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Colonial Beach, Quantico and the Hissing Barge

Crossing the Potomac and going upstream


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sunday 21 September (continued)

Approaching Colonial Beach

Approaching Colonial Beach


We were headed for Colonial Beach which is across on the Virginia side.
St Clements Island (Maryland side) on the right

St Clements Island (Maryland side) on the right


We had a hard time seeing the Red 2 because at the angle we were approaching, there were no triangles on the side we were looking at. (And we were not using the computer for navigation but doing it the old fashioned way.)
Red Truck along the waterfront

Red Truck along the waterfront


At first I mistook a red truck parked along the waterfront for the marker and then I saw what turned out to be a red flag hung from someone's balcony. We knew there was a red 2 and then a red 4 down by the entrance channel. Eventually Bob said that he saw the marker by a place where he had seen people coming out, and that was it.
Red towel and Red 4 down by the entrance channel

Red towel and Red 4 down by the entrance channel


We were inside the channel by 12:15, after 20 nm.
Colonial Beach marina map

Colonial Beach marina map


We knew that the man at the marina had said he would be alone on Sunday and probably would not be able to help us tied up, so we went up to an available dock right at the entrance and a man across the dock in a power boat helped us tie up before he left. He also pointed out the office and the restaurant. After we tied up, we walked over to the office. We met the marina person (name of Bruce) but he was on his way back to the gas dock, so we said we'd pay after lunch.

Dockside Restaurant and the Blue Heron Pub

Dockside Restaurant and the Blue Heron Pub


The restaurant there is the Dockside Restaurant and Blue Heron Pub,
Front of the  menu

Front of the menu


and they have a sports bar, an inside restaurant
Inside of dining room

Inside of dining room


and an outside deck. Bob had an shrimp po-boy for lunch I didn't take a photo of it because my camera battery ran out at that moment. I had a
Canadian Mountie

Canadian Mountie


(which was a chicken breast, Canadian bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce sandwich). It was very messy to eat as a sandwich. After lunch, we walked back toward the boat, but Bruce was still busy, so Bob walked over to the boat
Marina office - with chairs out front

Marina office - with chairs out front


and I sat outside the office and waited to pay.

A couple from another boat in the marina were walking their two dogs and came by the boat to find out if we were cruisers. They've been over to the Med and down to the Caribbean. I think we were a disappointment to them as we haven't done that much. They had been to the SSCA (Seven Seas Cruisers Association) meeting earlier that day.
Red 4 outside the marina

Red 4 outside the marina


Later on in the day another couple came by who live across the creek. It seems a long way to go to look at boats. They said that this marina had burned to the ground several years ago - at first the lady thought it was Dahlgren, but a friend called and told her to look out her window at the marina. She said boats were burning and they had burned their mooring lines and were floating around burning - like a Viking funeral she said.

For dinner, we went back to the restaurant. Bob had a
Half dozen raw oysters

Half dozen raw oysters


and asked for a half pound of steamed shrimp and some coleslaw,
Pound of shrimp

Pound of shrimp


but they gave him a pound instead. I had
Crab Norfolk

Crab Norfolk


which came with a salad (a big heap of greens plus two tiny cherry tomatoes and two tiny pieces of cucumber. I ate the tomato and cucumber and a little of the greens. There was also a huge baked potato and some fried zucchini. I had trouble eating it all,
Creme brulee

Creme brulee


although I did have part of a creme brulee for dessert.
Marina gas dock - chairs outside office on right

Marina gas dock - chairs outside office on right


The wind was calm and the marina was mirror like,
RosalieAnn at the dock

RosalieAnn at the dock

Mast reflection

Mast reflection


but Bob worried all night about how we would get away from the dock because there was an antique steel sailboat in front of us,
RosalieAnn with steel boat in front of her

RosalieAnn with steel boat in front of her


and at some stages of the tide there is a lot of current in the marina channel.
Harbor entrance at sunset

Harbor entrance at sunset

Monday - 21 September 2008

The old sailboat in front of us left before we did so we had no problem. I could see the Red 4 from where we were in the marina,
Red 4 from the marina

Red 4 from the marina


so all we had to do was turn and go out. We left the marina about 8:15.
Red 2 the next morning with only two triangles

Red 2 the next morning with only two triangles


There were crab pot boats busily laying their traps out.
Crab pot boat right outside the marina Sept 21

Crab pot boat right outside the marina Sept 21


Although when we came in, I could see the Governor Nice Bridge and the Morgantown PEPCO plant with the binoculars, it was a little foggy this morning, and we couldn't see the bridge. As we motored out, I picked out things along the river side of the town - the Riverboat gambling place build over the water (so as to be on the Maryland side), and the new motels were mixed in with turreted Victorian houses.
large_x100_1678.jpg
100_1686.jpgMotel and Turreted Victorian house

Motel and Turreted Victorian house

100_1687.jpgRiverboat gambling place on right

Riverboat gambling place on right


The Colonial Beach water tower presided over the whole.
Colonial Beach water tower

Colonial Beach water tower


I did wonder what the little stands along the water were for - they looked like watch towers.
Spotting tower on the beach

Spotting tower on the beach


At first I thought they were lifeguard stands, but later I found that they were spotting towers for Dahlgren Proving Grounds. We also saw the yellow markers which were for the range boat stations.
Yellow markers for range boat stations

Yellow markers for range boat stations


After an hour we could see the bridge and there was a barge with a crane under it
Bridge from the Potomac

Bridge from the Potomac

Morgantown power plant

Morgantown power plant


With the binoculars I could see that traffic across the main span was only one way.
One way traffic

One way traffic

Virtually the only thing in Morgantown is the power plant. The Mirant Morgantown Generating Station is listed as a point of interest in Charles County. The power plant is highly visible from both the bridge and the river.

