Aug 1-31 If St Michaels is the
jewel of the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore is a hidden gem. Deep down, we are city folks who like
a vibrant city with lots to offer. We tied up at Anchorage Marina which is
within walking distance to the Inner Harbor, and the enclaves of Fells Point and
Canton, great neighborhoods to bike around. Our only
complaint is that the Patapsco River which runs all the way into Baltimore fills the city with tons of
garbage. It is unsightly to say the least, but amazingly, the water is actually pretty
clean. The bottom is another story.
While we were in Baltimore, we had several sets of relatives come visit. Eileen
and her family even had an impromptu reunion in Philadelphia, and now almost
everybody in the family has seen the boat. And
boy, did we socialize! Chandelle was
dockside at nearby Stoney Creek. We hung out with them and their friends Mike and
Karen of Mi-T-Mo (an ex-army transport boat that is so unique it
never fails to attract attention) at the Inner Harbor and Fells Point. The liveaboards at Anchorage marina had gatherings almost
every day of the week . Monday night was boaters night at Coburns in Canton,
where they served up excellent crabcakes and crab dip, among other yummy entrees. Other nights were game nights or
concert night at nearby Patterson Park. One night at the park, the mayor of Baltimore played
in his band - The OMalleys. What great Irish music! We had a ball.
Sep 7 -9 The Southbound Cruisers'
Reunion, a three days free event featuring seminars on insurance, diesel maintenance,
weather, etc, brought us back to Anchorage Marina. We had volunteered to help out
with videotaping and whatever. Now, we were anchored in front of the marina, just
like a dozen other boats. With plenty of room in the anchorage, a Tayana 47' sailboat
had to put herself snugly behind us (herd mentality, we called it). A little too close for
comfort, but being non-confrontational, we said nothing. We figured sailboaters know what they
were doing. So the party and seminars went on
merrily at the marina. On the third day of the event, the wind picked up as well
as changed direction. Now, we were in front of the aforementioned sailboat, and
it looked like we had dragged anchor because we were sitting almost on top of
her anchor chain.
Her captain did nothing. We pondered the situation for a while and decided we
would re-anchor. Did we mention how dirty the bottom of the Baltimore harbor is? Ay yay yay.
Sophal was so steamed he went over to ask the captain what kind of scope (how
much chain) he let out. In 15 feet of water, we had 100 feet of chain out using
a scope of 5 while he let out only 60! This in 25 knots wind. No wonder we were sitting on top
of his chain when our boats turned around!
With the party over, we pulled in to
the marina for a pump-out the next day. When we were ready to leave, the starboard engine
quit. We almost had to scrap our crab dinner plans with Chandelle
and Mi-T-Mo. Again. Luckily, Sophal was able to get it going after
mucking around with the fuel filters. We got to Mi-T-Mo's dock in time
for our crab feast and corn on the cob. Yum!