Partying in Poquoson!

Poquoson, VA – Saturday 10/19

Solomons to Poquoson

Solomons, MD to Poquoson, VA

Before leaving the dock at Solomons Island Yacht Club (SIYC) we were going to stop at Solomons Yachting Center for a small amount of fuel; just to get us to Norfolk (Top Rack) where it will be much cheaper to fill up. However, they would not answer our calls even though they claimed they would be open at 8:00 am.  Not wanting to waste any time, we instead moved over to Calvert Marina fuel dock as their price was comparable. We were not there long before completing our fuel purchase and then left their dock to be on our way.

Meanwhile Chuck and Victoria (“Argento”) had gone for a pump-out and finished up about the same time.  We met up at the channel and exited into the Patuxent River, passing the UofM – Center for Environmental Science as we left.  There were a parade of boats as the nice weather provided the best day to move south, and many boats had been held up from moving for several days.

Many boats on the Bay

Many boats on the Bay

We entered into the Chesapeake Bay and found very favorable conditions for the 80 mile cruise to Poquoson.  Along the way we passed several lighthouses, including the Smith Point Lighthouse at the southern end of the entrance to the Potomac River. Many of these we have already photographed before so no additional pictures were taken.  Also because we were too far away from them for a good shot.   We also passed several tug-pulling barges and lots of sailboats and trawlers.

Smith Point Lighthouse

Smith Point Lighthouse

Following most of the way was “Argento”, and we talked periodically throughout the morning. They were headed south to Norfolk and we were headed a little more towards the west to Poquoson so our course headings had us slowly separating.  As we approached the Rappahannock River the separation became well over a mile so we bid each other farewell and hope to see each other in FL this winter.


“Argento” following

We continued south for a little while longer, crossing the York River and entering into the channel around Poquoson Flats; part of the Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge. This is a really pretty area and reminds us of parts of LowCountry – South Carolina and Florida.  We entered the Poquoson Inlet and slowly cruised to Whitehouse Cove and the preassigned slip at Whitehouse Cove Marina.

As we approached the marina we noticed the boat “Overdraft” was docked on the end of the first set of docks, where our friends on “YOLO” had been last spring when we were here.  We wondered if Russell (“Overdraft”) was home, but didn’t have to wait long to get our answer as he had already made his way around the docks and was there to assist us with the tie up.  Once the boat was secured we got handshakes and hugs and we were happy to see him. Russell had assisted us with our dinghy in 2017 when we were here and then we got to see him again on our way north this spring.  He left us to get our things settled and we agreed to connect up later.

In the meantime we had been in communication with Denise’s brother John.  We made plans for him to pick us up later in the afternoon and we would be spending a few days at their home in Seaford (near Poquoson).  But before he would come we needed to prepare our boat for the bad weather coming over the weekend. We put out extra lines and tied up our burgees, as well as secured things below in case the boat got a little tossed while we were away.

We also went over to see Russell and thank him for his help earlier, and to find out where he went this summer. We met his girlfriend “Linda” and his son (“Rob”) who was visiting.  We talked for a little while and discussed the fire last spring at the Surf Rider Restaurant here at the marina (see post here). We could see they are making fast progress at getting the restaurant rebuilt, and Russell told us they intend to open by Christmas, but it will most likely be after the first of the year.

Surf Rider Restaurant rebuild

Surf Rider Restaurant rebuild

We then returned to our boat, packed our duffle bag for a few days’ stay.  John came to pick us up and we went to their lovely home.  They have made much progress on the new yard and decorating since we were here in the spring, and we had a chance to take showers in a BIG (e.g. real) shower.

After some time hanging out and just talking, we went to dinner at an Asian restaurant called “Wonderful”, and it was.  It offered a complete Asian menu where Denise was able to get sushi and Mark got a delicious teriyaki salmon entrée.

We returned to our wonderful accommodations for the evening and ended the evening watching the movie “the Laundromat”; it starred Meryl Streep and ended up being a political propaganda piece.  We were glad we had not paid for it in a movie theater.

