118 Manasquan, NJ to Tuckahoe Point, SC

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Shades of gray hinted at dawn as the Glimmer Glass bridge tender raised the bridge. We left Manasquan and headed into a flat, calm Atlantic. Gentle breezes made for an easy run up Delaware Bay to Reedy Island, our evening anchorage. The next morning we ran the C&D Canal and headed down the Chesapeake to Annapolis. A sheltered mooring on Spa Creek became home. We relaxed, enjoying the luxury of being in one place without having to think about traveling for the next nine days. We were ‘home’– a relative term for us. Home has become those places we’ve been which we know well, like, and feel comfortable staying until the urge to move again pulls at us. They are few in number and special to us. The Chesapeake in general, Annapolis, Washington, Oriental, Beaufort, SC, the Waccamaw River, Jekyll Island, Palatka, Vero Beach, the Shark River in the Everglades, St. Petersburg, Fairport, NY, and Mackinac Island are now all ‘home’ for us. All are places we look forward to visiting and just stopping and relaxing.

Living on a mooring in boater-friendly Annapolis is easy. An occasional early morning ride to Ego Alley for water and to wash dust and dirt off Odyssey’s deck takes care of water input. A pump out boat is on call to take care of sewerage. Dinghy tie up is allowed at the foot of any street ending at the water for going ashore. A good grocery store; however, is a bit of a hike.

Annapolis Water Taxi

Annapolis Water Taxi

Steve and Linda visited for a long weekend. We treated them to experiencing what living on a mooring traveling by dinghy, or in Annapolis having the luxury of a water taxi for going ashore is like. The unique character of Annapolis came out as we poked around town with them. Breakfast was interrupted for a minute or two as everyone stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance, a regular morning tradition at Chick and Ruth’s Restaurant.

Dean eased Seagull along side as Linda handed off lines. We made quick work of rafting their new Trawlercat 44 off to Odyssey. Then, after welcoming hugs, we had a much-anticipated tour of their very customized 44. We loved the large main salon they created by eliminating the bed behind the salon. Endeavour also likes the changes and now offers their design as an option.

Beautiful weather allowed us to play on the Eastern Shore. We’d met up at Queenston Creek, moved to Swan Creek, parted for a day while Seagull had routine service performed and we revisited Hunting Creek. We met up again on San Domindo Creek, the back door to St. Michaels, and then moved to Latrappe Creek to meet up with Ralph and Steph on Sea Jay. The six of us enjoyed a lazy weekend enjoying the anchorage and each other’s company before moving again.

Curious about siding being applied to an old Cambridge mansion we wandered into the front yard. For a brief instant we feared a trespassing complaint was coming as someone approached from the back yard. Her smile evaporated any trespassing fears. A tiny, elegant lady materialized from behind the smile and began to tell us about their project. Modern times had caught up with Cambridge. This graceful mansion like many others along the sleepy street still looked elegant outside but inside many are now apartments.

Stairs leading up to third floor in Cambridge mansion

Stairs leading up to third floor in Cambridge mansion

Our hands slid along the gracefully curving mahogany banister as we followed Peggy to the third floor. At 88 she set a brisk pace as we climbed. Her husband, Granville, 92 was slightly slower as he followed us up the open curving stairs that hinted at how grand the interior had once been. In one apartment Grandville pointed out an old pull chain left as a historic reminder on the side of the now bricked in fireplace. Back in the 1800’s a pull on the chain alerted one of the house slaves to bring more wood for the fireplace. We even got a tour of the basement seeing both the old slave living quarters and the state-of-the-art hot water boiler supplying apartment radiators. We thanked our impromptu hosts and continued along exploring Cambridge

A Cadillac glided to the curb, the window lowered and Peggy invited us for a town tour. The four of us (we were poking around with Ralph and Steph) climbed in and loved seeing the highlights of Cambridge while hearing fascinating tidbits about her early life here, feuds, grudges and local politics.

A small sign above a door indicated a bar. The building front; however, is only inches wider than the door. Intrigued we went in for a beer and found a compact pie shaped interior. The owner/bar tender looked like football tackle after a hard game. As he spoke, his soft drawl and polite ‘yes mam’ and ‘no sir’ was a contrast to his rough physique. Hot dogs ordered to go with our beer took a bit of time because dad was still doing the grocery shopping. We spent an hour learning about the how the other part of Cambridge lives.

Henry’s, is a tiny breakfast-only diner serving local watermen. The menu is the most unique we’ve encountered. We were handed a small laminated card with the following:

Eggs

Bacon

Sausage

Pancakes

Waffles

Toast

Grits

Cereal

Milk

Coffee

That’s the menu just as it appeared. No descriptions, options, or prices were listed. Ruth order pancakes and sausage. Our server asked “how many?” After a brief discussion about size Ruth settled on three each and learned that tea was not an option instead of coffee. Always a quick study, I ordered two eggs over easy, three bacon and two pieces of toast. I asked about potatoes. Henry’s does not serve potatoes. Our bill was less than $6.00.

Cambridge liked us and wouldn’t let go. Something wasn’t right as we started to leave the harbor. One engine was vibrating. Engine room checks and finally a trip overboard to make sure the prop was clear isolated the problem to the flex coupling. We did a post mortem on the broken flex coupling bushing bolts the mechanic replaced. Our conclusion was they had been broken when we attempted to get off after grounding a year ago and finally had misaligned the coupling enough to cause the vibration.

