was great. We then found a little mom and pop Italian bakery called Piedigrotta.

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Jeff said hello in Italian and the Mama started speaking to him in Italian before he could tell her that hello is about the only thing he knows. She had operated a bakery in Italy for many years. We felt like we were back in Italy. By the time we left, we had several sacks of Italian cookies and some biscotti. The pine nut cookies were wonderful.

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The Baltimore Maritime Museum has the US Submarine “Torsk”, “The Chesapeake” lightship, and US Coast Guard Cutter “Taney” on exhibit in the inner harbor. We were able to tour all three of these. The submarine “Torsk” played a pivotal role in World War II’s Pacific Campaign.

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It was the last American naval vessel to sink a warship in World War II. The Lightship #116, “Chesapeake”, marked the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay from 1936 to 1962. We enjoyed seeing the inner workings of the sub and two ships.

This afternoon the tall ship, “Gasperella”, pulled into the harbor.

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We saw this tall ship during the tall ship parade in Norfolk earlier this year. She was later at Yorktown while we were there. Now we are seeing her again here in Baltimore. This afternoon Jerry treated Jeff and I to a ride on a Segway.

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We are given a brief lesson and then are directed to the obstacle course where we navigate between cones. After a few minutes we all seem to have the hang of driving a Segway. All three of us have fun operating these vehicles.

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We enjoy a nice evening on the boat watching the many boats parade up and down the harbor. The Baltimore skyline is very pretty at night all lit up.

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Baltimore has done a very good job with the Inner Harbor. Along with the Aquarium, shops and restaurants line the harbor’s walkway. There are many people out enjoying the harbor area. The city also does a great job of keeping the harbor clean. Each day a garbage boat travels around the harbor scooping up any trash in the harbor. There is also a water taxi system that shuttles people from different points along the harbor.

8/09/2007

We are up early this morning for a day of cruising. We have changed plans and are heading to Baltimore. Our original plan was to explore the rivers in this area for the next few days and anchor out each night. It is just too hot. So we have decided to spend the next two days in Baltimore visiting the sights there. We plan on returning to this area in the fall when it is much cooler for some gunk holing. Before leaving Oxford, Jeff cleans the filter baskets on our raw water pump. The jelly fish are being sucked into these baskets and clogging up our filters. This is the second time in 24 hours that he has had to clean them.

We pull away from the docks at 6:00 AM and travel back out to the Choptank River. As we approach the Chesapeake Bay channel, we see a large Navy refueling craft approaching, Navy Warship #51.

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We slow down to let him pass in front of us. He is much bigger than us and is going much faster. There is a nice breeze out on the bay today which makes for a pleasant day on the water.

At 9:00 AM, Lionheart hails us on the radio. They are about six miles away in one of the side rivers. They knew that we should be in the area and decided to try and raise us on the VHF. We tried to coordinate a rendezvous so they could return a book which they borrowed in Washington, DC but they are a little too far away. But it was good to hear from them and catch up. We soon pass Annapolis on our port side. We again see the Navy Warship #51 anchored off the entrance channel into Annapolis.

At 10:30 AM we pass under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

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It is a gorgeous day out on the bay and we see quite a few sail boats taking advantage of the breeze here today. At 11:00 AM we reach the Sandy Point Shoal Light and the entrance to the Patapsco River.

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Baltimore’s inner harbor is 19 miles up this river. We pick up the Brewton Channel for this passage. A few miles up this river we have a container ship, the MSC Mendoza, headed right in our path. We make a detour out of the channel and give him plenty of room.

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We pass several barges and tows on the river. This is definantely a major commercial shipping port. Idyll Time was off loaded from a container ship here in Baltimore when she was shipped from the boat yard in Taiwan. We soon see the Baltimore skyline off in the distance.

Up until this point today’s trip has been very uneventful. I was starting to think I would not have anything to write in our log for today. I guess I should have known better! As we approach the Baltimore harbor entrance, we can see dark clouds over the city. The Baltimore skyline looks very black and ominous.

