Shame on me for not writing sooner! Now I have a lot of time and places to cover and I will try not to drown you in too many details!
As usual, we rushed up the ICW so quickly from Charleston that we had plenty of time to play once we arrived at mile 0 in Norfolk. In fact, we stopped for one night at Atlantic Yacht Basin to see friends, Aime and Marty. Unfortunately, Aime had to travel to see a sick family member while we were there. Fortunately, we were there with Marty. At age 91.5 years it was quite a scare when Marty tripped on the extremely uneven dock and did a face plant. The planks are in such disrepair anyone of any age could have taken a tumble. Scott joined Marty for an afternoon in the ER and thankfully he only suffered a huge bump on his forehead, 2 very black eyes and broken sunglasses. It was a miracle!
In Norfolk we spent several days at the downtown marina, Waterside, where there are many restaurants and bars near the waterfront. We enjoyed an overnight visit from daughter, Allegra and her boyfriend, Brandon. Oh, the joy of hugging family and spending quality time…close together and inside the boat! Being on opposite sides of the aft deck in the hot sun or blowing rain just doesn’t compare. We walked a few miles of the Cannonball Trail through the lovely and clean downtown center. We discovered the peace and beauty of the Pagoda and Oriental Garden Foundation which is an oasis of tranquility and bird songs. However, my favorite part of Norfolk are the iconic symbols of the city…mermaids.
Since we had time to spare, we visited our friends on Miller Time in Cape Charles, located on the lower portion of the eastern shore in VA. Here we made new boat friends, enjoyed the yummy local bakery (Coastal Bakery), Scott sampled a whiskey at the Cape Charles Distillery, and we took a tour of a 1947 wooden Trumpy-built boat belonging to Ed Tillett of Waterway Guide: Adonia.
Onancock, called the “Gem of the eastern shore” by Capt. John Smith in the 1600’s, is now one of our favorite Chesapeake Bay towns. We dropped the hook in a lovely anchorage just outside of a sweet little marina where all the boaters were outside chatting together in the evenings. We inadvertently timed our stay to coincide with the Saturday farmers/artisans market where we tried garlic scapes which I highly recommend. Charm oozes from this little town. We spent a couple of hours working on our mustache…that is the mustache on the bow of Unforgettable caused by stains from the ICW and rivers. Plain old cheap lemon juice works like a charm.
My dream of visiting Tangier Island was foiled once again. Our arrival time coming from Onancock would have coincided with low tide. We had already learned a lesson from last year when we arrived at a mid-rising tide and still got stuck in the mud. After reading “Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island” my desire to visit the disappearing crabbing community has risen even higher so perhaps in the fall we can travel by ferry from Onancock.
Onward to Solomons Island which feels like one of our homes. Calvert’s Marina was an excellent stopping point to have our transducer replaced, run a grounding grid for our electronics, trouble shooting our clicking VHF radio, and replace our wifi antennae with a WAVE brand. All this was done while we enjoyed family time in Missouri and Seattle.
My father recently moved into a nursing home in Marionville, MO and he now acts and looks ten years younger! The PT, OT, regular meals, and medical care made him a new man! The night before we arrived, the residents were put in lock down due to 3 employees testing positive for Covid. We were informed that we could only visit with my dad through a closed window! What??? No way! Since we had all three been vaccinated we hung out for three days outside! Luckily, the weather was perfect and there were tables in the shade. Unfortunately, very few are vaccinated in southwest Missouri and Covid cases are rising.
We also spent quality time with my daughter, Cassandra, and her significant other, Noah. Noah, a potential mixologist, made me a delicious drink that he created just for me: elderflower and pear sidecar…yum!
In Seattle we visited Scott’s youngest son, wife, and granddaughters for the first time since Christmas of 2019. Sylvia, the youngest was only 6 weeks old at the time and now she’s such a cute and smiley cherub! A highlight for me was making a strawberry-rhubarb pie with Juniper; best pie ever! It reminded me of making pies with my granny! She even got us onto a baseball diamond to play softball with her. My kids don’t like me to take their pictures…thankfully these sweethearts pose readily!
Back to the boat in Solomon’s and an evening with Simon, my favorite 120# Bernese Mountain dog who thinks he’s a lap dog. Hugs from grandkids and dogs, what could be better?
We had allotted 7 days to cruise from Solomons to Liberty Landing in Jersey City. One never knows about the weather so we always have to build several extra days into our schedule. The day we left Solomons we planned to anchor that evening in the Sassafras River, the next night was to be in Cape May, and the third night in Sandy Hook Bay. Instead, we woke up and decided to take advantage of the great weather and do an overnight trip all the way to Atlantic Highlands at the south end of Sandy Hook Bay, just a 36 hour run. During my nighttime shift going down the Delaware River the fog was THICK AS PEA SOUP! This channel is busy with huge cargo ships which I couldn’t see until they were right next to me. Thank goodness for radar, radios, chartplotters, and AIS!
While anchored for two nights at Atlantic Highlands we attended outdoor church for the first time since Covid and explored the downtown area. Later we took a nice dinghy ride down the Shrewsbury River, old ICW, and checked out a couple of waterfront restaurants. What started as a place chosen simply to protect us from southerly winds ended up as a very nice stopping point.
With four more nights until we check-in at Liberty Landing Scott suggested heading up the Hudson River. Great idea! We had visited Cold Spring via train for our first New Year’s Eve in 2013 and had seen many picturesque areas along the way. Now we are docked at Croton-On-Hudson at the widest point of the river, 3.6 miles. We walked 3.5 miles uphill with our picnic lunch (in the 94* weather) to the Croton Dam Park, the first large masonry dam in the US. Scott gets into things like this and he quizzed the warden. The waterfall truly was lovely, as was the park. We, however, were sweaty pigs when we arrived home via Uber! Scott couldn’t resist crossing the Hudson to dine at the Hudson Water Club in Haverstraw, NY for drinks and apps. We may not be able to visit PEI this summer but polished off a lot of PEI mussels.
The rolling hills and New Jersey Palisades were a beautiful site cruising up the Hudson. We look forward for a second viewing as we head down to one of my favorites…NYC!!!!!!