Beautiful Chesapeakeans Part II
26 June 2008 | Lusby, MD (Mill Creek)
What a very cool feeling - to write this posting from Mill Creek in the village of Lusby, Maryland.
We met Carole and Richard Hackett in Green Turtle Cay on New Year's Eve, and waved good bye to them in Black Point Settlement. As I said to Carole, I always felt we didn't have enough time to get to know them despite several happy hours and streetside conversations so we were very happy to take them up on their "When you come this way, stop by" invitation. As we neared the dock where Kilissa was moored, Richard hailed us and said that his neighbour, Joe, had offered his dock if we wanted to tie up. We did, and in the process met another group of "beautiful Chesapeakeans". Richard, Joe, Robin and Bob took our lines, offered us beers and a warm welcome to that exquisite little cove. Before long we were seated around the table in Richard and Carole's lovely home, admiring Richard's carpentry skills and enjoying Carole's culinary skills. With all the tall trees and shady greenery, the area reminded us of where we lived in the Princess Park area of North Vancouver. True - these trees shed their leaves, but the summertime feeling was the same.
We rented a car on Tuesday and drove to Baltimore for an extremely exciting encounter at the Customs building. You may remember from a few postings ago our frustration with the Cruising Permit process. Well - I have a new recommendation. Get to know the good folks in Baltimore.
Let me back up a step or two. We had our horrible visit to Morehead City. We called in to Norfolk like the woman told us, only to find out that Newport News handles the Hampton side of the River, so we called there. The officer at that office told us we didn't have to report in person, cleared us in and also gave us permission to leave. Jim called Baltimore on Friday to let them know we were in Maryland and got a voice message telling us to call back on Monday. After warning us that "we had been misinformed and were subject to arrest and seizure of our boat if Coast Guard stopped us, Miss Gray said, "Why don't you just come in and get a new permit?" Once Jim picked his jaw off the floor and recovered his voice, he replied, "We'd love to do that" and made an appointment for 11 am Tuesday morning.
This official visit could not have been more different from the last one. We went through the sign in and screening at the front door of the Customs House, and then walked into the friendly cheery confines of the vessel permit office. We presented our vessel registration, the Bahamian Cruising Permit, the documentation of our entry back into the US and soon had a year long US Cruising Permit in hand. Miss Gray told us she had been worried about us and was glad we now had the proper documentation. Along with it, she gave us a list of all the phone numbers to call for the check ins from here to the Canadian Border. We still don't know why we have to go through that process - but we know it is just a phone call - no more expensive taxis and rental cars and fees. Last year, the Reed's book said it was not necessary, and the officers who issued the permit and checked us agreed with that. In 2008 there doesn't seem to be that ambiguity; Reed's doesn't offer any exceptions, and Miss Gray was clear on the issue so we'll do it.
We roamed around Baltimore's Inner Harbour, ate delicious crab at Phillips and returned to Lusby. Carole had book Club that night, so Richard joined us for dinner at CD's Café over in Solomons Island. It was just as good as on our last visit.
Wednesday morning was taken up with putzing around on the boat, followed by a yummy lunch at Richard and Carole's where we met their friends Deb and Doug - Floridians and also boaters. After another dockside conversation with our slip host, Joe, who made us feel so welcome, we headed over to Spring Cove marina for fuel and a pumpout, then anchored at the beginning of Mill Creek (near where Dick and Tina used to live) for an early morning start on Thursday. Jim (Sea Rose) dinghied over for a chat after dinner - he and his wife are headed up to Canada - through the Trent-Severn Canal, and back down through Lake Champlain. As senior sailors, they are a reminder for us that we can look forward to many more sailing years.
We had a quiet night and an absolutely fabulous sail on Thursday all the way to Annapolis where we grabbed a mooring ball right next to old buddies Mike and Kathy (Sapphire).