Poquoson, VA – Sunday 10/20
During the night the forecasted rain and wind started and when we woke up it was still raining.  We borrowed John’s truck and went to Church at St. Joan of Arc, where we had attended in the spring.  It is a wonderful parish with a priest that is blind, and on this day they had 2 baptisms during the mass.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out with John & Cathy, getting caught up on each of our lives.  In the evening, their two (twin) daughters (Shannon & Christen) came over with their families (husbands Shawn & Chris; 4 kids combined) for dinner.  Of course we would have liked to think it was to see us, but in reality it was to also celebrate Colton’s 9th birthday (son of Shannon & Shawn).  Cathy’s mom Joan, was also there. Everyone enjoyed the pizza party and family fun time, and it was great for us to be able to see these kids again. Even though we just saw them in May, they grow up and change so fast that it was wonderful to spend time with them again.

After all the kids left, and it was just the four of us again, we settled into watching the movie “The One I Love”, before retiring for the night.

Poquoson, VA – Monday 10/21
It was still overcast and not great weather, and it looked like it was going to be like this the rest of the day. Denise & Cathy went for a little “girl time” and got a manicure & pedicure, while Mark stayed at the house and did some work, before enjoying some relaxation time.

Originally we were going to go back to the boat in the early afternoon as one of the grandkids had a baseball game in Poquoson, and John and Cathy would take us back there when they went to their game. However, due to all the rain, the fields were flooded and their game was cancelled. So we ended up staying all afternoon, having dinner with John & Cathy, and then then they took us back to the boat. Once back at the marina we were happy to see that the storm had no impact on the boat while we were gone.  We unpacked our overnight bag and settled in for the rest of the night

Poquoson, VA – Tuesday 10/22
This was our first morning in the marina, so it wasn’t until today that we woke up to the banging of hammers and the sound nail guns as the construction crews were busy working on the rebuilding of the Surf Rider Restaurant. It was good to see the progress, but the noise kept Mark from sleeping in as long as he would have liked.  Denise was up early and went for a walk around the houses near the marina. Since this is an area she has run through before, she felt comfortable going out when the sun was just coming up.  It was interesting to see the landscape in the fall as the trees are losing their leaves and more of the houses and water views are more visible.

We had a busy day planned and a long list of things to do on the boat. First, however we had work to do for our clients and several conference calls that took up most of the day.  We also did some maintenance on our floating home, including completely cleaning and polishing the galley (appliances, sink, etc.).

In the afternoon Denise began working on this blog update and cataloging the handful of pictures we had taken.  She also mapped out our planned itinerary that would take us through Charleston, Hilton Head, Jekyll Island, and St. Augustine, and arriving in our home marina by 11/15.  Of course all this is weather dependent and based on several days of long (100+ miles) on the water.

Plan to get home

Plan to get home

When we got to John & Cathy’s on Friday, we were able to pick up several packages we had shipped in advance of our arrival. One of them was the screw for our flagpole, which we lost while on our way to Cape May.  Today, we were able to once again fly “Old Glory” and secure it with the new screw.

We also spent some time working on the ice maker. Over the last few weeks we noticed that it was making less and less ice per cycle and the cubes it did make were not big and full like they used to be.  Mark completely cleaned the unit and was on the phone with the ice maker’s tech support several times, trying everything they have suggested. But, it was not having much of an impact, and now it looks like we will need to have the Freon charged.  This was determined when Mark was talking to Russell (“Overdraft”) who had a refrigeration guy working with him on his boat.  So, Mark called and scheduled an appointment for the guy to come on Thursday morning.

Once again the weather was forecasted to turn to rain and high winds in the evening; the storm that brought a killing tornado to Dallas.  John & Cathy had offered for us to go back to their house, but all afternoon we watched the radar and eventually it looked like we would only have to endure the bad weather for a short period of time, so we decided to stay put on the boat.  We still had some shrimp in our freezer and after defrosting, Denise whipped up a garlic scampi dinner with angel hair pasta that we both thought was delicious.  As we watched another two episodes of “Victoria” we kept waiting for the big storm, and by the time we retired for the night we had only had a few sprinkles.

