Saturday, July 03, 2010

Lots of Catching Up To Do!

We left Baltimore on Monday, June 28th.  We had a great time there visiting with friends and family but it was time to move on.  As we left the Baltimore Harbor, we passed by the hospital ship ‘Comfort’ which we think was in Haiti after the earthquake.  We also watched a huge container ship making its way out.  From our perspective, it looked like it would be a tight squeeze under the Francis Scott Key bridge, but of course she made it with plenty of room to spare.

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It took us about 6.5 hours to get to the top of the Chesapeake Bay and into the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.  We had made a reservation at a marina (there is no anchoring in the canal) that was on the east end of the canal.  We read in the guide that the C&D Canal was the busiest canal in the country and the 3rd busiest one in the world.  You couldn’t tell that by our trip as we saw only one lonely tug pulling a barge.

DSC03466The C&D Canal is wide so that large ships can pass each other going east and west.  The banks of the canal are quite pretty with small homes, some farmland and lots and lots of trees. 

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We also passed by the beautiful old town of Chesapeake City.  We stayed here a few years ago when Vicki and Norm had their boat renaming ceremony for Tide Hiker.  Many of the buildings are from the early 1800’s.  It is just a sweet little town.

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                                                              Chesapeake City, MD

We woke up early and left the dock at 6:00 am to make our way across the Delaware Bay with Cape May our destination.  The Delaware Bay is a large body of water and if the winds are high it can be a pretty uncomfortable ride.  We lucked out and had a wonderful day on the water.  The temps were in the high 70’s and the current was with us so we were really moving fast at 10 knots (about 12 mph!!).  Hold on to your hats …!  We normally cruise at about 7.5 knots so we felt like we were flying! 

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                                                         Passing traffic on Delaware Bay

DSC03478 Another cool lighthouse that marks the Ship John Shoal

To get to Cape May, which is on the southern tip of New Jersey, we left the Delaware River and entered the Cape May Canal which is a much smaller canal and arrived in Utsch’s marina which was very conveniently located.  We had heard great things about Cape May and since neither of us had been there before we decided to stay for 3 days. 

The second day we were there we pumped up the tires on our bikes and set out to see the town.  We were quickly reminded that drivers in NJ seem to have the right of way so we tried to stay out of their way.  What a great town Cape May is!  Many of the old homes are inns or B&B’s.  You could tell there was a lot of pride in the town in how the homes were kept up and flags everywhere for July 4th weekend.    Here are some pictures of the town and our ride.

                                                                The ride into town

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                                  The following pictures were taken along the pedestrian mall

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            Guess who took this one!!                          When is the last time you saw a five and dime?

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We stopped for lunch and watched the people stroll by then we peddled a couple of blocks down to the beach.  These are the beachfront hotels.  Lots of charm!

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We stopped at a hot dog stand to get a cold drink and had a great chat with Joe, the owner, who just retired and is doing this for fun.  We enjoyed talking with him but were disappointed that we didn’t get a picture of him.

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That evening we had dinner with Bill and Maryfran, who own a summer home just north of Cape May and are best friends of Lynnie’s sister and her husband.  We had such fun with them.  We had appetizers and adult beverages on Rickshaw then they took us to a fabulous restaurant.  On the way to the restaurant we stopped at the local KMart so that we could power shop and get a few needed provisions … ANOTHER coffee maker, the 4th, to replace the latest one fried by the power spikes switching from ship to shore power … they’re not very forgiving!   We had not seen Bill and Maryfran for some time and it was just great to get caught up with each other’s lives.  Thanks guys for a most enjoyable evening!

DSC03531                                                            Rick, Lynnie, Maryfran and Bill 

These pictures were taken down the dock from us in Cape May.  Guess we are glad we don’t own a sailboat if you have to do this!  The guy was working on his radar, we think.

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                                                     Rick calls these ‘boat chaos’ pictures!!


The marina was full but #13, next to us, remained unrented! 


These pilings are untreated tree trunks from a South American forest, reportedly hard as rocks

Today is Saturday, July 3rd, and we left Cape May for a 5 hour trip up the Atlantic coastline heading for Atlantic City.  We wanted to anchor out but we feared that due to the July 4th holiday the anchorage would be full.  So, we bit the bullet and are at the Trump Marina for 2 nights.

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   This parasail boat took off right in front of us.  The kids looked like they were having fun.

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Passing the rides at Wildwood, NJ


Atlantic City skyline 

This marina is huge and we are at the very end of one of the long docks.  It will be great for watching the fireworks tomorrow night.  Then bright and early on Monday we will leave for the 10 hour run to Sandy Hook, NJ which is just south of New York Harbor.

We hope everyone has a grand July 4th holiday weekend …!

Monday, June 28, 2010

On our way to Baltimore

Click here to see where we are in Baltimore.

We are behind on updating the blog.  We are now in Baltimore and have been here since last Thursday.  We got up at 6:00 this morning to head up to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal but it looks like we are going to have some severe weather this afternoon and since we couldn’t be snug into the next marina before the storm hits we decided to stay another day here.  Like our friend Todd, on Life's2Short, says ‘We don’t have a schedule and we’re  sticking to it!!

