June 12 to June 18

June 12, 2011  Weems Creek to Annapolis City Docks

The wakes stopped last night as evening fell and it calmed off.  This morning, the skies were blue and it was already hot at 9:00.  There was a light breeze and the sailboats were out in full force. Bob and I took Auggie to shore and then took a dinghy ride down the Weems River.  It was beautifully forested with homes set high on the bluffs and often hidden by the trees.
Once back at the boat we got ready to leave.  We hoisted the anchor at 10:20 and motored up the Severn River towards the Annapolis Harbor for 3.2 miles.  We passed the U.S. Naval Academy and it was quite impressive.  Not too many people get to see it from the water like this. 
                        
As we neared the inner harbor, we could see the action had already started to heat up.  We were told by the harbor master to get there between 11 and 1:00.  Since it’s first-come, first-served and checkout time is noon, we wanted to get in before the lunch rush.  It’s hard to explain the system for getting a slip, since it’s not like anything we’ve experienced before, but I’ll try.  Imagine driving a boat down a lane, 75 feet wide, with boats parked on both sides, besides 2 lanes of boat traffic in the center going in opposite directions. 

At the end, there is a little space to turn around and that’s where people can land their dinghies.
When one boat leaves, another boat can take its place, so it’s means scrambling for a spot among other boats coming and going.  The result is major stress, tension, and chaos.  We got to the harbor about 10:30 with Gallivant.  They spoke to the harbor master who said they could take one of the back-in slips.  It was wide enough for them, but they would have been sticking far out into the lane.  Meanwhile, we decided to drive down the lane (called Ego Alley) to see if there was any open space.  We went down to the end….and their was nothing open.  We turned around and started heading back out when Pam and Don said we could take the slip that they were assigned and they would wait for an opening on the wall.  We didn’t hesitate!  Bob backed the boat into the slip with ease.  We got all tied up and waited until our hands stopped shaking. It can be pretty nerve wracking.  Something would open up soon for Gallivant, as it was getting closer to checkout time. Bob and I went up to the second floor to check in at the marina office.  They have a great vantage point to see everything from up there.  

Just then, we could see that 2 sailboats were pulling out and Donny was moving down the lane to the empty space.  He took a spot on the wall farther down from us and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  We were in!!
We helped them tie up and then we went back to our boat.  I took a walk around the plaza and adjoining area to scout out a patch of grass for Auggie.  On the way back, I met Donny and Bob who were on their way to the Middleton Tavern, which has been operating continuously since 1754. 
Donny wanted to have oyster shooters and I thought I’d try the shrimp shooters.  
A shrimp or oyster shooter is in a shot glass with cocktail sauce, followed by a beer chaser.  Yummy!
After a couple of beers, I left the guys to go back to the boat to walk Auggie and they continued on to another establishment, Dock Street Bar and Grill. 
Meanwhile, Auggie and I set off on a walk through the streets of old town Annapolis.  We left the City Dock plaza where the boat was docked. There were people everywhere, parading past the boats.  It’s a great place to people watch.  We walked down Randall St. to Gate 1 of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Then down Prince George St. past the Brice House—a five part Georgian mansion built between 1767 and 1773 and had remained in the family for 100 years.
From East St. you can see up the street to the Maryland State House –the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use and the only state capitol to have been a U.S. Capitol.  It was built in 1772 and features the largest wooden dome in the country.  There was some construction going on.
We passed the Waterwich Fire Station, a cool old building, and many historic row houses on beautifully shaded streets.
                                                 


