Friday, June 14, 2013

On the way to DC...

Tuesday was a beautiful day, sunny and breezy. We followed a tug that was heading for Quantico most of the day. Chatted with Navy Patrol Boat #4 to get our instructions through the live ammo training exercise in progress. Finally when we were just about out of the exercise perimeter, we heard some shots and saw water splashing. With all the precaution, we had hoped for something more exciting!

As we made our way into the Port Tobacco River, we had to navigate through a sea of crab pots. After zigging and zagging, we enjoyed a lovely evening in a great little anchorage. We were even serenaded by church bells every half hour.

Wednesday...on to DC!

Very calm day, 3-5 knot winds on the nose, and an all day ebbing tide. We finally caught up with the turning tide maybe an hour before arriving at the Washington Channel. But along the way...

...we noticed tiny things struggling in the water. There were hundreds of cicadas drowning all around us! A couple of hitchhikers joined us for awhile before making the suicide dive into the Potomac. Poor creatures, seventeen years waiting to be free, then wasting that brief freedom trying (and failing) to learn to swim.

Mount Vernon comes along just around the corner from DC. It's a pretty sight from the river. Huge tour boats go in and out of there all day dropping folks off for the tour. We didn't head that way, but enjoyed it in passing. The osprey did not enjoy our passing!

Ah, arriving at last. This was totally new to us and a wee bit intimidating. You anchor in the middle of the channel with a stone wall on one side and a marina on the other...not to mention a half dozen really large day, evening and dinner cruise boats backing in and out of their slips all hours. So, we provided the early evening entertainment. The first couple of attempts were aborted because we couldn't get the anchor to set. It is a very soft mud bottom and we were not holding. Okay, no problem...we tried a different spot. Well, this time we were feeling a little close to one of the other boats, and, as if it's not bad enough that you're noticing this yourself, it's really special when they come out and verify it for you! One more time, okay two more times. Our next attempt in moving a little further out the channel put us in the path of one of the monster tour boats. Finally, finally, we got a spot, got a good hold and settled in to enjoy our time in DC! There were almost tears during that fiasco!

What a great place to visit. Check back with us and we'll give you the highlights. 
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 3, 2013

So, who knew this day would end so nicely?!

Hi, there! Welcome back! Although this is a short (just 2 weeks) adventure, it promises to be interesting. As you know, we've been sitting in place in VA for quite some time, so getting out even for a short time is exciting.

We are on our way to DC to anchor right downtown and walk or ride the metro to see the sights.  We've been planning this for a few months now, and we took off this morning from Locklies Creek, then north on the Chesapeake Bay to the Potomac.

Being the planners that we are, we had decided to take a quick overnight last week to cross the Rappahannock and buy fuel. It was a good plan, but the wind blew out of the west for days so there was no water in the creek. We have to wait for high tide on a good day to get out of the creek, but with the really low lows we were having, we didn't have a ghost of a chance. So, no bother, we just decided we would run over there this morning and fuel up on our way. Tom checked and we last fueled in Coinjock on our way north last year, so we should have been 30 or 40 gallons down.

Well, we called ahead and a nice young man met us early so we could get away quickly. Strangest thing, Tom could not squeeze even 7 gallons in the two tanks. It was a bit embarrassing, but it was quick. Ah, but the tricks the memory does play...Barb's memory finally kicked in and reminded Tom that he topped the tanks from jerry cans so we would have full tanks through the winter. Mystery solved...if a little late.

We played hopscotch with the storms down the Rappahannock and up the Bay, and we were winning! Two thunderstorms missed us completely. Of course, we did have to battle some funky monkey seas in the  Bay and we lost the game with the storms after all once we got into the Potomac. The good thing is that the seas were relatively calm as we got pelted with rain, and that, at least was welcomed. Skipper Bob led us to a pleasant anchorage in Smith Creek. We will head further up the Potomac in the morning, and maybe get the sails up!

We have truly missed being out on the water, even with the embarrassing start, rough seas, strong downpour and biting flies (for a short time after the storm), to sit here gently rocking at anchor in a lovely creek with a beautiful sunset is paradise.