Boldt Castle and 1000 Islands 6/15/2019
The side trip to Kingston, Gananoque, Rockport, 1000 Islands and Boldt Castle was fantastic! The weather wasn’t the greatest, but the scenery was stunning! We took a ferry tour through the 1000 Islands, which there are actually a little over 1, 800 islands. Some huge, some small, but to be considered an island, it must have a tree. The beauty in this area of the St. Lawrence is breath taking. Reminded us of northern MN and WI.
Boldt Castle, on Heart Island, is an unbelievable architectural feat. George Boldt, of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel fame had it built for his wife, Louise. Unfortunately, she passed away and he never returned to the island/home after her death. The home and buildings on the island started to decay. It was purchased by others but was never brought back to its full glory until the State of New York purchased it and started the huge undertaking of renovating the property. The first and second floors have been renovated and brought back to there former brilliance. Other floors are in process as well as the Alster Tower. We both loved the estate and surrounding area. Definitely a side trip worth taking!
More from the Trent-Severn Waterway later~
Brighton Road Bridge, near Trenton, Ontario 6/12/2019
Trent Port Marina, Trenton, Ontario 6/13-15/2019
I’m a planner and really like to know where I’m going. Thus far on the Loop we’ve had very few times where we’ve had to really change our game plan, but yesterday was a day when Tom’s mantra, “all plans are subject to change” really came true! Since we got so much done at Ess-Kay Yard on Tuesday, including the transmission fluid change, we were ready to go on Wednesday morning and the weather, according to "Wallace" was going to be perfect to cross Lake Ontario. We had done our planning for our entrance into Canada and had decided to head up to Kingston, ON for a few days and take in the 1000 Islands (home of 1000 Island dressing) a perfect fit for us right?! But, we had one more lock on the Erie Canal and seven more on the Oswego Canal before getting to Lake Ontario and then what would the Lake be like?
So we took off at 6:40am to be at Lock 23 by 7am when it opened and start the 5-6 hour slow, lock filled 32 mile cruise. We had slip reservations in Oswego in case it was too late continue on or we couldn’t cross the Lake because of weather. As we processed thru the locks on the Oswego Canal, it became clear that we were making good time and I started calling Kingston marinas to find a slip for a few days. This is where the plan changed……there wasn’t a marina available ( I tried four). We were shocked. Between the flooding and being full, we couldn’t find a marina.
We needed to recalculate, but really wanted to take advantage of the calm conditions on Lake Ontario. Tom looked at the weather, and rain, wind and high waves were forecast for the next week. We really didn’t want to stay in Oswego for a week waiting it out so we had a Plan B: cross over to Trenton and Trent Port Marina, the start of the Trent-Severn Waterway. It would be another 85 miles, but we’d be up on plane and it was only 12:30pm and we could be there in about 3 ½ - 4 hours. We would still be able to do the 1000 Islands and Kingston, but by car instead of boat. I had programmed in several routes in case something like this happened, so all we had to do was load the new route and take off.
Lake Ontario was beautiful!!! We had a great cruise across albeit a little chilly! It was actually cold. We both bundled up and enjoyed the ride into Canada. We slowed down the last 16 miles as we made our way into a cove and then Murray Canal. Murray Canal is part of Canada’s Trent-Severn Waterway. It’s about 6 miles long, has two bridges that have to swing for you ($5 please) and it’s beautiful! We called the first bridge to request an opening and to hand them our $5 passage fee and found out that they were closing in 20 minutes (SURPRISE!!!) and they would swing for us but the next bridge would be closed and we would be stuck in the canal for the night. We just needed to decide which bridge we wanted to hold up at for the night. Tom was like, did you know this Miss Planner? Nope, I didn’t. I had only figured out that there were bridges in the Canal on the ride over. Whoops!
Well, the whoops turned into a God thing and we tied up right after the first bridge and met Lucas and Peter, the two bridge tenders at Brighton Road Bridge. They were delightful and more helpful then you can possibly imagine! Because this was our first stop in Oh Canada, we had to check in with Canadian Customs. They make it super easy. All you have to do is call their number and have all your documents ready as they ask you questions pertaining to your visit, etc. We had read that we would be charged duty tax for any alcohol, tobacco or cannabis (I know) above their regulated amounts. I verified we didn’t have any of the three aboard since we drank most everything on board in anticipation of our entry in to Canada. It wasn’t a tough job 😊 With that said, Lucas volunteered to drive Tom into town to the liquor store so we could restock our beer. Seriously nice huh?
