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Month: May 2019

Stalking Loopers

Stalking Loopers

May 31, 2019 Friday  Annapolis Yacht Basin, Annapolis, MD  to Bohemia River confluence, MD   46.6 nautical miles.

39°29’02.8″N 75°53’37.2″W
39.484100, -75.893662
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 2 ft

Along the Way

Final morning stroll before heading out.

A final few beautiful Chesapeake Bay pictures before cross Chesapeake Bay mile 0 first thing tomorrow morning. It is slowly getting narrower.

Stalking Loopers

Most of Americas Great Loop Cruising Association (AGLCA) members use a free phone app called Nebo. It allows registered Nebo users to track their cruises and better yet, find each other. AGLCA users are identified with the AGLCA icon and their boat name. Non- AGLCA users are simply displayed as a dot with their boat name.

If there are several boats near each other they are displayed as a single blue dot with a boat count(left side). Zooming in provides info on the boats in the blue dot(right side).
Clicking on the boat icon will give you additional info on the boat. (e.g. owner, make, year, size, home port …..). You can also send a text via the Nebo app.


Bummer. We had hoped to meet the Legendary Foster on boat QUO VADIMUS. He is the AGLCA Upper Chesapeake and C&D Canal Harbor Host. He and his wife Susan did the loop a couple years ago. Both Dale and Mary have read his blog. Unfortunately Foster and Susan have commitments out of the marina tonight. ( QUO VADIMUS is in the rightside picture above)
There is always the next loop through….


The next time you think our government works too slowly, ponder this:  The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the vote, took 42 years for all the states to ratify (1878 – 1920).

Drolleries and Yuks

History lesson

History lesson

May 30, 2019 Thursday  Annapolis Yacht Basin, Annapolis, MD  0 nautical miles.

38°58’29.5″N 76°29’05.3″W
38.974848, -76.484801
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 2 ft

Breakfast at Chick and Ruth’s Delly. Pledge of Allegiance is said M-F at 8:30 and 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast was a half-pound jumbo blue crab cakes. They were the best we’ve ever eaten. I’m going to have to stop eating them now because nothing else will ever compare.
If you are EVER in Annapolis you must have one at Chick and Ruth’s Delly.

Along the Way

Off to the Naval Academy

Naval Academy Chapel

John Paul Jones crypt in the bottom level of the chapel. He is known as
the father of America’s Navy

John Paul Jones.
Imagine him standing behind a cannon yelling
“I have not yet begun to fight,” in response to a request for his surrender at the Battle of Flamborough Head during the American Revolutionary War.
A stone 600 pound cannon ball fired by the Turks from their great guns in the conquest of Constantinople, 1453

US Naval Academy Museum, Preble Hall

English shipwright-modelers built scale models of ships (dock models) from ~1600 to 1830’s . The second floor of the museum had fifty models on display, donated by a private collector. Each model was an incredible work of craftsmanship. It was as overwhelming as the Smithsonian Museums. Zoom in on the pictures to truly enjoy the details!!!!!

During the French Revolution and Empire Wars (1793-1815) thousands of French sailors and soldiers were captured and incarcerated in English prisons. Prisoners of war whittled away time carving bones from their meat rations and sticks, putting together models with what every they could find. The prisoners could sell the models at public open fairs in the prison or near by markets. Working singly or in teams they produced decorative boxes, game boards, spinning jennies, guillotines and vessels. With their profits they could by food or clothing from the town merchants.

The first floor had traditional Navy History.

Maryland State House (Capital) and about town

Benjamin Franklin designed the lightening rod at the top of the Maryland State House. It’s still in use.
Dale fixing George Washington’s collar before he delivers his resignation. Martha is watching in the upper gallery.
This is believed to be the exact spot where Washington stood when he resigned as General of the Continental Army, officially ending the American Revolutionary War.
Anne’s Parrish established 1602 in Church Circle
Reynolds Pub established in 1747, directly across the street from St Anne’s Church. George Washington and buddies had a pint here. We had iced tea and Smith Island Cake, 22 layers, the state dessert of Maryland
George Washington and buddies had a pint here. So did we.

