Friday, September 07, 2012

A holiday weekend ends

[Kyle]After a nice, lazy weekend, it was time to take Maryanne back to Baltimore for her train for work.

On the Monday afternoon we had a fast sail back across the Bay from Still Pond along with everybody else returning from the weekend. I was particularly enjoying the sight of a couple of monohulls going the same direction in front of us that were rapidly getting bigger. My plan had been to pass them just as we were enjoying hors d’oeuvre’s spread out festively on the cockpit table. I would wave nonchalantly to the soaking crews hiked out on the rail as we zinged by. Unfortunately, they peeled off (at Middle River, no less) just before I got to them, so a portion of my fun was foiled.

To the south towards Annapolis, a huge, ugly looking gray sky indicated a storm was approaching. We could hear several boats on the radio that were talking to each other about it. Some had just come through; some were just getting into it. NOAA Weather Radio was broadcasting all sorts of “seek safe harbor” announcements. We kept track of it with radar which assured us we’d miss the deluge. When the storm passed nearby we rolled up the genoa to protect ourselves from any gusts. We were still chugging along under main alone and managed to get into the Patapsco between the worst of the showers. All we saw was a few seconds of biggish raindrops.

I had planned to anchor again in Stoney Creek the night before Maryanne’s early train for all of the reasons I picked there to wait for her arrival. This time, however, I intended to anchor outside the drawbridge in order to avoid delays dealing with what I have come to decide is the world’s most dim-witted bridge tender. Scratch that, I just remembered the Elizabeth City guy. The Stoney Creek guy is a VERY close second. {Kyle has yet to learn public tact - sorry all}

When we got to our intended spot, which was the only one on that side of the bridge, we found that a local fisherman had taken up all of the usable anchoring space with closely spaced pots. I wanted to stay and see if I could make something work, Maryanne was for giving up and sucking up the extortionate holiday cost of a slip in the Inner Harbor.

After some, ahem, discussion on the matter, I grumpily agreed and headed for Baltimore (Why does she always end up being right in the end? It’s VERY annoying.). Now, although she is not apparently known for it as well as I am, Maryanne can also be cheap about certain things. She particularly dislikes overly expensive restaurants and paying $100 per night for the use of each of two cleats. While our guides were pretty clear that there were no particularly nice or protected anchorages between Stoney Creek and Baltimore, the weather was settled and we just needed a safe spot too shallow for shipping that was out of the way. Maryanne pored over the chart and found a suitable looking spot at the mouth of Curtis Creek. Since I had cell phone reception, I looked on Google Earth to get more of a feel for what was on the chart. It turns out our chosen spot was right next to the Baltimore Waste Water Treatment Plant. Uh, Veto! I looked again and was able to find a spot at one end of the Key bridge next to the power plant. It wasn’t particularly pretty, but we were out of shipping’s way, we had the whole place to ourselves AND it was exposed enough to keep our wind generator spinning all night so we awoke with full batteries.

So we spent the evening anchored by the bridge enjoy relative quiet and privacy with a nice meal and a glass of wine.

[Maryanne] The Bridge is called the Francis Scott Key Bridge. For my fellow Brits I'll let you know who Francis is.. He's the attorney/lawyer who watched, from a truce ship in the Patapsco River, the British fail to take Fort McHenry way back in September 13 1814. By dawn the American flag was tattered but still flying and he was inspired to write a poem. That poem eventually became the 'Start Spangled Banner' and the American national anthem.

This very unusual buoy is placed during the summer season in the river, at the very spot he viewed the battle from.

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