We had a few bumps as we sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the canal, had leftover enchiladas bake for dinner and went to bed. We had a calm, wonderful night tied up on the wall at Brighton Road Bridge on the Murray Canal. Definitely a top five night. Below are a few pics of the Oswego Canal, Lake Ontario and the Murray Canal experience.
Trent Port Marina, Trenton, ON
Since the bridge between us and Trent Port on the canal wouldn’t start swinging until 10am, we had a leisurely morning. Coffee, emails and a nature walk. We hit the trail by the bridge and did 3 miles. It reminded me of walking the trail at home at Bear Cave. We checked in with Lucas and Tom, another bridge tender at Brighton before we left to thank them for their unbelievable hospitality and cast our lines off at 10:30am. We moseyed down the canal to the next bridge and then out into the Bay of Quinte. We went from a serene canal to a choppy, windy, rainy bay. It was only 9.5 miles from the canal, but it felt like we were in a washing machine! I radioed the marina to let them know we need to take on fuel and do a pumpout before we slipped. They directed us to the fueling station beyond the marina. Perfect. We’ll head there first. Not so fast. From all the rain and flooding the water was at the same level as the fueling station and the fueling station, just like everything else, is on a concrete wall! It was a cluster-you-know-what. We pulled up and there was nothing for the fenders to push away from. We ended up standing and pushing the boat away from the concrete wall in the wind, rain and current while we fueled and pumped out. It was crazy!
We are now tied up for a few days at Trent Port Marina. It’s raining and blowing and yucky out. We'll spend a day checking out Trenton and the Quinte West area and then head to Kingston and the 1000 Islands Saturday. Below is a pic of the fueling station......
After finally getting into our slip, we decided we needed a drink!
More from the 1000 Islands later~
Schenectady Yacht Club, Rexford, NY 6/8/2019
St. Johnsville Municipal Marina, St. Johnsville, NY 6/9/2019
Ess-Kay Yard, Brewerton, NY 6/10-11/2019
Schenectady Yacht Club
(Troy Federal Lock 1 – Erie Lock 7)
It was a beautiful morning and we cast off Shady Harbor at 7am. We entered our first lock (Troy Federal Lock)at 9:30am. It was a quick two miles to the Waterford Visitors Center on the Erie Canal where we tied up for 45 minutes until the first lock on the Erie would take us. The first five locks are very close together and you do them one right after the other since there is no where to dock or tie off in between the five locks. We ended up locking thru all five all alone and it only took us about 1 ½ hours to get thru all five. It was another pinch me moment locking thru on the Erie Canal.
We did one more lock (7 locks total for the day)and then slipped at the Schenectady Yacht Club. Dockmaster was great! The marina is right off the canal and was nice and quiet. We met a couple from Cape Cod, Peter and Sue on Osprey. They are doing the Triangle Loop (look it up ;) and were fun to talk about locking thru for the day. After dinner, we pulled our little turquoise bow chairs out on the front of Bella and enjoyed the Erie Canal and a gorgeous sunset.
St. Johnsville Marina (Erie Locks 8-15)
Another breathtaking morning on the Erie Canal. Water is like glass and the scenery is phenomonal. The Locks have been open upon our approach and the Lockmasters are great and often call ahead to the next lock for us. We are cruising at between 8-9 miles an hour between locks and just enjoying the beauty around us. The water is so flat that I made a full breakfast while underway. Thanks Grahams for the awesome eggs! They have a chickens (hens) and have fresh eggs daily. We arrived around 2:30pm and did our usual “off the boat” walk, but someone forgot their phone, so no pics from downtown St. Johnsville, which reminded us both of Hooterville, but on the water. Great little marina and town on the Erie Canal.
Lock 17 on the Erie Canal. The lock lifts every passing vessel an astounding 40.5 feet, replacing four locks on the old canal by just one. Construction on this lock was challenging. Design elements called for a unique feature, a water saving side pool which would allow about half of water from a locking to be reused on the next locking. Couple this extra feature with its massive size, the need to build it in solid rock, and keep the old Erie Canal open, which this was built directly on top of, required massive engineering. This design included a guillotine style lower gate and a concrete arch of which the boats pass under -- the only implementation of such a design along the canal system.