We also stopped for a 12 pack on the way home.

This is why we are in the marina again tonight instead of on the hook.
Taking down the marina flag.


Annapolis is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use. It once served as the capital of the fledgling United States in 1783 – 1784 where the Continental Congress would meet. It is also where the Treaty of Paris was signed.

Four of the 56 signatures found on the Declaration of Independence came from residents of Annapolis, Maryland: William Paca, Samuel Chase, Charles Carroll, and Thomas Stone.

John Paul added “Jones” in later life to hide from law enforcement for a killing a man that he claimed was in self-defense.

Nauti Words

Origin: An ornamental figure placed on the front of a ship, under the. Originally a religious and/or protective emblem. The custom continued but for purely decorative purposes. Hence the term figurehead – a leader with no real power or function except to ‘look good’ or appeal to a certain group.

Know the ropes
It’s a whole different perspective once you looked at the ship models. There are miles of roles in in the rigging. A sailor needed to know the principals for each type of sail. The only way of keeping track of the rope functions was to memorize where each of them went. It took an experienced sailor to “know the ropes”.

Drolleries and Yuks

Downtown restaurant sign.

Show a little leg Mary and turn out! A storm is coming!

Show a little leg Mary and turn out! A storm is coming!

May 29, 2019 Wednesday  Solomon Island, MD to Annapolis Yacht Basin, Annapolis, MD 46.2  nautical miles.

38°58’29.5″N 76°29’05.3″W
38.974848, -76.484801
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 2 ft

Show a little leg Mary and turn out! A storm is coming! Mariners warnings have been issued for the Annapolis area. Severe thunderstorms and possible tornados are predicted for 4PM and 6PM. We called to reserve a slip at the Annapolis Yacht Basin. They said get here by 3PM so there was time to tie-up before the storms hits.

Alright. Alright.  We were under way at 8AM…..

Along the Way

The run to Annapolis

Calm before the storm

Four anchoring near Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse outside of Annapolis. I wonder how they calculate anchor rode scope.

Annapolis Harbor, Spa Creek

Not to be caught in a storm again we slipped in our marina at 2:30PM. Whew.

Marina gift bags…. for that unexpected overnight guest?

With no storm in sight we bravely ventured out.

Mary in Maryland hat. The marina in the background is the one we are in.

The 4PM severe weather storm went to the north of Annapolis. The 6PM storm went to the south. Annapolis didn’t get a drop.


Annapolis, the capital of Maryland was originally called “Providence” when first settled by the Puritans. The owner of the proprietary colony later renamed the city after his wife, “Anne Arundel’s Towne.” Sir Francis Nicholson decided to rename the small seaport Annapolis, in honor of Princess Anne, heir to the throne. The Queen herself declared Annapolis a city in 1708.

Annapolis is the only capital city in America east of the Mississippi River without any rail transportation.

Nauti Words

Show a leg and turn out – wake up (show yourself) and get out of bed
Origin: Boatswain’s mate calling the crew up from their hammocks. A leg our of the hammock or sitting up was enough to show him they were awake.

I think we took the wind out of his sail when we passed in the windward side.

Take the wind out of his sails – diminish one’s enthusiasm, excitement, advantage or positive outlook (about something)
Origin: Sailing in a manner so as to steal or divert wind from another ship’s sails.

Ponder this

When we are on our boat and a tornado is close, where do we go? The engine room?

Some days there ain’t much happening II

Some days there ain’t much happening II

May 28, 2019 Tuesday Colonial Beach, VA to Solomon Island, MD 62.9 nautical miles.

38°19’43.5″N 76°27’05.3″W
38.328736, -76.451464
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 1.5 ft

Some days there ain’t much happening II. It wasn’t inspiring enough yesterday to get the blog post out so I waited until we were underway this morning.