I have actually been to the power plant (as an OSHA inspector) when they were re-habbing the boilers. The plant uses coal which is brought in on rail cars. My son used to work there for a contractor. Since I was there, PEPCO (Potomac Electric Power Co.) sold the plant to the Southern Company in December 2000 as a result of the restructuring of the electricity generating industry in Maryland. The station was included in the Mirant spin-off in April 2001. It was sometimes referred to as the Pope's Creek Power Plant.

The facility consists of two base loaded 624 MW coal-fired steam generating units, four 65 MW oil-fired peaking combustion units, and two 18 MW black start peaking turbines. The two coal-fired units are base-loaded supercritical steam units which went into operation in 1970 and 1971. The four peaking units are General Electric Frame 7 units which went into operation in 1973, while the two black start peaking units are General Electric Frame 5 units which went into operation in 1970 and 1971.
Morgantown Power Plant in the fog

Morgantown Power Plant in the fog


Coal is delivered to the Morgantown generating station by CSX Transportation train using the Pope's Creek Subdivision rail line. Construction of a coal barge unloading pier on the Potomac River began in 2007. Their website says: Morgantown Station voluntarily installed electrostatic precipitators, nearly eradicating flyash with a 99.5% reduction. The plant also collects and treats runoff and wastewater, protecting the Potomac River from contamination.

Mirant's Morgantown generating plant was ranked as the best coal-fired plant in terms of heat-rate efficiency in the United States in Electric Power & Light magazine's 2004 survey of power plants

100_1691.jpgATON with a bird on top

ATON with a bird on top


4212823-Spider_33_from_the_river_Morgantown.jpgGreen #33 spider

Green #33 spider


We passed by Dahlgren and the green #33 spider downstream of the bridge. On the other side of the bridge, the markers start the numbers over again from #1.

From the bridge you may be able to see barges which are waiting to go up or down the river. You can also see some of the Aids TO Navigation (ATONs). There is a green spider downstream from the bridge and there is another green spider upstream. [Green means that it is on the south side of the river.] The numbering starts at the mouth of the Potomac and starts over again on the north side of the bridge.
4212821-Barges_from_the_bridge_Morgantown.jpgBarges and Spider #33 from the bridge

Barges and Spider #33 from the bridge

4212822-Barge_from_the_river_Morgantown.jpgHissing Barge

Hissing Barge


As we went up to the barge it hissssed at me several times. (I do know that the hissing was probably a compressor)

The barge (which had a tug next to it and another one standing by) had the spuds up. Apparently this is the Albemarle Barge Boat Station
4212824-Passing_the_barge_Morgantown.jpgBarge and crane next to the bridge

Barge and crane next to the bridge


Going under the bridge was interesting but not stressful.
x100_1725.jpgOn the left - looking under the bridge to Aqualand

On the left - looking under the bridge to Aqualand


Underneath the bridge

Underneath the bridge

Bridge fenders

Bridge fenders


I wonder what the people driving on the bridge thought.

We passed Aqua Land on the other side. Every time we cross the 301 bridge to Virginia, I see this marina out of the window
2005ure.JPGAqualand from the bridge 2005 and 2008

Aqualand from the bridge 2005 and 2008


I've never had our boat here, but the Potomac River Guide says: "A large, full-service marina operates on the north side of the Potomac River Bridge carrying U.S. 301. The marina services large power boats and sailing vessels, and also has boats for rent. A campground is available for recreational vehicles
745814954212634-Diagram_of_t..Morgantown.jpgDiagram of the marina 10 years ago and Marina from the water

Diagram of the marina 10 years ago and Marina from the water


Green can buoy #15

Green can buoy #15


the Mathias Point green 5 spider.
x100_1734.jpgMathias Point spider

Mathias Point spider


Red #16

Red #16


By 11:30 we could see the big antennas at Indian Head.
100_1755.jpgBig antennas

Big antennas


The wind was on the nose - so much for the predictions - it is just funneling down the river.
Red Buoy #22

Red Buoy #22


Red and white marker

Red and white marker


When the river went around a turn, Bob put up the staysail, but the wind then died to nothing, so he took it down again. We were passed by a tall ship
Godspeed passes us

Godspeed passes us


which we later found out was Godspeed from Jamestown on the way to Alexandria. They had no sails up and the passed us like we were standing still - two huge diesels power that boat.