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Jeff turns on the Wxworks weather program. There is a very bad band of storms approaching. We are soon in the middle of 45 knot winds with heavy rain. We pull out off the channel just before entering the inner harbor and take refuge behind a large container shipping facility. Our visibility drops to within a few hundred feet. We can no longer see any of the Baltimore skyline. We idle here for about 45 minutes while the storms pass.

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We don’t want to be trapped in the inner harbor during this storm and we sure don’t want to dock at a strange dock during this storm. We lock the dogs in the guest bedroom. Daisy is very nervous and we don’t want her jumping off the boat if we have to open one of the doors. After about 45 minutes, the storms pass and we make it safely into the inner harbor. There is space available at the city docks so we take one of the slips. It is a great location with the National Aquarium just off our stern. We are right in the middle of downtown amongst all of the tour boats and tourist.

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This afternoon we take a walk through town. It is amazing how much the town has grown since we were here ten years ago. There are condos and buildings being built everywhere. We take a walk up Federal Hill which is just a block away. The view of city is fantastic from this vantage point.

Tonight Jerry treats us again by making dinner. We have his wonderful berry and fruit salad. It is a real treat to have someone fix us dinner. He is slowly converting us to his vegetarian meals. The storms return this evening but we are safely tied to the city piers.

Total Miles Traveled: 65

8/08/2007

Bruce Goins from Bristol Technology stops by early this morning to check our electronics. He installed all of the electronics for us in Stuart. He just happens to be working on another boat docked just next to us. He can’t find anything wrong with the electronics either and they seem to be working fine now so we will just wait for them to fail again. It was nice catching up with Bruce for a few minutes.

Today is another hot day. We leave the docks about 9:00 AM and decide to head over to the eastern shore. We will explore this side of the bay for a few days before traveling back to Solomons. At 9:00 AM we are back out in the Chesapeake Bay and soon see the Calvert Cliffs off our port side.

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These cliffs line the shore for about 30 miles. Here scientists have found fossils of 12 to 17 million year old whales and sharks. One can still find sharks teeth in the sandy beaches along the shore. There is a nice breeze out in the bay which helps moderate the hot temperatures. The bay is calm with only one foot seas.

This afternoon our breeze dies down and the heat returns. It is very very hot! At 1:00 PM we turn off the Chesapeake Bay and enter the Choptank River. This is the largest river on the eastern shore. Boats can travel up this river 45 miles to the town of Denton. 7 ½ miles up this river we spot the 35 foot lighted spider, The Choptank River Light, which marks the entrance to the Tred Avon River. Two miles up the Tred Avon River is the town of Oxford which is our destination for the evening. We had planed on anchoring out at Oxford but it is so hot that we call the Tred Avon Yacht Club to see if they have space tonight. They do not take reservations and dockage is on a first come basis. We are hoping that there will be space available when we arrive.

We arrive at the Tred Avon Yacht Club at 2:00 PM. There is plenty of space at the floating docks so we tie up here for the night. The club has a very nice set of floating docks overlooking the Tred Avon River. They also have a nice club house and are setting up for a race regatta banquet tonight.

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This is primarily a sailboat facility and we are the only power boat at the docks.

This afternoon we take the dogs for a walk into town. Oxford is one of the oldest towns in Maryland. It was founded in 1694. In the early 1700’s, Oxford and Annapolis were named as the only ports of entry for the entire Maryland Province. Until the American Revolution, Oxford enjoyed prominence as an international shipping center. The American Revolution marked the end of Oxford’s prosperity. The town became inhabited mainly by watermen who still earn a living today from the waters surrounding the area. The main street is lined with lovely old homes. The town is very quiet but has a nice charm to it.

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We spot the general store and stop in for an ice cream. They have four loaves of fresh hot bread sitting on the counter still warm from the oven. We can not resist the temptation and purchase one of the loaves. There is a farmers market here this afternoon. The market is very small with only four or five vendors.

