Slow Down in the Chesapeake Bay

(Tangier Island - above) On our first Great Loop boating adventure, we somewhat skirted through the Chesapeake Bay, in hindsight, we discovered what a big mistake that was. So, while on our second Loop trip, we decided to stop and smell the roses. (Tangier Island - above & below) We ended up spending the entire summer cruising the Bay, basing ourselves out of Solomons, Maryland, a fairly central location. Like most great cruising grounds, such as Canada's North Channel, the…

Read More

Amazon.com Widgets>CLICK HERE FOR MORE BOOKS ON THE GREAT LOOP BOAT TRIP ADVENTURE

Read More

Passing Through Norfolk Harbor

Leaving Jackson Creek fairly early this morning to head through Norfolk and then just a little south of that to Great Bridge where there is a free dock we hoped to tie up to tonight. It was a beautiful sunny day as we passed all the majestic battleships, cargo ships, barges and Coast Guard Patrol Boats.I never knew that they had PINK bottom paint, did you?

Read More

Jackson Creek Anchorage

Our trip south starts from the Chesapeake Bay with the first stop being an anchorage near Deltaville. We heard from our friend Wade that he and his friend John were heading north, up the Chesapeake, on his boat Miss Happ, we arranged to meet at an anchorage in Jackson Creek for the night.We got up the creek first and Wade arrived about an hour and a half later. Jim went over to hang out with the guys while I took…

Read More

Oxford, Maryland

We didn’t have much time to enjoy Oxford, but this time of year there is not much open anyways, the restaurants were closed, but we did find the small bookstore and grocery store open. We anchored in the harbor and dinghied to the town dock to tie up, then we had a walk around town as we felt the first effects of a warm fall day as it descended on this tranquil little town.Oxford is one of the oldest towns…

Read More

HarborView Team at the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis

Lisa sold books on Kismet while Bill, Rick and Jim sold the many benefits of becoming an owner of a Fathom Yacht. I (Lisa) enjoyed being one of the “guys” for four days, we met lots of interesting folks  and had lots of fun on our off time. Even though the weather was gloomy, three days of cold and non-stop rain, the turnout was incredible.  HarborView's excellent sales team. (Above: Jim, Rick & Bill)

Read More

Goodbye Solomons!

We left on Sunday to head north to Oxford, Rockhall and Annapolis for the Boat Show. After the show we will start to head south towards Florida meeting up with our friends Louis and Diane, in North Carolina, to head towards the St. Johns River where we will spend a month exploring this highly rated Florida treasure.This was our favorite lawn art (above: left) during our daily walks around Solomons.

Read More

PassageMaker Trawler Fest – Solomons, MD

Trawlers, trawlers, trawlers. That’s all you could see at the Trawler Fest in Solomons last week. Our friend and cohort Rick Garton (above), Lisa and I took the Pilothouse Fathom (that’s for sale) and our flybridge Fathom (that’s not for sale) just up the creek to Calvert’s Marina for the big event. Rick and I showed off the pilothouse Fathom while Lisa sold our book When The Water Calls...We Follow from the cockpit of our boat. The show was a…

Read More

The 8th Annual Solomons Watermen Festival & Docking Competition

The 8th annual Solomons Watermen Festival is a great taste of the local culture and one we’re glad we were able to attend. Scott, Angie, Lisa and I went by dinghy to the county docks where the competition was being held, so we could witness the standing room only Watermen Docking Competition.Here’s how it works... one at a time a watermen boat backs into a slip to wait for the signal to start. After the signal the waterman’s goal is…

Read More

Happy Hour on Reel Estate

We have had some interesting neighbors while spending the summer at Solomon's Yachting Center especially Ron and Suzy Striegel on their beautiful Hatteras yacht, Reel Estate. Ron and Suzy invited us over for Happy Hour while Scott and Angie were here and we were all captivated, not only by the spread of hors d'œuvres and Golden Margaritas, by their boating stories and experiences.They showed us photos of 9/11 as they were transiting down the Hudson River past Manhattan during the…

Read More

Stormy Weather

We were out in the dinghy when this storm moved over us. Very dramatic with the dark clouds and rain off in the distance. We made it back to the boat just minutes before that big downfall. Last night Scott and Angie treated us to a fabulous dinner at the Dry Dock just down the road from our marina. Thanks guys!