The Potomac has a Cedar Point, a Smith Point, a Maryland Point, and a Sandy Point, just like the Chesapeake.
Shadow of the sail and one of the butterflies

Shadow of the sail and one of the butterflies


Two little butterflies kept pace with the boat for awhile. Mattawoman Creek was guarded by a flotilla of crab pots. A tug came down river pushing a barge.
Tug pushing a barge

Tug pushing a barge

Green #33

Green #33


Soon we could see the burnt out hulk of a barge on our starboard in Mallows Bay.
Mallows Bay barge

Mallows Bay barge


By two fifteen, we could see Quantico ahead of us.
Quantico from the Potomac

Quantico from the Potomac

Marina from the Potomac

Marina from the Potomac

Chart of the location

Chart of the location


The Godspeed tied up there already.
Godspeed on the bulkhead

Godspeed on the bulkhead

The girl I talked to on the phone told us that the marina was closed on Monday and she said to turn to port and take the spot on the T-head. So we did. We tied up by ourselves because there was no one to help. It wasn't hard as there was little wind. The Toshiba worked perfectly all day on the way up here, The folks on Godspeed gave Bob the bathroom combination and the one to the pedestrian gates. Actually the gates are often left open.
Boats in the marina

Boats in the marina


There is a lot of weed in the water at the marina and there is a bubbler in the slip next to us which we later found out was to try to keep the hydrilla down as it doesn't like flowing water.

Everyone said there were a lot of restaurants up in town, so about 4:30, we started to walk up and this time I took my cane. Before we went out the gate, Bob decided to see if the combination that he was given was correct, so I stayed inside and he went out and locked the gate behind him
Bob outside the car gates

Bob outside the car gates


and then tried to combination. It didn't work. Some folks from Godspeed came back with a cart full of stuff and the couldn't get in either. We had been given the wrong combination. Finally a girl from Godspeed on her way to take a shower told us that it was the reverse of the bathhouse combination.

After we got out of the dockside gate, we had to walk around the end of the car gate. It looked like it was low tide as there was a lot of seaweed exposed on the shore
Marina from the street

Marina from the street


We walked up into town with some of the Godspeed people. We passed Sam's Inn Bar and Grill,
People walking up past Sam's

People walking up past Sam's

4213281-Sams_window_Quantico.jpgSam's sign

Sam's sign


the Mason's building,
Bob looking at the Masonic building

Bob looking at the Masonic building


and the Quantico Garden (oriental food). I didn't feel like Oriental food, so
Quantico Garden

Quantico Garden


we stopped for dinner at the
4205625-Sign_on_the_building_Quantico.jpgQ'town Grill Deli/Restauran

Q'town Grill Deli/Restauran


Bob had lasagna
4213263-Bobs_lasgna_Quantico.jpgBob gave me his bread

Bob gave me his bread


and I had the
Spicy chicken special which had carrots, broccoli and rice

Spicy chicken special which had carrots, broccoli and rice


Apparently you can come in to this place and bring your laptop and there is free wi-fi.
Quantico street

Quantico street


On the way back to the boat, I stopped at a Hans Christian where I could see a man in the companionway arguing with someone inside, and said "Hi", and Rick, the owner of the boat came out and came down to look at our boat. He'd been previously but we were up in town. He said that Joey had set him up on the wi-fi but he didn't know how it was done. His cat came down with him, and stayed around after he left to go to dinner.
Rick's cat

Rick's cat


Bob decided to not set up the DirectTV receiver and just do the digital broadcasts. This turned out to mean that we got 33 channels, but they were all several versions of the same thing. In Colonial Beach, we got the Washington broadcast channels, but here in Quantico we got Baltimore too. So we'd get channel 2 regular broadcast and then 2 Weather broadcast, 4 regular broadcast, 4 weather, and another 4 broadcast of some kind. We didn't get channel 22 though. We couldn't get Monday night football, so we watched Dancing with the Stars.

In the evening, I looked at the various weather channels after Bob was asleep, and the channel 5 news said that it was going to be really high winds with gusts to 40 or 50 knots. Weds and Thurs. After I was asleep, I heard the windmill start to work, and I woke Bob up and said I was worried about the wind having picked up.

He went on back to sleep.

Tuesday: 23 September 2008

In the morning, Bob went up into the cockpit and looked around and said that he didn't see how we could get out of the marina as the wind was blowing directly in the inlet and we were being blown hard up against the pier. He had to put out extra fenders.

I figured out several alternative ideas. We could stay in Quantico until Friday and then go back to Colonial Beach. We could see if we could get up to Washington on Wednesday instead and just be there for one day. High winds were predicted for Wednesday and Thursday with rain starting Thursday and continuing Friday and into Saturday. Although the winds reported in Quantico were CALM, Bob said that the winds at our mast were 20 gusting to 26 to 30.

So we went over to the office and talked to them. Bob got ice and I paid for 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) as I thought that was the minimum that we would be there. We watched as Godspeed got underway.
Bow of the Godspeed

Bow of the Godspeed

Godspeed preparing to get underway

Godspeed preparing to get underway


100_7029.jpgGodspeed leaving

Godspeed leaving

100_7031.jpgGodspeed motoring away

Godspeed motoring away


They seemed sure that they would be able to get under the bridge, but Rick (the guy from the Hans Christian) said at lunch time that he heard that the bridge would be opening, so maybe they weren't able to do it. But I haven't heard anything on the TV about it.