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The produce here looks very good. We purchase a watermelon as a surprise for Jerry aboard the boat. We enjoy our walk back through town detouring on several side streets to admire all of the older homes and nice gardens in the yards. Upon arriving back to the yacht club, we notice a sign at the driveway entrance which says “no dogs”.

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We sneak Daisy and Sebastian through the parking lot and quickly put them back on the boat hoping no one will notice.

The Oxford-Bellevue Ferry departs from just a few feet in front of our dock. It is a car ferry which takes passengers and cars across the Tred Avon River to Bellevue. The ferry which was started in 1683, is believed to be the nation’s oldest privately operated ferry service. The ferry service has been continuous since 1836.

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This evening we have a wonderful meal of grilled tuna, rice, and a salad. We purchased these tuna steaks at the fish market in Washington, DC. We wait until dark and sneak the dogs out for their nightly walk.

Total Miles Traveled: 41

8/07/2007

Today was a maintenance day. We were up early this morning so Jeff and Jerry could change the oil on the generator and main engine. They also changed the fuel filters on both the generator and main engine. While they did this, I took the dogs for about an hour walk into town. They were happy to be out of the big city and were very excited about seeing squirrels and rabbits. Afterwards, I washed down the boat. After being in the big city for a month, the boat is filthy with black soot all over it. Even after the washing, it is still dirty. We have to be out of our slip by noon as the marina has another boat coming into our slip tonight. We had asked about staying another night but they are full. We plan on anchoring out just upstream from here in Back Creek. We first decide to go to Calvert Marine and add some fuel to the tanks. We travel back down Back Creek to the fuel docks and add 200 gallons of fuel. Just as we pull up to the fuel docks, Spring Cove Marina calls and says that the filters Jeff ordered are in. After refueling, we go back to Spring Cove to pick up the filters. We take on water while there. We next travel a few yards up Back Creek and set the anchor. We are not real happy with this anchorage as there is very little room and we are right next to houses. It is still really hot and we have to keep the generator running for A/C. We make a last minute decision to move over to Calvert Marina on the other side of Back Creek. We pull up the anchor and are soon docked at Calvert. It seems like we are playing musical chairs today. We look across the docks and see “Joyden”.

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We saw this Krogen 48 at a Trawler fest several years ago. It has a radar arch like ours instead of a boom and mast and that is what really sold us on getting a Krogen and also the arch. We stop by and say hello to Denny and Maude.

Once we have the boat secure, we take the dinghy across Back Creek to visit the Calvert Marine Museum.

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They have a dinghy dock for us to land. Also here is the restored Drum Point screw pile lighthouse.

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We enjoy the afternoon touring this facility. The lighthouse was moved to the Museum from Drum Point in 1975 and restored to its original condition. We are able to tour the interior of the lighthouse and see what life was like for families living in the lighthouse. It must have been a very unique lifestyle.

This afternoon we take the dogs for a dinghy ride through the Solomon’s harbor. Sebastian especially enjoys the ride. He likes to ride in anything that moves. While we are out, Jerry fixes a cold celery and tomato soup for dinner. It is great having Jerry cruise with us this week.

Total Miles Traveled: 3

8/06/2007

Today we are traveling from St. Mary’s City to Solomons, Maryland. Before leaving the anchorage, we take Jerry on a quick walking tour of Historic St. Mary’s. We pull up anchor at 9:30 AM. As we are heading out St. Mary’s River the Coast Guard comes toward us with his blue lights flashing.

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He pulls alongside and advises us that the Navy is conducting test in this area with a UAV (unmanned Arial vehicle). He tells us to proceed but to stay as far to the right of the channel as possible. We see several other Coast Guard boats coming up river as they follow the UAV.

We make it safely out into the Chesapeake Bay with no problems. Today is another hot day with just a slight breeze. Hopefully, we will be into Solomon’s before any of the afternoon thunder storms. Our computers seem to be working fine today. Even the WxWorks GPS is now working once again. We still are not sure what was going on with them yesterday.

