Monday, June 22, 2009

Washington to Massachusetts - 1 of 2

May 29 – May 31 – Washington DC
Washington was really busy with lots of walking and sightseeing – Washington will forever be "Walkington" in my mind! On Friday we spent most of the day at the American History museum where highlights included: the original Stars and Stripes flag, made to fly over Ft. McHenry near Baltimore, the original Scarlet Slippers from the Wizard of Oz movie, Oscar the Grouch and Kermit the Frog from the Muppets, Archie Bucher’s chair, a collection of Stratovarius violins and violas, a wonderful exhibit on Abraham Lincoln, and a really well done exhibit on transportation in America (sponsored by GM). After lunch, Annie and Dave went to the Holocaust museum and Kristen and I stayed at the American History museum and did experiments in the lab and looked at some inventions like Kevlar and the windsurfer. We left the museum at 3:00 in the middle of another rainstorm. We all met back at the boat, and in a break in the rain, Dave and I walked up to pick up a few groceries. When we got back it really started to pour, and it poured all through supper. We weren’t sure what to do about getting back to t he Smithsonian to see the movie. We donned our rain gear and headed out, and fortunately the rain tapered off shortly after we left the boat. Battle of the Smithsonian was fantastic! We liked it better than the original, and it was fabulous to see it in IMAX in the same place where some of it was shot.
On Saturday, we went to the Boater’s Breakfast at the yacht club. It was a veritable feast (and brownies for dessert!). Then we took the subway out to the zoo. We were able to see the Giant Pandas as well as the regular zoo animals. The elephants are always one of my favorites, and there was a hippopotamus there that was wallowing in a pond and opening his mouth to show us his teeth – they can open their mouths 150° ! After the zoo we took the subway back to a place near the Lincoln Monument and walked down there, and then back to the boat. The Lincoln Monument is really amazing – and very cool to see in person after it was featured in the movie the night before. We walked over the fish market to get some supper and that was quite something. It was a bustling place with lots and lots of seafood on display, and lots and lots of people hanging out and getting their supper. In the end we got some crabs and some shrimp and took them back to the boat. It was really hot out so we didn’t feel much like cooking anything to go with it.
Sunday was a quieter day with some chores like laundry, changing the oil and getting diesel done in the morning and then a trip to the Air and Space Museum in the afternoon. Annie collected some information for her school project on the history of flight, and we found lots of the things from the movie so it was a good outing. We were all pretty tired after so much walking and looking, so we headed back to the boat. Dave and I made another quick trip to the grocery store to get a few things before heading out from DC tomorrow.

June 1 – Washington to Canoe Neck Creek
We were away from the dock before 6:00 under sunny skies. The kids got their school work done as we traveled back down the Potomac. The winds were calm in the morning, but started to pipe up in the afternoon, and we had some nasty seas to contend with again. We stopped a little sooner than we planned as out speed was dropping down to 4 knots and we were all tired. In the end, we dropped the anchor in a nice little anchorage at 6:00, 12 hours and 80+ (statute) miles from DC.

June 2 – Canoe Neck Creek – Solomons, MD
We left around 7:00 and arrived at Solomons around 3:00. It was a really hot day – probably the hottest day was have had on the whole trip. There were a lot of bugs flying around too – not very pleasant. We got fuel and then anchored off the Holiday Inn. Tiffany Rose was there too. We called Seahawk and arranged for Jeff to pick us up around 5;30 and we’d all meet for pizza. We went to shore and walked around the little strip mall. There was a lovely (high-end) grocery store and we picked up a few things we needed (including ice cream!). Jeff picked us up and took us to the pizza place in Lexington Park - about 6 miles away from boat, in the community where they live. While we were there a massive thunderstorm came through and dumped rain on us, and the flag outside the restaurant was whipping around. We were really worried about the boat. It was great to see the Seahawk gang again but it was overshadowed by the weather. Not only were we worried about "Bird" they were pretty sure they’d left all the hatches open on their boat – meaning very wet beds! We got back to the boat and fortunately everything was fine. There was a lull in the storm so we didn’t too wet going back out in the dinghy. The storm continued on all night. The lightning was spectacular – sometimes lighting up the whole sky, sometimes a bolt of lightening would travel all the way across the horizon. It wasn’t like any storm we’d seen before.

June 3 – Solomons – Annapolis, MD
We left bright and early at 6:00. Thunderstorms were forecast again for this afternoon so we decided to do a short day and only go to Annapolis. After going through the Spa Creek Bridge at 2:30 we picked up one of the town moorings in Spa Creek. It was another really hot day. We went to town and had fun going into the little stores – the kids got t-shirts at the Black Dog store in honor of Boom. We went back to the boat and had supper, with plans of dinghying back to town to watch the Wednesday night race in Annapolis. Dave and I went back into town around 7:00, but there didn’t seem to be any race to watch. We aren’t sure if the race was cancelled due to the pending thunderstorms or if the race was already over. Dave and I got showers and then the rain started so we went back to the boat.