I thought we might possibly get out early the next morning before the winds picked up, so I called Colonial Beach to see if we could come back there early, but they are closed today (Tuesday). Bob cleaned the engine filters and they weren't as dirty as he thought they might be.

We had lunch on the boat, and I went over and used the showers (nice showers with a seat in them).
Bathrooms

Bathrooms


The people in the office said that Joey (the Quantico Yacht Club CIO) came over for lunch each day and possibly he could get me on the internet. Sure enough, Joey came down and added me to the group so I could do the internet. Which I did happily until suddenly it kicked me off. Joey had given me his card, so I called him, and he came down again in the evening and gave me a text file with the access code, but I didn't need it again.

There is a great blue heron which hangs out down around the outer marina bulkhead
Blue heron on the outer wall

Blue heron on the outer wall

Fosters tern

Fosters tern


The people in the slip next to us came back from their two days of sailing, and Bob helped them get tied up - the wind was really blowing their boat around in the slip. Since we had watched Martha Stewart's show on all the various ways to cook hot dogs that morning we had hot dogs for dinner. For some reason we couldn't find the second night of Dancing With the Stars on any of the digital channels.

I decided that we should try to get out early in the morning and get down to Colonial Beach before the wind really started to blow . We also wanted a pump-out but the pumpout slip at Quantico had a big log in it so we thought we might do it in Colonial Beach.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 18:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Blown back to Middle Danger Zone and a Backfiring Golf Cart

Quantico, Dahlgren, Colonial Beach and home


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Wednesday- 24 September 2008

Bob woke up really early, and we were both dressed and ready to go at 5:30 am. The wind was calmer and was blowing us away from the dock, and the tide was going out of the marina. We turned all the instrument lights and running lights on. Bob backed into the fairway and then powered forward out of the entrance and by 6:15, we were underway! It was still dark.
Moon in the morning sky

Moon in the morning sky


Bob asked where to go, and I pointed down the river. That wasn't good enough. He wanted to know which lights were ATON (Aids TO Navigation).

I booted up the Toshiba and let it go through it's scandisk routine and it said it had fixed the problem, but I wasn't too sure of it. So I set the GPSs so we could follow our previous track down to Colonial Beach. At 6:40 there was light starting in the sky and I took a picture behind us of Quantico in the distance.
Early dawn - Looking back at Quantico

Early dawn - Looking back at Quantico

Light in the sky ahead of us 6:41

Light in the sky ahead of us 6:41

7:10 on the Potomac

7:10 on the Potomac


By 7:30 it was full light, and we had turned off all the instrument lights and the running lights and were down by Indian Head. I called the Colonial Beach marina at 8 and the phone message said they weren't open until 9, so I waited until 9 and called back. I asked if we could have a pump-out and she said that would be OK and she would look up our slip assignment.

The Toshiba tanked again, so I turned it off. The wind really picked up and Bob had the sails up and we were doing 7+ knots under power and sail. We were down past Mathias Point to Pope's Creek by 9:30. I turned the Toshiba back on but it froze at this point with us at Pope's Creek, so I turned it off again.
Green #1 - the first buoy north of the bridge

Green #1 - the first buoy north of the bridge


It was close to 10 when we got to the 301 bridge - there was a sailboat there which was dancing around under the bridge. When they got up to us, we saw that they had "Voyage for Cleaner Energy" painted on the side.
Voyage for Cleaner Energy sailboat

Voyage for Cleaner Energy sailboat

Historic Side Lights

The Governor Harry Nice bridge marks the dividing line between the Lower Potomac Estuary and the Upper Estuary. It is the only Potomac crossing below Washington.
Going under the bridge

Going under the bridge


It was espoused by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Nice who was Governor of Maryland.
Bridge fenders

Bridge fenders


On September 4, 1938, Franklin D. Roosevelt made a speech in Morgantown (Maryland). He said, "..For a long time I have felt that, for the good not only of the people of Southern Maryland but also for the good of the people of the United States, there ought to be a through road from Baltimore to Richmond—a cut-off if you like. It would be a road which, at the same time, would open up to the general traveling public-and we are traveling more and more every year—this very wonderful section of our country, a section that is good to look at, that is peopled by good citizens."
First a Ferry

First a Ferry


At approximately this point, a famous ferry ran from Morgantown, Md. to Mathias Point in Virginia, as early as 1705. The ferry was part of the shortest route between the capitals of Maryland and Virginia (Annapolis and Richmond) and served as a principal link in the journeys of many early Americans, including George Washington, George Mason, and other founding fathers.

The site of one of the river crossings by John Wilkes Booth after his assassination of Abraham Lincoln is upstream a short way from here at Pope's Creek.

Second Historic Sidelight

Dahlgren is on the Virginia side of the bridge. Dahlgren is in King George County, Virginia, United States on the Northern Neck. Since 1918, Dahlgren has been the site of a U.S. Naval base named for Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren. Dahlgren Hall at the USNA and several ships were also named for him. He was known as the "Father of American naval ordnance."
4212842-Dahlgren_from_the_Potomac_Dahlgren.jpgDahlgren from the Potomac

Dahlgren from the Potomac


Dahlgren is the proving ground for armament. When I hear rumbling sounds, and look outside and see a blue sky, I think "Must be doing testing at Dahlgren".
Dahlgren Yacht Club or Machodoc Creek Marina

Dahlgren Yacht Club or Machodoc Creek Marina


The "U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDL) can boast that it has ‘‘sighted” and certified every gun barrel on every surface craft ever used by the U.S. Navy. With its 18-mile range along the shores of the Potomac River and Machodoc Creek. The Dahlgren guns had a lot to do with the demolition of the St. Clement's Island lighthouse.