                            
As we were walking, Auggie and I got caught in a cloudburst and waited it out under an awning.  After it stopped raining, we returned to the boat and Bob met us there.  We sat out in the back of the boat, people watching, and answering questions about Auggie.  He loved all the attention.
Around 4:30, a band started to play on the plaza for “Summer at the City Dock”.  Every Sunday afternoon they have music on the waterfront throughout the summer months.  The band was called “Fools and Horses” and was a local favorite.  They were actually very good.
We had a front row seat on our boat to hear the music and then about 6:00 the dark clouds and thunder rolled in.
Within minutes, it started to pour and the music had to stop.  Everyone scrambled for shelter.  The wind came up and the tent blew down.
The wind blew and the rain fell.  We were glad to be at the dock for this one.  It rained for a short time and afterwards the sun came out.  So did the people.  Bob grilled dinner and we ate in the boat, out of the view of all the people still milling about.  After dinner, Bob took Auggie for a walk while I cleaned up.  People started clearing out and heading for home as the sun went down.  Things started to quiet down for the night and we relaxed with a movie. 
 
June 13, 2011  Annapolis City Dock (day 2)

We opened the door this morning and instead of a blast of hot, steamy air, we felt a refreshing cool breeze.  It was 64 degrees!  Hooray!  Finally, some relief from those “sauna days” we were having.  I took Auggie for a walk and got set to take a walking tour of my own making.  Yesterday, when we arrived, Bob picked up the package we had delivered to the marina.  It was a new “black box”, the depth sounder module.  He plugged it in and it didn’t fix the problem, so this morning he called the people who make the unit (again) and got more technical advice.  He and Donny rode their bikes to West Marine (2 1/2 miles away) and found a portable depth finder that plugs into the GPS as they suggested. The new AC unit arrived also- hand delivered by a girl in the Cruisair office, so that was good.  I left on my self-made walking tour by walking down Randall St. to Prince George St.  My first stop was the William Paca Garden House.  William Paca was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and then a 3 term governor of Maryland.  He built this 5 part Georgian mansion between 1765 and 1769.  On the property is a 2 acre walled urban garden.
My next stop was the Chase-Lloyd House.  Mr. Lloyd bought the finished shell from Mr. Chase, who also was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Mr. Lloyd’s youngest daughter married Francis Scott Key, composer of the Star Spangled Banner, here in 1802.  
From there, I walked up Maryland Ave. to the State Circle, entirely paved in brick.  I entered the Maryland State House, where the legislature first met in 1779.  I entered the Rotunda after a security check
 
and looked up at the largest wooden dome of its kind in North America and built entirely without nails.  
Hanging under the dome was a flag reproduction created by John Shaw in 1783.  The Old Senate Chamber, where Congress met in 1783-1784, and where George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army was just down the hall. 
In doing so, he turned over the power of the military to civilian authority and that is why to this day the President of the U.S. is called the Commander-in-Chief.  Some of the rooms were under renovation, but I was able to view the House of Delegates Chambers with a Tiffany glass skylight.


Next door were the Senate Chambers, which feature the portraits of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence. 
It too, had a Tiffany stained glass skylight.
The Maryland State House was the first peacetime capitol of the U.S.
I walked around the entire State Circle and down to Church Circle where I found St. Anne’s Church, the third to stand on this site and the only building located in the circle.  The window was designed by Tiffany Studios.
From there, I checked out the Government House, built in 1870 as a home for the governor.
The residential streets were lined with row houses, like these on Pickney St.
                               
Across the same street was the Shiplap House–one of the oldest surviving houses in Annapolis, built in 1715.  The owner ran a tavern out of his house, serving the waterfront clientele.  
From there, I walked down Main St. – full of restaurants and shops.

My walk took me past the Maritime Museum and the State House Inn.
                             
After all that walking through the historical district, I found this plaque on a house where the owner had a sense of humor.
That brought me back down to the City Dock where I hung out with Auggie until Bob got back from his ride.  
He returned around noon and sat with Donny on his boat for awhile.  The new module didn’t work, so he and Donny did some testing and calls to make to diagnose the problem even further.  It’s possible that it’s the transducer that doesn’t work.  Now the problem is trying to find one and get it shipped to us.  We will probably have to have the boat hauled out of the water to get it installed.  We’re still in the searching and discovery phase of the whole issue.  More on that topic as we get more information.  While they brainstormed ideas, Auggie and I sat on the back of the boat working on my blog and watching the classes of school kids on field trips come down to the plaza, eat their bag lunches, and board the Harbor Queen tour boat for a tour of the harbor and the river. 
It was a busy place this morning and afternoon, but not as bad a yesterday.  I enjoyed watching the people on vacation and the teachers managing their kids.  It brought back memories. We hung out on the boat until 4:00 when the 4 of us went to Happy Hour at O’Briens Pub.
                         
