Wednesday, September 22, 2010

St Michaels

Monday September 20 – Wednesday September 24

We are ready to leave the dock Monday morning by 9:30, anxious to get back on the water again. It is a clear cool morning with a good 15 K breeze that pushes us off the dock. Stopping at a marina on the way out to top off with 70 gallons of fuel. While fueling we hear over the VHF radio that the US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle a beautiful square-rigged ship, who had come in to the inner harbor the day before, was getting ready to leave port heading out to sea. So as we are heading out we are keeping a lookout behind us hoping we will get a chance to see her. Once she gets underway she is very active on the radio. Being a training ship sounds like they are taking turns on the radio updating their position to any concerned traffic and telling boats how to pass them. She is doing 10.5 knots so she catches up to us and overtakes us, telling us to get out of the deep water channel as she passes. We were off to the side of the channel and we were the overtaken boat so had right away but we opted not to mention that and just kept snapping pictures, unfortunately her sails were not up but she is still a beautiful boat. It is a perfect sailing weather day and we are actually just sailing NO motor doing between 6.5 – 7.8 knots, even took the connector off the bimini to let the sun in to warm us up. Once we turn up into Eastern Bay we slow down some but don't have much further to go so just enjoying being on the water sailing. From Eastern Bay we turn into the Miles River and are anchored off of the town of St Michaels by 6. Get the dinghy out & ready for the next day. Tuesday we sleep in late, get ready to go into town for lunch and the dinghy motor sounds sick. Starts up & Steve thinks it is okay so we cast off and she dies, we don't drift too far so we row back to the boat. A few adjustments and it sounds better but still questionable. Off we go and make it to town enjoy a nice afternoon and make it back to the boat but the motor still does not sound right. Steve spends some time playing with it and it gets better BUT still something is wrong? Wednesday morning he puts the motor back on the boat to take apart the carburetor, cleans it out, reassembles and gets it running smoothly again. South winds so a little warmer today, back into town for lunch then a walk around finding a great nature / bike trail that just opened last year along a wetland restoration & education facility. So you can get educated along the path as you stop to read the placards. Walk back towards town stopping at St. Michaels Winery, where we stop for a sampling of some of their locally made very nice wines. Back to the boat where we watch boats coming & going and to my surprise a small cruise ship, American Spirit came in. Then a bunch of boats started to go out for the Wednesday night races out on the river. Around 9 the winds pick up a little and we have some distant lightning & thunder and a short shower.

Link to Pictures;

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baltimore / Houston / Washington DC

Monday August 30 – Sunday September 19

Wow I know it has been a while since I had time to update the blog so here is the last 3 weeks cliff note version. The boat was docked at Center Dock Marina in Inner Harbor East (downtown Baltimore) during this time. The first 3 days Steve & I took in as much as we could. Historic Fell's Point 2 blocks away to the east, strolling along the brick sidewalks and streets checking out all the different restaurants and shops and bars. Enjoying all the beautiful architecture of the old buildings. That night passing by several tempting restaurants right along the harbor as we walk up to Little Italy a few blocks north, with even more great restaurants. The area we are in is very well patrolled by police and unarmed security personnel, just a presence to aid & make visitors to the area feel safe. As we walk around we find the Whole Foods store and they also have a great selection. Steve is like a kid in a candy store going up and down the isles seeing what is available, thinking about all the great dishes he can make at the same time being conflicted as there are some really great restaurants to check out also. Tuesday we stop at the visitors center to get more info on the area, passing by the inner harbor and its many restaurants and attractions, & take the 11 am trolly tour of the city. There is an active Naval Landing Ship Dock US Whidbey Island (LSD-411) in port and they are giving free tours through the rest of the day, so after lunch it looks like the line is not so bad so we get in line. An hour later we finally get to go on board and it was worth the wait to see an actual active ship. This ship looks like an island, it's so big. It carries heavy armament from tanks down to Humvee's, and moves them from the ship to shore on a gigantic hovercraft. The crew are very enthusiastic and eager to show their toys off, but in tune with the times we live in, they're also selling t-shirts and souvenirs to supplement their basic pay. Afterward we catch one of the free public transportation buses back toward our marina. Tuesday night we decide on the Lebanese Tavern Restaurant, and what a wonderful meal we have. Wednesday we get a taxi ride to the dentist office, they were able to get us both in for a cleaning and I needed to be fit for a crown over my implant I had done right before we left Kemah. The dentist office is located up by John Hopkins University, so after the visit we go for lunch and walk the 2 ½ miles through the university area and Charles Village to Baltimore's Penn Station. There we catch a free bus (purple route) back to the harbor area then the orange route free bus back to our marina. A great way to get around the city along those two routes, soon to add the green route. Once back at the boat, I have to start to pack for my trip back to Houston. That night we head back to Fell's point for dinner, enjoy our meal Al fresco. Thursday I catch my shuttle to the airport while Steve heads off to find a place to get his hair cut. Both of us keeping updated on Earl but feel pretty good that we will not have any serious storm effects. Well Earl turns out to be a non event for Baltimore & Steve, I on the other hand get caught with the side effects from Tropical Storm Herminia on Monday & Tuesday in Houston. Steve has a good time exploring the city of Baltimore during the week, and his son Sean and girlfriend Holly come to visit him over Labor Day weekend. They see a little of the city and then take the boat down to the anchorage on Rock Creek that we had stayed at on the way up. I have a wonderful 10 day visit seeing family and friends back in Houston/Kemah/Seabrook. I fly back to Baltimore on Sunday 9/12, every day while I was in Houston with it's typical September weather hot & sticky, Steve had been telling me about the gorgeous weather he was having in Baltimore highs around 80 with NO humidity. On that Sunday I returned to a cold & rainy day, but I was still happy to be back with Steve on the boat. Monday the weather was beautiful again so I was able to enjoy the trip back to the dentist office. Tuesday 9/14 we had a visitor, Patricia Battaille an old friend of Steve's from NJ who was coming to Baltimore for her aunt's 99th birthday party, so she came in a day early to visit us. We showed her around town and had a nice dinner out, then Wednesday morning we all caught a cab to Baltimore's Penn Station where Pat was picked up and Steve & I boarded a train to Washington DC. We spent the next four days seeing as many sights as we could which only made a dent in all there is to see. We were very graciously offered to stay at Sean's girlfriend Holly's apartment a few blocks from DuPont Circle as she went to stay with Sean in Arlington. It was a fabulous location in a great neighborhood & close to the metro to get us anywhere we wanted to go. My brother Stephen was in town so we were able to all go out to dinner on Wednesday night in China Town. Thursday night we had a little rain so were glad Sean & Holly could pick us up again to go to dinner that night. Friday night Steve & I were on our own for dinner as Sean & Holly left to go out of town for the weekend. Saturday Stephen joined up with us again to do more sightseeing and stayed at Holly's that night and we had left overs for dinner. Sunday morning Stephen caught the metro to the airport and Steve & I catch it to Union Station to get our Amtrak train back to Baltimore. Once back in Baltimore on the boat, we unpack and make plans to leave the dock Monday morning after 3 weeks. Can't wait to be out sailing again, 1st stop will be St Michael’s on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake.

Link to Baltimore pictures;

Link to DC pictures;