End Historic Sidelights

After we got to the other side of the bridge, someone came up on the radio for

the southbound sailboat at the 301 bridge

so I answered. At first, because I thought he said his name was Voyager, I thought he was the other sailboat, but he was much too polite for that. He kept calling me "ma'am".
Range boat up by the bridge

Range boat up by the bridge


It turned out to be the Dahlgren range boat, and they asked us go over to the red 30 and red 32 and then to head for Swan's Point before we crossed to Colonial Beach. (This means that they are testing and don't want us sailing through target area) Anyway, we saw R30 and 32 on the chart - now to find them in person.
Red 32 and Red 30

Red 32 and Red 30


On the chart they marked a very shallow 3 foot shoal. I didn't want to cross there.
Red 32

Red 32


But Bob said we should cross to the left of them. The wind was also REALLY picking up to 26 knots or better and the boat was heeling. That made Bob happy, but me not so much.

We eventually went by the R30 on the 'wrong' side of it - i.e. going down the river it should have been on our port side, and we passed on the starboard. It was right by the Morgantown Power Plant.
Morgantown power plant

Morgantown power plant


Then we headed for Swan Point -- staying out of the Middle Danger Zone.
Middle Danger Zone between Swan's Point and Colonial Beach

Middle Danger Zone between Swan's Point and Colonial Beach


Bob had me steer into the wind to take in the jib, but it was wrapped so tight that he didn't have the lines around it like usual. He took in the staysail. Then he tried to depower the main by putting it way out to the side so it wouldn't heel the boat as much. Eventually he had to have me steer again so he could take the main in. In the excitement, I forgot which way to go, which didn't make him very happy.

After we got all the sails in, we were really rocking and rolling. We crossed at Swans Point, and AGAIN couldn't find the Red 2. When we did find it we saw again that it had room for about 8 red triangles and there were only two

Bob put the lines out but he said we were GOING to tie up port side to the dock and so he did not put out lines on the starboard side. Big mistake.

I called the marina on the radio about 11:30 - no answer. I tried on the phone - no answer. As we came in to the dock, we saw that the huge boat MISS ANN was taking on fuel from a Texaco truck, and they were blocking the pump-out dock. So Bob figured that he'd go where we had been before, but he wanted port side tie so we would be pointing out the inlet. But because of the wind, he couldn't get the boat to turn around to port. So NOW he wanted me to take the lines from the port side and put them on the starboard side. RIGHT? NOT.

I yelled at a man with a bike on the walkway HELP and he came over and took my bow line. Bob was jumping on and off the boat. He was really pissed. But we DID get tied up and he put us on the end of the dock so that no one would be in front of us to worry about.

Our trip down the river from Quantico was 34.7 nm (a mile farther than on the way up because of having to detour over to Swan's Point), and our average speed was 5.7 knots, which was 0.6 knot faster. The maximum speed was 7.3 knots

Anyway, as Bob was annoyed and so was I. I walked over to use the bathrooms and complained to the folks there by the shop about our 'welcome' to the marina. They explained that MISS ANN had knocked over the piling at the pump-out slip, and that probably distracted them.
Piling that Miss Ann knocked over

Piling that Miss Ann knocked over


When the office lady came back, she said she had phoned my cell phone and left a message about the pump out slip. Which mollified me somewhat, but I still didn't see why, when I told her that we would be there between 11 and 12, everyone decided to go to lunch at the same time at 11:30. She remarked that I must be the first person who arrived at the time that I had said I would. I paid for 3 days, planning to leave Saturday because it was predicted to be really windy Thursday and to start to rain, and to rain all day on Friday.

I decided I wanted to rent a golf cart and see what there was to see in Colonial Beach. There's a trolley in the season,
Trolley stop

Trolley stop


but not at this time of year. The office lady called for me, and they came and picked us up and gave us a gas golf cart with rain curtains. I signed for it. Bob didn't think much of the idea as he said we could rent a car for a week for that price ($61/day)

We got the cart for Weds and Thurs and they waived the $15 overnight fee and gave us $10 discount for the rental not being on the weekend. I figured I could see what I could on Wednesday when it wasn't raining, and then Thursday before the rain started, and then we could go to lunch and dinner on Thursday and just eat at the marina on Friday

After we got the cart, I drove it across the street to Fat Freda's (Best Sandwiches on the Beach).
Fat Freda's menu

Fat Freda's menu


Menu board

Menu board


[The marina restaurant isn't open until 3 on Weds.] It was great. There were a lot of local people eating there. Bob had a
Pulled pork sandwich

Pulled pork sandwich


and I had the
Special which was the chicken cranberry chutney salad. ($6.99)

Special which was the chicken cranberry chutney salad. ($6.99)


I see from the reviews and from the Facebook page that Fat Freda's is permanently closed.

