Saturday, July 30, 2016

Where Have We Been for the Past Almost Two Weeks?

That is what I asked myself this afternoon as I have found it more difficult to remember just where we go each day.  Life on the Chesapeake has been more of a meander than a direct travel adventure.  The bay has so many interesting historic towns with countless rivers and creeks to explore so we just seem to take one short side trip after another.  We left Tangier Island and crossed the Chesapeake in a northerly direction to make our way to Solomons Island to find an inexpensive Marina with a pool for some cooling off time.
We passed this ghost of a ship, aground in fairly shallow water and used for target practice by the 
Navy.  We couldn't get close for a better picture because it is a restricted area.  But with binoculars we could see through the holes in the hull!  Kinda creepy!  After passing this ship, we crossed the boundary of Maryland, our 9th state.  We arrived to find our buddies on Greek's Folly at Calvert Marina, Solomons and later we were joined by our buddies on Short Vacation.  We gathered for a fun docktails time, inviting all the other transient boaters around us so had a very interesting  evening meeting new friends.
Storms moving through the area brought on a beautiful sunset our second night at Calverts.
After two decadent days enjoying the pool, we moved one creek over to anchor in Mill Creek and were treated to another beautiful calm night, glorious sunset with high heat.  A shout out to my Captain Al who thought ahead many months ago and had a new extraordinary battery bank installed with two new inverters so we can turn battery power into electricity to run our air conditioner in our stateroom all night long without having to turn on the noisy generator.  So even with high heat, we sleep peacefully with the windows shut and the air con flowing!
On July 20 we crossed the Chesapeake to the east side to explore the area around the Little Choptank River and found this lovely anchorage at Mckeil Point, where we could take the dingy ashore on Church Creek to find Old Trinity Church. The church was built around 1690 and has been an active Anglican Church for over 300 years. 
The first afternoon we went ashore and found the church locked so just explored the grave yard and then walked to a crab processing factory where we could buy fresh picked and steamed crabmeat. 

We returned the next morning on July 21 (Al's birthday) and found the preacher in his office and were treated to a wonderful personal tour and history lesson about the church. It has been restored to it's 1690's layout with boxes around the pews and windows with wooden crosses imbedded.

This grave is marked with mill stones hundreds of years old.

This grave is honored with a flag and marker signifying that the deceased fought in the War of 1812.  This was an awesome peek into the history that formed our nation.  After our tour, we traveled on to an anchorage near the town of Oxford called Flatty Cove on the Tred Avon River where we spent Al's birthday eating freshly made (by me) crab cakes.  Passing by Oxford, we had to negotiate around a bunch of kids practicing their sailing skills near the Yacht Club.
We were very happy to join our long lost travel buddies on Sandrobber when we moved over to Brewer Oxford Marina on Friday July 22. The Marina had a wonderful pool that again gave us the comfort of a cooling swim. We had Al's birthday dinner one night and docktails the second night with Sandy and Rob giving us time to catch up on the past 4 months of not boating together.  Our plan is to meet up again a bit further north in the Bay. 
Al and I explored the quaint town during our walks and enjoyed more crab cakes and crab soup at the Robert Morris Inn (location where Mitchner began writing his book "Chesapeake").  But much to my chagrin, I could not find any place for a simple hair cut and have not had a cut since Charleston!! So our next place to visit has to be Cambridge where I could find a salon.  But since they all close on Sunday and Monday, we found an anchorage for those two nights on La Trappe Creek.
The sunset was lovely but the gathering clouds meant a summer storm was on its way.  While I slept blissfully, Al awoke to find we had dragged the anchor in the high winds and were dangerously close to shore.  He upanchored, moved the boat, dropped the anchor again and waited hours watching his Garmin as the storm cells passed through. I appreciate his attention to details!! 

If you haven't figured it out, this is the Garmin weather radar view that let the Captain know what was coming our way!  Despite the storms, the high heat persisted but we also persisted with our daily walks, so while in La Trappe Creek, we took the dingy to shore to explore a boat yard known for it work on Grand Banks.  We had an interesting visit with the owner who is well known in the world of Grand Banks owners as someone who knows the boats well. Then after a second night with storm and anchor issues we headed into Cambridge on Tuesday July 26.  And yes, I got another wonderful, inexpensive hair cut in a town that has free dockage along the town wall.  We soo enjoyed the County building that had great wifi and air conditioning with very nice public bathrooms!  I used their lobby to make a few phone calls and catch up on Internet stuff. 
Cleaned up with neat hair, ready for a dinner at a nearby restaurant, doesn't take much to make a girl happy!!

Our view of another crab processing facility where we bought more fresh crabmeat to enjoy! 
We left Cambridge after walking the waterfront area, finding homes we noted we could live in and enjoy, to head to another Marina with a pool for some more cooling off time.  This time we picked the place based on its offer of 3 nights for the cost of two!  That is the way we make some decisions!! 
So here I am in this beautiful pool with a 270 degree view of the Choptank River at Tilghman on Chesapeake Marina which is on Tilghman Island. And I am meeting another new friend while staying cool!  We enjoyed walking to the main road each morning to eat a wonderful breakfast at "Two If By Sea" where Al treated himself to Crabbie Eggs Benedict.  They put crab on everything around here! We had an added treat, of a visit from Bill Kane, brother of my college roommate, Mo. He lives in near by St. Michaels so came with his wife, daughter and 2 grandkids to enjoy an  afternoon with us in the pool.

The watermen on this island use varied boats for their fishing trade but historic skipjacks are still in use that are pushed by a small motor dingy in the stern.  This skipjack offers sunset cruises to make some extra cash. So today, July 30, after our walk, we left our peaceful and comfortable Marina on Tilghman and headed to an anchorage just outside of St. Michaels.  Will start the next blog with that adventure.  

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