Sweet Solomons!

Solomons, MD (Saturday, 10/7)
Before leaving Oxford, Denise was able to finally get in a good run of 6 miles. Her longest in a long time and she was grateful for the nice scenery around the town.

We left under nice skies and calm winds, once again passing the downtown of Oxford and the Tred Avon Yacht Club.  We made our way out into the Chesapeake Bay that had a small chop, but was not uncomfortable.  In no time we could see the tops of the trees on James Island to our east; very noticeable for miles.

Trees on James Island – Looks like Palms

And eventually we cruised past the now-familiar Cove Point LNG (Liquid Nitrogen Gas platform) and the Cove Point Lighthouse on the western shore.

Cove Point LNG Terminal

Cove Point Lighthouse

Soon thereafter we entered the Patuxent River (PAX River), passing the Naval Air Station (NAS) to our port side.

NAS PAX

We then entered the channel to Back Creek with the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Laboratory ahead and the usual beautiful homes on the shore.    This was Solomon’s and we were happy to be back to this wonderful place.

Entering Solomons Channel

Before going to Zahniser’s Yachting Center where we had stayed before, we stopped at Calvert Marine to put some fuel on the boat.  We only needed enough to get us into Virginia where prices were more favorable, so we only added 45 gallons.

Fuel stop at Calvert Marine

We then moved across the waterway into our reserved slip at Zahniser’s.

IO at Zahniser’s Yachting Center

After we settled the boat we grabbed some lunch and then made our way to check in at the marina. We then began to watch the FSU vs Miami game but only a little bit before we had to leave for the 4:00 mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea.

OLSS from the water

Along the way we met and chatted with John & Fran Wolf (“Evergreen”) who were also walking to mass.  They are on a Pacific Seacraft 40’ sailing vessel and discussed how they had traveled to Fullerton, CA during the fabrication of their boat.  Come to find out they know Robin Bradshaw, a guy we knew from our CA days as Mark would crew with him when racing boats along the Pacific Coast.  Small world!

After mass we came back to the boat to watch the end of the FSU game.  Unfortunately, our ‘Noles lost and we were sorry to see them struggle so much this season.   We cooked (fajitas) on the boat for dinner and watched the last episode (#8) of ““Manhunt: Unabomber”.  Then we started to watch a Netflix special by Jerry Seinfeld until Denise fell asleep. Mark continued watching, but Denise woke up long enough to crawl into bed.

Solomons, MD (Sunday, 10/8)
Today was not going to be a good weather day, so we decided to make it a “chore” day.  In the morning we did several loads of laundry as the facilities at Zahniser’s are top of the line and they make it easy.  It is not cheap, but convenient and with 3 washers and 3 dryers we could get it all done in a short period of time.

Later on Denise cataloged pictures and worked on the blog while Mark changed the oil.  This was a project that we were planning on for a while and now had the right location (marina/yard) to get it done.  During that time we noticed two Grand Banks trawlers came into the marina on our dock.  On one of them was Mary & Jim (“Pegasus”), whom we met here in the spring and saw again in Atlantic City on our way north; both of us awaiting bad weather.  We chatted with them for a while and hoped to reconnect, but they were headed back to their dirt home near Washington DC tomorrow and had plans for the evening.

As expected the weather turned windy and cloudy later in the day.  Not wanting to venture far we walked to dinner at Stoney’s Kingfishers Restaurant for their “happy hour special (Tacos, beer, wings & calamari).  It ended up being pretty good and as they are on the water the view wasn’t so bad either.

Happy Hour at Kingfisher’s

Stoney’s Kingfishers

After dinner we walked back to the marina and then re-watched episodes 1 & 2 of “Manhunt: Unabomber” before ending our day.

Solomons, MD (Monday, 10/9)
This morning we woke up to the drizzle of rain.  It was not pouring just a slight drizzle, but enough to make it a bit gloomy.  But we had planned for this and as soon as possible Mark went and got the rental car we had reserved from Hertz for the day.  Thankfully, we got to use another free coupon before it expired.

Our first adventure was to go to the movies, which is on the other side of the Pax River.  We are fans of the original “Blade Runner” movie with Harrison Ford, and wanted to see the sequel. So once again in the middle of the workday we went to a very empty theater and saw “Blade Runner 2049”.  For the record, we liked it very much in that it was in keeping with the feel, and it carries the original storyline forward with an unexpected twist.  There were a couple of places where we asked “how did he get out of that?” which makes you wonder about the editing of the final 2.75 hours-long show, but it was still pretty well done.