(Erie Locks 16-22)
Monday morning, Plan A was to cruise the Erie Canal another 4 locks and then tie up at a lock wall for the overnight since the weather wasn’t suppose to be the best Monday afternoon and by then we’d be tied up. By the time we got thru the fourth lock for the day it was only 12:30pm and Tom (aka Wallace the Weather Bear) took a look at the forecast, we conferred and decided to keep moving and try to make it to Brewerton another 50 miles and across Lake Oneida, since the forecast was for moderate rain and very little wind. We figured we wouldn’t melt in the rain in the locks and besides we’d rather be in a marina with power and water than on a wall for two days without waiting for crumby weather to pass.
The locks went fine and got thru the three of them by 4:30pm. I called the Ess-Kay Yard (marina) in Brewerton and they had room for us. All we had to do was get across the lake, which we thought would be calm and a piece of cake, even though it was raining. Not so much. By the time we got to the middle of the lake we had 2-3 footers. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I’d left that behind on the Atlantic.
We pushed thru and got to the marina by 5:40pm. Kim the dockmaster helped us put on fuel and get tied up. The wind was blowing and there was a nasty under current so docking both times was a bit challenging. By the time we got in our slip it was 7pm and we were wet, tired, hungry and ready for bed. We had leftovers and called it an early night.
Today, Tuesday we’ll stay in the marina. It’s still not nice out. The wind is blowing and it’s drizzling. Ess-Kay is a full-service marina, so we talked to them and they’ll be changing our transmission fluid again either today or tomorrow and we’ll get some planning done for Canada, provision and hopefully I’ll get Tom to work on his Fire Island blog. Fingers crossed!
Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, NJ 6/3/2019
Half Moon Bay Marina, Croton on Hudson, NY 6/4-5/2019
Kingston City Marina, Kingston, NY 6/6/2019
Shady Harbor Marina, New Baltimore, NY 6/7/2019
Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, NJ
Monday, June 3, was a bittersweet morning. It was so wonderful spending time with the boys, Weinholds, Dukes, Grahams and Wissmanns on Long Island and Fire Island, that I didn’t want it to end. We enjoyed our time so much. It was a great break away from the Loop, but everyone had to leave and we had to move on so after crossing the bay and exiting the inlet we headed north to New York. We’ve been talking about this day for the past 3 years and it was here…..we were going to cruise by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!!!
The ride was smooth and we didn’t experience much commercial traffic BUT we did see a whale!!! Glenn, our new friend texted us and said the whales were on the move and to keep an eye out for them. It was sooo cool. I watched as one came up out of the water and breached to our port side. I just about pee’d my pants! Tom just smiled! We were so lucky to have experienced this wonderful display of nature! Loved it!
As we entered the Hudson we could see the skyline of Manhattan and of course Lady Liberty. And the Coast Guard was in full force – boats out patrolling the area with big guns on the front. Even though we have both been to NY and seen the Statue and Ellis Island, seeing it from the water and from your own vessel was breath taking. We both got goose bumps and then acted like Asian tourist---our phones cameras were just snapping away!
Because we’ve spent time in NYC before (and because we spent a week on Long Island/Fire Island), we decided to only do one night at Liberty Landing Marina. It was a super nice marina and we did lunch out in Jersey City and NY style pizza on board Bella that night. We headed over to the Liberty Landing State Park on Tuesday morning and walked to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty one last time before we cast our lines off.
When we got out into the Hudson harbor area, I counted twelve ferries, all going to beat hell transporting the masses. The Hudson was a washing machine. Even so, we gawked all the way up the river thru downtown. Again, it was amazing and a bit surreal to be there experiencing it from the water.
Half Moon Bay
Croton on Hudson, NY
Croton is about 38 miles up the Hudson River and Half Moon Bay is becoming another iconic stop for Loopers. The Dockmaster, Steve is awesome and quite the promoter. The marina lies just off the main channel so you still get some wake and chop from the river, but Steve caters to Loopers and the town is convenient for provisioning, car rental, etc.