Read More

Fun with Waterways

Jim and I celebrated our seventeenth wedding anniversary last Saturday then on Sunday afternoon we welcomed our friends Angie and Scott Way, Waterways (above, right), who flew in from Charlevoix, Michigan, for a brief stay on Kismet.I think we would all agree that the highlight of the visit was, after waiting for a calm day, going up the Patuxent River to St. Leonard’s Creek to anchor out for the balance of the afternoon enjoying grilled hamburgers, a little deep breathing…

Read More

“The Old Bay” MTOA Rendezvous – Crisfield, MD

MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Association) is a member driven cruising club that Lisa and I joined earlier in the year. We joined as a means to meet like type boaters as we travel and through their national and regional gatherings. As luck would have it MTOA was having a National Rendezvous in Crisfield, Maryland... a short 45 miles southwest of Solomons on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The mission of the group is to share, compare, help and…

Read More

Crab is King in the “Watermen” Town of Tangier

On our way to the MTOA Rendezvous we planned an overnight stop at Tangier Island.Tangier Island, Virginia is a set of low lying islands, first settled over 300 years ago, that sit off the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. We had heard and read good things about this watermen (men and women who make their living fishing and crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay) town and because we had never been we needed to go. Tangier Island is not a…

Read More

Herb Tending

It was time for a complete overhaul of my little herb garden. I had to cut the thyme and parsley way back and hope it comes back with some fresh soil and a little loving care. Boating just wouldn't seem right without being able to dig in some dirt once in awhile. Jim is a sweetheart to go along with my herbal obsession, most captains would not allow anything this messy aboard.

Read More

Second Stop… Alexandria and BoatUS Headquarters Tour

After the tour of the Arlington National Cemetery, we proceeded on to our scheduled appointment and guided tour of the BoatUS Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.From left to right: Bernadette Bernon, Colleen Halverson, Gordon Cameron, Lisa, Jim and Terri Parrow BotsfordLast week Gordon Cameron, BoatUs' Web Content Coordinator, emailed us and suggested that since we were still in the area that we should come to Alexandria, VA to meet the staff at the BoatUS Internet Operations, which we have been working with…

Read More

And the Answer is…

... they were all buried in Arlington National Cemetery.Today we made a road trip to Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia. First we visited the Arlington National Cemetery.Our national cemetery is the best known of over one hundred national cemeteries in the United States. It is 624 acres and shelters the remains of over 320,000 servicemen and women, veterans from every war and major conflict in United States history.The memorials and monuments are interspersed with the graves of hundreds of thousands of…

Read More

Lost in a Daydream – St. Leonards Creek Anchorage

Sometimes, while docked at a marina, it can be easy to get caught up in boat chores and other tasks of life and work. The marina is busy with boats coming and going and people to talk to and socialize with. Don’t get me wrong, we love marina life, the boats, the people (not so much the boat chores and work).So whenever a hot, calm, August Sunday presents itself to us our thoughts, almost simultaneously, turn to thinking about the…

Read More

Got our “Bella Luna” Fix

We last saw the Wade’s as they waved goodbye to us from the docks of their Morehead City homeport marina back in May, so we were excited when Louis and Diane said they could come to Solomons for a visit. They called upon their noon-time arrival so we met them for a two-hour get-caught-up lunch, lots of laughs about our shared boating experiences and discussion of future plans. Later we all met back on Kismet for cocktails and one of…

Read More

Bucket List Gets Shorter – St Michaels, MD

After over three years of hearing about Saint Michaels, MD and how this is a must stop on the Chesapeake Bay for all cruising boater’s bucket lists we decided it was time for us to cross it off our list.We departed for Saint Michaels, a 45-mile trip to the east side of the Bay from Solomons, at 7 a.m. With Bob and Sharon, Catch Me If You Can.Part of our boating mission, this summer, is to visit new places and…

