Friday, November 30, 2012

Cauldrons on the Chesapeake: Good Morning Baltimore!

As we pulled out of Bodkin Creek the next morning, we were met with a pretty awesome sight:

Yup, it was the starting day for the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, a yearly adventure on the bay.  All the boats were headed out to the starting line.  It was pretty nifty to feel like we were back in the 19th century for an hour or so as we watched them sail by.

Ahoy there!
We zipped along up the river toward Baltimore Harbor, and Bosley wedged himself in down below.

Bosley practicing his Detroit lean. 

We crossed under Francis Scott Key bridge, and spotted the buoy that marks the spot where he was supposedly sitting on a boat when he penned The Star Spangled Banner.

Key Bridge

The famous buoy. 

Baltimore was a beautiful harbor to sail into - and there were boats everywhere!

A forest of masts greeting us.

Fort McHenry

Quaintly beautiful!

We tied up at our final destination, a marina just to the south of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and went off looking for more adventures.  A friend had suggested the American Visionary Art Museum, which turned out to be a 10 minute walk from our marina, so we ventured over.  It was pretty cool - all devoted to self-taught artists, so there were some pretty unique exhibits.  No photos allowed inside, but you should check it out if you are ever nearby.

American Visionary Art Museum courtyard
That night, we met up with P, a friend from a previous sailing adventure, for dinner and drinks in Federal Hill. We enjoyed some oysters at Ryleigh's, then some homemade brews and bar pies at our new favorite Baltimore spot, Pub Dog.  P gave us some suggestions for the following day, too - he really made our time in Baltimore rock!

Reunion with our friend P, who made our time in Baltimore really fun!

The next morning we hit the National Aquarium - I knew Mr. C would totally dig it.

National Aquarium



Scorpion fish!
We had a great time at the aquarium - there was so much to see and the exhibits were all really awesome - we highly recommend it.  We hoofed it back past our marina to check out a local bbq spot, HarborQue (their hush puppies were awesome!) and then made our way back to Osprey.

Some city views from the south shore

Sunset in the marina

Osprey, our cozy home!

On our friend P's recommendations, we hit Fells Point for our last night out - fish tacos at Woody's Rum Bar, a couple of pints at The Cat's Eye, some canned beer at Bar (creative, no?), and whiskey creations at Rye.  We definitely wrapped our honeymoon adventure up in style!

The last night of bad decisions...starting at Woody's Rum Bar.
Our sailing honeymoon was perfectly us, and we had a blast.  I hope you've enjoyed following along!

If you missed an installment, here's the whole rundown...

Getting started in Rock Hall
Anchored in Eastport
Exploring Annapolis
Heading South to Solomons
Off to St. Michael's
Rainy Day Adventures
Oxford Bound
Braving the Narrows
Bodkin Creek Anchorage

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cauldrons on the Chesapeake: A Quiet Anchorage

With only a few days left on our honeymoon, we decided to take the long leg back up toward Baltimore, where we knew we could wrap up our trip.  It was a gorgeous day for a big sail!  A little chilly, but sunny and blue - the best kind of day.

Mrs. C commanding the helm.

Unbelievably blue.

Another happy sailboat out for an adventure.

We decided to stop for the day just inside the mouth of the Patapsco River, in a creek called Bodkin Creek.  We found a nice quiet spot to anchor, and relaxed in the cockpit, enjoying the late afternoon weather. 

Baltimore in the distance as we make the turn into the creek.

Being lazy in the cockpit at anchor.

What a view!

Expanding skies as the day wears away.

Bosley is tuckered out. 
For one of our last meals on the boat, we roasted some of those tasty fresh oysters we bought on Tilghman Island.  Dee-licious!

Mmm, oysters!

Oyster feast!

Family photo (haha) as the sun disappears.

Next stop, Baltimore or bust!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cauldrons on the Chesapeake: Braving the Narrows

We finally pulled away from Oxford after waking up with mega hangovers and deciding to sleep in for a while (hey, if you can't do that on your honeymoon, when can you?!)  Actually, I think I may have been the only one who slept it off.  Mr. C was pretty great about getting the boat all ready to go and letting me loll around in the v-berth for a few hours.