June 4 – Annapolis to Chesapeake City, MD
We were up around 6:30 and had to put the dinghy up before we could leave. We figured we’d get through the 7:30 opening of the bridge, but we worked quickly and were able to make the 7:00 opening. It was a wet day, but we knew that the forecast for tomorrow was awful and we wanted to get to Chesapeake City to so we’d be ready to go down Delaware Bay on Saturday. We plugged along all day with the current against us, but the wind was light and there wasn’t too much sea so it was okay. We got to Chesapeake City around 5:00, a few minutes after low tide, and not surprisingly there was no room on the free dock. We started along the channel to the anchorage and slowly came to a halt in the soupy mud. Dave worked the boat back and forth and finally got her turned towards the anchorage basin and we pushed though the mud and got anchored.

June 5 – Chesapeake City
The rain came down in buckets all morning as predicted so we stayed on the boat and got some schoolwork done. No one move off the free dock so we stayed out at anchor. In the afternoon the rain let up and we dropped the dinghy down and went to shore. We looked in the little gift stores and then went out for an early supper at the Bohemian Café.

June 6 – Chesapeake City to Cape May, NJ
The weather was better today and we headed out around 8:00 to catch the current flowing through the C&D canal towards the Delaware Bay. When we reached the bay, the current was against us until around noon, and then with us until around 4:00 when it switched against us again. We were fortunate that the wind was light and there was no sea all day. It was a nice day and there were lots and lots of people out fishing on Delaware Bay. We saw dolphins today for the first time in a long time. We were anchored off the Coast Guard College in Cape May around 6:00.

June 7 – Cape May to Atlantic City
We were underway by 6:00 and we arrived in Atlantic City by 12:00. The winds were light and the seas were calm off the coast of NJ so we motored all day. We had called to make a reservation at the marina we stayed in on the way down, but we were only able to leave a message. When we got to Atlantic City we went and got fuel, and tried to contact the marina only to find out they were full. So was the marina where we were getting fuel, so we had to go to Farley State Marina at Trumps Castle as we didn’t feel comfortable going to shore and leaving the boat unattended at anchor in Atlantic City. I guess we could feel fortunate that it was Sunday and we didn’t have to pay the full weekend rate of $4.00. We got tied up and then took the jitney bus to downtown Atlantic City and the Outlet Mall we spent the afternoon shopping and then went down to the Boardwalk and watched the water show in the mall.

June 8 –Atlantic City to Jersey City (NYC)
We left really early and were away from the dock at 5:00 in thick fog. It was really foggy all morning and the fog didn’t burn off until around noon. We were glad we left when we did as there was a lot of traffic on the radio trying to leave Atlantic City around 6:00 and the fog was so thick they couldn’t see each other. We saw a seal today and a few more dolphins. The sea was calm in the morning, but after the fog burned off the wind picked up a bit and it got a little lumpy. It was our plan to go back to Great Kills on Staten Island today, but we were making good time along the NJ coast with some help from the current and in the end we decided to go up the Hudson River a little way and stay in a marina. We arrived in Newport Marina around 7:30 after having traveled about 90 nautical miles. The marina is in a great place right across the river from Manhattan. It is in a restored neighbourhood in Jersey City, about a block away away from a large indoor mall and the NJ subway, and about 3 blocks away from a grocery store and some box stores. The only downside to the marina is there is a lot of wake from the ferries that travel across the Hudson from Jersey City to Manhattan.

June 9 – 14 – New York City
On Tuesday we spent the morning getting groceries and exploring the area. It was another wet day and we had to dodge the rain showers. In the afternoon we took the PATH subway to New York and went shopping at Macy’s and Build-a-Bear workshop. On Wednesday night we had tickets to see Mary Poppins on Broadway so we stayed in Jersey City in the morning, and then in the afternoon we went over to Central Park. We had quite and adventure on the subway when we inadvertently got on the express train to the Bronx and traveled way passed the stop we wanted and then had to find the local train back so we could get off at 79th street. Central Park is certainly a jewel for New York. What a beautiful place! We had a great walk around, there were lots of people around, and there were leagues playing soccer and baseball. We found the Belvedere Castle and a turtle pond. We were a little pressed for time so we didn’t have time to find out the significance of the castle and why it is there. We took the subway back down to Time Square, only to find out that we were about 10 blocks too far south to go to the restaurant we wanted to go to, and didn’t have time to walk back up to it. We found the Mary Poppins theatre and then got some pizza for supper before the show. The Amsterdam Theatre where Mary Poppins was playing is lovely. It is amazingly ornate with fancywork everywhere. There is a room in the basement with murals of famous scenes from American history. The play itself was great. It was interesting to compare the difference between Hairspray, where the movie was made after the musical and the story was very similar, and Mary Poppins, where the movie came first and the story line in the Musical was quite different from the movie. Fortunately all our favourite songs were still there and we really enjoyed it. The girl that played Jane was a great little singer and actress. We got back safely to the boat around midnight.
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