Evening at Whitehouse Cove

Evening at Whitehouse Cove

Poquoson, VA – Wednesday 10/23
Sometime during the night we did get some rain as there were puddles on the docks when we woke up.  Again the construction crews were working, but not quite as early as yesterday.

We spent a good part of the day doing work for our business and working on boat chores.  It was a lovely day outside and although a little cool, we had the hatches and door open on the boat.  We also went through the task of taking the ice maker out of its cabinet for easier access by the repair guy in the morning.

In the late afternoon John came by to pick us up for dinner at their house. Justin, their son had flown in from Minnesota with his son (Jase) and we wanted a chance to see them before weekend plans had us all going in different directions.  We enjoyed a wonderful time getting to see our nephew and his son, as well as niece Christen and her boys (Colton & Cooper) again.  Then John took us back to the boat where we retired for the evening.

Poquoson, VA – Thursday 10/24
Today was another gorgeous day and it was so peaceful in the marina.  We so enjoy being on the water on days like this, and our only regret is that we are not making progress south.  That won’t happen until next Tuesday after Denise’s weekend in Washington DC with her running “Sole Sisters”.

As expected, the repair man came for the ice maker which took up all of the morning, and part of our afternoon.  Long story short, after draining the old Freon and charging it with new, there was no improvement on the ice.  Mark was again on the phone with the tech support people and it looks like we have done all we can do for this unit.  It will take a trip to the repair facility in Ft. Lauderdale and probably will have to be replaced. These are not cheap units, but this one is 6 years old and is most likely at the end of its life.

When the repairman left, we went for a walk around the marina to check out some of the boats in the covered slips section.  Here we saw a Sabre yacht and the Grand Banks “Red Eagle”, whom we had seen when we were here before, but still had not a chance to talk with the owner. This boat was flying the AGLCA, DECL, and MTOA burgees (like us) and we know we have met them before.  We also ran into “John”, a man who has been working on the repair of the “Linda Carol“ buy-boat that was burned in the Surf Rider fire.  He showed us his own boat (also in the covered slips) that he has been rebuilding a piece at a time.

During our stay here, we have been frustrated with the marina’s wi-fi which has been mostly not working.  Mark has been working with Craig (marina manager) and was able to identify the problem and present a resolution. However, this helped everyone else in the marina except us: since we were behind the under-construction restaurant the antennae could not reach us.  The construction manager (who is using the marina management office for their construction site) said he would elevate the box, but had not done this as of this blog writing. We continue to use our hotspot in the interim, but are rapidly burning through the data plan.

We ate dinner on the boat and wished the Surf Rider was still open, as we would have loved their crab cakes tonight.  Maybe the next time we visit here, we can enjoy them again.

Sunset over the marina

Sunset over the marina

Poquoson, VA – Friday 10/25
Our morning was busy with work and getting some business tasks completed.  We also took note that the roofers were making great progress on the roof on the Surf Rider restaurant.

Putting on the roof

Putting on the roof

After lunch we went to pick up our rental cars in Newport News, with Enterprise picking us up at the marina. Yes, we got two cars: one for Mark to use during the weekend, and one for Denise to use to take to Washington DC for the weekend.  We took advantage of the deep weekend discounts at Enterprise, and cashed in points for the second one from Hertz.

Once in our respective rental cars, we split up and went our separate ways.  Denise found a Stein Mart and went to find an outfit for dinner in DC.  Meanwhile Mark went to pick up a few items at Costco and Home Depot, where he ran into John & Cathy.  After some discussion and few phone calls back and forth, we made plans for a dinner meet-up in Poquoson. But first we had to return to the boat and drop off our purchases.  We then joined John, Cathy, Shannon (back from her conference) and her two girls, as well as Jase (Justin’s son) at El Rancho. This Mexican restaurant had good food and the freshest guacamole ever, but their service was so slow that it had us getting back to the boat much later than planned.  Tomorrow, Denise will leave for DC and we will report on the weekend in a separate post.

And throughout this very busy crazy day, we forgot to take pictures!

Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office


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