Saturday, May 15, 2010

Family and Friends through Maryland

We had a short trip from Deltaville, VA to St. Jerome's Creek, just across the Maryland border, where we were going to meet some good friends and see brother Jock and his brood for an afternoon and a passel of local blue crabs. It seems as if every mark along the way was celebrated by a family of ospreys.

We anchored right in front of Jeanne and Tim's beautiful compound where we had anchored a few times before. The water is fairly "skinny" near the shore so we were grateful for our sturdy dinghy for the ride ashore.

Tim and Jean were, as usual, more than perfect hosts and put on quite a nice luncheon on their patio. Thanks again for being such good and patient friends who have accepted a motley bunch of transient boat bums into your lives!

Brother Jock, who lives nearby, and I paid for a bunch of crabs which we cooked with Tim's aid and assistance while Jeanne came up with some miracles on the grill and out of the kitchen. Jock gave some of his clan lessons in the fine art of eating blue crabs.

As we saw so often along the waterways, the U.S. Military is ever present. One whole stretch of the shoreline was full of antennae and other ominous looking stuff.

But a lot of the Chesapeake is still traditional lighthouses and pretty shorelines.

One of the old lighthouses is preserved at the marine museum in Solomons, along with an old oyster dragger. We anchored near there for a night and did some grocery shopping. The next morning we went by the Calvert Cliffs whose layers of sediment have been studied closely by archaeologists and other scientists.

We spent a couple of nights at anchor in Spa Creek in Annapolis.

We rented a car one day to drive to the Washington suburbs to see the Captain's son Bill, his wife Liz, and daughters Alison and Emily. They treated us to a lovely lunch at the Trump National Golf Club,joined by their daughters. We were lucky to get to see them at all since Bill and Liz were off to a fancy party at Mount Vernon that night, Alison had her Junior Prom, and Emily was home for a short while in the middle of her final exams at college.

After lunch, we drove a few miles to see another grand-daughter, Julia (in the upper right of the picture), perform in her middle school's production of Beauty and the Beast.

Daughter Ginger came back with us to spend the night aboard the boat and the next morning her husband David and all the kids - Sam, Julia, Zeke, and Nina - appeared. Zeke had only had a couple of hours sleep after his Junior Prom and Nina had just finished up her college final exams the day before. Julia's closing night was just the night before. We had dinner at a buffet restaurant and hung out on the boat which was in a slip in the middle of downtown Annapolis.

We were delighted that we could see both families with such short notice during very busy times in their lives.

From Annapolis, we went across the bay to our favorite boat yard to be hauled so that the bottom could be cleaned and painted for the first time in a year. (Actually, we had it cleaned by a diver while in Abaco.) We lived aboard "on the hard" for two nights after discovering that we could not get a rental car and we were a long way from any real civilization. We were scheduled to be launched at 6:30 AM, but the other yard which shares the hauling pit had managed to sink an old wooden work boat in it that they had launched the night before and we were delayed until about 10:00.

We managed to get to Chesapeake City, MD on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal early enough to anchor and go to the Tap Room for the traditional last crab feast for the Captain.

Both the Admiral and the Captain are feeling a bit of cabin fever after 8-plus months aboard, so the rest of the trip home will probably be more of a "delivery" than a "voyage". It's over some of our least favorite waters, particularly in bad weather. So we will probably put in some fairly long days to get home as quickly as possible.

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