After lunch, I made Bob drive. The cart would lurch wildly and backfire if you tried to drive it slowly, so you had to put your foot down. Sometimes it would also backfire at stop signs. The turn signals did not cancel, so you had to be careful not to leave them on all night.

We went all the way out to the highway.
Area by the highway with a welcome sign

Area by the highway with a welcome sign


Days Inn just past entrance sign

Days Inn just past entrance sign


We went by the museum
60a19e10-b8b4-11ea-abec-fd4ab328ccb8.jpgThe Museum

The Museum


(which is only open Sat and Sun but is free), and along Monroe Bay Ave.
Monroe Bay from the road

Monroe Bay from the road

Potomac beach

Potomac beach


to the marina. Monroe Bay is the inlet that goes into the middle of Colonial Beach. We drove over most of the town.
Dahlgren spotting tower from land

Dahlgren spotting tower from land

Share the road

Share the road

Riverhurst

Riverhurst

Antennas

Antennas

War memorial

War memorial

Town Hall sign

Town Hall sign

Westmoreland News

Westmoreland News


There were some places where only golf carts and bicycles were allowed - no cars.
Golf carts and Bicycle Traffic Only

Golf carts and Bicycle Traffic Only


I was looking for churches and cemeteries, but there were no cemeteries. We passed a little house with two huge (4 feet high) Fu Dogs, and I missed getting a photo of them. There were a lot of houses for sale.
Riverview - for sale

Riverview - for sale

Liquidating

Liquidating


Post office

Post office


We saw the Post Office,
Lenny's

Lenny's


Lenny's Restaurant (out of business - we had a different Lenny's restaurant at home),
Golf cart parked in front of the VFW

Golf cart parked in front of the VFW


the Hunan Dinner (Chinese). Then we (or at least I) had a nap because we got up so early in the morning. Bob also installed the direct TV receiver.

At about 4:30 we went out again to find a place to each dinner, and we drove along the Potomac side. I had picked out some things to see, and restaurants to find.
Slow ducks

Slow ducks


One of the places of note in Colonial Beach is Bell House.
Bell House from a golf cart at dusk

Bell House from a golf cart at dusk

According to the website, the home was built in 1883 by Colonel J.O.P. Burnside, son of Civil War General Ambrose Burnside. The Colonel lost the house to the U. S. Government in a lawsuit over pay irregularities in the Union Army accounts. When it was owned by Alexander Graham Bell’s father, It was where Alexander Graham Bell spent his summers as a child.
Back yard

Back yard


Later it was owned by Alexander himself.
Photo from the side of the porches

Photo from the side of the porches


It is an outstanding building on the waterfront. It is now a bed and breakfast and a Virginia Historic Landmark and National Historic Property.
Detail of the roofline

Detail of the roofline


The Bell House offers four rooms, each with a private bath. All reservations include a full, hearty breakfast served from eight to nine o'clock a.m. each morning. Wine and cheese or wine and hors d’oeuvres are served in the gathering room between five o’clock and six o’clock p.m.

We debated between going to the
100_1843.jpgRiverboat on the Potomac (off track betting and a restaurant)

Riverboat on the Potomac (off track betting and a restaurant)


or High Tides for dinner.
High Tides On the Potomac

High Tides On the Potomac


Eventually we picked High Tides.
4213799-Restaurant_interior_Colonial_Beach.jpg"Greeter"

"Greeter"


We sat by the window, and I watched a little boy playing on the sand.
Boy on the beach

Boy on the beach


He was chasing some female mallard ducks. To start, I had a cup of the soup of the day which was
Seafood Gumbo - Soup of the Day

Seafood Gumbo - Soup of the Day


It was VERY spicy. Bob also had a cup of soup. We both had
Virgin pina coladas

Virgin pina coladas


Bob had a
Fish and Chips Basket (appetizer) $8.99

Fish and Chips Basket (appetizer) $8.99


and I had the
Coconut shrimp appetizer $9.99

Coconut shrimp appetizer $9.99


While we were eating, we saw a lady come ashore in a kayak - she was a bit wet. After we ate, we came home and put the side curtains down on the golf cart went to bed

Sunset

Sunset

Thursday 25 September 2008

Thursday morning we were up fairly early. I used the golf cart to go to the bathrooms which are a bit of a walk. Bob looked at the holding tanks and said the forward one was full (Bob tends to use that one), and the aft one was definitely not, but we should use the marina bathrooms whenever possible.

Whenever I asked where I could do the internet, everyone said the library. So I tried to call the library but it did not answer at 9 or at 10. Eventually I called the town hall and she said that on Thursday, they opened at one and were open until 9 pm. She did not know whether they had only their own computers or if they had wi-fi.

It started to rain, so I was writing up the previous day's trips.
Flooded area in the marina

Flooded area in the marina


The tides were VERY high and up over the parking lots and into the streets in a lot of cases.
Flooded area of the road near the marina

Flooded area of the road near the marina

Ambulance pulling a rescue boat

Ambulance pulling a rescue boat


On our floating dock, there is a ramp to a fixed dock and the ramp goes DOWN to the fixed dock at high tide.

