Friday, August 18, 2006

August 18, 2006 Washington, DC (Part 1 of 2)

It is now Friday evening. We arrived in Washington, DC on Wednesday. We’ve been looking forward to this for some time as we are both from this area and it was great to come into DC from the water.

It was a long but beautiful trip up the Potomac River, our longest yet, a little over 8 hours. We had to check in with the Dahlgren Naval Surface Weapons Test Range as we left Colonial Beach to see if the river was ‘hot’, and it was. We were directed to hug the Maryland side and ran without any problems.

We don't have a lot of narrative but thought you'd enjoy some of the views as we went up the river. Here is a restored Chesapeake Bay 'Buy' boat which is an old wooden boat that used to buy seafood from the boats on the bay and take it back to shore.

The south part of the river had lots of little communities with lovely views. We enjoyed watching them as we cruised by them.

That changed quickly, however as we got closer to Mt. Vernon, on both the Virginia and Maryland sides. This is a small but quaint home on the Maryland side of the river, and the picture below is the first of the amazing homes we captured.

(Part 2 continues with more pictures)

August 18, 2006 Washington, DC (Part 2 of 2)

This was the biggest we saw. It reminded us of a European chateau! It sits about 1/2 mile south of Mount Vernon.

Mt. Vernon, George Washington's plantation, is a beautiful site. We could have taken Rickshaw in to their dock to tour the home but we were tired! Maybe on the way back.

This is Fort Washington. It was the only fort defending Washington for many decades (we read the book!)

The most exciting part of the trip was getting ready to go under the new Woodrow Wilson bridge which connects VA to MD via Route 95 over the river. This is a huge project that has been going on for several years and we were a tad nervous about it. We did our homework and read the updates on the web but were still confused as to which span to go under.

We thought we had it figured out when a red tug turned parallel to the bridge where we thought we were supposed to be!

Turns out we just had to wait for the tug to move the crane and then we had room to pass. We had a high five after that one. Following are a few pictures of the new bridge. The one with the orange pillings is a form where the new bridge will be poured. It was amazing to see it from this angle as the massiveness of it is so apparent.

This is the Alexandria waterfront. Below is a cool picture as I've never seen sailboats 'in front' of the Washington Monument.

Just thought this was a cool picture of the Navy Research Lab.

As we approached DC, National Airport was on the left and planes were coming in over our bow. It was an interesting sight.

We are close to home now!
This is a shot of us coming into the Gangplank Marina in downtown DC where we will be for the next week. Can't wait for tomorrow as we will have 10 family members over to see the boat and go to lunch. Then we will spend the weekend with our good friends. Nice to be home to visit.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

August 15, 2006 Colonial Beach, VA

We left beautiful St. Mary’s River this morning. It was overcast and breezy with 15 knot winds as we entered the Potomac on our way up the river to DC. We had planned a stop in Colonial Beach, VA since it is a 2 day trip to DC from here (in our go slow boat!).

The cruising guides notified us that we would be traveling through a restricted zone. (Vicki and Norm, we LOVE the cruising guide!) That is because we would be going right through Dahlgren Naval Surface Weapons test range! We were told to radio ahead to see if it was a ‘cold’ or ‘hot’ day. On hot days there are live test firings on the range. The range patrol advised us that it was ‘hot’ today and that we had to stay south of the range. It was really something to hear the booming in the distance of the testing. The restricted zone we had entered before we got to this zone was for strafing and bombing. We were glad it was ‘cold’!!

We weren't sure what this tug was towing but it looked like pieces of a bridge. Very strange to see going down the waterway.

Rick is carefully watching where this tanker is going since they always have the right of way, whether they are right or not! We are so small in comparison.

It was a nice but uneventful 5 hour trip to Colonial Beach. We had hoped to anchor out but the water was too shallow so we ended up in a marina. Just as we were docking, a huge rainstorm broke out, so all our books and charts were getting soaked, at the same time we heard a new alarm in the boat going off that we hadn’t heard before, we couldn’t get power to the boat and we started dripping diesel fuel from the aft tank vent. Just another day on the water. We hitched a ride into town with the marina staff to a great Chinese restaurant and walked 2+ miles back to the marina. On the way passed a small ice cream kiosk and just had to sample their old fashioned A&W Root Beer Float! We leave in the morning for the 65 mile (8+ hours) to DC.

Monday, August 14, 2006

August 14, 2006 St. Mary's River, MD

The last two days have been two of the most beautiful days yet. Below is the Smith Point Lighthouse where yesterday we started our turn westward into the Potomac River.

We stayed at a small marina because we needed to fuel up (don't ask!). The sunset was wonderful. We also included a picture of the marina; absolutely no frills, but they had a reasonable diesel fuel price.

We left Smith Creek around noon today, after two hours of fueling with slow pumps, to go back into the Potomac River then up the St. Mary's River.

St. Mary's Ciy, along the river, is where the first capital of Maryland was established. We can understand why they picked it. The shoreline is astonishing with high banks and large homes and farms overlooking the river. St. Mary’s College, a small college, is right on the water.

We didn't stop but continued up the river and anchored near Tippity Wichity (really) island. It is very quiet and simply beautiful here.

We have been so lucky with the weather, well, except that one day where everything went downhill. We’ve had light winds to keep the bugs away and sunny days. Hope it lasts! After an exhausting day, Rick had to sit back and close his eyes for a few minutes...the stress you know ... !