Along the Way

Chicken pox on the Potomac River. Passing through Kettle Bottom Shoals.

We took it on the beam for the better part of the morning in snotty weather. It cleared up and turned hot once we left the Potomac and headed north on the Chesapeake.

Point No Point Lighthouse.

Getting fuel and a pump out was the highlight of the day. Dale has an ongoing challenge fueling the boat without spilling a single drop fuel. He solved the biggest part of the problem a while back when he put a check valve on the fuel lines. The remaining part of the challenge is that some of the fuel nozzles are not standard.

Testing out the new $50 ‘Clean Way Fuel Fill’ adapter. Didn’t work as advertised but the jury is out on whether or not it will work.

The fuel thing. I bet they used a urinal for the prototype.
The lip on nozzle tip prevented airflow when inserted into the fuel tank, resulting in a back splash. Dale had to hold the nozzle like this and slowly fill for the entire 135 gallons. 45 minutes later his hands were tired when the tanks were full. Great job. A no spill fill!

Working on yesterdays’ blog. Mary’s little helper landed on her laptop while she was editing the first picture of him.

Hot nights are hot nights. Although we have good insulation in the salon floor above the engine room heat still bleeds through. It takes a while for the engines to cool down after running all day. On really hot nights we run the generator and A/C for about 2 hours to dissipate the heat, then open the windows. This is the second night in a row we had to do this.


We had heard Solomon Island was a fun place to stay, Maybe so. We didn’t even drop the dingy. It’s a cute harbor but there isn’t much to do there except hit the restaurants and bars. Believe it or not the Tobins passed on that.


Nauti Words

Snotty weather – Drizzly and grey

Beam – The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point as measured at the ship’s nominal waterline.
On the Beam – projected at right-angles from the fore and aft line, outwards from the widest part of ship.

Jim Beam is not a Nauti Word. Sailors are rummys not bourbonites.

Somedays there ain’t much happening

Somedays there ain’t much happening

May 27, 2019 Monday The Wharf, Potomac River, Washington, DC   to Colonial Beach, VA    52.8 nautical miles.

38°14’23.6″N 76°57’46.7″W
38.239878, -76.962970
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 2 ft

We slung the hook and headed back towards the Chesapeake. Some days there ain’t much happening. We’ve already seen this section of the river. Nothing new there. Not going to rehash it.

Along the Way

Fair weather day
Sail Tug PEKING. Unusual style boat. Do you think the rectangular frame is a roll bar?


Colonial Beach is a golf cart kinda town. Nice to be away from the bustle and noise of The Wharf.

Going in for the kill


Alexander Graham Bell’s summer home was in Colonial Beach. Mary and Dale were too dang lazy to drop the dingy and go see it.

The Gunderson clan always had a family picnic Memorial Day when Mary was growing up. Someone ALWAYS brought Jello.

If all the world were Jell-O,
And whipped cream filled the sea,
Then the only spoon from here to the moon
Would have to belong to me
     ~Jell-O Gelatin Dessert advertising slogan

Nauti Words Sling your hook – to leave or clear off
Origin: Sailors pulling up the anchor before leaving.



May 26, 2019 Sunday Potomac River, Washington, DC   0  nautical miles.

38°52’49.2″N 77°01’42.9″W
38.880323, -77.028569
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 1 ft

Living large we cracked open the slush fund to stay another day.

Along the Way

Scooters to the National Mall. We took advantage of the streets closed in preparation for Rolling Thunder.

7th Street between Jefferson and Independence
Final year of the Rolling Thunder DC Memorial Week End ride.(maybe)
Rolling Thunder is a United States advocacy group that seeks to bring full accountability for prisoners of war and missing in action service members of all U.S. wars.

We hit 3 Smithsonian. So little time too much to look at. Each room in each gallery in each museum alone is completely overwhelming. Absolutely too much to take in in a single day, but we tried.

