Thursday, August 24, 2006

August 24, 2006 Nomini Bay, VA, South Shore of the Potomac River

This is a catch up entry as the blog was having technical difficulties the last couple of days and I gave up trying to upload pictures. I wish I could make the text match the pictures but the site changes them around so it sometimes looks a bit weird.

As the last entry described we had a long day down the Potomac because we were anxious to move to the Chesapeake. We pulled into what the books describe as a beautiful little bay still on the Potomac but close to the mouth of the Chesapeake, and they were right. We've included some pictures of the cool little town surrounding Nomini Bay, Virgina (pronounced NO-mini).

In fact, you may not be aware, but the entire Potomac River belongs to the state of Maryland ... the state boundary line hugs the south shore of the Potomac (which is VA), so all those folks in VA with little beachfronts, step into Maryland every time they touch the water.

This one is of an abandoned duck blind (we think).

The entry channel to Nomini was really narrow, with lots of crab pots just outside. We entered on mid-tide and picked our way into the bay-proper in 8 feet of water. When we got inside, we found a generally circular bay with a meandering channel to get you up-river another 5 miles, if needed. The thing that we noticed the most is the continued pattern of crab pots ... everywhere.

So, some of you may be saying ..."so what about these crab pots." Boaters quickly learn that crab pots are truely their enemy. You see, a crab pot consists of a somewhat cubical wire basket attached to a rope line or worse, a wire, which in turn is connected to the colorful little styrofoam float which you see on the surface. They used to be wood, and I've got an old one from Maine, but now-a-days they're all styrofoam. Anyway, if you happen to be the unfortunate boater that runs over one these little gems, likely it is that you will wrap the float around your prop, which of course then rapidly propels the wire mesh crab trap onto your hull, which then causes your engine to overheat ... and yep, you're quickly dead in the water. So, boaters are always wary of crab pots. End of crab pot 101.

So, having picked our way into the bay, we finally found a circular spot about 300 feet wide to drop the hook into. In 10 feet of water we generally deploy about 125 feet of chain between the anchor and bow pulpit. This usually sets us pretty good, and we can swing in a circle about 150 feet in diameter as the tide shifts. Most of the chain lays on the bottom and acts kinda like a bungee cord.

Since we were late arriving (...about 7:15...) it wasn't long before the sun went down behind the house across the water from us, and we were treated to the following views ... although my camera can't seem to capture the red of the sun properly.

August 23, 2006 Washington, DC to lower Potomac River

Not to worry, we haven’t fallen into the Potomac River! We docked Rickshaw at the Gangplank Marina in downtown Washington, DC for a week while we visited family and friends. Both of us grew up here. Rick’s family has moved to New England but I was able to see my Dad and Evelyn and two of my brothers and their families. It has been some time since I’ve been ‘home’ so it was great to see everyone and catch up with their busy lives. Dad treated Rick and I to dinner then the whole gang to lunch. We also got to see our good friends, Stacey and Geof , and enjoyed their hospitality.

We left DC Wednesday morning to go back down the Potomac River to the Chesapeake Bay. It turns out that this was our longest day on the water yet, 10 hours. It was a nice day but hot and not alot of breeze. It felt too much like work! Here is Rick working...

...and Captain Rick after a very long, hot day!

This barge was taking old pieces of a bridge out to make an artificial reef.

Above is just a view from the back of the boat. The green bouy apparently is a favorite hang out for cormorants.

These next pictures show a couple of the towns along the Potomac River. Most don't have homes of the size in the last blog. It looks like a lovely place to have a home on the water.

We were so fascinated by the new Woodrow Wilson bridge being constructed between MD and VA that we had to take a few more shots as we went under it leaving DC. The first shows the old bridge with the new bridge in the foreground. Only one span of the two new spans on the new bridge is open. The second picture shows the new span without the road!

We took one last picture of National Airport as we passed by on the way out.

The Gangplank Marina is located on Maine Avenue in DC which is where most of the fish and crabs are bought and sold to individuals and restaurants in the city and surrounding areas.

The old Presidential yacht, the USS Sequoia, is anchored here. It is now privately owned and used for parties and weddings.

This is a view of the Gangplank Marina as we were leaving. We sat on the bow of the boat each night and watched the lights of the Washington Monument. It was a great place to be.