"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

September 30, 2013

Sept. 30 - Hampton, VA

Old Point Comfort - Anchorage 

We had a long day...100 miles of following seas. We felt like we were surfing all the way, not a good day for our autopilot. Besides the sea direction it was a beautiful fall day with blue skies and great temperatures. The best thing about this part of the Chesapeake, for me, is we begin to see dolphins again. I love to watch them play at the bow of the boat. It's fun to see them come from all directions towards the boat to take turns swimming in front of us. At one time I saw 5 or 6 darting around and breaking the surface. I never get tired of watching them play. 

We are anchored near Hampton, Virginia across Hampton Roads from Norfolk. This is the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. Tomorrow we'll pass the Navy shipyards and the port of Norfolk and be back in the ICW. 

We passed lots of great lighthouses again today, but I've included them in the blog before, so this time I'll just share the link to my lighthouse album.

Fish trap coming out of Solomons...notice the pelican?
We haven't seen pelicans or dolphins since last May...nice to see them again.
The view from our anchorage

Sept. 29 - Solomons, MD

Mill Creek - Anchorage 

Today was day one of our trip home...the last leg of our cruising season. This is the only leg of our adventure where the destination is more important than the journey. There's a little girl in Texas that probably doesn't remember us and we need to go home and work on that. Every mile south we travel the pull on our heart strings gets stronger. It's time to reconnect with family...especially our precious little grand daughter Mayven Raye.   

We've had a great time in Baltimore and it's always hard to say good-bye to friends. It's been a good summer, but there is a chill in the air and it's time to move on. We had a beautiful day on the water, going past familiar sites like the Bay Bridge, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, sailboats in the distance close to Annapolis and the pretty cliffs of Calvert Cliff State Park. We are anchored in the same anchorage near Solomons we've used four other times, it's a quiet little spot that we obviously like. The Chesapeake is getting to be a very familiar spot to us. This will be our sixth trip through the same area of the east coast, you begin to recognize every landmark, lighthouse and bend in the ICW after awhile.

Leaving Baltimore
The Pearl leaving Baltimore...thanks Sally! 
 One last look at the marina
This ain't a goodbye...It's a "till we see you again", Baltimore!
 The trees are beginning to change color...fall is in the air.
A great song for the end of our cruising season.

September 29, 2013

Sept. 28 - Baltimore, MD

Henderson's Wharf Marina

One last day in Baltimore. We spent it soaking in the sights and sounds of a few of our favorite places. One last visit to the farmer's market in Fell's Point, a bike ride along the promenade to the Inner Harbor where we sat and watched the crowds of tourists enjoy the action along the water and most of all...one last happy hour with friends. We always enjoy our time in Baltimore and this year we had wonderful weather and the company of great friends, but all good things must come to an end. It's time for us to start our trek south tomorrow and make our way home to old friends and family.

Fell's Point Farmers Market
The busy Inner Harbor

September 28, 2013

Sept. 27 – Baltimore, MD

Henderson’s Wharf Marina

Our time in Baltimore is getting short…we’ll begin the last leg of our cruising season on Sunday. We’ve enjoyed our time in Baltimore, catching up with friends, making a few new friends and having a great time just being in Baltimore. The weather has been fantastic the last two weeks, but we can feel the touch of fall in the air…mornings and evenings are getting cooler. It’s time to move south.

We had a farewell dinner with the crews of Amici and Gallivant. Ted and Sally fixed the main course, taco pie, and made some wonderful Brazilian cocktails called Caipirinha. We proved avocado salsa and Donny made some wonderful brownies. We had a great meal and will truly miss these get togethers. The best thing about boating friends is you know you’ll cross paths again on the water and you’ll have fun stories to share…while sitting on the deck enjoying a drink with an amazing view.

A toast to good friends and great cruising...and to Pam who wasn't with us!
Don, Sally, Stan,Ted and Susie

September 27, 2013

Sept. 26 - Baltimore, MD

Henderson's Wharf Marina

One of the things we enjoy doing in Baltimore while we are here in the fall is going to the Trawler Fest. It has a great boat show that features trawlers, just trawlers...no sailboat, fishing boats, speedboats or Sea Rays. We like getting the chance to board boats of all sizes, comparing the different features, talking to other boaters and dreaming a little. There are always a few boats we could easily fall in love with and picture ourselves living aboard...but all in all the day just reinforced our knowledge that we made a great choice when we bought our boat. The Pearl is just right for us at this stage in our life. When our cruising style changes maybe we'll seriously look at a different boat...until then we're happy at home on The Pearl.