We arrived Tuesday afternoon and counted atleast a dozen other Looper boats. Most of them new to looping. One couple was just 3 days in, but most were about a month into the exercise and has done the East coast. It made us remember when we were just a month in and how much we had ahead of us in both fun and mileage 😉
We rented a car Wednesday and went to West Point in the morning and then the Culinary Institute in the afternoon. It was a full day of touring. Both places were amazing! West Point was incredible and the Culinary Institute was delicious! Again, it was a moment of reflection for both of us in the sense that we’ve read, heard and seen both places on TV, but seeing them in person is such a great experience. The pride you feel at West Point for the cadets is overwhelming. The dedication to honor, duty and country that these young men and women have allows the rest of us to live in this great country with the feeling of security. And then there was the Culinary Institute at Hyde Park, which for foodies like us, was such a treat! Our meal and service was amazing. Our waiter was an interesting chap. He was a non-traditional student with several degrees and he was adding a culinary degree to his resume so he could eventually work as a chef for the VA. He was extremely informative and attentive. We both giggled at the fact that we felt a bit under the microscope while eating. If you put down your fork, at least three student waiters were there to replace it with a new one 😉 I thought maybe I’d leave some of my Jimmy’s recipes in the student…just joking. If your ever near Hyde Park, NY definitely tour and eat at the CIA.
Shady Harbor Marina
We took off early Friday morning so we could spend the afternoon taking in New Baltimore and Shady Harbor Marina. The cruise up was AMAZING! We both never expected the Hudson to be so beautiful, but it’s extraordinary.
About 2 miles out we had visitors! A boat full of about four officers pulled up along side of us and two boarded our vessel. They couldn’t have been nicer! We of course passed with flying colors because Timmy D. (Coast Guard Auxiliary) made sure we were compliant. We chatted it up with the two officers and then then re-boarded their vessel and waved good-bye. It was so ironic that we would finally get boarded since we had literally just been talking about it a half hour before that.
So those Simrad updates that I’d been working on the night before caused a glitch in our depth meter and I ended up spending about three hours on the phone with Simrad to correct the problem. So much for a full day at Shady. However, we did get a chance to walk and checked out the pool. We also did docktails with the twenty other Looper boats in the marina. It was fun meeting more new folks.
More from the Erie Canal later~
From Captain Tom
Sue has been doing such an incredible job on the blog... it takes time and it’s time to give her a well deserved break!
Back at home over the Christmas Holidays, our friends Dave and Megan Weinhold invited us to visit them in NY as they were planning to travel there in May. A schedule on a boat is a bad idea but the time frame worked out as we were in NY at the end of May. Sam and Griff also decided to travel there and we all got together. I didn’t realize how homesick I was feeling until I saw Sam and Griff... it was SO GREAT to see them!!
Dave’s sister Sarah and her husband Rob, have a cottage on Fire Island and that’s where we all stayed. It was a TON of fun!
No vehicles, except emergency and some work type are allowed on the island and you get around on bicycles or walking for the most part. We loved that and Sarah and Robs cottage was perfect and had plenty of room for all of us to stay.
The original plan was to drive Bella to Fire Island and stay at a marina very close to the cottage. The problem with that was, the marina didn’t have big enough slips for our boat, 46 foot to stay on the inside where it was protected. No problem as friends of Rob and Sarah, Glenn and Sue Graham offered to let us keep our boat tied up behind their beautiful house on their private dock! It even had 50 amp power to plug in!
The Grahams were over the top nice and we ended up keeping Bella there for a week! Part of that week we we were at Fire Island and the rest on the boat behind Graham’s.
Glenn and Sues place is on Long Island but not far from Fire Island. Of course we didn’t know how to get to their house by water, so Glenn and Rob met us OUT ON THE ATLANTIC OCEAN by the Fire Island inlet in Glenn’s boat and escorted us right to his dock.... unbelievable kindness and hospitality! We had a blast getting to know them and Sarah and Rob and they have all become new good friends.
We rode bikes around the island and went to the beach and just “hung out” the first day and on Saturday Glenn and Sue took all of us on a tour in their boat and we saw all of Fire Island with plenty of stops at local haunts throughout the day. BIG fun!!
Sunday we beached it again for a couple of hours and it was time to pack up and start the journey back to our boat. Sam and Griff stayed on the boat with us Sunday night behind Glenn and Sues house and they left for the airport early Monday morning and Sue and I resumed our journey. Next stop, the big apple!
Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor, MD 5/18/2019
C & D Canal
Delaware City Marina, Delaware City 5/19-21/2019
Farley State Marina, Atlantic City, NJ 5/22-25/2019
Hoffman Marina, Brielle, NJ 5/25-27/2019
Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor was our last stay on the Chesapeake Bay. It reminded us of home. It was a beautiful, wide river lined with trees and we easily could have mistaken it for the St. Croix. The marina was so friendly and very family oriented. The couple behind us on the T head had been boating there for over 30 years. They offered us their car to get groceries and were so welcoming. We enjoyed the sunset and watching families playing on the beach. We stayed only one night as it was near the C & D Canal and we were headed there Sunday.
