Sunday, May 28, 2017

5/23-5/28 Colonial Beach, St. Mary's City and on to Solomons

5/23 The weather was dreary and less than perfect in Colonial Beach.  We rented a golf cart for 4 hours and toured the area.  It is a quiet beach town.  They had a big storm roll through back in April.  Although the winds had only been classified as straight line winds, there was lots of damage.  The marinas all had dock damage.  At our marina, the roofs were twisted off the covered slips and a 60 foot boat docked near us showed us where the cleat had been pulled right of the dock!!!.  The cleat took two sets of boards with it.  The restaurant on site had $2 hamburgers although John added a tomato and bacon so it was about $3.25.  I had a fried oyster basket for $14.99.  The meals were fantastic and you couldn't beat the prices.  Of course, the town of Colonial Beach has its own oyster packing plant.
I also enjoyed the Duck Crossing Signs.  In the background, you can see the ducks. 
There were at least two family of swans in the marina.  It was cool and rainy and some were snuggled in for a nap.

The Coast Guard was coming in to dock so I offered to catch their line.  It was fun to hear that some had served in Alaska, on Lake Michigan, and taken a big Coast Guard Cutter through the Okeechobee Waterway.

We headed back down the Potomac to the Maryland side and took the St. Mary's River to St. Mary's City.  This is an historical city rather than a modern city.  St. Mary's College is located here.  We dropped anchor in an area called Horseshoe Cove, where the college's sailing center is located and we used their dinghy dock.  Not to say that this area is small but the student dock masters and the lady at the Historic St. Mary's Visitors Center all told us that if we wanted to eat out, we were welcome to eat in the college cafeteria, open 8-1 and 5-6 each day. 
Historic St. Mary's was settled by the Calverts in 1634.  It served as the capital of British Maryland with its State House until the capital was moved to Annapolis.  It was unusual in that they believed in religious freedoms and allowed Catholics to practice their religion as well as the predominant Church of England.  Many sites there have been excavated.  The church was excavated and repaired.
Three coffins were found in the church.  They were examined and re-interred  in the same part of the church and given a glass seal for viewing.
Rather than rebuild many of the buildings, they built ghost frames to show where buildings had stood. 
There were two vessels that brought these colonists to the Maryland shores, the Dove and the Arc.  A replica of the Dove is available to tour.  It runs on twin diesels now.
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary's has a large cemetery on the grounds visible from our boat. 

We were experiencing more weather days at anchor.  It was a good thing we decided to stay put and err to the side of caution.  On the afternoon of our second day, the sky darkened considerably.  The winds picked up and the lightening was visible as the clouds rolled in.  A boat of Gold Loopers  approached the anchorage just before the rain came.  Well, the skies opened up.  Even though it was well before sunset, it was dark.  The lightning lit up the sky.  We put our trust in our Rocna anchor.  The winds were putting it to the test.  Finally, the worst of the storm passed.  The winds were not forecast to die down for another day.  We spent a quiet day on board.  I did inside cleaning, washing the floors, vacuuming the rugs, dusting, etc.  In the afternoon, we dinghied over to the Grand Baron and joined her crew for docktails.  They finished their loop in February of 2016.  Their plan is tour Montreal this year. 

Back on our boat as darkness fell, we heard loud splashing near the boat.  John and I stepped out on the back deck.  We scared the heck out of a co-ed who had on a dare swam out to touch our boat.  She did not know that there was anybody aboard.  She was obviously embarrassed and apologized for bothering us.  We could hear her compadres on shore laughing loudly.  Well, she has a funny story to tell about her college experience now.

5/27 The winds and waves had died down.  We awoke early to take a completely delightful cruise to Solomons, Maryland.  This time when we passed the Point No Point Lighthouse (yes that is the name) there was no fog.  I got a nice clear picture. 
We passed the Patuxent Naval Air Station, which is quite large.  Solomons has more boats than people, for sure.  We pulled in to Calverts Marina where we had stayed last year.  After filling up with 166 gallons of fuel, we headed to our spot on one of their two long face docks.  We rested for a bit and then took their well known courtesy car.  Their courtesy car is well known because it is very old.  It is a Mercedes diesel.  Before you turn it over, you turn the key to the glow plug setting to warm up the diesel.  This vehicle has 222,088 miles on it.  The front window on the drivers side does not go down and the pick up is pretty slow, but it is perfect for going around this small community.  We went to the 4PM Mass, West Marine, the Island Hideaway restaurant and to the grocery store.  The Island Hideaway had been recommended by the owner of Calverts.  He was spot on.  We both had the Mahi and the special Memorial Day cocktail, and shared the best mocha crème brulee. 

5/28  We scrubbed the outside of the boat today.  It really needed it.  After our cleaning was done, we hopped in the dinghy and toured the Solomons waterfront by water.  The number of slips here is amazing.  There are some current loopers that we met this morning.  We gave them touring advice.  I hope they have a great day.  While it is raining this afternoon, tomorrow promises to be a nice travel day to Annapolis.

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