After the movie we found went to the grocery store (GIANT) not far from the movie theater.  We recognized their logo as being similar to the Stop N Shop logo and wondered if they were part of the same company.  We asked several cashiers and tried to use our SNS discount card, but they didn’t know anything and our card wouldn’t work.  However, they still gave us the advertised discounts.  Later we learned they are part of the same division of a Dutch-owned supermarket conglomerate that also owns Hannaford.

We went back to the boat and stowed our groceries, and then went to dinner at a restaurant near the marina. “CD Café” was a place we had read about and wanted to go to the last time we were here, but didn’t make it. It was very good, but we both shared an appetizer of beef napoleon and then each had salads with different proteins (Salmon and grilled chicken). The beef napoleon was unique and delicious and could have been a small plate meal for one of us.  The salads were also fresh and good. We would recommend this place to eat and hope to come back to it.

Steak Napoleon at CD Cafe

Once back on the boat we watched Re-watched episodes 3 -7 of “Manhunt: Unabomber” and decided we had seen enough of this series and would have to now find something else to stream in the evening.

St. Mary’s, MD (Tuesday, 10/10)
This morning we finally had a chance to connect with our Looper friends Betsy & Dave (“Frye Daze”).  We joined them for breakfast at Angler’s, a local restaurant on the water located less than ½ mile from our marina.  Denise had gone for a run and we both got our showers before heading out to meet them.  Then they were gracious enough to help us return the rental car and take us back to the marina.

With Betsy & Dave on “Frye Daze”

Once returning to the boat, we left Zahniser’s Yachting Center and then went and got a pump out at the city dock since it was free. It was after 10:30 before we left the city dock, but we were not concerned as it was less than 40 miles and should only take us 2 hours.

From there we left Solomon’s and the Patuxent (PAX) River – passing Naval Air Station PAX to our starboard and the beautiful homes along the northern shore. We really like this place and hope to be back again.

From the PAX River we cruised south on the Chesapeake Bay to the Potomac River under good conditions, passing the “Point No Point Lighthouse” and eventually the “Point Lookout” Lighthouse and State Park.

Point No Point Lighthouse

Point Lookout LIghthouse

We turned right and headed up the Potomac for 8 miles until we came to the St. Mary’s River.  Here we turned north and winded our way through this wide river and into St. Mary’s, Maryland – home of St. Mary’s Episcopal College.  It is also the home of Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) which was the first state capitol of Maryland. You can learn more about this national historic site here.

You can also tour the historic “Maryland Dove”; a re-creation/replica of the “Dove”, an early 17th-century English trading ship, one of two ships which made up the first expedition from England to the Province of Maryland.

“Maryland Dove” at HSMC

Once past the site of HSMC on the eastern shore of the river, we rounded the bend at Church Point and entered a large lake-like part of the river.  Here we anchored on the north side based on anticipated winds during the night.

IO at St. Mary’s Anchorage

Even though the anchorage could clearly handle a hundred boats, it was just us and one other sailboat for the night.  There are nice houses that sporadically line the river bank, but they are on large pieces of property and most have boat docks.  The foliage here is beautiful and the trees have started to turn colors, despite the warm temperatures.

Colorful foliage near anchorage

We launched the dinghy and zipped to the college’s sailing and rowing center, tying up in the north side of the launch dock as instructed by the rowing instructor.

St. Mary’s College Rowing & Sailing Center

From here we walked around the campus, passing the carved statue “”Freedom of Conscience” and the path that lead up to the church.

“Freedom of Conscience” statue

About “Freedom of Conscience” statue;

We then meandered up the hill and to the student union called “Campus Center” that consists of the bookstore, a coffee shop and the cafeteria/dining hall, among other facilities.

Signage on campus

St Mary’s Episcopal Signage

Campus Center

Dining Hall

The public is welcome to eat at the dining hall and we gladly participated in the “all you can eat” buffet. Lunch is $10 and dinner is $14 per person – a pretty good price considering there are numerous choices of entrees, salads, pizzas, grilled (hamburgers, etc.) and desserts.  We got our fill and then walked back to the docks, and a short dinghy ride back to our boat.

Once back on the boat it was so hot we had to turn on the generator and get the AC going.  Meanwhile, we poured a couple of adult beverages and watched a glorious sunset.  The bad weather was coming and it showed in the clouds, but this evening it was beautiful and the water was peaceful.

Beautiful sky & clouds – calm before the storm

Before going to bed we turned off the generator and opened the windows thinking it would stay cool enough for us to sleep.  We both tossed and turned for most of the night, never quite getting comfortable.  My how 100 miles can make a difference in temperature.

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