11 June 2019 | Annapolis
We gunk holed our way up the Potomac going up some of the creeks and bays that are tributaries of this great river. One was Breton Bay and the town of Leonardtown. It was in the past an important shipping point for tobacco, but now is a sleepy historic town full of friendly people. There is a STS bus called the Leonardtown Loop that will take you to the grocery and shopping. 50 cents for seniors and $1.00 for whippersnappers.
We also stopped at Mattawoman Creek, just up from Quantico, a great place for a swim. Our next stop was Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. It was purchased from his heirs and restored by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and is available to see 365 days a year.
We anchored right in front of the mansion and dinghied over to the wharf. The plantation complex is a self contained unit of many buildings which enabled the inhabitants to produce and maintain anything they needed. It was an 8,000 acre farm at its height. Washington was interested in advancing agriculture and experimented with many innovative growing techniques and breeding programs. He had a heated greenhouse which enabled him to grow tropical plants and fruit.
All the buildings and gardens have been restored and are available to see. The mansion is very interesting. The exterior looks like stone, but is actually pine cut and finished to get that look. There are also several museums exhibitions and a learning center to get immersed in the culture of that time. If you get a chance to come, please do and plan most of a day to spend here. For those on boats, it’s really a treat.
We then traveled further up the Potomac to Washington. There is a small anchorage which is marked by 4 yellow buoys just south of the police pier and is the only anchorage now in Washington. We were the only boat there and it was very nice. After anchoring you should notify the harbor police of your presence on VHF 16 or at 202-727-4582. From the anchorage you can dinghy to the Gangplank marina or the Capitol Yacht Club to tie up for $10.00 per day which includes use of the facilities. Both are just a couple of blocks from the National Mall and all the museums and monuments. There is also a great new development on the waterfront called the Wharf, full of shops and restaurants.
We began a whirlwind tour of museums with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, new since our last visit here. It’s a very dramatic building and even more so inside. It’s a good idea to go to their website and get a pass to enter ahead of time. It’s all free but doing that ahead will save time. We spent most of the day exploring the museum and all its exhibits. We left with the hope that in our lifetimes, we all, when asked what our race is, that our response will be the Human Race. I also got a new quote that is my current fav.
“ If you don’t have it, you can’t show it.
If you do have it, you can’t hide it.”
Zora Neal Hurston
We continued with the Museum of the American Indian, National Art Gallery, American History, Natural History, Air and Space, Renwick Gallery, Hirshorn Gallery, and the Freer/ Sackler museum. As you can see, we are becoming very cultured. Highlights were the Native American cultures and learning the unspeakable treatment they received, the delightful Renwick Gallery, the precious stones and minerals exhibit at the Natural History Museum and the modern exhibit in the National Gallery.
We were surprised at the crowds, very many kids on tours from school and masses of humanity in all the major museums. Despite this the National Mall was clean and beautiful, thanks to the continuous efforts of the Park Service. We saw many things and learned much, but only scratched the surface of what is available.
The last museum we went to was the Museum of the Holocaust. As you might imagine, it was quite moving. There is no way to answer the question why, it’s just not humanly possible to understand why these atrocities could occur and still continue with other communities of people. When we look into the past and see the history of abuse of Native Americans, Africans, and Jews, there is no answer, no rationalization. Each of us must look into ourselves and accept all people as human beings and end hatred. We must be tolerant enough to accept that each person should be allowed to believe what they wish and have a good life. The miracle of the world and life should be open to all, and making that possible starts with each of us removing hate from our hearts.
We ended our stay in Washington with the reason we came, a wedding of our good friends, Megan and Michael, daughter of Bob and Marlene Perez, our very good friends from Tampa. It was a wonderful party and set us back on track to move north. So we are off down the Potomac racing the weather, as usual. Look for some pictures in the gallery.