New York - Baltimore - Cambridge #24 September 2010

Norm, Jean, Bill, Laura, Lynn, and Reid
Baltimore Tiki Barge

We began this month, sans boat, on a NY farm that produces corn, tomatoes, melons, pears, apples, peaches and plums. I was in hog heaven!!!!!!!!!!!! Bill's sister, Doris, was our very gracious hostess who made it possible for us to visit nieces, nephews, and cousins.

During our NY visit, Himmicane Earl appeared to be headed in the direction of Baltimore where Kindred Spirit was docked. When we left her, we didn't know of Earl's intended track. Friends, Julie and Jim, who are a couple of slips from us, kept a diligent watch for us and were prepared to remove our canvas and adjust lines if needed. Thanks goodness, Earl had other places to go. So many of you inquired about our safety during that time and we're appreciative of your concern and your thinking of us. It was a little nerve-wracking to not be "on site" when there's the prospect of a storm.

Bill and his sister, Doris
It was good to get back home and renew friendships with cruisers we've met in the past. Catching up with Jim and Julie over lunch in one of their favorite spots in Canton was a much anticipated treat. They have miles of cruising experiences beneath their hull and we cling to their every word.
As old-folksie as it probably sounds...and IS...we laughed through a 3 hour live performance of Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion cast and loved every second of it. Truth be told, I went primarily to see his sound man and that guy's incredible, so imaginative, and a real hoot.

Bill and Jim spent a day at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, the oldest, most comprehensive American railroad collection in the world. They took a round trip ride on the first mile of commercial track recognized as the birthplace of American railroading.
Stained Glass in ceiling of Penn Station, Baltimore

One of many interesting "items" at American Visionary Art Museum on Federal Hill

...but no "Pride of Signs"....
Charmaine, our "Iron Woman" 5 bicycle/car-free cycling friend from Washington hopped Amtrak with her little compact Brompton bike and came for a visit. We rode the Gwynns Falls Trail, a linear greenway trail whose eastern terminus begins at I-70 near historic Franklintown. The trail follows the Gwynns Falls stream valley through 5 parks to the Inner Harbor and the middle branch of the Patapsco River. This trail is one of the entry points of the Chesapeake and its watershed. Accidentally, we stumbled upon a wonderful bar and grill on Federal Hill and the 3 of us had a great lunch/dinner.

Lynn and Reid, a couple who became our friends several years ago in Charleston and are here in Baltimore on a 94' Nordlund, came for dinner and an evening of laughs and "picking their boating/cruising brains". They, too, have extensive cruising experience and are a gold mine of information for us. They came bearing Toll House cookies that Lynn had baked FROM SCRATCH. I was impressed!!!!!!  :-)
The Marine Trawler Owners Association Rendezvous was a wonderful week with greater than 80 boats and 200+ participants. There was a sumptuous amount of food, seminars, food, happy hours, food, a Dinner Cruise aboard a 3 decker ship, conversations with interesting and fun folks. Who'd think cruisers would want to take a cruise on a commercial boat...but we did and it was a riot!!! Most of our Happy Hours were on the T Head Dock and a 32 year old guy who lives on a sailboat said we reminded him of Seniors (as in old folks) on Spring Break!

We ended the week with a Pub Crawl through historic Fells Point. We left on foot at 11:30 and many pedestrian miles later we crawled home at dusk. We trudged all the old irregular brick paved streets getting a history lesson each time we entered the portals of another establishment. Among the many little bars that we toured, Max's Taphouse has 140 beers on tap and 1200 different brands of bottled beer and Birds of a Feather with 120 single malt scotches!!!

Don't believe the cleat's proportionate!

The Spirit--our dinner cruise ship

Fell's Point bar with 120+ beers on tap!

In 1814,Fell's Point was at the center of a conflict that greatly influenced our identity as Americans when Baltimore was our nation's capitol. British forces briefly occupied the city but a combination of military and civilian efforts halted their progress at Baltimore's doorstep. This turning point in American history is often overlooked in history classes.

On the first day of TrawlerFest, I volunteered at the trawler owners association booth and loved schmoozing with folks as they strolled past.
We're ending this month in Cambridge, MD, for our first Grand Banks Rendezvous. To arrive here from Baltimore we once again crossed the Chesapeake Bay, one of the world's largest estuaries where salt and fresh water mix amid the ebb and flow of tides. The Bay waters extend almost 200 miles with 12,000 miles of tidal shoreline and is so very beautiful.  Cambridge is a quaint and old town and a great place to be tucked into during these monsoon like rains.  We're learning so much from other Grand Banks owners and are thoroughly enjoying this rendezvous and opportunity to learn from others.  

Enjoy this autumn season and till next month---
Bill and Laura
Kindred Spirit III
Cambridge Yacht Basin, MD


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