Friday, October 10, 2008

Potomac River Cruise

The Great Harbour Trawlers Association sponsored a cruise up the Potomac River to Washington, DC. Carolyn Ann was one of seven boats that took part in the cruise. We had a GREAT time! Joe and I didn’t actually end up spending as much time with our fellow Great Harbour owners as we would have liked, but instead were able to spend time visiting lots of friends and relatives and being tourists.
Before we could join the other cruisers, we had to get the transmission replaced. The foggy morning in Solomons seemed foreboding. The whole transaction was foggy. Once we had gotten the transmission replaced, we met up with the other boaters anchored at St. Mary’s City on the lower Potomac. All three versions of the 37 were represented.
Moon Beam - with the red bottom - has no fly bridge;
Puffin - the blue one - is the GH version with expanded interior space;

and Silver Queen - in the morning mist - has a fly bridge and is the same as Carolyn Ann.
We anchored there for two nights – had a great pot-luck dinner on Lazy Dolphin - and then all moved to Colonial Beach, VA where we took over the back room of the marina restaurant for dinner. The next day we broke off from the group and went to Ft. Washington Marina which is near one of our old neighborhoods as well as one of Joe’s brothers and one of his sisters. Joe’s brother Rick had delivered his wife, Carol, to Colonial Beach for the day long ride up to Ft. Washington. After a cool start, the weather turned out to be good enough for riding on the fly bridge in the afternoon and it was nice to have such a good visit with Carol, who proclaimed to her friends that she was on her “big boat” as we came into the marina. Sunday morning was the final leg up to Capital Yacht Club in DC. Again, it was quite an experience to see familiar sights from the water as opposed to land.
We passed Mount Vernon,

my favorite house of all time (which is for sale if anyone is interested),

the new – still under construction – National Harbor (destined to change the image of Prince George’s County?),
went under the new and improved Woodrow Wilson Bridge (my old nemesis),

the Air Force Memorial (which we hadn't seen before).

As we neared the marina we saw this couple out for a paddle. Joe clocked them at 6.4 knots and in the 20 minutes or so we could see them, they never let up. Made my arms hurt just to watch them. We were the first to arrive at Capital Yacht Club and found that not all our slips were available. When a slipholder takes their boat out for an extended period of time, other non-slipholding members who are anchored near by – referred to as floaters – are allowed to rent the empty slips. However, if real paying customers show up for the slips, the floaters have to move back to their anchorages.
Some floaters were a little behind schedule and, unfortunately, one owner was in the hospital. Silver Queen ended up rafting with us. Their dog Rio got to check out Rocky's dish every time he went for a walk. The yacht club was great – Joe’s ready to join up. One night they had a $3 spaghetti dinner that we were all invited to. I don’t think any in our group passed that one up! And some even sat with the Secretary of Interior! His office then arranged a nice tour for any of the group that wanted to join in. While working in DC Joe was never willing to go into the city on off hours, but now he loves doing the tourist thing. Of course he still had time to fish. Actually, he left the hook dangling most of the time - but not without success! The marina is right in the heart of the federal area of the city. A block from the boat we could catch the Circulator bus which would take us pretty much anywhere we wanted to go for fifty cents – with a transfer that usually lasted all day! We made it to several museums and visited with relatives, friends and old work mates. Our five day stay was over before we knew it. Unfortunately, we didn't seem to have the camera with us when we really wanted it, but Joe did get a photo of an appropriate quote - We left the city Friday morning, following Silver Queen out of the marina. Joe was on the radio describing the sights to Neil when the Coast Guard started chasing Silver Queen. Turns out they didn't like all that talk about the military installations going out over the air.
We headed back to Ft. Washington and ended up spending two nights catching up with family there. Sunday morning we took Rick and Carol and their son Justin and his wife Amy for a short ride up to National Harbor – for a close up look from the water – and back to Ft. Washington. Those of you who know the DC area will understand our astonishment at the National Harbor development taking place in Prince George's County.
As we started the trek back down the river, we noticed that the leaves were starting to change - signaling that it was time to start heading south again. We met up with one of our sister boats, Young America, and shared dinner and an anchorage with Fred and Linda at the mouth of the Port Tobacco River. Cap'n Billy's had been considered briefly - but $35/doz for medium crabs seemed a bit steep! The damper on the end of the trip was finding out that the warranty claim on our transmission problem was being rejected as normal wear. We had already bought the new one and were hoping for a credit on the purchase price once they’d had time to examine the old one. With the repairman’s backing, Joe’s hoping to get some type of compromise worked out. Stay tuned.
If you'd like to see more pictures, follow the link to our picasa albums: (it's not always updated at the same time as this one, but I catch up eventually!)

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