From there we went to McGarvey’s Tavern for their Happy Hour which was still going on.  Bob and Donny had oyster shooters, but this time they were filled with vodka and cocktail sauce. 
                               


I left the guys to their devices and went back to the boat to walk Auggie.  We walked for over an hour along the streets of Annapolis.  There are so many cool houses and interesting taverns all within walking distance.
Later in the evening, Main Street was much quieter after all the hustle and bustle of the day had passed.

After our walk, Auggie and I met Pam, Don, and Bob back at their boat where their son, Jeremy, had come to join them for dinner.  He was in Washington, DC on some business and came to Annapolis for a visit.  We stayed for a little while and left them so they could go have dinner.  Bob took Auggie out for his last walk, while I came back to the boat to relax.  It was such a nice day to be outside.  The temperature was perfect!


June 14, 2011  Annapolis (day 3)

It’s Flag Day!  We were awakened this morning by someone playing classical music.  I suppose that’s better than the sound of two beagles barking and howling like we had the morning before.  We got up and had breakfast. Auggie usually has to be the first one out of the door.  He likes to sit in his favorite spot on the step and watch what’s going on.  Where we are in this marina was perfect for him.  People would walk by and talk to him all the time.  
In the canal of Ego Alley we saw a rowing team practicing their strokes in rhythm.  They needed more practice, but they were working on it.
Bob began working on changing out the AC first thing in the morning.  He had an issue with the connecting cable, but got it figured out with a phone call.  He took time from working on that project to join me in a guided tour of the Naval Academy at 10:30.  Donny and Pam came along for the 2 hour tour of the grounds (the “yard”) and the buildings.  It was a cloudy, coolish day with a pretty stiff breeze blowing–one that we weren’t all that accustomed to, but one that made the tour all that more enjoyable.  We toured Bancroft Hall, one of the largest student dormitories in the world, the officer’s quarters, the gymnasium with an olympic-sized pool and diving area, and the crypt of John Paul Jones, a naval Revolutionary War hero.  Here are some of the highlights of our tour. 
                       

                        
We also toured the Naval Academy Chapel, which is a distinctive landmark from the water.  This 1904 chapel is on the highest point of ground in the “yard”.  Several of the stained glass windows were designed by Tiffany Studios.


                         


It was absolutely beautiful.  The crypt of John Paul Jones was on the lower level of the chapel.  It was a wonderful tour and we all enjoyed it very much.  We stopped in the cafeteria after the tour to have some lunch and then headed back to the boat so I could walk Auggie and Bob and Donny could finish installing the AC. While we were gone, a double masted sailboat came in to the dock–“The Pride of South Carolina”.  I wish we could have been here to see it sail in.
Auggie and I took a long walk.  He met so many people and other dogs along the way, that he was worn out when we got back!  He had a great time!

Donny and Bob continued to work throughout the afternoon, so I hopped on my bike and took a ride back up the hill to the Capitol.  I had to get a couple more pictures that I missed yesterday.  The guard wanted to quiz me on what I learned on my tour yesterday.  We talked for about 20 minutes and he told me all sorts of cool trivia about Maryland and the Capitol that I hadn’t heard or read before.  He was such a sweet man and very knowledgeable.  I really enjoyed talking with him and told him he should be a tour guide.  I could really tell he loved sharing those tidbits with people. He pointed out the Governor’s residence to me across the street, so I just had to check it out. 

I rode back down Pickney St. – a very narrow street of row houses.  

At the bottom was Historic Waterfront Warehouse – a small, single room building that now displays the waterfront as it appeared in the late 1700s.  The waterfront here in Annapolis is one of the best preserved in the country.