National Gallery of Art

Gone Gone – Thomas Charles Farrer
The picture is only 16×25 but the detail in it is amazing. You should see her finger nails.
Favorite of the Emir – Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant
Dale thinks Mary looks like this when we are traveling on the boat.

National Museum of Natural History

Line for the National Museum of Natural History. There were 3 lines all this long. I suspect there are better days to see the Smithsonian Museums than on Memorial Weekend.

We had to hit the ‘Oh WOW’ rooms first – National Gem Collection and the Minerals and Gems Rooms. Then charged on to the other rooms!

Smallest frog skeleton from the 15 or so on display. About 1.5 inches long.

We also got to see an Egyptian mummified snake. Mummified snake? It was right there with the mummified dog and the mummified ox.

National Museum of American History

A chunk of Plymouth Rock.

Rolling Thunder 4 hours later….. still rolling.

Over 4,000 motorcycles turned out for the ride. It really hoses up traffic for a long time.

Woo Woo! We were able to catch up with friends’ daughter Kelly H.

Off to the Main Street Fish Market at the end of the dock. Mary stood in the steaming line while Dale and Kelly went off to buy shrimp and crab. About 45 minutes we finally were at the front of the line only to discover we were in the wrong steaming line. The steaming line for the our seafood wendor was just around the corner to the left!. Ugh. Back to the of a different line. Fortunately this line was short.
(Dale is looking down a tube of brown paper table cloth he purchased. Zoom in and you can see his eyeball.)
The Feast – Dozen blue crab and 2 pounds of shrimp and bag salad.
The Aftermath. All gone.
Clean-up was simple. Re-roll the brown paper table cloth and trash it.

We are so glad you stopped by Kelly H!


The Capitol building was not designed by an American. William Thornton was a British doctor. Similarly, the White House was designed by an Irish architect, James Hoban.

The Smithsonian is named for an Englishman, James Smithson, who never set foot on American soil.

No one can figure out what the Tyrannosaurs Rex’s arms were used for. They are too short to reach it’s mouth.

Nauti Words

Slush fund – an unregulated reserve of money often used for illicit purposes
Origin: A slushy slurry of fat was obtained by boiling or scraping the empty salted meat storage barrels. This stuff called “slush” was often sold ashore by the ship’s cook for the benefit of himself or the crew. The money so derived became known as a slush fund.

Overwhelm – strong emotional feeling that takes over, feeling defeated, being overcome or to describe a situation that’s ‘too much.
Origin: Old English for capsize or founder. Middle English for ‘capsizing’ or ‘overturning a boat’

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

May 25, 2019 Saturday The Wharf on the Potomac River, Washington, DC   0  nautical miles

38°52’49.2″N 77°01’42.9″W
38.880323, -77.028569
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 1 ft

Catching up on the blog

Along the Way

First item on the agenda was to hit up a marina store for line and parts to make a new anchor bridle to replace the one that broke in the storm last Thursday.

The guys were great at the Washington Marina Company. They helped us find everything we needed and what they didn’t have told us where to find.

We also got advice on good anchorages and stops, and where to not purchase fuel.

HA the ugliest vodka I ever seen. Actually, it is fuel with water in it from a local marina. The guys at the Washington Marina Store recommended NOT to get fuel there.

The Main Avenue Fish Market is just outside our dock. All kinds of fresh seafood is available in any size and any quantity. Shrimp, crabs, oysters, clams, lobsters, octopus and many, many different kinds of fish.

People buy their shrimp/crab then take it over to get steamed. The seafood is placed in wooden half-bushel baskets in steamers. When done they are pulled and packaged.

Planes, trains and automobiles. Helicopters, buses, motorcycles, bicycles and scooters. It’s all here at the Wharf. Lots of them! And loud!