Once out in the bay, we see very little boat traffic. The seas are clam and we have a very easy passage. At 1:00 PM just as we are passing Point No Point, the Navy hails us on the radio and advises they are conducting bombing exercises in the area and ask for us to alter our course to the east. We happily oblige and deviate to the east. We can hear aircraft above in the clouds. We spot several Black Hawk helicopters flying over the area. A few minutes later, the Navy comes back on the radio and tells all boats they can resume their course as the Navy is thru testing for the day. A sailboat radios the Navy and asks if they hit the target. The Navy responds affirmative.

Just before turning off the bay into the Patuxent River, we see a Krogen 42 heading south. We radio “Anchors Away” and learn they are returning from Maine and heading back home to the Wicomico River. They will be attending the Krogen Rendezvous in October so we should see them there.

At 3:00 PM we make a port turn into the Patuxent River. Solomons is just a few miles up this river on Back Creek.

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A few minutes later, we are in Back Creek. The creek is lined with marinas on both sides. We travel about a mile up Back Creek to Spring Cove Marina which will be our home for the night.

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We have an easy docking on one of the outside T-heads. We quickly connect to shore power and get the A/C going. Today is one of the hottest days with the temperature reaching almost 100 degrees.

We have a nice dinner at the Naughty Gull Restaurant which is right next to the marina. The dogs are very happy to once again have a nice field to run around in. There are squirrels everywhere and they both go crazy trying to chase them. Staying in Washington, DC for the last month, they have missed the finer things in life (chasing squirrels).

Total Miles Traveled: 51

8/05/07

We are up this morning at 5:30 AM for our departure from Washington, DC. Tony, a fellow looper on “Breakaway”, comes by to say goodbye. He will be at Solomons in several weeks so we should see him again there. One of our friends from Chattanooga, Jerry, is cruising with us on this leg of the trip. We pull away from the docks at 6:30 AM for a long run down the Potomac to St. Mary’s City.

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There is quite a bit of debris floating in the water on this part of the Potomac. We keep a sharp lookout and dodge many logs and other trash such as old tires floating in the channel. We retrace our path and are soon past Old Town Alexandria. At 8:30 AM we once again pass George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon. Jerry rings the bell nine times in honor of George. We spot a Krogen 42’, Espirit, at the Mt. Vernon ferry dock.

We enjoy a nice cruise down the Potomac with good weather and very little boat traffic. We see one barge coming up the river.

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Our luck starts changing about 5:30 PM. Our starboard Nauticomp screen begins to flicker. Over the next 10 minutes, the flicker becomes worse and the port side screen begins doing the same thing. The screens go blank several different times. These two screens display all of our navigation programs and radar. We do have paper charts as a backup. We check all of the connections and everything seems fine. It is very hot outside so we decide to turn on the A/C and see if that changes things. After about 10 minutes of running the A/C the screens start working fine once again. We are not sure what happened but are glad to have our navigation program back as we head into our anchorage at St. Mary’s. We next notice that our GPS on our WxWorks program is not working. We don’t know why. The program itself is doing fine it just does not show our boat’s position on the program.

We arrive at St. Mary’s about 6:30 PM just as a thunder storm is approaching. There are only two other boats here in the anchorage. Lightning is flashing all around so we deploy the anchor from inside the pilot house instead of me standing out on the bow. I am really thankful that I do not have to be out there during this storm. We get the anchor set just as the really bad storms hit. We see many bolts of lightning flashing all around us. The dogs are petrified. One strike is within 200 feet of the boat. It was way too close for comfort. This strike literally scares the “Pee” out of Sebastian right at Jeff’s feet in the pilot house. . We can hardly blame him as he has not been out all day and the storms are really bad.

The storms soon disappear and we lower the dinghy and take the dogs ashore.

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They are happy campers once again. Tonight Jerry is fixing us a cold mango and berry soup to try for dinner. It is delicious! We all hit the sack soon after dinner. It has been a long twelve hour day of travel and we are all just happy to be here. It is very hot outside so we leave the generator and A/C running all night.

Total Miles Traveled: 95

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