Sunday morning was a debris filled cruise thru the C & D Canal. With all the rain in the area, rivers were flooding and those that run into the canal were dumping lots of logs and branches that we needed to dodge on our way thru. The Chesapeake and Delware Canal connects the two bodies of water. It's a man made canal and was made primarily for commerical traffic to get goods thru to interior ports. We got lucky and didn't meet any barges and got to our destination, Delaware City Marina by early afternoon.
Delaware City Marina
It was a gorgeous day, so we unpacked the bag bikes and biked for most of the afternoon. There is a walk/bike path that runs the length of the canal, 14 miles from Chesapeake City to Delaware City. It was busy with lots of bikers and walkers and us ;) on Sunday.
Up before dawn this morning to make the trip from Delaware City to Atlantic City. There was a total of seven boats making the trek down the bay and according to Tim, the Dockmaster at Delaware City Marina, the Delaware Bay was going to be the best it could be for traveling. Tim conducts nightly captains’ meetings for those seeking guidance from a local who knows his stuff! We attended both Monday night and Tuesday nights meetings and the modes for wind, waves, current and weather predicted a stellar day.
It’s interesting to us because NO ONE and I mean NO ONE, ever talked about the Delaware Bay being a tricky and icky piece of water. It’s only 60 miles to Cape May from Delaware City, but it’s can be a treacherous trip if you don’t do your homework. Tom does a great job with researching the conditions for us so it was very gratifying for him in the meetings to know his findings were correct.
After all the slow boats got off the dock, boats that are going 7 – 9 knots, we pulled up to the fuel dock, filled up and pumped out and were on our way by 7:15am. We took off. Seas were great for while….and then they weren’t. Tim said it could change once we started to slant into the east side of the bay to access the canal and it did! The last 15 miles were HORRID. The dingy was taking a pounding and I was afraid it was going to get ripped off the swim platform. We plowed thru and made to the canal and then stopped in the Cape May basin area got the dinghy pulled back into place, reattached the wench to the front ring, tightened down the straps and added two more to secure it even better.
After regrouping, we headed out the Cape May Inlet with a little trepidation. Neither of us were interested in getting p***pounded again. To our amazement, the Atlantic was beautiful. The waves were less than 1 ft and the farther north we traveled, the more the seas flattened. Our last 40 miles was a piece of cake and we arrived in Atlantic City at the Farley State Marina at the Golden Nugget by 12:15pm. Not bad for a 105 mile day. Sometimes it’s great being able to run fast!
Farley State Marina, Atlantic City, NJ
Well, Atlantic City is exactly like you think it is. Big casinos, the boardwalk and guys asking you, "How you do'in?" I'm serious! I felt like I was in an episode of Jersey Shores and Snooky was going to appear any moment. ;)
We forget that as we are traveling north the boating season is just beginning. Memorial Day is the kick off for most boaters. It definitely was that way in Atlantic City. After we arrived on Wednesday, the boating masses began to filter into the marina. Large boats and people ready to party. We were feeling pretty old.....in bed by nine as the band in the marina was just warming up!
Hoffman Marina, Brielle, NJ
You're not suppose to have a schedule when you're on the Loop and up to this point, we've pretty much stuck to that philosophy, but we have family and friends (Sam, Griff, Dave & Megan Weinhold) arriving this week on Fire Island, NY, and come hell or high water 😉 we're gonna get there! So we took off from Atlantic City early when a weather window presented itself Saturday and arrived in Brielle, NJ. It was a bumpy ride at first but got better the closer to our destination.
We've only been here two days, checked out the town and reprovisioned but are leaving tomorrow for Fire Island because we got lucky again and have another good weather window. I can't wait! We've been put intouch with a friend of a friend, Glen, who boats on Fire Island. He's been a great resource and we can't wait to meet him, his wife, family and Rob and Sarah (Weinhold) Duke and their family tomorrow. It's gonna be another great adventure on the Loop!