The boat with the biggest WOW factor for us this year was Sas Sea Lady, a 54' Power Catamaran Pilothouse...very impressive.
This is the galley on Sas Sea Lady...the rest of the boat was just as impressive.
This is a 2001 48' Kadey Krogen Whaleback...I could easily live on this boat.
This was Stan's favorite and one of mine...a Defever 56 Pilothouse. Very livable and useable...maybe one day in the future.

September 26, 2013

"Mystic Seaport"

September 24, 2013

"North Haven, ME"

September 23, 2013

Sept. 22 – Baltimore, MD

Henderson’s Wharf Marina

It’s pretty easy to get out of the habit of updating the blog…especially when there isn’t a lot to report on! We are really enjoying our time in Baltimore, especially since the weather has been so wonderful. A cold front did move through yesterday, but luckily most of the rain came during the night and we woke up to another beautiful day. Fall is in the air and it’s slowly getting cooler. We will head south next week…hopefully staying in front of the real cold air and arriving in Texas when the hot weather has moved out.

Sally and I spent the afternoon in the Inner Harbor shopping and watching the street performers. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Eagle was dock in the Inner Harbor this weekend and we had a chance to go aboard for a tour. The USCGC Eagle is a 295-foot barque (sailing vessel with three or more masts) used as a training cutter for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. She is the only active commissioned steel hulled sailing vessel in American military service. She is the sixth U.S. Navy or Coast Guard ship to bear the name in a line dating back to 1792. We have seen this impressive ship under sail a few times in the Chesapeake, so it's fun to be able to go aboard and get a closer look at this beautiful ship.

On our way back to the marina we noticed that Willie Nelson was appearing at the Pier Six Pavilion, which is an outdoor concert venue on the inner harbor, this evening. So Stan and I went back and sat on the pier next to the pavilion and enjoyed a free concert. From the looks of the crowd in the area, it’s a popular thing to do. The music was just as good, for us; as it would have been if we paid to go in…probably better, because it wasn’t as loud. Just another fun day in Baltimore, Maryland!

Our last evening with the full crews from AmiciGallivant and The Pearl (Sept. 20 - Ted, Stan, Don, Pam, Susie and Sally)
Baltimore Inner Harbor 
USCGC Eagle  
Pier Six Pavilion 
A little Willie Nelson and fireworks...not a bad evening in Baltimore

September 20, 2013

Summer Memories

The fog rolling over the mountains in Camden, ME

September 19, 2013

Sept. 18 - Baltimore, MD

Henderson's Wharf Marina

Scenes of Fell's Point on a beautiful fall day.
Thames Street and water taxis
Sailboats docked at the base of Broadway Square
Looking west on Thames Street
Broadway Square looking to Berth's Mussels  
Our lunch spot today...Tortilleria Sinaloa Tacos. Homemade tortillas and authentic Mexican tacos. Very Good!

September 17, 2013

Sept. 16 – Baltimore, MD

Henderson’s Wharf Marina

We celebrated Stan’s birthday today. Our friends got together on Amici for cake this afternoon since we had plans for a private date night this evening. Sally and Ted bought a carrot cake and ice cream…what a great afternoon snack. We went to La Scala in Little Italy for dinner, the food and service were wonderful, and then stopped at SlaintĂ© for an Irish Coffee on the way back to the boat. We had a wonderful evening. We’re really enjoying our down time in Baltimore.

Happy birthday to my best friend.
Can you see The Pearl?
Dinner at La Scala

September 16, 2013

Sept. 15 – Baltimore, MD

Henderson’s Wharf Marina

It was a beautiful weekend in Baltimore and we enjoyed just hanging out…visiting with friends and relaxing.

Weekend views of the Inner Harbor

September 15, 2013

Sept. 14 - Baltimore, MD

Henderson's Wharf Marina

It was a beautiful day in Fell's Point...a perfect day to enjoy the farmers market in Broadway Square. We enjoy buying a few fresh vegetables, having breakfast and talking to the vendors, but our favorite part of the farmers market is watching the people. Everyone seemed to have a dog or a child with them today. We actually spent most of the morning hanging out on the square, visiting with friends, making new friends, watching people and enjoying the great weather. What a wonderful way to spend a day.

Just one of the many vegetable venders at the market
Part of the entertainment of the farmers market are the street performers. This band played blue grass music.
But the best entertainment was watching the little kids having fun
and the parade of dogs.
Our seats for all the entertainment .