We needed to try the scooters. There are about 5 different scooter companies here in DC. You simply download the app and go find a rental scooter.
Wilson Memorial pedestrian arch – Dale is in right corner on his scooter.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Lunar module. Pop riveted sheets of metal, tin foil and tape.
Left: SpaceShipOne was the first non-government jet to fly into space. Piloted by Mike Melvill it blasted just past the Earth’s atmosphere into space June 21, 2004.
Right: The Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis, piloted by Chuck Yeager, was the first plane to break the sound barrier in level flight on October 14, 1947, flying at an altitude of 45,000 ft.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. With a clocked speed of some 100 miles per hour faster than its closest competition, along with a personal account of the jet traveling upwards of Mach 3.5, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is the fastest jet on the planet — and it’s not even a close race. The speed so fast it wears the paint off it.
More people on the mall today than for Trump’s inauguration
Bumper Badger for competitive parallel parking



The oldest fish market in the United States is in Washington, D.C. The Maine Avenue Fish Market opened its doors in 1805.

Potomac Distilling Company Thrasher’s Rum is a James Beard Award finalist.

Quite the city

Quite the city

May 24, 2019 Friday Potomac River, Rison, MD to
The Wharf on the Potomac River, Washington, DC   26.6  nautical miles.

38°52’49.2″N 77°01’42.9″W
38.880323, -77.028569
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 1 ft

It was a beautiful, calm overnight. Not even a ripple across the great river. The alarm clock for the windy went off at 7:30 am. Wave quickly built. Time to pull anchor and get under way.

Along the Way

Ground Pounders (Army) with a boat – 6 outboards

In the hood (George Washington’s Neighborhood)

Class trip day at Mount Vernon. Look at all the colored shirts

If George Washington really through a silver dollar across the Potomac he either had a really strong arm or it wasn’t here.  The Potomac is a just under a mile wide here. It is 8 miles wide where it enters the Chesapeake. Furthermore, why didn’t he just throw a rock?

White Battery at Fort Washington day mark green 79. It’s easy to understand why it was built here. Although the Potomac is quite wide the only water is deep enough for a vessel to pass in right in front of the White Battery…. cannon range

As we rounded the bend in the river we got first glimpse of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria, VA and the Washington Monument in DC.

Two crazies and a young child ….. no life jacket on any of them.
Iconic Masonic Temple in Arlington, VA. Think Dan Brown ‘The Lost Symbol’

National Harbor and Aeronautical Smithsonian

Old Town Alexandria, VA

US Naval Research Labratory

The boys out moving around.

DC landscape

Heading into our marina

Dale took the bikes off the boat, oiled them up filled the tires and we were on a bike/walk. We hit all the monuments!

The area was filled with students on class trips. Some of the Mom’s shepherding them looked a little harried.

Special Exhibit near Lincoln Memorial

On to the White House

Top of the W Hotel looking at the top of the White House (Thanks Kelly H. Excellent suggestion.)

Back to the boat through the National Mall

The movie Forrest Gump was playing on the mall later tonight. Looper Midnight is 9:00 pm so we went back to the boat. And then walked the Warf till true midnight


Fire sculpture on the end of a pier


The sculptor behind the statue in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was Chinese artist Master Lei Yixin. He sculpted 80 percent of the artwork in China, had it transported to the U.S., and then finished the rest on site in D.C. It is made out of 59 pieces of Chinese granite. The memorial is one of four monuments on the National Mall dedicated to a non-president.

The familiar home of all presidents in Washington D.C. was known as the “Presidential Palace” until President Theodore Roosevelt started referring to it as the “White House” on presidential stationery in 1901.

There are 35 bathrooms in the White House. If you are counting there are also 132 rooms, 6 levels, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.

Bombs Away

Bombs Away

May 23, 2019 Thursday Lake Conoy, Scotland, MD (NW corner of Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay junction) to Potomac River, Rison, MD 69.7 nautical miles.

38°31’47.4″N 77°14’32.8″W
38.529823, -77.242436
Elevation: 0 ft   Tides: 1.5 feet

We parted ways with THE BLESSING early this morning. They are on to Annapolis and we decided last night to go to DC.

