Sunday, September 19, 2010

St. Michaels to Solomons (Sep 3 to Sep 18 )

Joe was starting things up for our departure and found that the breaker switch for the auto pilot was broken. "It's a boat." Joe, of course, had a spare and once he'd located it, Bruce helped out getting the old one out and the new one in. So, we left around noon. As we approached the bay, we saw a wall of boats - mostly sailboats, under sail, many participating in races. Joe managed to pick our way through the boats and crab pots and turn south to head for Oxford. Again the wave action was not as predicted. I guess they didn't want to spoil anyone's holiday plans. Although we did hear several calls for the Coast Guard, so I guess plans got spoiled once people got out there. Anyhow, Carolyn Ann got us safely through the quick, four foot plus waves on her bow - we just held on!

It was late in the day when we anchored in Oxford, so we decided to just relax, enjoying a nice happy hour on the flybridge. The next morning we took the dinghy over to Schooner's restaurant - free dock if you eat there. Well, we tied up and the place was deserted. It turns out that because of the holiday, they were closed on Tuesday. The museum was closed on Tuesday's. The ice cream place was closed on Tuesday. Seemed like most of the town, such as it is, was closed. We met some locals who had planned to have lunch at Schooners also and they suggested the Robert Morris Inn. It was open - actually just recently re-opened with a new chef. The inn dates back to the 1700's and lunch was very good. We walked down the main street for a while after lunch, admiring the old houses, English-style gardens, and the Oxford signature picket fences.

Joe was also able to walk through the Cutts and Case Shipbuilders building and see the wooden boats they design and build there.

The next morning we decided to move to Cambridge - a short trip. Unfortunately, the bay was still kickin' so it was a short, unpleasant trip. Cambridge has a very well protected little harbor with a wall you can tie to. The downtown area is right there. There just isn't much to see or do.

There are a few shops - one gallery had a whole room full of Danny Doughty's works with accompanying models. I had a nice chat with the girl who makes the models and just loved the art. He has a whimsical style that just makes you smile. We also stopped in a decoy store that could've been a museum!

Since the downtown didn't hold much interest and the weather was just incredible, I found a nice residential area to walk in along the water. The homes were mostly old and mostly well-kept. Evidently they have architectural restrictions. I didn't notice any signs of cottages having been torn down to be replaced by McMansions.

This one stood out in the neighborhood – including the sign in the yard showing that they’d be cited by the Historical Society.

We also had time to view the local wildlife. The jelly fish population was highly concentrated, discouraging any possible thoughts of taking a dip.  In general the jelly fish seem to have been thick this summer.  We assume the extreme heat had something to do with it.
 We picked up a dozen "Choptank special" crabs one night for dinner - yummy.! And then decided to do it again a few nights later!

There was also a man who walked his two dogs - German Shepard and black Lab - past the boat everyday. Following them were cats - ten cats! Strangest thing.

Many of you know that Joe spent a lot of time on the Eastern Shore in earlier times. Several of his old hunting buddies now live in the area. Harry and Linda Trimble made the trip from Berlin one afternoon for grocery shopping and dinner. Harry and Joe met while working a detail at Ft. McHenry back in the 70's. They started talking and Joe mentioned that we had spent our honeymoon on Assateague Island - duck hunting in December. Harry, who was a ranger there, said, "That was you??!!" After that they got together at least once a year to hunt and we often saw them on our yearly pilgrimage to Ocean City.

The following night we had dinner with "Fast" Fred Ropko and Bernie Clipper and their wives. Fred and Bernie were also old hunting buddies. Fred was also an artist. I've got several of his ceramic pieces that he was less than happy with - I'm very happy with them! Bernie owned the father of our beloved black lab Abby.  We all laughed through dinner, listening to the old hunting stories.  Hard to believe they had time to shoot the ducks.

We ended up staying in Cambridge for a week before moving back over to the Solomons area.  First stop was back at Jim and Judi's for a few days.  They generously let Joe borrow their truck to take me to the airport.  I flew to Charleston to pick up the Explorer and drive it to St. Pete (via Atlanta) to see John, Meredith and the soon to arrive, Alex.  Meredith had gone into the hospital the day before my flight.  After numerous calls for updates during the day, we finally got the call a bit after 7pm, September 18 that Alex had arrived, albeit reluctantly!  Meredith was a trooper through it all and John managed not to pass out.  Welcome to the family, Alex.

There are more pictures on the picasa site:

1 comment:

Linda said...

WOW! What a lusty lunged grandson you have! I was looking for the audio button! Congrats to all.

See you soon, we hope!
Linda and Fred