Trawlerfest 2002 was a sharp contrast to our first visit three years earlier. Then just one trawlercat was at the show. This year owners of the seven Endeavour trawlercats rafted together greeted us. Exploring the show we found 3-4 additional cats; impressive growth in such a short time.

We settled in for month’s stay in Washington. From there a road trip by rental car to the Rochester, NY area to visit family broke up the routine on being in one place for a long time and let us get our family fix to hold us until the holidays. Coming back we were a bit cautious buying gas near Washington. The sniper was still at large and had shot people filling gas tanks. Felt a bit more comfortable having the car between the street and me while filling.

A hundred yards toward shore the Annapolis Powerboat Show was waking up. Our vantage point from Seagull with Linda and Dean couldn’t have been more front row. We weren’t near the show; we were in the show. A short dinghy ride put us on the docks. Far more fun was taking the short ride back to Seagull after the show. Sure beat a car ride in the terrible Annapolis traffic. Finally, show over and partied out we headed back to Odyssey waiting for us in DC.

A new museum, the International Spy Museum, opened during the summer. The admission charge, rare for Washington museums, was worth it. We spent hours exploring the fascinating and unique exhibits.

White House Rose Garden

White House Rose Garden

Seemed strange having to go through a metal detector for a garden tour, but then this was the White House garden. We wandered along enjoying what looked to be so natural, but aware the entire low rolling wooded and flowered terrain had been built up from swamp. The gardens were beautiful even in fall on an overcast day. It was tradition that presidents and first ladies planted trees on the grounds that for the tour had pictures posted along the walk providing explanations about who did the planting. We felt quite lucky since the grounds are only open for tours twice a year.

Anti Iraq War Protest

Anti Iraq War Protest

We sat on the edge of the protest against war with Iraq listening to the speeches and watching the gathered mass of people respond. We could sense when it was a voice that could inspire a mob to do a collective something that individuals wouldn’t do. We spent the day wandering the rally reading signs and watching people expressing concerns about our government’s direction. Conversations we struck up provided information that many had traveled many hours to be there to express their concern, if only by being present, to add moral support. The turnout was huge. Our guess was more than 100,000 (officially Washington no longer provides crowd estimates). People in costumes, people carrying signs, ordinary people like us, and people distributing literature promoting their related but different causes and looking for support all mixed in a great protest against a war.

Finally hours late the protest began to march down the streets still open to traffic around the White House. The head of the march had completely circled the roads around the White House and met those still forming up to march. Blocked from moving forward, the sound truck leading the protest realigned speakers and began shouting taunts toward the small group of pro war people having their own rally. Police, sensing a potential encounter quickly formed up stringing yellow “Police Barricade” tape around the hundred or so pro war people. In the background a dozen mounted police lined their horses up facing the massing crowd. The subtle impact of the tape and the horses kept the scene to a shouting contest until everyone was bored and moved on to see what else was happening.

We were in a different slip at Gangplank Marina from our previous stays. However, a number of people we ran into on the dock welcomed us back and commented about Odyssey. We attended Sunday morning coffee and met some of the live aboard residents. Dinner one evening was aboard one of the house barges with a group that gathers on a regular basis for potluck dinners.

Two days short of a full month we slipped lines and headed down the Potomac with our reservation already made to return in the spring. Fall colors, the most vivid we’ve seen along the river made for a wonderful day as we traveled along the quiet empty river. Two days later, at Coinjock the weather had changed. We awoke to rain on the roof and gale warnings for Albemarle Sound. We let the morning NOAA weather forecast drone on until we heard winds at Alligator River Bridge were blowing at 22 knots from the South. Off went the radio, and we snuggled in for some extra sleep. We weren’t interested in pounding into wind and waves on the nose. We’d wait for the forecasted wind shift to the north.

We struck up a conversation with Jim, off one of the other boats waiting out the weather. I’d been busy putting in waypoints for crossing the sound, and he was curious. Soon it was like a scene out of Tom Sawyer as I first showed and then watched as Jim finished putting in the waypoints I’d planned to enter. Then eager to continue he began working his way on down the Intracoastal Charts entering more points.

We casually turned on NOAA to check the storms progress around noon. Gale warnings were still posted for the listening area. Wind at the Alligator River Bridge however had shifted to the northwest. Five minutes later we were on the move heading toward the Sound. Waves were on our stern quarter as we headed out into Albemarle Sound and built to about 3 feet before we were under the Alligator River Bridge. We rocked and rolled some, but were happy to be across.

Fifty yards away Milltail Creek looked calm and well sheltered. The entrance; however, was narrowed by all kinds of branch ends poking above the surface. Ruth had Odyssey in reverse, holding us against the wind and waves pushing us closer while I leaned over the bow trying to determine if there was a safe passage. Had it been calmer, we would have put the dinghy in the water and checked depths and clearances. With the wind compromising our maneuvering capabilities we decided to pass. We’ll try again in the spring.

We tucked into the lee of Tuckahoe Point and set the anchor. Dishes rattled as one of the Navy jets practicing low level flying buzzed us coming in directly over Odyssey and very low. We guessed they used our anchor light as an aiming target. After their surprise visit they left us alone, and we had a quiet night.

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