Cruising Chronicles August 2009

31 August 2009
Williamson, NY, - Olverson's Lodge Creek Marina, Lottsburg, VA, - St. Mary's City, MD, - Solomons Island, MD Summer’s official end is nigh upon us! We hope you had a great summer. This was voted our best ever!!! Canandaigua Lake, NY There are minimal adventures to report on for August. At the very end of July we went to Olverson’s Lodge Creek Marina in VA ,just off the Potomac, with every intention of leaving the boat there for a week while we traveled to NY. We fell in love with the place as well as the people and tore ourselves away only two days ago. Bill’s only sibling, Doris, was 80 years old this month so we went to upstate NY to celebrate with her, Gerry, her husband, and their very large family. She makes 80 look like 40!!! What an incredible lady!!! She's my hero!! I just couldn’t keep up with her!! Her children planned a wonderful party for her complete with live music and delicious food. Her grandchildren were all romping together—from little tiny people to young marrieds. What a treat for the eyes and just watching them running and playing made me grin. We had such a fun reunion with the entire family and Doris’s cooking had me in the waddle mode when we left. The drive though the rural countryside was gorgeous. Many people immediately think NYC when you say “NY” but this area is “the other NY”. The old dawg was rejuvenated by the trip. She loved running in their back yard but once home, she reverted to the old woman that she was when she left. We told Doris and Gerry to expect a box from UPS with big holes in it so she can breathe. She’s mourning the farm and missing them. Gerry’s still finding little “Tootsie Rolls” that she left so they’d remember her. Fairport, NY - Sodus Point Light, NY - Flashback from Venice, CA Gray haired Mr. Speedo, upper right, was wheeling down the streets of Charlotte Beach, Rochester, NY!!! Worthy of a Kodak moment, I thought. Olverson’s Marina is like one big family. There are 200+ slips here and the marina has been full all summer. Friends of ours from Merritt Island arrived at the end of the month and had to tie to the fuel dock because there’s no room in the inn. Every single day at 5 PM we have a social hour (and ½) at the same meeting place on the main dock. There are generally about 20 boaters there---rocking, laughing and talking under the cooling ceiling fans. That is a beautiful area—very rural with lots of soybean and corn fields. The nearest grocery store is 10 miles; Wal-Mart, 25 miles; and Enterprise, 28!!! People are so friendly regardless of where we go. When we drove down the roads, farmers lifted their hands in a wave. We were there 3 Sundays and went to an old, old Methodist church, sang old hymns, and were greeted by members dressed in coats, ties, and pantyhose. (Not all on 1 person!!) I haven’t owned a pair of the latter in at least a decade nor have I seen anyone wearing them---till that Sunday!!!. Those wonderful people fell all over themselves to make us feel welcome. We were spring chickens in that congregation! (Rarely are we in a group where that’s the case!!) Olverson's was been a great place for Bill to run and there was a pool that I put to good use. The water is my element---either on it or in it and, sad to say, the anchorages and marinas we’ve enjoyed since we began this adventure have had ugly water. We’ve done a fine job, as a country, of pollution but I had no idea it was so widespread!!! Even in Marathon, the water was clear enough to see the bottom but not clean enough to swim. Needless to say, I miss the pool!
We visited several nearby towns that took us back several decades. Reedville, VA, has a wonderful museum displaying the history of the watermen of that area who brought in Menhaden fish that are used for their oil even today. We also lunched on crab cakes at a very local deli that is part of a crab packing plant. We have had a sumptuous supply of home grown fruits and veggies---the tomatoes are wonderful and so acidic!!! In the common area on the dock is a “free table” to put things that you no longer need and want to give away. Farmers would come to the marina and leave deposits of fruits of their labor on the "free table" and there was even an egg lady who brought homemade free-range eggs and dog treats! See why it was hard to cast off our lines and leave? Several of you have asked about our safety during Hurricane Bill. The marina in which we were slipped is 41 years old and they’ve never once had any hurricane damage to either boats or roofs over the docks. St. Mary's City, MD, provided a very interesting walking tour. After 375 years, MD has many tales to tell and her story begins there---the site of the 4th permanent colony in British North America and home to the state's first capital. The city vanished when the capital moved to Annapolis (and the people with it) and became farmland for centuries until remains began to be found. Trails link various archaeological and historical sites of the old city. The Statehouse of 1676 has been reconstructed but ghost frames mark plots where homes once stood in the sandy fields ploughed by hand. There is also the very old St. Mary's College which began as a women's seminary in the 1800's but is now co-ed and has developed one of the nation's top-ranked sailing teams.
St. Mary's City State House and the Brick Chapel
St. Mary's was the first colony to try to separate church and state. Symbolically, this idea is evident in the city's layout and is the first baroque plan used to develop a city in our country. Plotted on 2 symmetrical triangles, 4 main streets converge at the town center with the Brick Chapel at one end of the triangle and the State House at the opposite end. Our cruise into the Potomac and up the Chesapeake was on a perfect boating day with boats punctuating the waters in every direction. We found a niche in the midst of activity on Back Creek, Solomons, MD. While still in Charleston, SC, last year, we met a sailing couple who lives in this area and we spent the afternoon with them seeing Solomons by car and enjoying their home's water view.
The Calvert Marine Museum overlooking Back Creek, the thoroughfare for Solomons, has a wonderful display of maritime, cultural, naval, and natural history of the region. The Drum Point Lighthouse is on the site of the museum and is one of the few remaining cottage-style screwpile lighthouses on the National Register of Historic Places. It is furnished for a family as it was during its years of use.
Drum Point Lighthouse Solomons, MD
Tomorrow, September 1, we're leaving Solomons to head north---next stop being Annapolis. See you in a month!
Bill, Laura, and the Old Dawg
Lying at anchor Solomons, MD


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