St. Michaels, MD & July 4th

We were sad to leave Crisfield, but wanted to keep moving on the Chesapeake.  We still have so much to see.  So, we pulled out Sunday morning and headed 70 miles north to St. Michaels, MD.  We told the Davis family on Endeavour where we were headed.  They said they couldn’t make it that far in one day so they may stop at Solomons Island instead and catch up with us the next day.  We said great, but asked why they couldn’t make it that far.  They said they weren’t sure, they’d never tried.  We’ve all been there…when we first started the loop we were challenged by others to do things we hadn’t tried yet either.  We pulled out around 8 AM and headed north.  About 45 minutes later we saw Endeavour pop up on AIS!  They were on the move and texted that they were following us to St. Michaels.  We planned to anchor in San Domingo Creek on the backside of St. Michaels.  Their generator is not working and we said we’d be happy to have them raft up and share some power.

We ran against a current that slowed us down so it took awhile to get there.  We got into San Domingo and anchored.  As our friends had told us it was absolutely beautiful.  We got settled and then helped Endeavour raft up to us.  Another first for them!  We haven’t rafted up too often either but have done it enough to know where to dump fenders, tie lines, etc.   Isabel immediately jumped over to our boat and the girls played while Ben and Andrew fiddled with power.  They needed an adapter they didn’t have.  It was hot!  We put our dinghies into the water and off we went to town.  Isabel rode with us.  Molly was so happy to have a playmate!  She plays so well with Maddy but it was great to have someone close to her age to play with too.  We tied up at the dinghy dock and headed into town for dinner.

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Town is quaint and cute and one of the more prosperous we’ve seen in awhile.  We had a good dinner with a view of the marina and then headed back to the boats, anxious to explore the next day.  The girls played awhile longer on the boats while Ben and Andrew went back to work on the power situation.  Between an extra shore power cord Andrew had, and a different end for it Ben had, they were able to work up a solution and get some AC pumped into their boat.  Either way, once the generator was off it was HOT and sticky!  We got to catch yet another gorgeous Chesapeake Bay sunset.

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It took a long time to get the girls to settle.  Between new friends rafted up to us and the knowledge that Ben was on his way in the dinghy to pick up his cousin all while I was trying to get them in bed, it was hopeless.  Ben’s cousin Isaac was driving from NYC down to Miami and stopped to hang out with us for a few days!  We were thrilled to have him.  He is so good to the girls.  He plays with them and spends time talking with them and is WAY more fun than we are.  He got to St. Michaels around 10 PM and parked his car.  Ben zipped over in the dinghy to pick him up.  Isaac has grown up around and on boats so he isn’t fazed by anything in the boating lifestyle.  He also lives in NYC with no air conditioning so he said he was fine with us shutting the generator down at bedtime.  We all quickly learned just how sticky the middle of the nights are in St. Michaels!

We spent Monday morning on the boat.  I used all of the crab we had from Crisfield and made the crab cake mix.  We planned to have lunch in town and cook up our crab cakes for dinner.  Ben talked routes and options with Andrew and Carrie, Molly and Isabel played, and Maddy was in awe of Isaac and his Lego building skills.  He sat on the floor with her and built her an airplane.  She was so happy to have such undivided attention!

After we said our goodbyes to the Davis family we headed into town for the rest of the day.  We started with lunch and then moved onto the maritime museum that we had heard so much about.  The museum was pretty incredible.  It was a lot of outdoor exhibits, many that made it feel like walking around a working boat yard.

We also toured a lighthouse on display.  We learned a lot about the Maryland lighthouses.  They are such a different style than the tall lighthouses we have otherwise seen.  These are low and round and close to the water level.

The exhibit had a great history of lighthouses around the Bay as well as the lighthouse keepers and their stories.  The exhibit was set up as the house would have been set up with a kitchen, bedroom and office.

After sweltering in some of the outdoor parts of the museum we ducked inside for some air conditioning and looked around there a bit.  We also saw a full dock house full of crab boats and the story of crab pickers.  Years ago the men would go crabbing and the women were crab pickers.  There were accounts of bringing children to work and those kids learning how to pick crab at a young age by watching their mothers.  Crabbing and picking is hard work.

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The girls also got to see and walk around an oyster boat and try out using oyster tongs.  The tongs are taller than Ben and heavy so they needed some help scooping the oyster shells off the bottom.

The museum was great but it was a HOT day so ice cream was in order next!  Isaac treated us to ice cream and a huge root beer float for Molly.

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Ben and Isaac took off for West Marine and I took the girls into all the little shops.  After we’d exhausted our energy and seen most of what there was to see we all headed back to the boat for crab cakes!

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Ben and Isaac formed the crab cakes and then we cooked them up.  They were pretty good!  Molly was not happy with the pieces of shell in hers.  Oops.  Now that I’m finally writing this I’ve had crab in restaurants twice this week and picked shell out of both dishes.  So, I felt better about the bits of shell in our crab cakes.  First try was a success.

The next day was 4th of July.  Happy Birthday America!  I thought we’d go into town for the children’s parade but no one was interested in the heat.  Understandably.  So, we turned the generator on and hung out on the boat to cool down.  We decided to boat across the bay to Edgewater.  We had planned to go to Annapolis on the 5th, but the water was really calm on the 4th and we had a place to use a mooring ball in Edgewater so we decided to head there.  Isaac was scheduled to leave at sunrise on the 5th and drive all the way to West Palm Beach, FL.  By moving to Edgewater on the 4th it got him on the correct side of the Bay and shaved an hour or more off his drive.  So, he drove over and we boated and then grabbed him with the dinghy again.  In St. Michaels the water was filled with jellyfish.  Everywhere we looked we saw them.  We saw none in Edgewater!  Isaac was so hot he jumped in.  He promised he’d check out the water and let us know.  The girls begged to swim.  We said of course, but don’t complain if you get stung!  Molly jumped right in.  She and Isaac played for quite awhile in the water, jumping off the boat, etc.

Maddy was nervous.  I was so hot I dunked in and got back out just in case.  Ben was in.  Maddy finally got in and joined in the jumping.  My daredevil children jumped off the flybridge with Isaac and then with each other time after time after time.  It was CRAZY!

It was not feeling much like 4th of July until this.  Finally swimming, enjoying the water, good company and just having fun.  That’s what we do every 4th of July on the boat and we were happy we were able to make it happen.

We were going to dinghy to dinner but we couldn’t get the girls out of the water and decided to instead throw together a 4th of July cookout.  Perfect end to the day and fortuitous as a HUGE storm moved through and we would have been soaked in the dinghy.  We got to see a lot of local private fireworks around the bay we were in and enjoyed the show.

Early (5:45 AM) Wednesday we said goodbye to Isaac.  The girls said sad goodbyes the night before.  Ben took him to shore and off he went on his 15+ hour drive south.  Ben went back to sleep.  I tried to doze a bit.   Once back up, we spent the day at Burr Yacht Sales looking at boats again.  It’s a favorite pastime of ours.  After that, we boated around the bend into Annapolis and got settled at Port Annapolis Marina.   The Annapolis fireworks had been rained out on the 4th so lucky for us they were doing the show on the 5th instead.  The girls were all ready for bed when the fireworks started and they jumped off the boat and ran onto the dock to watch.  Watching them watch the fireworks is magical.  They just love them!

 

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