I picked up a couple of things at CVS and got back to the boat after my hour long ride.  The mooring balls in the harbor were filled last night due to the winds on the Bay.
Today there was still a small craft advisory out until 5 PM tonight.  Hopefully, the winds will calm off tonight so we can leave for Baltimore tomorrow.  Today was a little quieter on the plaza.  There were still tourists milling about, but the cooler weather might have kept some people away from the waterfront.  The city has a couple of electric mini shuttles called eCruisers that look like golf carts and act like cab rides.  They will take you anywhere you need to go in the city for free.
That’s a nice service they provide, along with a water taxi and a bus, although most everything is within walking or bike riding distance.  I definitely got a lot of walking in while we were here.  My feet can attest to that! Bob and Donny finally finished up installing the AC unit around 5:00.  That was a lot of work for those guys, but they worked very well together.  The air conditioner worked fine once they turned it on, thank goodness!  One problem solved, now on to the depth sounder issue.
                                  
We cleaned up and headed over to McGarvey’s for Tiki Tuesday around 6:00.  They were having all sorts of special drink and food prices in a tiki party atmosphere, or so we thought.  We sat at the bar for awhile where we got colorful leis, but nothing much else was going on.  After “happy hour” was over we moved to a dining table for a light dinner where we met some interesting people on a 63′ Hatteras who charter their boat for parties and dinners.  (Twice now people have said to us that we must be boaters because we all have tans.  I guess I forgot that it is just the beginning of summer for the people around here and they haven’t gotten out a lot or to the beaches yet.)  We left McGarvey’s to go back to our boats around 8:00.  Bob walked Auggie, while Pam and I admired the rising moon over the pink and blue clouds.
It was cooling off after the sunset, so we all scurried back to our boats for the evening.  Everyone was bushed and we would be moving on to Baltimore tomorrow.

June 15, 2011  Annapolis City Docks to Baltimore, Henderson Marina

I just love these cool morning temps.  It really makes for great sleeping too.  No barking dogs or classical music THIS morning….just the bouncing of the boat with the waves from the wind last night.  We waited a little while before we left the dock to give the waves some time to lay down after last night. That would make for a smoother, 28 mile ride to Baltimore today.  We did some trip planning and research on cheap gas prices so we could fuel up before going up the Potomac River.  Bob wanted to fuel up here where the prices are low, so we stopped for gas on our way out of town. Before we left Bob had the marina pumpout boat come to our dock to empty our holding tank.
Then we were ready to head out.  We left our slip and were done refueling by 10:00.  Gallivant pulled out a little ahead of us and we were all on our way by 10:15.  We had a great time in Annapolis.  There’s so much to see and do.  I love that town!  The skies were sunny, there was a light breeze, and the waves were about 1′ and kind of choppy.  We left the river and moved past “Anchorage A” were 9 ships were anchored.  They were lined up and waiting to move into port.  
The Navy was practicing with 3 of their vessels in the Severn River as we left the security of the river and entered the Bay.  
We passed under the William P. Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge that connects the western shore to Kent Island and the eastern shore.  
We passed Sandy Pt. Shoal Light – a distinctive marker in the Bay.  
The Bay had calmed off from last night as we had hoped and we had a pleasant transit to the mouth of the Patapsco River following Gallivant all the way.  We entered the river and spotted near the shore, the infamous “White Rocks” that Joan said to look for and are marked on the chart.  No one knows how they got there, but they are a distinctive sight.  They were quite far away, so on the way south we’ll try and get a little closer.  
After passing under the Francis Scott Key Bridge, we spied a red, white, and blue buoy, which marks the spot where Francis Scott Key, aboard an American truce ship, watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry that inspired his writing of the Star Spangled Banner, as a poem that was set to music.  At that time the flag had 15 stars and stripes.  The Star Spangled Banner was not adopted as the national anthem until March 3, 1931.
Fort Carroll sat abandoned just before the bridge.
We passed the yacht, Thirteen, who was leaving the area.  That’s the second or third time we’ve run seen it. 
We approached the Western Harbor of Baltimore, where our marina is located.  The skyline of Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, came into view.  Baltimore is a busy, working port and there was a lot of stuff going on.  
Entering the harbor, we passed Fort McHenry.  Fort McHenry’s resistance to a 25 hour bombardment saved the city of Baltimore from occupation.  It was the guardian to Baltimore’s harbor from 1798-1803. 
Auggie enjoyed the ride sitting on the front seat next to Bob.  He slept most of the way.
Gallivant arrived at Henderson Marina before we did and got situated in their slip. 
We pulled in after they were all set, and got tied up by 1:30 after 31.0 miles.  
After settling in, Bob, Donny, and I rode our bikes to West Marine so we could pick up our new transducer.  It was an easy ride.  From there we rode a couple of blocks to a bar we were told to check out.  It is called Nacho Mama’s and has the greatest quesadilla.  Bob and I shared a pulled pork, mac and cheese one.  It was delicious, but we could only eat half of it.  It was huge!  The bartender gave us each a cooler cup from the bar and some bumper stickers, even though we don’t have bumpers.  It was a nice gesture!  
                              
