Fall Launch and Pt Lookout to DC

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In the spring we’d decided to leave Odyssey at the mouth of the Potomac and return to NY to spend the summer on our RV.  That turned out to be a good decision.  The Erie Canal opened over a month late, and had we traveled north on Odyssey we would have had problems.  Then Hurricane Irene came through in August and destroyed a number of canal control dams and swept away lock machinery.  Had we been coming south by boat we would have encountered significant delays and a significant detour.

During the summer we spent six weeks visiting Newfoundland  (first of a number of entries) and ended the summer by traveling to Mackinac Island to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.

The cockpit needed a lot of cleaning.

We returned to the Potomac and found Odyssey’s exterior a total mess.  We’d left her stripped of everything removable and hadn’t shrink-wrapped her to minimize problems if there was a hurricane.  Before we even started to clean her, I worked for a bit cutting away branches overhanging Odyssey’s stern and collecting several hundred feet of hose to get water to start washing out all the dirt, sticks, leaves and junk that had collected.

From the Treek Odyssey looks pretty good--distance hides the dirt.

Two days later we had the cockpit clean and hull waxed.  There was still more cleaning to do but we were ready to launch.  Odyssey went in the water and we found another surprise.  At high tide with higher tides caused by a new moon, the dock was under water; a first for us.

Launch in process.

Minnows were crocing above the dock as we moved stuff from the Trek to Odyssey.

The next day we pushed off at noon. The plan was to make a short run to check out systems and then anchor early, do a bit of straightening up and unpacking, then rest after all our hard work and just enjoy being aboard.  Heading up river we were surprised at our speed and quickly realized the high tide that put water over the dock was also giving us a speed boost with a significant flood current.  Enjoying smooth water and our speed boost on the incoming tide we kept going and anchored just after sunset at Mattawoman.  We’d covered 74 miles and had a great first day passage.

Woodrow Wilson lift Bridge just below Alexandria, VA.

The next morning we were off at first light, watching the flickering running lights of over a hundred bass boats racing off at the start of a fishing contest.  Soon we again had the Potomac to ourselves.  Approaching DC debris (floating sticks and logs)  from high water, and watching the shoreline to see what had changed since our last visit took priority.  A spot at the end of H dock awaited us and we were itchy to be exploring DC.

Our view from the end of H dock at Gangplank Marina.

We arrived in time to see part of the Washington Momument inspection after the earthquake.

We arrived in time to see part of the Washington Monument inspection after the earthquake.

Our track from Pt Lookout Marina to DC with anchorage iat Mattawoman

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