Chesapeake Finale, Potomac to Norfolk! Ep. 24

I am coming to the conclusion that our kids will live in a big city when they grow up! They both light up and become energized as we descend on each big city … New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and now Washington, DC. Maybe they take their lead from Tom and I. We do LOVE cities and maybe our moods and excitement are infectious.

Our first day in DC, however, was spent on our boat! The winds were blowing around 30 knots and we were anchored with a whole fleet of other boats. As all the surrounding boats put out more anchor rode to hold in the building winds, we found ourselves increasingly pinched. Being the last one in the anchorage, we moved and re-set our anchor at least three times throughout the day. We also put out a second anchor as backup.

We spent five nights anchored in the upper Potomac, a brisk 10 minute walk to the Washington DC Mall and all that that offered — the Smithsonian museums, Washington Monument, Capital Building, Lincoln Memorial, Library of Congress, White House and many more monuments and memorials which will have to be enjoyed on a future DC trip!

We did make it to the National Zoo, which was a very pleasant surprise. Nestled inside a quaint DC neighborhood, this zoo was very impressive for what they had, the amount of research done there and the habitats they maintained for their animals.

The highlight for me was the Library of Congress and the Capital Building. Both of these are such magnificent architectural structures in and of themselves. When the historic value, the exquisite art and statues and the knowledge of what these places mean to our nation are added on, it makes these two destinations rise to the top.

We couldn’t get Caleb out of the National Air and Space Museum and Zachary loved the zoo and enjoyed the overall historic significance and being able to see places he had heard so much about. Here is a picture of a ceiling inside the Library of Congress, followed by two great quotes found on its walls

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DC Doubletake Ep. 23

Wow, this is one of those weeks where I don’t know where to start, there’s been so much happening for us! We started off last weekend under the wings of Phil and Pat English in Columbia, MD. Phil was a close friend of Karen’s father, and he had offered several times to take us in when our voyage brought us through the area. We left the boat at a small marina on the Rhode River on the western shore just south of Annapolis. Phil picked us up for what would be two gracious nights spent ashore in a real bed, taking real showers and a chance to enjoy someone else’s cooking — it was splendid! We had run into Phil and Pat at several family weddings, but this was a good opportunity to catch up with them and enjoy their home in this beautiful suburb of both Baltimore and Washington DC. I guess it should be no surprise, but it seemed like everyone we ran into was somehow associated with the government. Karen’s cousin Linda stopped over and her husband Rubin works for the National Transportation Safety Board. A neighbor of Phil’s also works for the NTSB. Another neighbor flies military transport jets and is on his fourth Iraqi assignment. Phil’s son Matthew works as a technical contractor for the defense department. Phil had also held several government jobs around Washington. This experiences give you a new appreciation of what it takes to keep this country running!

We started off our land-side stay by doing those things that are so out of reach by foot from small waterfront towns — post office shipments, Home Depot run, and a fabric store for some vinyl to repair several cabin cushions. On Saturday, Phil promised and Phil delivered on a thorough tour of Washington DC. I had lived in Annapolis many years ago and was familiar with DC, but Karen and the boys had never seen the sights. We started by visiting Arlington National Cemetery.

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Diamonds in the Rough Ep. 22

Last Friday, we left Georgetown on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake with a simple objective in mind — find a harbor with some excitement. The cruising guide had promised great things about Georgetown and had even forewarned us that we might encounter a “wall of boats” heading over from the more populated Baltimore and Annapolis regions. We quickly learned that you need to put on your ‘seasonality adjustment’ lens when reading the guide. What might be a wild and crazy location in July is as tame as a kitten in October. Sometimes too tame! And after spending the whole day holed up down below in the cabin in anticipation of gale force winds which never came, we were anxious to get out and see and do. So, we set sail for the western shore with Baltimore in mind, a 35 mile journey. We were finally able to show my Dad some real sailing with a beautiful 15-20 breeze out of the north that allowed us to sail on a broad reach or wing-and-wing downwind the entire day. Like the Delaware Bay, this part of the northern Chesapeake is shallow in many spots and they have designated a narrow shipping channel for freighters, tugs and the like to use. We had to keep very alert as our downwind destination forced us to criss cross the channel repeatedly. Zack stepped in and helped us out for part of the sailing, under the watchful eye of Grampa!

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Trying to be at peace with the Toolbox Ep. 21

To counteract the many photos from last week, I’m including very few this week. We covered a far amount of ground, but for some reason we didn’t record the events through the camera!

With my Dad aboard and a night’s rest at a slip at the Utsch’s Marina (a spot I can highly recommend) in Cape May, we embarked on our journey up the Delaware Bay on Monday. If you’ve ever looked at the Delaware Bay on a map, you’ll think that this would be a cake walk with the immense breadth of the bay and the likely anchorages along the way. The reality is that neither exist. It is best to make the 55 mile run up the Bay to the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) canal in one day. There’s a very skinny channel that runs up the Bay that oceangoing ships and tugs with barges use as they head to and from Philadelphia and Wilmington. Continue reading “Trying to be at peace with the Toolbox Ep. 21”

Civics Assignment Ep. 20

By Zachary Grimmett

For my Civics class, I have recently completed a survey of 16 friends/relatives and their volunteer hours over the recent past. So that I could easily represent this data, I asked that the hours be submitted into one or more of these 6 categories: School, church, hospital, community, coaching, and other. To those of you that I e-mailed in September, thanks for participating. Sorry I could not update this sooner- I have been very busy. As I read the e-mailed responses, I converted all of the data into percentages, forgetting that I had no easy way to represent this in a graph. I then assumed that the average hours spent volunteering in the recent past would be 100 hours of volunteer work. So I converted all of the percentages back into hours. These are the results in a bar graph:

Shutterbug Ep. 19

I’m giving you all notice up front… this edition is going to be heavy on the photographs! We’ve seen so much this past week, I’m having a hard time figuring out which of the many pictures make the cut, so consider yourself warned!

We had just arrived in New York City at the end of last week’s update. What a great city the Big Apple is!! Karen had been there once before at a younger age, and I had lived outside the City for awhile, but this visit was special and unusual and altogether tantalizing! I think we were starved for eye candy, after leaving Mystic a week previously. We hadn’t seen much in the way of people and buildings as we made our way west through Long Island Sound. That was about to change!

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