So about 11:30, we put on our rain gear and went out to get lunch. We saw a restaurant called the Happy Clam yesterday and decided to eat there.
Happy Clam

Happy Clam


This restaurant was formerly called the Lighthouse. The Happy Clam Seafood Restaurant, has been family owned and operated locally, by the Moncure family since 1979. There was a brief interruption, courtesy of Hurricane Isabel, between 2003 and 2007. The Happy Clam is at Bayside Marina, and is associated with The Seafood Market at The Happy Clam. They have photos on the walls of old time Colonial Beach.
Old photo of Colonial Beach beach

Old photo of Colonial Beach beach

"New" hotel photo

"New" hotel photo


Bayside is one of the many marinas along the west side of Monroe Bay but I'm not sure we could get into them with a 5 foot draft.
Looking at the marina from inside the Happy Clam

Looking at the marina from inside the Happy Clam

Chart and map of Monroe Bay

Chart and map of Monroe Bay


Building across from Bayside

Building across from Bayside

Specials board

Specials board


Normally I would have one of the specials, but I had seafood gumbo the day before, and I'm not a fan of okra unless it is in some kind of soup or stew. So I had hot tea and shrimp salad with hush puppies.
Shrimp salad and hush puppies

Shrimp salad and hush puppies


Bob had soup and
Tuna salad plate

Tuna salad plate


Then we both wanted coconut cake, but it apparently hadn't 'set up' yet, so Bob had
Double Chocolate Cake

Double Chocolate Cake


My German chocolate pie

My German chocolate pie


Each dessert was $4.95. The bill before tip was $35.92

We got to the library about a half hour before it opened,
Library door

Library door


Bob in the golf cart in front of the library - waiting for it to open

Bob in the golf cart in front of the library - waiting for it to open


and I walked around town a little bit while we waited.
St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church in the rain

St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church in the rain


When we got in, they had BOTH wi-fi and their own computers. Not only that, but if they aren't open, you can sit outside and still use it. So Bob went back and got my computer while I worked on their computer. Then he sat and read a book while I computed.
Historic buildings of Colonial Beach in the library

Historic buildings of Colonial Beach in the library


About 5, he said he was tired of reading, so we went back to the marina, and I dropped him off and went back to the library.
Rain on the golf cart windshield

Rain on the golf cart windshield


It was still light when I got back there and I tried to figure out how to turn on the golf cart lights, but Bob said the switch didn't seem to work and I couldn't make them turn on with any other switch I tried either. I did eventually get the emergency flashers to work.

I went back in to the library and kept working and sent emails until about 7:30 and then I was tired. A scout master that was talking to the librarians went out with me to see if he could figure out the switch but he said the thought it was broken, but at least the cart was white. He also said I'd get a ticket for driving without lights.

I set out to drive back to the marina. It was raining lightly and there are no windshield wipers on the cart so when there were street lights, they glared off the window and I couldn't see. And when there weren't street lights I could just barely make out the reflection of the center line on the road in the dim light of the flashers. I couldn't tell whether there was water over the road or whether the road had a drop off either. Nor could I see any road signs. A couple of times I got out and wiped the window off with my rain gear sleeve, but it didn't help for long

So whenever I saw any kind of car headlights, I pulled as far off the road as I dared and stopped and sat there flashing until the car was out of sight. I was a bit worried about the police and I wanted to be a sort of stealth ghost golf cart, but this goal was more or less thwarted by the golf cart tendency to backfire whenever I slowed down.
Backfiring Golf Cart parked at the marina

Backfiring Golf Cart parked at the marina


Eventually I got back to the marina and parked and locked the cart (after writing THIS CART HAS NO LIGHTS on the tag on the wheel), and I put the keys in the marina mailbox.

Friday: 26 September 2008

We hung around the boat and watched TV. When I booted up this computer to download pictures none of the USB ports worked. I finally turned it off and turned back on again and then they worked. I tried to get the virus definitions to download in the library and they wouldn't download. So now it wants updates and it can't have them

Bob washed the waterline down about a foot under water on the dock side. He says we have to haul the boat after we get back, and the zippers on the enclosure are deteriorating so we need a whole new bimini (which is 10 years old), dodger and side curtains. We had the last of the roast beef for lunch. I tried booting up the Toshiba a couple of times and once it did and once it didn't.

There is a mute swan in this section of the marina which is eating stuff off the floats of the floating docks.
Mute swan

Mute swan

Snacking Swan

Snacking Swan


No one else has come in to the marina since we got here Weds.

Bob was worried about the possibility of fog tomorrow because outside of the inlet there are lots of crab pots. If there is wind there probably won't be fog, but there might be rain

We went up to eat dinner at the restaurant and this time the salads were better.
Friday's salad

Friday's salad


Bob had clam chowder and
Fried Oyster dinner with a baked potato and coleslaw

Fried Oyster dinner with a baked potato and coleslaw


and I had a
Rib eye and mashed potatoes

Rib eye and mashed potatoes


I brought most of the ribeye home with me as I couldn't eat it all.