Our destination on this pretty blue (but still pretty chilly!) day was Knapps Narrows at Tilghman Island.  We had heard horror stories from our dinner companions the night before, who said the current in the Narrows was a ripper, and that we should be really careful to time it properly.  We're used to dealing with tides and currents up in our usual cruising ground, so we figured we could handle it, but checked the times and stuff before we headed that direction.

Photo from The Shores of Delmarva

The current was not bad at all, but they weren't kidding about it being narrow!  The photo above shows the narrows itself.  We entered from the top of the photo, went under the bridge, and then tied up to the long floating dock you can see to the left side of the channel after the bridge.

Heading for the bridge - we missed this opening but made the next one.

The bridgetender raises her up for us.

Tied up to the Knapps Narrows Marina dock on the channel.  You can see the bridge right there!

Tilghman Island is a tiny island, but we felt like exploring.  The marina had a courtesy car - a circa 1990 Ford Taurus that was forest green...outside and inside.

Mr. C commands the green monster.
We zipped around the island, marveling at the farmland right on the water.  What a great combination!  We bought some fresh oysters at a seafood joint, had some crab dip at one of the local institutions, and even spotted a heron out near the end of the island.

It was a fun stop, but we were excited to get underway the next day toward our final destination - Baltimore!

Another self-portrait.  We are getting pretty good at these!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cauldrons on the Chesapeake - Oxford Bound

Day eight was another cold one, and we bundled up and set out for Oxford, which we had heard was a mighty quiet little town buried in the Choptank.

Mr. C making sure we stay in the channel leaving the anchorage.  No running aground for these Cauldrons!

We spotted some oystermen out tonging for oysters as we left the area (the season had just started):

He's got a lot more oysters than Mr. C did at the museum!

It was pretty darn cold that day.  By the time we got to Oxford, I couldn't feel my feet.

A slightly chilly Mrs. C. 

Arriving at Oxford

Osprey tied up in Oxford

Once we got the boat tied up, we decided to go for a walk into town.

Beautiful garden roses

The other side of Oxford, on the way into town.

The Oxford-Bellevue ferry, believed to be the nation's oldest operating private ferry service.

We got some local insight and determined that we'd head to Pope's Tavern for dinner.

Yep, that's the Popemobile!
We went back to the boat, did some laundry at the marina, and got ourselves prettified for a nice dinner out.  Boy was it worth it!  We met several local Oxford folks, had some great conversations, and shared many toasts about all the fun we were having.

After a great meal at Pope's Tavern

We got a ride back to the boat from some of our new friends, and tucked ourselves in for another nice night on the water.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cauldrons on the Chesapeake - Rainy Day Adventures

Day seven of our honeymoon sailing adventure found us still anchored outside St. Michael's.  Another grey and rainy day dawned, so we decided to check out the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in town.  The museum had many sights to see - indoor exhibits about the history of sailing and fishing on the bay, businesses on the bay (oystering, crabbing, etc), and all sorts of cool boats and machinery on display.  We hit the restoration shop area first, where they were working on rebuilding an old skipjack.

This is a skipjack they were restoring with period tools.

Pretty details, again, all done with chisels and old tools.

A very large (and old) band saw. 

As we moved from that area to others, we passed by this boat and had a chuckle:


They also had a screwpile lighthouse on site that you could go up inside and check out.  Inside they had a display of all the bay lighthouses:

This is the lighthouse I took a picture of out on the water a couple of days before.  

Mr. C enjoyed giving oyster tonging a try:

Woohoo!  Oysters!

When we'd had our fill of the museum, we stopped outside for a tourist photo:

Angry crab!

Back at the boat, it was getting colder.  So we decided to make cookies!

Boy were they good, and the oven warmed up our boat to a nice toasty temperature.

Even Bosley wanted in on the fun.

We stayed warm in our cabin for the rest of the evening, and looked forward to pulling up the anchor and heading to a new spot the next day.