Across the street was a really cool bar called the Speakeasy.  It seemed there was a bar in every other building in this area.
We were in Canton now, a section of Baltimore.  This was a really cool historic church.
This church, St. Casmir’s Catholic Church, was one that I had seen from a distance because it had gold spires and I had to ride past it to see what it was. 
We rode back to Fells Point, where our marina, Henderson Marina, is located.  Donny went and took a nap while Bob worked on his mileage homework and did some testing on the depth sounder.  The 3 of us skipped dinner since we had eaten at Nacho Mama’s, but Pam wanted to go and have a burger, so she and I did a “girl’s night out” and walked 2 blocks to the Dead End Saloon.  
                          
It’s the local hangout for all the boaters in our marina and tonight was $5 burger night.  Pam ate dinner and we talked with some of the boaters who had also come for dinner.  They are a friendly group.  The sun had set and the orange full moon was on the rise.  It got cooler once the sun went down after being a pretty warm day.  We relaxed with a little TV. 

June 16, 2011   Fells Point, Baltimore, Henderson Wharf Marine (day 2)

Happy 1st Birthday, Auggie!  We celebrated Auggie’s birthday by giving him a special breakfast and sang him the “Happy Birthday” song.  He danced around with excitement waiting for his delicious breakfast.  He got a new chew toy for his birthday and proceeded to start the process of ripping it to shreds.  I think he enjoyed his special day.  
It was a cloudy day with the threat of rain.  In fact, we got a brief shower as we ate breakfast.  I did a load of laundry early in the morning.  I thought I would beat the rush that early in the morning, but someone beat me to it.  Oh well, after a short delay I was good to go.  Bob rode a couple of blocks to get a haircut.  Shortly before 10:00 we walked the 3 blocks to Fells Point Square to catch the water taxi. 
It costs $10 to ride all day as many times as you want.  It was about a 10 minute ride to the Inner Harbor (downtown) and along the way we got a beautiful view of the city from the water.
                             
Harbor Place is where all the action is – shops, restaurants, the National Aquarium, and the 4 historic ships in the harbor, among other things.  The water taxi dropped us off right there and we could walk to everything.  We chose the 4 ship tour and started with the USS Constellation. 
The USS Constellation was the last all-sail ship built by the US Navy and the only Civil War vessel still afloat.  Her most impressive cruise was to intercept vessels engaged in the illegal slave trade.

We took a self-guided tour by listening to a device that spoke about each numbered area of the ship.  It was a very good tour that took us to every part of the ship from top to bottom, stem to stern.
                                

                            
Our second stop was the USS submarine, Torsk.  It was a WWII sub which sank the last 2 Japanese combatants of the war.
                            