We left Solomons Island in MD on Wednesday, 6/23, and headed for an anchorage off of the western bank of the Chesapeake Bay.  Here is a picture of a menhaden boat.  Menhaden are small fish that are used as filler in things like cat food and fertilizer.  There is a menhaden factory across the river from where we anchored.  Boy, that factory stinks!  Anyway, we saw lots of menhaden boats coming and going as we made our way to the anchorage.  They have a smaller boat on their stern that is used to deploy and retrieve the nets full of fish.  At any rate, we let them pass and made our way to a nice, quiet but hot, spot.  It was only the second night for us on the hook and we surely did miss the air conditioning!              DSC03334                                                                         Menhaden boat


                         We passed Smith Point Lighthouse, which you can see needs some repairs

As we were making our way to Solomons Island from the anchorage, we were hailed by a Navy range boat telling us that we were too close to the firing range for the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and that they were doing live fire practice that afternoon.  We were told to move to the east of the target area about 2 miles, which we hastily did. This took us nearly to the eastern shore of the Chesapeake.   As we approached the Naval Air Station, we saw numerous jets take off but we never did see any live fire. 

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                                                       Patuxent River Naval Air Station

We stayed in a marina for one night in Solomons because bad weather was coming in.  And, it sure did!  It hit around 8 pm Tuesday evening, 6/22 and it was a doozie.  We had been sitting on the aft deck (or as my Navy Dad says it is properly called the after deck) enjoying the evening.  We went inside to cool off and a wall of rain and very high wind hit.  We watched it from inside and thought that our back deck chairs were going to be lost.  We were very glad we were in the marina vs. being on the hook.  We only lost a small trashcan!

Our next stop was Galesville, MD which is a beautiful little town on the West River off of the Chesapeake.  There we were going to meet up with my dad, his wife Evelyn, my brother John, his wife Frannie and their daughter Katie.  We were really looking forward to it.  Following are some sights along the way.


A Liquid Petroleum Gas (propane) terminal which the big ships dock at and then distribute LPG around the country.


                        Don’t know which lighthouse this is but it was very picturesque. 

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  Barge carrying what looks like coal.                               No explanation necessary!

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It was a bit eerie that we didn’t see any other boats for hours, either coming or going!

We arrived in Galesville and tied up to a face dock at the Pirates Cove, which is a marina and restaurant.  They didn’t have 50 amp power for us to hook up to so we ran the generator for a few hours to cool down the boat…and us.  We met my family at the restaurant and had a nice time catching up with what everyone was doing.  Evelyn had a summer house in Galesville for many years and she told us lots of stories about the town.

DSC03375                                                                                  The gang!                  

We left Galesville the next morning early, 5:30 am, to get to Baltimore.  Another bad storm was threatening for the afternoon and we wanted to get in before it hit.  Unfortunately, it missed us completely.  I only say unfortunately because we had hoped that it would break this terrible heat wave but that was not to be.  Following are some pictures we took along the way.

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                  We usually don’t get up early enough to see the beautiful sunrises!


This is the beautiful old Thomas Point Lighthouse.  There is a full scale reproduction of it at St. Michael’s on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake.  We went through the replica last time we were here.

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The Chesapeake Bay bridge.  As kids we both crossed this many times on our way to Ocean City MD during the summers.  It is fun to go under it for a change.


 Sandy Point Lighthouse on the north side of the bridge.  Can you tell we love lighthouses?

As we turned into the North West Harbor which takes us into Baltimore, we saw that we had two large ships behind us.  We favored the the red markers to stay out of their way.  The bridge that we went under is called the Francis Scott Key bridge (Oh say can you see!!)

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This first ship is called a RORO car carrier, short for roll-on/roll-off.  The second, obviously, a barge of some sort. 

The last time we were in Baltimore on Rickshaw we stayed closer to the Inner Harbor which is full of tourist attractions.  That marina has since been bought and the prices were outrageous.  So, on this trip we stayed in a smaller marina at Fells Point.  Fells Point is a very funky part of Baltimore that has numerous bars and restaurants, many of them within walking distance.  They also have a water taxi here that could take us to the Inner Harbor or out to Fort McHenry. 

On Friday my friend Stacey came and got me and we went shopping all day.  Ya-hoo!  Thank you Stacey for a fun day.  On Saturday my friend Robin, her husband John, my nephew Josh and his wife Delphine came to visit.  We had a nice time visiting on Rickshaw then went to Shucker’s for a great dinner.  Josh and Delphine are leaving for a 2 year government assignment in Nigeria and we were thrilled to see them before they left.  They all helped the cause by bringing us provisions…wine, beer and cleaning products!!  Thanks guys.

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                   Enjoying dinner                                     John, Robin, Josh, Delphine, Lynnie and Rick


                        Goofing!                            A TV show called Homicide was filmed here

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          The cobbled streets of Fells Point             Where we got breakfast in the morning

We love this marina!  There are mostly live aboards here.  They get up in the morning and go to work.  This is probably one of the friendliest marinas we have been in.  Everyone knows everyone else and we have had lots of people stop by to say hello and ask if we need anything from the store.  Several have offered us their cars.  We met two other DeFever couples and had drinks and appetizers on one of their boats yesterday.  It is fun to chat with all of the folks around here.   Here are some pictures of marina life taken from Rickshaw.


                      Rickshaw in her slip.  Notice the duct tape fix for a leak on our neighbor’s boat


                                                                             Pirate ship


                              Picking up passengers for the water taxi           

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                                                             Harbor vistas

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We saw this mother duck with her ducklings     Then the cat (on his leash) also saw them!

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  Cat still trying to figure out how to get them, yum        Food chain!  Dog, cat, ducks

While we are finishing this, the storm has just it.  We are glad we are here instead of the open water.  Tomorrow and Wednesday look to be very good days with Wednesday predicted to be high in the upper 70’s.  Excellent cruising weather.  We’ll leave tomorrow to get into the C&D canal and on Wednesday make our way through the Delaware Bay to Cape May, NJ and start our way up the east coast.