Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Month-long Sailing Trip: Georgetown

--Blogpost written by Bob

Monday, July 21

From our anchorage in Still Pond to Georgetown on the Sassafrass River was only 14.5 nautical miles--a very short leg compared to most of the other legs on this trip.  The Sassafrass River is beautiful, deep, and well-marked.  It winds through farmed fields, forested areas, marsh lands, 80-foot high cliffs, and has many large and small homes along its banks.

I couldn't begin to guess how many square feet of floor space is in this home
on the southern shore of the Sassafrass River.

A much larger home on the northern shore of the Sassafrass River has
a lighthouse-like gazebo on the water.  This home was once owned by the DuPont family.

Georgetown (Maryland) is located where the bascule bridge on Route 213 crosses 
the Sassafrass River.  There are seven large marinas in Georgetown.  We 
picked up a mooring buoy at Georgetown Yacht Basin.

According to Wikipedia, "The Battle of Caulk's Field during the War of 1812 occurred near Georgetown on August 31, 1814; it was a victory for the local militia, and the British commander was killed during the fighting."

A sunfish was the very first boat I sailed--it was in Dewey Beach, Delaware.  I was
immediately hooked on sailing for the rest of my life.  These sunfish sailboats
were used for a sailing school that is based in Georgetown Yacht Basin.
(I "painted" this photograph with an Aperture plug in.)

We are meeting up with an old friend (Bill) who keeps his boat at Georgetown Yacht Basin on Tuesday--so, we will be staying on Monday and Tuesday nights.  (We plan to anchor out in the river on Wednesday night.)  Georgetown brings back a lot of good memories for me.  In 1976, I bought my brand new Sabre 28 from a yacht broker/dealer in Georgetown--it was launched at the Granary (a very old well established marina and restaurant in Georgetown) which is now owned by Georgetown Yacht Basin.

Maggie used the marina's pool this afternoon while I charged my laptop in the ship's store.  I also posted my blogpost on Still Pond this afternoon since I didn't have a strong enough WiFi signal from my iPhone hotspot in Still Pond.

Like Rock Hall, most of the boaters who keep their boats in Georgetown are from southeastern Pennsylvania (the area where I grew up), southern New Jersey, or Delaware (where Maggie grew up).  Georgetown Yacht Basin is an excellent marina with a large ship's store, a very large pool, a sandy beach area, and excellent showers and heads.  The marina staff is very courteous and well trained.  It would be difficult to top this marina anywhere on the Chesapeake Bay.  Our mooring buoy costs us $32 per night--we decided on a mooring buoy because we would get more breeze at night.

For dinner, we had grilled chicken thighs and cole slaw on board--it was yummy!

Tuesday, July 22

I love taking photographs in the early morning when the reflections are so vivid.

I don't have the story on this boat but it's a beautiful classic old sailboat named "Elf".

After having cereal and coffee for breakfast on board, we got the (free) launch into the fuel dock (called the pagoda because of its shape) and did laundry and charged my laptop.  Maggie was dressed in a swimming suit top and a green skirt and said she looked like a "hootchie mama."  We had some discussion about what that meant and if the wording was real--Maggie has been known to make up her own words and spellings!

While not exactly fitting the definition of "hootchie mama" in the urban dictionary,
this picture portrays the general idea.  I think we will name our rigid hull inflatable
dinghy "hootchie mama" or simply "hootchie."

By lunchtime, Bill and Carol arrived and we drove (14 miles) to Chestertown for lunch at the Fish Whistle (used be The Wharf).  We ate lunch outside overlooking the Chester River.  Maggie had a fish taco (it was actually more like a fish burrito) while I had a crab frittata and a green salad.  The schooner Martha White with her light green sail covers was anchored in the middle of the river--it is a beautiful (privately owned) sailing vessel of about 50-foot length.

The owner of S/V Martha White has a home in Chestertown and another home in
Florida.  This beautiful schooner gets used infrequently.

Chestertown is a small college town (Washington College) that has a vintage near that of Oxford--there are some beautiful old homes that are very well kept.  You can get to Chestertown by sailboat but it is a very long trip up the Chester River--this would make a nice destination for a long weekend in the fall.

I realize this sounds like a description typical of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby but Bill and Carol went for a swim in the marina pool while we took the launch out to the boat and prepared for happy hour.   Bill and Carol then joined us for drinks and we talked for a couple hours.  It was a nice day with Bill and Carol.

The Granary is a restaurant and marina on the northern shore of the Sassafrass River.

Just before sunset, Maggie and I rowed the dinghy over to the Granary for dinner.  We both had lite fare and some white wine.

The Sassafrass River runs east and west, so the sunrises and sunsets are very colorful.  This
photograph was taken just after sunset from the second level of the Granary.

This is another view from the Granary just after sunset.  There are
more power boats than sailboats in Georgetown.

By the way, in this area the mosquitos are abundant and have a voracious appetite!  Don't even think about being outside around dusk without mosquito repellent!  Our mosquito nets for over the hatches were invaluable.

We've decided (rather than anchoring out in the river tomorrow night) to leave just before lunchtime for Havre de Grace.  It is supposed to be hot and relatively windless tomorrow and stormy on Thursday.  So, we will spend Wednesday night and Thursday night in Havre de Grace.

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