More later from Fire Island~
Back in March, we saw the Yacht Capital of the World - Fort Lauderdale and this week, Annapolis, known as the sailing capital. Annapolis is amazing. Marina's abound and the historic district is right off the water next to the Naval Academy. We were surprised to find out this nationally renowned boating city's population is only 40,000. From the looks of it, there are more boats than people.
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and settled in. We had a few things to get done while in Annapolis, like getting the transmission fluid changed and finding transportation to Washington, DC for our side trip, in addition to taking in this historic water town.
We met our slip neighbor, Dennis, who welcomed us right off and who happened to have lived in Minnesota for 29 years. We ended up doing docktails in the evening with Dennis and learned all about his sailing adventures. Great guy!
Thursday we took off early in the rain in an uber for DC. We wanted to beat rush hour and we did! Our uber driver got us all the way down by the Washington Memorial and that's where we began our walking tour of the monuments. They were spectacular and everything I had imagined. Tom has been to Washington several times (I never have), most recently with Sam as guardians on a WWII Honor Flight, so he was a great tour guide.
Most folks have been to DC, so I'll try not to bore you with too many photos...
We then headed to National Museum of American History (Smithsonian). Loved our time touring the Entrepreneurial Exhibit along with everything else in this museum. It was amazing and we spent the entire afternoon there.
Friday was spent changing transmission fluid and checking out downtown Annapolis. Below are a few shots of Annapolis....
Up next Bohemia River and the C & D Canal~
Waiting until the afternoon to travel is typically not our mode of operation, but Saturdays weather called for a delay in departure. The Chesapeake Bay is a large body of water and like any large body of water it can be ugly. Tom had been following the weather for days and knew the wind coming from the northeast was suppose to start dying down by mid-afternoon from 10-12 mph to 4-8 mph and waves were suppose to be 1-2, so definitely doable on the Chesapeake. We took off about 1pm and it was rough, but we were heading to St. Michaels on the East coast of the Chesapeake in Maryland and figured we could handle it. It did eventually flatten out a little and since we got up on plane, we got there in about 2 1/2 hours. There are definitely benefits to being able to get up and run.
As day turned to evening on Saturday in St. Michaels, the clouds grew darker and it started raining and blowing. Typically, we check out our new ports right away, but we decided to stay onboard instead with hopes that Sunday (Mother’s Day) would bring better weather. It didn’t. However, it did bring calls from two boys, one from MN and another from CO, that brightened my cold, rainy Mother’s Day.
Monday wasn’t much better, but we still got out and wandered around town. To call St. Michaels quaint is an understatement. When everyone you talk to recommends that you stop in St. Michaels, they are right. It truly is a gem on the Chesapeake. We loved our time in St. Michaels even though the weather didn’t cooperate.
Here’s a few thoughts from our time in St. Michaels……
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
More later from Annapolis and Washington, DC~
Our view from the boat of the Calvert Cliffs, near the entrance to the Patuxent River and Solomons, dominate the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay for roughly 24. They were formed over 10 to 20 million years ago when all of Southern Maryland was covered by a warm, shallow sea. When the sea receded the cliffs were exposed and began eroding. Today these cliffs reveal the remains of prehistoric species Including sharks, whales, rays, and seabirds that were the size of small airplanes.
We've taken a few days to regroup in Solomons, MD. The boat needed a little attention: oil change, air filters, impellers, etc. so we have been enjoying this beautiful area of the Chesapeake on the west coast. Solomons, not Solomon as the locals will remind you, includes Solomons Island and mainland on the north side of the mouth of Patuxent River, where it meets the Chesapeake Bay. It is just across from the U.S. Patuxent River Naval Air Station (on the south side of the mouth of the Patuxent River). The northside of the island is filled with one marina after another. Not fancy marinas filled with yachts, smaller marinas filled with weekend sailboats, cruisers, trawlers and working fishing/crabbing boats. We stayed at Spring Cove Marina and the staff and people on the docks couldn't have been nicer. Lots of folks just getting there boats splashed in and busy with the spring boat cleaning routine of scrubbing off the winter dirt.
You can really tell that were getting farther north now because of the landscape. It's finally getting green. The marina, which is set back in a little cove along banks of trees and beautiful flower beds, was in spring mode and getting greener by the minute. It had a great pool and pool bar, but it was just a little too chilly even for these Minnesotans to swim ;)
On our way to Solomons, the Chesapeake was FULL of crab pots. I picked out one bright red one to show you what they look like. You can really see this one...most of the time they are much more difficult to see. They come in all colors. This one looks kind of like a bomb. The second shot is of the cage attached to that floating bobber and why you don't want to hit them. They'll wrap right around your prop and then you're not going anywhere!