                          
From there, we walked across a bridge to the next canal where 2 more ships were waiting for us.
There we toured the Lightship Chesapeake.  Her signaling apparatus was a 13,000 candle power electric beacon lamp atop each mast.  She marked the entrance to Chesapeake Bay until WWII.  It was similar to the one we saw in Norfolk, VA.
The last ship was the US Coast Guard Cutter, Taney, which survived the Pearl Harbor attack.
                  

We also saw the 1856 Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse from the water taxi, which stood in Baltimore Harbor for 133 years.
We enjoyed our tour of the 4 ships, but needed to get back to check on Auggie.  After all, it was his birthday.  We grabbed a sandwich from Lenny’s Deli to eat on the water taxi ride back.  While we waited, we noticed something very unusual moving about the harbor.  It was a water cleaner that would suck up trash, wood, and other debris in the water.  Kind of like a street sweeper, but on the water.
Once we got back to Fells Point Square, Bob went back to the boat to check on Auggie and mail a package that needed to go out today.  I transferred to a second taxi and took the boat to Fort McHenry.  The ride was a little wet as the waves were coming straight into the harbor.  We docked at the fort after a 15 minute ride.  I wandered around the Visitor’s Center learning about the role that the fort played in the Revolutionary War.  By repelling the British Naval attack against the fort in 1814, Fort McHenry prevented the capture of Baltimore and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.
I spent about an hour wandering around the fort, then headed back.  It is the best restored fort that we have visited on this trip. 
        

                             
The return trip was drier, although the waves were bigger.  We were going with the waves so that made all the difference.  After I got back, I walked down Thames St. for a couple of blocks and discovered two bars that were recommended by friends.  Many of the streets are paved in bricks that were used as ballast in the ships, like the one in this picture.
One bar was called Leadbetters.  It’s a divey kind of bar (which we like) and they have live music at night. 
The other bar was called The Horse You Came In On.  The name, in itself, was intriguing.  The door was locked so I couldn’t check it out on the inside. 
I walked back to the marina after passing the Fells Point Square, which is a park surrounded by shops, restaurants, and bars. 
As I was entering the locked gate at the marina, 2 of the boaters I had met earlier, Flo and Joe, asked me if I needed anything from the grocery store.  I replied that I did and they asked me if I wanted to ride along with them.  I got my grocery list and accompanied them to the store, where I bought a few items we were running out of.  They brought me back and helped me deliver the groceries to the boat.  What nice people!  I got back just in time to change my clothes and get ready to hop on the water taxi with Bob to meet some people from PA who live on our street back home….Teresa and Dave Spiwak.  They had come into town for a couple of days to see the sights.  We made plans to meet them for dinner in Little Italy.
                              
After walking 3 blocks to the pier from the marina, Bob and I just missed the water taxi, so we had to wait about 20 minutes.  From the Inner Harbor where the taxi dropped us off, we had to walk about 7 blocks to Amicci’s Italian Restaurant which put us a little late to our dinner appointment.  We arrived around 5:30 and found Dave and Teresa already seated and waiting for us.  We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation.  About 7:00, we were ready to take our walk back to pick up our water taxi.  It had rained while we were having dinner, but it had stopped by the time we were done. We walked a while with Teresa and Dave since they were going in the same direction as we were.  We parted ways and said we’d see them again in FL in October when they come down for the winter.  We had a very nice time.

We hopped on the water taxi at Harbor Place, where the tide was coming over the wall and up the stairs.
It was a short 15 minute ride and 5 minute walk back to the marina.  We got back to the marina around 7:30, as the rain started to fall. I was ready to just sit, put my feet up, and play with Auggie.  It was a very busy day, filled with lots of activity.  We had a great time seeing the sights of Baltimore! 

