Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Boating Memories, Chesapeake Bay - 6/29/15

Dinner plans with friends from our old neighborhood took us to southern Chester County today. Prior to meeting them, we drove down to Rising Sun, MD, to visit our favorite liquor store (fantastic prices and open every day but Christmas) where we used to shop. The liquor control laws in PA continue to be very rigid (wine and liquor can only be purchased at state run stores; beer only at licensed distributors). And the prices in PA are considerably higher than MD or DE. Rising Sun is only about 5 miles from Nottingham, so Johnston's was a great place to shop over the years.

After stocking up on some wine, vodka, and tequila, we decided to visit Charlestown Marina (in Charlestown, MD) where we docked our boat, Destiny, for several years. We sold Destiny when we decided to start full-time RVing and the buyers continue to keep it in the same slip on Dock A that we had. 

Below is a photo of Dock A and the marina. 

Below are some photos of the boat we previously owned, a 36' Trojan Sport Fisherman Yacht. We loved her and had lots of great times on the Chesapeake. We were happy to see her being well taken care of by her new owners!

Next to the marina is a small park with a beach area on the Chesapeake Bay for swimming. Sadie ran right into the water. You can see her kicking up her heels with joy! We're pretty sure she remembered this place.

We saw this osprey nest just where it was located a couple of years ago in Charlestown near the marina. One parent was out looking for food while the other stayed in the nest protecting the young.

From Charlestown we drove the short distance to North East, MD, for a quick drink at the Nauti-Goose Restaurant (where we had eaten many times in the past). Website: www.nautigoose.net

Here is a photo of the bay side of the restaurant and a view of the water from the restaurant. Boats dock here when they visit the Nauti-Goose. This is the northernmost part of the Chesapeake Bay (that extends 300 miles south to Virginia).

There is a lovely town park in North East adjacent to the Nauti-Goose  where we took Sadie for walk.

There is also a Town Dock here.

Waterfowl at the North East Town Park.

Website: www.northeastmd.org

We returned to Nottinham, PA, where we caught with Anne-Marie and Jeff for dinner at our favorite local restaurant, the Nottingham Inn Kitchen & Creamery. We frequently came here for dinner and/or breakfast when we lived in the area. They have great food at good prices and serve beer and wine as well. Jeff and John ended the dinner with yummy chocolate milkshakes from the Creamery.

Website:  www.nottinghaminn.com

What fun we had catching up with Anne-Marie and Jeff about our travels and theirs, their kids and ours, and a myriad of other topics. Anne-Marie and I keep in touch on Facebook, so we will definitely see them again; hopefully, in the not-too-distant future. They love the Florida Keys so maybe will connect in that part of the country when we are both there. It was a great time!

Tall Ships Festival, Philadelphia - 6/26/15

On Friday we went to the Tall Ships Festival (June 25-June 28) along the waterfront in Philadelphia and Camden. Twelve international and domestic Tall Ships are featured at the Festival. Entrance to the festival was $7/per person; tickets for entrance and on-board ship tours were $15.99/per person; and sailing excursions on selected tall ships were $85/per person.

We chose to attend the Festival on Friday hoping to avoid the weekend crowds, but it was still packed with long lines to board the ships.  Below are some of the Tall Ships we saw. Parking is very limited in this area when a large event such as this is held. Guaranteed parking could be purchased on-line which we did not do as the closest one when we checked was over a mile away. Use of public transportation is highly recommended. We were lucky to get a spot at the Penns Landing Parking lot as a truck was pulling out.

Barque Eagle: A 3-masted USA Coast Guard Tall Ship with 21,350 square feet of sail and 295' long. It is the only operational sailing vessel in US Maritime Service. Its home port is New London, CT.

Gazela: Built in 1901 in Portugal to fish for cod (20,000 pounds on average per day) off of Newfoundland, she is 177' long and 94' high. Philadelphia is her home port.

Sagres: The Sagres was built in 1937 in Hamburg, Germany. Damaged during WWII, she was captured by US forces in 1945. She was purchased in 1948 by the Brazilian Navy and then in 1962 by Portugal as a training ship.

L'Hermione: This was the most impressive Tall Ship for us (with the longest line to board, as well!)  It is a replica of the 145' Concorde Class frigate (a war vessel) of the French Navy that brought Generate Lafayette to the US in 1780 to support the US in the Revolutionary War. It was build in Rochefort, France, and is 217' long with a main mast 155' tall. (Check out some of the crew near the top of the mast in the photos below. She had 32 cannons that used 12-pound cannon balls.

Tree of Life:  Built in Nova Scotia, Canada, this is a luxurious 91' long gaff-rigged schooner built of fir, spruce, mahogany, koa, and teak. Her home port is Newport, Rhode Island where she sails New England waters for private charters.

Privateer Lynx: This is a 78' long wooden sailing ship used for training. It was inspired by an original historic tall ship used in the War of 1812.

Sailing Excursions: For a fee ($85/per person), you can purchase a 90-minute ride on one of several amazing tall ships. It was so much fun to see these majestic ships sailing on the Delaware River. And what an interesting contrast between the old and the new in this setting. I think this was my favorite part of the Festival.

Camden: The line to board the Riverlink Ferry to access the Camden waterfront was so long, that we did not make it to that part of the Festival. There were, however, the following Tall Ships on that side of the Delaware River: Picton Castle, El Galeon, Pride of Baltimore, Lettie G. Howard, North Wind, AJ Meerwald, When and If, and Hindu. We were able, however, to see several of these sailing on the Delaware as seen in the photos above.

Festival Activities:  Music, swan paddle boats, picnic area and roller rink, beer garden, puppeteers, and traditional Philadelphia rocking chairs were some of the attractions.

Presentation by Oneida Native Americans...friends to the Colonists during the American Revolution, as well as a presentation about medical instruments of the era.

Next to the Festival is Independence Seaport Museum where the Cruiser Olympia (the oldest [1892] steel warship afloat today) and Becuna (a Balao Class submarine launched in 1944 that served in the SW Pacific Fleet in WWII) can be seen.

The Battleship New Jersey can also be seen from the Philadelphia side of the Delaware. Tours of the ship can be purchased on the Camden waterfront.

While touring the Tall Ships at the end of the pier we were able to see the beautiful boats docked in the marina. Here's John wistfully remembering our times on the Chesapeake Bay on our boat, Destiny.

We were so glad we made the trip to Philadelphia to see these amazing ships. On our travels we have seen other military ships, submarines, and the historic Tall Ship, Elissa (in Galveston, TX). It is always a pleasure to be on the waterfront.

Website: www.tallships philadelphia.com