14 July 2009 | Potomac River , VA
On our way up the Potomac from St Mary's we stopped at the Washington Plantation, Mt Vernon named by Georges older Brother after a British Admiral. The channel and dock are narrow and shallow. If you have over 5 feet of draft you are better off anchoring just downriver about a 1/4 mile from the plantation. We set a hook just inside the close3st green marker and took the dinghy into the dock. Make sure you inquire about where to place your dinghy as there are numerous ferries that come and go here. The tickets can be purchased at the giftshop down by the water . We toured the estate that Queen Elizabeth once refered to as " A quaint little cottage" from the fields to the manor house and all the shops for smithing, carpentry, gardening ect in between.
Washington was inovative in a couple of notible areas. First he was the first to grow wheat as a cash crop instead of tobacco and he began the process of rearing mules for farm labor instead of using horses. We learned that tobacco depleates the soil entirely after 2 years and it takes 25 years to put the nutrients back into the soil. Though the acting staff were using a horse to plow that day there were several mules on the property which we learned had come from stock that were given the Washingtons from the King of Spain. Mules as it turns out are harder working, need less water and are smarter than the horse in that a horse will work itself to death where a mule will simply stop working. The saying "stubborn as a mule" comes from the mules propencity for self preservation.
George and Martha are still intered here on the property just down the bank from the main house.
If you visit be sure and plan the whole day as there is so much to see.