Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chesapeake Bay Family Fun

We had another great trip to the Chesapeake in the middle of July. We hooked up Lazy Daze on Friday morning and trailered down to Elk Neck State Park (Turkey Point) where we launched and left the truck & trailer in their parking lot until we returned Monday afternoon. The launch is nice and they even have a pump-out facility and a small supply store.

From Turkey Point, we steamed down to The Sailing Emporium in Rock Hall on the Eastern shore of Maryland to hang out with some friends and spend the night there in the marina. For anyone that hasn’t come in to a marina by boat before, the standard protocol is to raise (call) the dockmaster on VHF 16 to announce yourself and ask where to go. We got situated in our slip and then made a very direct bee line to their swimming pool as the temperature was hovering around 100*. We’ve been at The Sailing Emporium a few times over the years and it has always been a great place to stay. The grounds are well-kept and the staff is inviting and very pleasant.

Our 3-year old daughter, Marina, decided she was going to try her hand at diving into a pool for the first time. After watching her a few times, I decided not to tell her that she is supposed to put her hands out in front of her as she dives. It was much more entertaining for everyone to watch this little blondy going head first… and, yes, sometimes it was more of a “face-flop” than a dive. But she always came up smiling and we always laughed and congratulated her – which, of course, meant she would get right out and do it again! Of course Cody couldn’t let his little sister show him up! Cody's favorite jump was, much to pleasure of everyone around him, a cannonball, of course.

That night we called Waterman’s, a favorite waterfront restaurant of many boater’s, and the manager came over and picked us up with his car. As you can tell in the picture below, my wife is a huge fan of “All You Can Eat” crabs! Apparently the kids enjoy crabs as well, since they kept stealing them from my wife whenever she wasn’t looking!

The following day we headed across the bay to Baltimore and Inner Harbor. It is very awe-inspiring to come in to Baltimore past Fort McHenry and imagine what it must have been like nearly 200 years ago as the port was defended against the British.

We had a great lunch at a restaurant where the kids were encouraged by our waitress to throw their used napkins on the floor. You should have seen their little faces as she told them “It’s OK”… Both kids looked at me with a stunned expression as if to say “Is it really OK, daddy?” Those confused expressions quickly changed to that of sheer happiness! After walking around for a while and looking at some of the old ships we headed back to Rock Hall and, of course, immediately jumped in the pool again.

On Sunday, we went north a bit to a place called Still Pond. This was our first time there – fantastic little cove! The water was warm and the sandy bottom provided a great hold for the hook as we decided to stay there all day and spend the night, as well. The kids must have swam back and forth between the shore and our boat a dozen times. They started calling the shore “Kid’s Land” and eventually wouldn’t let us go with them, as they wanted to explore on their own. It was great watching the two of them swim over, build sand castles and do their own exploring on the shoreline.

Eventually all good things must come to an end. Monday morning we headed back up to Elk Neck. We put the boat back on the trailer, had the kids take one last potty break and a just a few hours later we were back home in Allentown, PA. Living in Allentown, we obviously are not “right on the water”. But trailer boating can be a lot of fun as it opens you up to being able to go to many different places. The Chesapeake is definitely a great destination and one that we try to do at least once every year!

Not bad for a little 3-year old!

Can you tell my wife likes crabs?

"Daddy, why can't I dip my popcorn shrimp in a vat of butter?"

"I'm good at hammering!"

"Daddy, will you dance with me?"

Fort McHenry, the way the invading British would have seen it... minus the flying cannonballs coming at us, of course.

Baltimore Inner Harbor approach.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Fishing on "Sunset Boulevard" at The Sailing Imporium.

One of the last times that my wife was allowed to visit "Kid's Land".

Our last night on the Bay.

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