Saturday 27 September 2008

Getting ready to leave the marina

Getting ready to leave the marina

Miss Ann

Miss Ann


We pulled away from the dock about 8:20. It was calm but cloudy. The Toshiba would boot and run for a little while, and then freeze and/or shut down. I got tired of it and finally shut it off. Sometimes there was
Sun (9:45 sunny)

Sun (9:45 sunny)


and then there would be a little
Rain (10:45 rain)

Rain (10:45 rain)



The wind was on the nose (basically east or south east depending on the direction the river was going) and ranged from 16 knots down to 9 knots. We had the main up, but didn't put up any other sails and didn't shut off the engine. When we got closer to the Chesapeake, the wind was far enough off the nose to make the boat heel a little bit even though we weren't really trying to sail.

There were waves and I guess the aft head has a bad joker valve because when the boat would pitch, stuff would come back into the toilet from the holding tank. Someone had to go down periodically and pump it back. I ate my leftover rib-eye for lunch. Bob had tuna salad

By 1300 we were opposite Piney Point and this time we saw (almost ran over) the submarine marker. The buoy in the Potomac where the U-1105 was sunk can't be seen from Piney Point, and is hard to find out in the river.

The German submarine, the Black Panther was a revolutionary feature in military weaponry because it was covered with a synthetic rubber coating making it “invisible” to the sonar of the day and creating one of the first stealth weapons. The U-1105 Black Panther patrolled off the shore of Scotland Maryland. When the war was over, it was ordered to an Allied base in northern Scotland where it surrendered. The British later turned the submarine over to the United States Navy for study and experimentation in the U.S. After preliminary testing the U-1105 was fatally damaged on September 19, 1949 and was sunk in 90 feet of water in the Potomac River at Piney Point by a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.
Submarine marker

Submarine marker


In June of 1985, the U-1105 was 'rediscovered' by a team of sports divers from Virginia, and after some archeological exploration, the U-1105 was designated as Maryland’s first Historic Shipwreck Dive Preserve and a National Historic Landmark. The U-1105 is a United States Naval ship and is protected by federal law.

I did get a better picture of
St Francis Xavier Chapel

St Francis Xavier Chapel


on St. George's island. A long time ago, I had put a waypoint into one of the GPSs for the entrance to Smith Creek, so that's what we headed for.
Chart

Chart


I think it is easier to get back to Smith Creek without the computer charting when you are coming down the river, because I could see the marina over the big shoal that comes out from St. Inigoes neck, and the other way it is completely hidden.

We got back to the marina about 3 and filled up with diesel - 27 gallons, but it is down to $4/gal. Some wind, but the man across the dock and the guy on the big ketch came over and handed us lines.
RosalieAnn back at the dock

RosalieAnn back at the dock


The trip was 31.1 nm at an average speed of 4.6 knots (max speed 6.0 knots). Our slower speed was probably due to the wind being on the nose most of the time.
Stuff in the cockpit waiting to be offloaded

Stuff in the cockpit waiting to be offloaded


The range boat Prince was up on the marine railway.
Range boat Prince(and Bob throwing away the trash)

Range boat Prince(and Bob throwing away the trash)


Everything was loaded into the truck and we were out of there by 1600.

We stopped on the way home at Bear Creek Open Pit BBQ
100_7103.jpgBear Creek grille

Bear Creek grille


and got something for dinner. I got the special (stuffed ham sandwich), Bob got a sandwich and I also got a Frito Pie and some cornbread. It cost all of $20.80.
Desserts (which we resisted getting)

Desserts (which we resisted getting)

When we got back, the paper was in the paper box, and the postman/woman had put the weeks mail in a basket on the porch. Bob turned the water back on, and unloaded the car while I talked to one of his cousins who phoned just as we walked in the door

I tried to boot up my newer Dell computer, it would not boot and said the bios was damaged. So I was on the phone to a tech for about an hour. I don't know whether it is fixed now or not.

Thursday 2 October 2008

Today we did three things. I sent our granddaughter her wedding present. I also got a roll of stamps since the previous roll of stamps which we bought extra one cent stamps for seems to have vaporized.

I went and renewed my driver's license which expires in November. It now is good until 2013. I could have done it on line if I'd had the stupid form for the eye doctor to fill out when I went for my eye exam.

We also voted by absentee ballot since we will be leaving before election day. I think for most things Bob and I canceled each other's vote.

The book Bob was reading in the library in Colonial Beach "Crazies to the Left of me, Wimps to the Right" which he told me to order was on the porch when we got back. He wants me to read it.

Thursday 9 October 2008

We hauled the boat for the winter. We have a boat that is too big for a trailer. So we have to move it with a travel lift.
4073384-Lift_picking_up_the_boat_Wynne.jpgComing up out of the water

Coming up out of the water


Fortunately the Point Lookout Marina (which is on Smith Creek and not actually at Point Lookout) has a lift big enough to pick up our boat and move it into the boatyard for the winter.
Going up to the yard

Going up to the yard

Turning at the top of the hill

Turning at the top of the hill


Our previous marina (Blackstone on the Patuxent) did not have a big enough lift to do this. The only other marina in St. Mary's County with a big enough travel lift is Tall Timbers. Other than those two marinas - we would have to go to Solomons (Calvert County) or over to Virginia.

We went to the Chinese Buffet for lunch on 22 October.
4238731-Inside_of_the_restaurant_Leonardtown.jpgLunch Buffet - 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tues-Sat

Lunch Buffet - 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tues-Sat

We left for our next trip - the Panama Canal Cruise on 2 November

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:11 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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