June 17, 2011  Baltimore, Henderson Wharf Marina (day 3)

I woke up early again today and did two more loads of wash.  This time there was no competition for the washer and drier.  Bob slept in.  I walked Auggie along the Promenade that runs along the waterfront.  We met so many dogs along the way.  Auggie had a great time.  It was clear and cooler, but they were still calling for rain later today.  Pam and I made plans to do a bike ride to explore the sights of Baltimore. Bob was going to wash the boat and maybe find a pet store where he could get some charcoal for the bathroom filter.  Pam and I left about 10:15.  We biked on the Promenade along the waterfront towards the Inner Harbor.  Our first stop was at the National Katyn Polish Memorial.  It was a beautiful gold statue…a tribute to those Polish officers who were executed under Stalin at three Soviet Union concentration camps.
We biked further on to Pier 5 to see the Five Foot Shoal Lighthouse.  I really wanted to go inside and tour around, so we stopped to check it out.  This screwpile style of lighthouse was much larger inside than other lighthouses that I’ve been in.  It is the oldest surviving screw-pile lighthouse built as an aid to navigation on the Chesapeake Bay.  It was built in 1856 at the mouth of the Patapsco River, where it marked the shoal known as Seven Foot Shoal for 133 years.  It was equipped with a 4th order Fresnel lens visible for 12 miles. 
It didn’t take long  to reach the Inner Harbor and Harbor Place from there.  People were just starting to get out and enjoy the area.  We were riding our bikes on the Promenade when the bike patrol (harbor police) stopped us and told us that we couldn’t ride our bikes on the paved pedestrian (red brick) path between 10 AM and 6 AM.  So we walked our bikes until we found the bike path.
The Hard Rock Cafe could be seen from a long distance off.  It was an amazing place that occupied an historic building. 
Once we got downtown, we could see Oriole Park at Camden Yard….the home field of the Baltimore Orioles.
Right near there, was the Baltimore Ravens Football Stadium.  
Our goal today was to locate the Otterbien Neighborhood.  It got its start with the Urban Homesteading program.  Under this program an old house was purchased for $1 with the understanding that the resident would restore or remodel it within a certain number of years.  
                           
We found the neighborhood and came across a lady who was painting one of the homes. She has a gallery nearby.  The row homes were all made of red brick and very well kept.  
                         
From there, we decided to check out the Federal Hill Neighborhood.  It was a bustling place of activity with a wide variety of shops from all different nationalities.  As we rode our bikes down the road, I could get a whiff of many different smells from the restaurants.  It was a smorgasbord of aromas. We rode up the hill to Federal Hill Park, the site of a Civil War fort.  It was also the sight were 4000 people celebrated the ratification of the constitution in 1788.  It gave us a view of the harbor and city skyline.  Pam and I sat on a shady bench and enjoyed the view.  
                    
From that vantage point, we could see the American Visionary Art Museum down below us.  On one of the buildings, they had built an “osprey nest” on the balcony.  It was huge and very ingenious.  When people came out on the balcony, they looked like chicks in the nest. 
After awhile, we rode deep into the city to find the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary (How’s that for a long name?) which was completed in 1821.  It was the first Roman Cathedral in the country.  More than 20 saints have visited here and 8 bishops are buried in the crypt under the Basilica. 
                  

From the grounds of the Basilica, we could see a beautiful spire with an orate clock at the top.  We think it marks the Historic Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, but we couldn’t seem to find any information on it.
On our ride back, we got a glimpse of the George Peabody Library and the 5 ornate cast iron balconies surrounding a marble atrium, seen on the right of this picture.  Across the road, stood the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon Square which is dedicated to our first president.  
We also rode by the Historic Old Courthouse Building.  It was an awesome sight. 
 
We got back to the marina about 3:00.  Bob and Donny weren’t back yet, but arrived shortly after we did.  I took Auggie for a walk and Bob finished washing the boat.  We made plans with Pam and Don to have dinner together at the Dead End Saloon.  It would be our last night together.  We will be leaving tomorrow and they will remain at the marina for another two weeks.  From here, they are taking their boat to another marina here in Baltimore to leave it while they go back to Wisconsin for 2 months this summer.  I showered after the bike ride and worked on my blog from yesterday.  We all got ready to leave for the restaurant and walked the 2 blocks to the Dead End Saloon at 5:00. 
Pam had a tuna sandwich. Bob, Donny and I had soft shell crab sandwiches.  Yum!

