Monday, July 16, 2018

Charm City by rail and back

Leaving the station at dawn, crossing the Elizabeth then up to the fall line before turning north just inside the tidal rivers.

D.C. by 11:00, Baltimore and the Inner Harbor by 12:30.  A long walk along the shore with the oldest daughter, then a water taxi to Fells Point.

A visit to the Waterfront Hotel to pay homage to "Homicide, Life on the Streets," a favorite television show and if you haven't seen it, too bad, it's gem that is hard to find.

A Natty Boh at the Waterfront, then oysters and mussels at, where else, Bertha's.  

The water taxi back to the inner harbor for an O's game, and unusual and unexpected win in a season filled with losses.

Dawn, a long walk at the edge of the water, from the inner harbor to Canton and back, followed by a visit to a poet's grave. 

Back on the tracks, through D.C. to an evening run along the Potomac.

Crossing the Elizabeth once more, this time at dusk, returning home.  A nice weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I'm sorry, you're breaking up

So I get a phone call from a colleague this morning.  The plans for the trip to the Eastern Shore have changed.  Maybe, after all,  I don't need to make the drive.  What could I say?  "We've got a bad cell connection, I'm sorry, you're breaking up."  A garbled exchange: What?, Huh?, Can't quite understand you.  The voice, tinged with defeat, says well, ok, maybe show up, but an hour later.  I can hear that part.  An extra hour to hang out on the working waterfront and white sandy beach at Cape Charles.  Got to love a bad phone connection.  Yeah, I can hear you now.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

tastes of summer, Chris

Had friends over last night for dinner, everyone bringing a bit of seafood, salad, dessert and drinks.

Boiled crawfish and steamed little neck clams.  I was busy at the boiling pot and missed getting a photo of the huge wild caught Carolina shrimp.

Breezy with a light overcast, it was a great night to sit out on the back deck and enjoy.


Last night's breeze was of course courtesy of Tropical Storm Chris which is meandering off the Carolinas.  It will slide north and out to sea, taking with it my chance to sail today.  Clear skies and comfortably cool, it would have been a gusty, double reefed sail.  Lately work has been a little bit too much like work, so I'll relax and catch my breath today.

Saturday, June 30, 2018


Every dog has his day.
Today was mine.

a recipe

  • one pound live crawfish
  • one pound dry scallops (dry meaning right off the boat, no chemicals added)
  • one pound jumbo wild-caught shrimp
  • a few bottles O'Connor's Green Can Golden Ale for cooking*
* "for cooking" means that you don't cook with them, you drink them while cooking

I can see clearly now...

...or at least I will be able to in a few weeks.

Nikon makes good binoculars.  Their binoculars may not be the best but they do come with, no doubt, the best ever warranty.

In 2012 I bought a pair of Nikon Action Extreme (Remanufactured ) Binoculars for less than $100 from, I believe, Defender.  Two years later one of the mirrors was out of alignment and one lens fogged on hot days.  I sent the binoculars to Nikon under their lifetime no-fault warranty program and it was replaced with a new (remanufactured) set.

The second set lasted four years and now is out of alignment again (I may have treated them a little roughly).  A brief email to Nikon and a new (remanufactured) pair will be on its way soon.  Sounds like a good deal to me.


I can see blue skies with small white puffy clouds outside the kitchen window.  I wish I was sailing but there is virtually no wind.  I would only be drifting.

Monday, June 25, 2018


Brook from the AMERICAN ROVER, the tall ship in the photograph, just sent me this image from a storm last night that was packing 60 mph winds.  Spectacular is the only work I can come up with to describe the it.  He pointed out it was much better to watch the storm from the dock instead of seeing it while underway.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

fresh from the farm

Picked up some little neck clams yesterday, the tag showing that they had been harvested from the clam beds on the Eastern Shore's Hungars Creek a day earlier.  Talk about fresh.  Tonight's menu calls for them to be served with a spicy tomato broth, something called acqua pazza in Italian cooking, that's crazy water to you and me.  Should be fun.


A pleasant ending to SPARTINA'S week on the river today.  I think I got in five or six morning and evening sails this week, including Father's Day and the summer solstice.  A great time on the water.

Saw Steffan and Jo from RADIANT SPIRIT, Steffan joining me for a short sail.  When Jo came to pick him up in the dinghy we held the two boats together and sailed surprisingly well under SPARTINA'S main, dinghy and yawl side by side.

Also met Glen, a cruiser from down south, friends with Michael and Sheila from KANATALA.  It was nice to meet him and share stories of our mutual friends.  I was glad to report that KANTALA made it to the Azores a few days ago.

Got a different view of my favorite tall ships, the VIRGINA, above and the AMERICAN ROVER, below.  Much appreciation goes to the ROVER as I was a guest of the tall ship at the marina all week.

A nice breeze, comfortable temperature and a sky much bluer than can be expected in late June.  A fine day on the river to end a fine week on the river.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

three favorites

Brandon, captaining the AMERICAN ROVER this morning, saw me walking down the dock, glanced at his wrist watch, looked back at me with a grin and said "Kind of late this morning, aren't you?"  If I were going out for a sail, definitely yes, but no sailing today as I gotta work.  Just there for a boat check.  Nice to see three of my favorite boats so close together, the SCHOONER VIRGINIA with pennants flying, the AMERICAN ROVER, right, sailing downriver and under the tiny brown boom tent SPARTINA in docked next to the schooner.  How nice.

Friday, June 22, 2018

dawn sail

Photographs from yesterday's sail.  On cruises I often am sailing before the sun comes over the horizon, but doing so on the summer solstice seemed a little special.  Had the weather been better last night I might have sailed with the setting sun too.  Maybe next year.

Thursday, June 21, 2018