Friday, September 23, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland

On the go again ! What a beautiful day we had again today. It started with friends departing for other areas of the Chesapeake, then Buddy Shephard, the Chesapeake City dock master, arrived to bid us farewell and ended up driving Ron to the grocery store, bank, liquor store and finally a bait shop so he could finish outfitting his new “big game” rod & reel. Don’t know what he’s going to catch but it better not be too big!

So off we go after bidding farewell and head out in what remained of the Chesapeake Canal and into the throws of Chesapeake Bay.
The wind was on the nose AGAIN, so sailing was out of the question. It would have been nice in the 6 INCH seas and 10 knots of wind but that didn’t happen…….. soooo peaceful……. when out of nowhere….BOOM!! BOOM !! BOOM!!....... then we saw the splashes in the distance. Jan said “man they’re shooting at us”. A quick look at the chart and we identified Gun Powder Neck…….. and off the shore it said “Proving Grounds”. I guess they were just trying to prove how loud a noise they could make. Actually, it was a well marked off gun range with armed patrol boats to keep folks out. This lasted about an hour but it was neat watching for the big splashes after the shells hit the water about ½ mile offshore.
So off we continue right down to Baltimore. Our approach was very easy and we were met by a departing cruise ship, “Enchantment of the Seas” and two very heavily armed Coast Guard escort vessels, one of which came screaming out ahead of the ship and directly towards us…….. now really, I left my unacceptable apparel at home.

As it turned out, the guard zone for the ship was 500 yards, and although we were outside the channel, this polite young lady on the bow stated that we should move a little further away. WHY SURE MAM!! The fact that she was standing behind a 50 cal heavy duty gun permanently mounted on the bow had absolutely nothing to do with our decision to comply. It was just her polite tone of voice. Oh yeah, as they approached, they came in nice and slow….. unlike the navy in Halifax has who seem to take great pride in trying to wash you off the boat with their bow wave.

Our trip up the Baltimore harbour was nice, lots of ships in the beginning then miles of marinas. We decided to do a little sightseeing so we went right to the end of the Inner Harbour and found the city docks right off downtown where we stayed the night, had a great meal at the Cheesecake Factory on the waterfront, and took in the sights and sounds of downtown.

It was very pretty. They have a fantastic brick laid boardwalk surrounding the harbour that is very well lit and was full of people walking as it was a warm, balmy evening.

The USS Constitution lies at her berth and serves as a museum to the Civil War days.
Anybody know what this contraption is??

It’s a street sweeper…… for on the harbour. It runs around all day long sweeping the debris, chip bags, cans, etc up into a containment bin on the deck then unloads it at night.
We wondered why the harbour looked so clean. GREAT IDEA!!

It’s raining here today so we think we’ll just put up the enclosure and head on down to Annapolis.

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