At the base of the bar was a trough, where you might rest your feet.  They told Donny that the trough was used by the men to urinate and spit tobacco back in the old days, when women weren’t allowed in the tavern.  It also had a faucet attached to it, so that they could turn it on and flush everything away.  This trough was 1 of 2 still around, but this one was missing the faucet. That was an interesting tidbit of information.
We had a nice dinner and got back to the marina about 6:30.  Pam and I sat on the back of our boat and talked for awhile.  Bob went to Donny’s boat to get something printed off their printer.  Later, Pam and Don left to go to the marina party to meet everyone, since they’d be here for awhile.  Bob and I hung out with Auggie and watched some TV.  We wanted to get a good night’s sleep for our departure tomorrow.  We would say our goodbyes in the morning.  It was great spending 2 1/2 weeks with Pam and Don.  Who would have thought that we would be boating together in the Chesapeake?  Not in my wildest dreams…… It will be hard to say goodbye.  Good times, good friends, good memories!

June 18, 2011  Baltimore to South River anchorage, MD

We didn’t set an alarm (haven’t all trip) and woke up later than usual.  It was a busy 3 days in Baltimore and we crammed in as much sightseeing as we could.  It is a great town, from what little I saw of it, with lots to see and do.  The City makes it so easy to get around via the water taxis, the Circulator Bus, bike paths, and trolley.  Some day I think I’d like to come back and visit again.  It had rained in the early morning hours and left the day hot and humid.  We prepped the boat for departure, took Auggie for a nice long walk on the Promenade, and were ready to pull away from the dock at 9:00.  We said our sad goodbyes to Pam and Don and our other new “friends” at the marina and were on our way.
The skies were cloudy with a chance of rain expected.  There was a lot of boater action on this Saturday in the Patapsco River.
This sailboat sailed past us.  It had a very unusual sail configuration…..something we’ve never seen before.
This ship had an escape pod (orange life raft) ready to go off the back.  I hope they wear seat belts when that thing gets launched.  I wouldn’t want to be the guy in the front seat when that thing hits the water.
We passed a lighthouse on our way, as we crossed under the Francis Scott Key Bridge and into the Bay. 
The winds were light and the Bay was relatively calm.  It was back to being on our own again.  We’ll miss our traveling buddies, Pam and Donny. Auggie will miss his favorite buddy, Donny, too.   For once the tide was in our favor and we found ourselves doing 11 mph.  Woo-hoo!  Cruising down the coastline we found ourselves among many weekend boaters who were out on this beautiful day.  We passed the Baltimore Light and the Sandy Pt. Light–2 very similar-looking structures.  
              
As we neared Annapolis, the sailboats were out in full force and the ships were still lined up outside the harbor.  People on the marine radio were being awfully nasty to one another and the Coast Guard was out checking boaters on the water.  It must be the weekend!  The water was a little more turbulent near Annapolis due to all the boat wakes, but still comfortable.  The breeze picked up a little and came out of the west, so we had nice airflow through the boat, which kept us cool.  We motored around Thomas Pt. Shoal Light (screwpile style) to get into South River and our anchorage for the night in Shelby Bay.  (That screwpile-style lighthouse is the same one I toured in Baltimore Harbor.) No, that’s not our boat…..just one like it, only smaller.

We picked a spot in Shelby Bay, inside the “no wake” zone and away from all the chaos and confusion out in the South River.  We dropped anchor and were settled in at 1:00 after 36.8 miles.  (Remind me NOT to travel on a Saturday or Sunday next time.) 
We relaxed most of the day away watching all the boat traffic out on the main artery of the river.  Later, we took Auggie to shore at the boat launch area and park.  He got to run to his heart’s content.

We had leftovers for dinner from all the meals we had eaten out in Baltimore and retired early.  Everyone went home from their day out on the water and it was calm in the anchorage all night long.