Day 56 - Solomon's Island, MD
26 May 2012 | Docked at Beacon Marina, Solomon’s Island, MD
Sat 26 May 2012
Docked at Beacon Marina, Solomon's Island, MD
[photo: one of many waterfront pubs on the island]
It was a great night's sleep once we went below with the hatches closed. Apparently, several 50-something guys that clean other people's boats as a side job think that they should have loud conversations between them even at 2100.
Diane commented this morning that it was a very civilized way to start the day. We took our time down below, then walked up to the Comfort Inn for our complimentary breakfast (very good coffee) and then sat reading the Wall Street Journal in the early light on a nice bench overlooking the waterfront. Of course, there was the always-appreciated use of a full-size shoreside toilet to make it complete.
Having it available, we turned on the air conditioning and were glad we did as it is shaping up to be a hot day again. Despite that, we got out the bikes and rode around the relatively small area. It turned out that Solomon's Island gets a middling grade on bike friendliness. There are some places with a wide shoulder along the main road and some decent sidewalks, but sometimes there is nothing but a narrow road and no shoulder, so you are trusting that the cars will see you and swerve around you. If you stick to just the safer bike-riding areas, it is still a worthwhile ride for the scenery and exercise.
One cool place we visited was the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center. There is a path through the woods with some large and substantial pieces of sculpture, but what was unique for us were the many dozens of "je ne sais quoi" scattered in between the major pieces. We really don't know if there is a term for them; they ranged from wacky bird houses, to dinosaur figures, to painted tree stumps, to castles, and lots more. It was a very unique experience and we are glad we happened upon it.
On the way back from our northern excursion, we passed the West Marine store where (traditionally) they serve complimentary hot dogs, chips, and sodas for a few hours midday during Memorial Day weekend. We stopped for a free lunch and had a really good quality hot dog that was grilled just to our liking. Complimentary breakfast, free lunch; do I know how to show a girl a good time or what?
Down in the southern end of the island, the tourists were thronging the sidewalks and boardwalk. We were looking for some fresh fish, but the seafood markets said all their catch was going to the restaurants for the big Memorial Day influx. The one thing they did have was some incredible looking jumbo shrimp for a fair price, so we got some of that. That place also served cold beer, and when we checked Diane's watch, coincidentally, it was beer-thirty.
Back at the boat, the air conditioning felt great after the hot ride in the blazing sun. It is only supposed to reach the low 80s in temperature today, the humidity is low, and there is a breeze, but that sun is hot! I know what it can get like here in July and August and I don't think it is any more comfortable than south Florida.
As Diane was making Gin n' Tonics to take to the pool, she said the tonic tasted funny. I agreed, and then realized that when I used the SodaStream to carbonate the water yesterday, I forgot to add the syrup. Oh, well. That was easily fixable.
Being at the pool, relaxing and reading, was very enjoyable. Not everyone wants to do the same thing, of course, so there was a family of 20-somethings chatting away, and then their parents arrived. We had a nice conversation about cruising and some of the young men's military service. That was all good until the sub-teens arrived with the jumping and splashing and yelling. Hey, I was a kid once, so it was just time for me to go back to Diva Di to chill with Clyde.
It was almost supper time, so the preparations for the shrimp fra diavlo (with the last of the broccoli) began. When I just started cooking, I heard some loud clomping on the deck and wondered why Diane was making so much noise coming back. I was surprised that she didn't come below and when she actually arrived 30 minutes later, I found out the twin-engine small sport fisherman boat next to us had left the slip (I heard that part) and then lost an engine, so he almost collided with several boats along the fairway (ours included). The clomping was someone trying to fend him off, but we have so much gear in the stern, plus the large inflatable dinghy hanging off the davits, that there was no way he could do that even if he tried.
As I was in the middle of making the sauce, the propane tank ran empty, so there was a 10 minute intermission while I changed to the spare. Before quite finishing dinner, the boat returned, but this time he seemed to have complete control. Diane and I both popped up to help him get safely into the slip.
We had a lot of exercise today and a lot of sun so it will, again, be an early night.