Along the Way

The earlier explorers and merchant seamen on the Chesapeake Bay must have been true adventurers (or fricking crazy). Water was snotty leaving the anchor.

Bird-fishing poles
Ragged Point Lighthouse

Bombs away! We went through a Navy active firing range. Instructions were to stay well to the starboard of the yellow buoys as there was a tight range today. We edged forward as instructed.

Could we get our money back? Only one boom and we didn’t see it because it was further up the river around a bend. 🙁

The Potomac River looks a lot like the Mississippi River in Minnesota with the trees and all.

Sécuritésécuritésécurité – all stations, all stations, all stations. There is a mariner weather warning for the Potomac River.

Yup. They were right. The quick moving storm came earlier than projected, before we could get to the protected anchorage we were heading for. Instead we pulled into shore and tossed anchor to wait it out. Half way into the storm our anchor bridle broke releasing 200 feet of anchor rode. Dale tossed on life jacket and raced to the bow. He caught and stopped the free flow of anchor rode just in time before it got to the bitter end. By this time the waves were 4 feet and growing. Mary held the helm steady as she goes so we didn’t get pushed into shore by the punishing waves. It was raining so hard Mary could barely see Dale on the bow of the boat.

Put the camera down!!!!

Stuff got tossed around

After the storm

Quatico, VA
(home of the FBI)
Our anchorage
Dale bought a 7 day Maryland fishing license. It is good for the entire Chesapeake Bay (and the Potomac River)


Legend has it that Captain John Smith named the Potomac River from an Indian word meaning “where tribute is brought”.

Usually rivers between states are owned equally by both states. Not true with the Potomac. Maryland owns the Potomac River up to DC. Virginia’s ownership begins at the high tide line. DC owns the river above the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Nauti Words
Edge Forward
Origin: Inch-by-inch progress, First used in the 17th century, referring to slow advance by means of repeated small tacking movements.

Steady as she goes
Origin: Instruction from the captain to the helmsman of a ship, to keep the ship heading steadily on the same course regardless of gusts of wind or cross-currents.

Bitter end
Origin: A bitt is a post fastened in the deck of a ship, for fastening cables and ropes. When a rope is played out to the bitter end, it means there is no more rope to be used.



May 22, 2019 Wednesday Hampton River Cedar Point, Hampton, VA   to Lake Conoy, Scotland, MD (NW corner of Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay junction)   71.3 nautical miles.

383’09.6″N 76°19’44.4″W
38.052670, -76.329005
Elevation: 0 ft   Tides: 2.0 feet

This explains why it took 6 attempts to set the anchor last night. It felt like we were dropping it on concrete. I must have been an oyster bed. Once we got into the mud we had a solid set.

Along the Way

Another BIG water day.

Battle grounds of the Monitor and the Merrimack. Is battle ground the correct term for a battle on the water? Battle field didn’t seem correct either.
THE BLESSING takes a wave.

It’s definitely a better day coming out into the Chesapeake today than yesterday. But it was still seriously lumpy. It calmed down 6 miles out once we were away from the James River and Chesapeake Bay junction.

Fort Monroe – Check it out on Google Maps. It has a moat around it.
37°00’14.4″N 76°18’22.9″W
37.003991, -76.306360
Fly bys

Advanced Piloting

Preparing noon meal (fish)
Smith Point Lighthouse (as in Captain John Smith and Pocahontas) – White flashing light, period of 10 seconds, range 15 miles.
Fort Lincoln at Point Lookout – north west intersection of Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay
THE BLESSING scouting out depths in the Lake Conoy anchorage before we enter. Don’t want two boats in a tight spot.


In 2005 Smith Point Light went up for auction under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, and was purchased for $170,000 by David McNally, a builder from Winona, Minnesota. The light remains in service as an active aid to navigation.

Ponder this

How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn’t grow in it?