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August 07, 2008

Family visits

Another month has slipped by without an entry to the log so here we go!
We left Solomons on July 8th and continued up the Chesapeake to the Choptank River and then the Broad River to Ledenham Creek. This is another nice protected anchorage surrounded by woods and fields with a few houses scattered along the shoreline. There were two sailboats sharing the anchorage with us but with lots of room we had privacy.
The next day we moved around the corner to Dunn’s Cove off the Hall River on Tilghman Island. We have anchored there before and it is also nice.
To get to Annapolis we cut through Tilghman Island with the bridge opening to let us through. This channel is shallow but doable – especially if the tide is up, which it was. From the western end of the cut, we crossed the bay to the northwest and were on one of the City moorings in Annapolis by early afternoon. After the walk around town and the obligatory ice cream cone, we spent the evening on the boat and moved around the corner to Weems Creek off of the Severn River the next day. We were lucky and found one of the US Naval Academy moorings open and hooked up to it. This is a popular site for boaters and often the moorings are taken. It is a first come, first served basis and there is no charge, which is nice. Your tax dollars at work! There is a nice shopping center about six blocks from the dinghy landing with a RiteAid that also sells wine and beer, a good Grocery store, Chinese restaurant, and Laundromat. We took advantage of all of them. Our friends Jim and Bentley on the Catamaran “Salty Paws” were on an adjacent mooring and we met them and 2 other boaters at the Chinese place for the buffet lunch. The food was just OK, but the cheap price and the company made up for it. It is always fun to chat with other boaters.
We left Weems Creek on the 14th and went north under the Annapolis Bay Bridge and across the Chesapeake again to Swan Creek where we anchored out. The next day we moved onto one of their moorings, got picked up by the Enterprise Rental Car folks and drove to Liz’s in Bensalem, PA. We had a nice visit with her for 2 days and I had surgery done at the dermatologist to remove to benign cysts so I look beautiful again! We drove to north Jersey on the 17th and stayed at the Hampton Inn and had a pre Fresh Creek board meeting dinner with the other directors that night. The board meeting was Friday AM and we were finished by early afternoon and headed north once again by car to my sister Milbrey and her husband Walt up the Hudson River in Copake Falls, NY. This is a beautiful place at the foot of the mountain with a nice state park, and a walking trail. Mibs had just celebrated her 70th birthday so we went out to the Old Mill restaurant nearby. It is a 5 star place and lived up to its reputation for great food and great service.
After a relaxing weekend in Copake Falls, we left on Monday to drive back to Liz’s to visit with her again and do the laundry! Tuesday we returned to Chestertown, did our provisioning, turned in the rental car, and got back on Courage. After being away like that, we both always feel good to be back on the boat.
The next morning we topped up the water tank and headed back across the Bay to Annapolis. Every Wednesday, any cruisers who are in town meet at Chick ‘n Ruth’s deli for a breakfast get together. We made it on the 30th and had fun chatting with about 10 other boaters. Chick ‘n Ruth’s is a local institution and it is normal to see the local and State politicians there having breakfast along with everybody else. They stand and do the pledge to the flag and this morning one of the boaters led us singing America the Beautiful.
The following Sunday, daughter Liz and her friend Lesley Katz drove down to spend the day with us. We gave them a water tour of the Annapolis waterfront and Spa Creek. It was Liz’s first visit to Courage and it was fun having them both on board Hopefully, they will visit again soon.
While in Annapolis, I went to West Marine and picked up the hatch I ordered and installed it in the roof of the pilothouse. It is always white-knuckle time when you cut a big hole in boat but the installation went well and now adds light and ventilation - and doesn’t leak! I also bought a Xantrex battery condition monitor and have started installing it.
We stayed on the Weems Creek Navy mooring where we hung out and waited for son Rich and family to arrive from Brecksville, Ohio on Friday night. They stayed until Sunday afternoon and we had another good family visit. We took them up the Severn River to Round Bay and anchored overnight. Rich went for a brief swim until he saw Sea Nettles (jellyfish) in the water and did the prudent thing at that point and got out! Their dog Dirk came along and was very well behaved. Rich and I took him ashore 3 times a day to do his business so we had no mess on the boat. We had spare ribs, Maryland crab cakes, sweet local corn on the cob and a salad for dinner with Ice cream and home made cookies for dessert. A real summer chow down. With 18 year old Justin at the table, there wasn’t anything left over. He is now 6’4” and is still thin. Lauren is now 5’7” and has grown into a beautiful young woman in the last year. They are great grandchildren. Sue and I commented to each other after the visit that we proud of all of our family and feel fortunate that they have all turned out so well and that we all get along. So many of our friends have family problems of all sorts and often don’t get along with each other.
After doing laundry and re provisioning, we crossed the Chesapeake to the South this time to the St. Michaels Maritime Museum and a slip at their docks. As a “Contributing” member, we get cheap rates at their docks and free admission to the Museum. It was quiet in St. Michaels and the locals said that they were seeing the affects of the economic slowdown with fewer boaters and tourists this year.
We left St Michaels yesterday and went up the Wye River to anchor in a sheltered cove. We were alone here and it always amazes me that we can be so close to the Bay Bridge, Easton, and just across the Bay from Annapolis and Baltimore and still be so seemingly far from “civilization”.
We have two more weeks to just wander around before the leave Courage at Swan Creek again for 2 ˝ weeks while we go to Liz’s again to baby-sit her cats while she vacations in Maine. Sue has planned a trip to visit with her sister Linda in MA and then Sue goes to Ft. Myers baby sit granddaughter Kaya while Ethan and Carolyn attend a medical convention in Boca Raton, FL where Carolyn is giving a paper. I will fly to San Diego to visit with Louisa, Chris and Neva while Sue is in Florida so it will be a busy time for us.

Posted by Dick at 11:30 AM