LAT: N 38° 19.3'
LON: W 76° 27.3'
50s, cloudy with rain, winds S 5-15 kts
|Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Rain : Clouds :: Books : Blankets
845 - Depart Annapolis after last minute weather check.
1000 - Pass Bloody Point (spoooooky).
1200 - Pass Little Choptank River. (Bloody Point? Choptank? Where are we?)
1301 - Coming up on Cove Point, passing the "Restricted Area" with numerous "Research Buoys."
1440 - Anchored At Solomon's Island off the Patuxent River.
Arggg me maties, me peg leg'sa twitchin', there's a storm a brewin'. Make yar anchor fast this night.
The People at Solomon's Ain't a Bit Solemn, Man.
They're Actually Quite Friendly
Conan O'Brien- guest Editor
This dark and drizzily morning we took off from Annapolis knowing we wanted to get a little farther down the Chesapeake before tomorrow's heavy winds. We headed into the greyness keeping our eyes on the radar for small fishing boats and huge barges. We couldn't see much on our way down so we could only imagine what places like Bloody Point are really like. Though we did come across some suspicious (and scary) characters [U.S. Navy... seeeeecreeeeets -Ed] on the water.
Taking turns at the helm, we had time to scavenge for snacks and keep up with our reading. Driving Slowly is much like watching TV at times when you can't help but to munch. It was a cozy six hours, wet but with relatively calm waters. In the early afternoon we finally turned into the Patuxent River and headed in to Solomon's Island.
The "main harbor" was a prefect place to anchor because there was no one else anchored there. And when other boats tried to anchor we threatened them: "This harbor ain't big enough for the both of us! Grr!". (Not true). We put on our raincoats and got into Surely to row to the marina, very close by.
The marina guy, though slightly hard to understand, was very nice and let us keep Surely here while we explored on foot. We walked down the road about a mile. It started with mostly restaurants and bars near the water, then became a suburban residential area, followed by a shopping center. There we unexpectedly found a great gourmet grocery store where we couldn't help but go a little overboard on fresh sausages being that they had a never ending meat market.
The cashier at the store and a few other people we spoke with also had accents. We hadn't experienced that in many other places (except with the Delawarians in Chesapeake City). It was nice to feel like we are really moving. One of the things we were excited for during this trip was to enjoy the different voices and attitudes one finds when traveling to new places. Tim felt particularly happy when people were actually returning his random greetings instead of ignoring him.
With our heavy burden of grocery bags we walked back towards Slowly and the restaurants. We chose to go to the one place that had a happy hour sign outside for a half priced appetizer. The Lighthouse Inn was ritzier than we expected it to be. The bar was a wooden boat built by a local man named Pepper. It was a gorgeous piece of work, though there was no door for the bartender and she had to hop over the other side every time she needed to get out. With warming groceries, we headed back to the Surely, and rowed home, falling asleep shortly after our arrival.
Solomon's Island is a small seaside resort town. It was nice to be able to walk where we needed to go, though it seemed to cater to visitors more than residents. The people all were quite friendly, and it is pretty cute so we give it 3 propellers.
Fish, crab, and lobster traps! These little guys are a nuisance for most boaters, though we appreciate and enjoy the foodstuffs they help provide. Maine is known to have highest density of traps, but we've had a good number over our trip. Maine's big catch is lobster; the Chesapeake is known for its Blue Crab. We are sure that each region will have its own trap mazes for their own local bounty. The fear is getting our propellers wrapped around the lines that connect the trap on the bottom to these little buoys on the surface. It would mean a cold swim with a knife to solve that problem. Where there are many, boaters sometimes install cages around their propellers to prevent entanglement. For us, we rely on keen eyes and able maneuvering to avoid the traps. Do not be fooled by the bright red buoy in the picture. The markers are often black or white or just old and dirty, making them hardly visible. Also, where there is one, we keep a close eye for a friend near by!
Animal of the Day
The Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis. Today, we saw the Brown Pelicans that are known to reside on the Chesapeake Bay. They are easy to tell from other birds because they are quite large (wingspan 6.5 ft), have a very long bill and glide for awhile in between a few slow flaps up and down close to the water. When fishing, they plunge bill first into the water in a somewhat ungraceful and frightening (if you are beneath them) dive. Once in the water they open their gigantic pouch and scoop up their seafood dinner. Guess what color they are. Brown! And they are the only pelican found around here, so that makes it easy to look them up in the field guide.
After having the rich and large Spinach and Crab Dip appetizer at the Lighthouse Inn we knew we wouldn't have much more room for dinner. The Dip came with fried tortilla chips which were excellent, as was the Dip. We rinsed it down with the $1.75 pints of the Lighthouse Inn's own brew. It was similar to a Sam Adams, but perhaps better, with a little more of a pale ale flavor.
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