On our last day in Solomons, we headed to the Calvert Marine Museum. It was super interesting and they actually moved the Drum Point Light House right into the museum cove. We toured both the museum and the lighthouse and learned the history of this little community on the Chesapeake. Just like all the communities along the Chesapeake it's history stems from the water that surrounds it. It was a safe, deep harbor in 1812, and helped harbor florilla's of ships prior to attacking the British. It was also the site of the Amphibious Training during WW II. It is still the home of the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Lab. And through the years it's existence was centered around ship building. Below are photos from around Solomons and The Calvert Marine Museum.
Mechanical Bell Striker located on the second floor of the lighthouse. It was used when the weather was foggy and the boats couldn't see the light. It would do a double strike every 15 seconds, so boats that couldn't see the light could atleast hear the bell and run aground on Drum Point.
If a light keeper was married and had a family, they were allowed to live at the light house too. The light house had two bedrooms, a sitting room, kitchen, bell room, study/telephone room. It was actually quite comfortable.
One of the things I was most impressed with with the photography display by Jay Fleming, entitled: Working on the Water. His photography catches the working fisherman on Tangiers and Smith Islands in action. An incredibly beautiful look into the lives of the fisherman on this bay.
More from St. Michaels later~
Norfolk/Portsmouth, VA - Tidewater Yacht Marina, 5/4-6/19
Deltaville, VA - Regatta Pointe Marina, 5/7/19
The End.....of the Atlantic ICW
The cruise up from Coinjock MM49 to Norfolk/Portmouth, MM 0, was quite the trip! We had 12 bridges - seven had to be opened and one lock that was timed with the opening of the bridge right before it. For the most part we've been cruising right along on the ICW without interuption or delays so we weren't expecting so many bridge openings and a lock on our last day on the Atlantic ICW. Crazy!
We arrived in Norfolk, VA on Saturday.....along with just about every other Looper! There is a big Looper Rendezvous in Norfolk this week and a portion of the Loopers that are enroute on the East coast participate. The Rendezvous is a mix of both current and future Loopers. There are seminars that focus on everything from buying a boat, to the reluctant spouse, routes and everything inbetween. Since we've been to a Rendezvous already, we decided to pass on this one and so did many in our marina, but it was great to see so many Looper flags flying when you walked down the docks.
Sunday we met up with the Halvorsons. Jim and Jo have lived in Virginia Beach for forty years but are originally from Hooterville. It was great catching up with them. They took us across the Bay Bridge and tunnel to Cape Charles, a town on the East Coast of the Chesapeake. We had a little lunch and a bump and then headed back to their home. They are in the process of renovating a new home, so we got to see that as well. The day was capped off with a Cinco de Mayo dinner with some of their friends. It's alway so much fun to see friends and family from home while we are on the Loop. The Halvorson's were so gracious and hospitable. Thank you for spending the day showing us around your neck of the woods!
The Beginning - Exploring the Chesapeake Bay
Monday we were suppose to take off for Yorktown but Wallace the Weather Bear got up early and evaluated the wind, wave, tides and weather and canceled our travel day. We were able to stay another day at the marina in Portsmouth, which is always a good thing when they let you stay because of bad weather ;), had a planning pow-wow for our upcoming time on the Chesapeake Bay, made reservations and got some groceries. Sometimes delays aren't a bad thing.
Tuesday was much more hospitable weather-wise and we had a great run up to Deltaville and Regatta Point Marina. It was a great little place and we really enjoyed the laid back vibe. Below are pics from Norfolk/Portsmouth and also from Regatta Point Marina in Deltaville.
We went from downtown in Norfolk/Portsmouth to rustic in Deltaville. We loved the front porch rocking chairs overlooking the marina......
We enjoyed our first stop on the Chesapeake Bay in Deltaville . For years we wondered what it would be like on the Chesapeake. Father Engels told us that Lake Pepin reminded him of a tiny Chesapeake Bay. He was right. They say you can spend season after season on the Chesapeake exploring all it has to offer. Both the East and west coasts have tons of marinas and anchorages and towns and villages that are all about boating and the bay. Deltaville was that kind of place. We look forward to the rest of our stops on the Chesapeake.
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.
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