Friday, August 2, 2013

Back in our slip

Pulled into our slip at Stingray Harbor around noon. Lots of laundry after 12 days. Quite a few books read too.

The Captain is already planning our next cruise!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hunkered down in Mill Creek

Battened down the hatches at oh dark thirty when the expected rain arrived and we'll stay where we are 'til tomorrow morning. No sense heading into 20+ knot wind, rain and big waves if we don't have to. I am now calling that the Maytag Effect. We have not experienced the spin cycle yet. 

We used the day for much needed onboard housekeeping duties and organizing.  Maybe more of Seasons one and two of Seinfeld on our new TV. And reading too.

Hoped to host happy hour with Lynn and Peter who live nearby, but their dinghy motor is in for repairs and Pete just deflated ours and put it away. Neither couple wanted to swim! And it's raining again  So we'll wave to each other at five o'clock. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Point No Point Lighthouse has always baffled me as we always sail well inside it, between it and land. Why was it needed out there?

No prudent sailor, for example, would sail inside Thomas Point Lighthouse near Annapolis or the shoals would soon greet the hull of your boat. 

So, thanks to Google, I discovered that the Point No Point light was needed because otherwise big ships had a thirty mile span between Cove Point and Smith Point lights.  But it had a tough birth. The first version fell apart as it was hauled there. The second pier was torn apart by ice floes in 1904 when global warming was not taking place. The third one was installed successfully but has needed lots of dollars to keep it operating since 1905. The Coast Guard tried to auction it off but then discovered that the light marked the end of the Navy firing range. A nice thing to know!

Heading past the Potomac

Those big winds are still forecast for tomorrow, so we are heading past the Potomac River before its water gets that news. 

Crossing the mouth of the Potomac is one of our least favorite things about sailing because the tide and current are frequently not in agreement. Add 20-30 knot wind and you can find you and your boat in a frightening washing machine of churning water. It has happened to us more than once when NOAA has been wrong.

A Coast Guard boat was among the 1800 ships that met their demise on the Chesapeake. In 1978, their cutter Cuyahoga (later resume as an artificial reef) was near the mouth of the Potomac when a coal freighter slammed into it. She quickly sank and 11 lost their lives.

Probably not a good thing to post as we near the site. And Captain Pete is reading Shomette's "Shipwrcks on the Chesapeake" at the moment. But then I read "The Perfect Storm" on our first cruise in 1999. 

After nine long hours and seas that got livelier as the day progressed, we just anchored in Mill Creek, the one near Reedville. It seems that most mills in early America were on creeks!

Patuxent's top guns

I know, I know. It's the "sound of freedom." But six fighter pilots have blasted my eardrums so far this morning as we sailed past their huge naval air station at the mouth of the Patuxent River. 

Looks like they have great TV reception too. :-)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to Solomons Island

Winds of 15-20 knots are forecast in a few days, so we headed across the Bay while the winds are still light and cool from the north. There is no need to be in choppy washing machine waters or on a wild rocking horse on a boat if you can choose otherwise. 

One of my favorite lighthouses at Cove Point tells me that Solomons is only about an hour away. This lighthouse has been restored and now includes 6 bedrooms that can be rented out. Some brides are reserving it as a unique wedding spot.

These sparkly clean tugs always catch my eye as we head to our Mill Creek anchorage. 

Cambridge in a day

Cambridge MD is a colonial era town on the Choptank River with a quaint feel. We had driven through it once but arriving by boat gave us the opportunity to really experience the small historic downtown yesterday. 

We enjoyed lunch at Jimmy and Sook's, then found the local General Grocery to buy a loaf of bread. One non-white loaf remained on their shelves but pigs feet or pig knuckles fans would be thrilled to find the economy size. 

The temps were great for walking around town. Who expects an 80 degree high in July? But the doors of another historic church were locked. Thwarted again. 

We had made dinner reservations at Bistro Poplar and were glad we did as this top restaurant filled up quickly. West Windsor NJ folks at the next table! What a small world at times. Chef Ian Campell learned a lot from CIA and later Tom Keller. Great dining in small town America!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The back door to St. Michael's

We have always sailed to St. Michael's MD the long way via Eastern Bay and the Miles River. This time we arrived through "the back door" up Broad Creek to San Domingo Creek. This route off the Choptank River not only saved us a few travel hours, but made me look like a mouth-breather as I gaped at the impressive homes. Most are barely visible from their streets, but I felt like a Peeping Tom as we motored up San Domingo Creek. Didn't spot Dick Cheney and his house below appeared quiet. 

Rummy lives on a nearby creek too. Neither had invited us for dinner so we dinghied into town for dinner.

Oops. A thunderstorm motivated us to eat SLOW food at Ava's Winebar & Pizza. Glad Pete brought the baler along.