Read More

Date Night at Anchor

It started in the late afternoon, with just needing to go to the public dock to get pumped out. While there we realized we were enjoying the opportunity to be untethered from the dock during an amazingly calm day and decided to go up Mill Creek where Jim had spotted a nice anchorage on the chart earlier in the week. Before we knew it we were anchored and settled in for a peaceful Friday night up the creek. It’s impromptu…

Read More

Friends, Fun and Food

It’s a great feeling, when you are far away from home, family and long time friends, to gather together with a group of Loopers for some fun and good food. This opportunity arrived when Bob and Sharon, Catch Me If You Can, arrived this week and Larry and Sue (below-right), Sue Sea Q, came shortly after. Tonight we also met Looper's Jim and Sue, Palmetto Moon (below-left). Sharon & Bob (below-left), John & Jan (below-middle), Larry & Sue (below-right)

Read More

Annapolis Road Trip

We needed to run to the Sam’s store in Annapolis and decided while there to visit the offices of the Waterway Guide to meet the staff and see what’s new. Then we went for a tour of the State Capitol Building.Surprise, surprise, look who we saw there. Just can't get away from these folks.Jim got to stand in the exact same spot that George Washington stood when he resigned his military post from the Continental Army.We finished up with lunch…

Read More

Fourth of July Festivities

We feel fortunate in that we were able to spend the Fourth of July holiday with family and friends. Our Looper friends Bob and Sharon, Catch Me If You Can who is already docked here and Jim’s sister Denise and here husband Mark and son Gavin came to visit and celebrate with us the festivities being held at the Solomon’s Yachting Center. Starting with a BIG BBQ featuring pulled pork and beef brisket which was put on the grill in the…

Read More

Three-Day Ride Back to Solomons, MD

We took three days on our return from the Capitol to Solomons. As we were passing Mount Vernon the 220-foot boat named White Cloud, which was docked with us in DC and now traveling a ways with us down the Potomac, pulls alongside of us on the glassy slack-tide water and slows to a crawl. We watched as the family entered their personal helicopter and took off from the landing pad on the deck of the yacht. It was fun…

Read More

Jellyfish Galore

Being from the Great Lakes one of the hardest things to become accustomed to while living in the Chesapeake Bay area are is the multitude of jellyfish present in the water. We are used to swimming, as soon as the water warms up a bit in the early summer, in the fresh waters which surround our homeport of Charlevoix, Michigan.As we travel by boat in this, new to us area, we are continually amazed that for all the varied coastline and waterfront…

Read More

Who Scheduled this Event?

As we’re retracing our steps so we can tour the Holocaust Museum we come across a road block. We looked up and down the side streets and we saw police blocking traffic at all the intersections. This can only mean one thing, the Presidential Motorcade is close at hand.We stopped on the curb just two blocks from the White House, and here comes the twenty-vehicle motorcade... motorcycles, ambulances, assault vehicles, a tricked out communications vehicle and of course two Presidential…

Read More

Up Early For a Full Day’s Tour of Washington, D.C.

We’re up early and off the boat to catch the subway to the Capital Building where we have passes to visit the House and Senate Chambers. We got lucky in that all the Senate members were in attendance for an impeachment of a Texas Federal Judge. We heard it was only the 14th Federal impeachment in U.S. history and we were witnesses. So we saw all the usual suspects including Lieberman, Kerry and McCain who all spoke while we were in…

Read More

A Capitol Club

The Capitol Yacht Club was our home for three days and since we had such a long day we decided the Tuesday spaghetti dinner put on by the Yacht Club was just the ticket. No need to cook tonight. This is a Yacht Club that’s open to everyone. All the members we met in the boater's Lounge/Bar, our first night, introduced themselves and asked if they could help us in any way and gave us many useful tips on sight…

Read More

Cruising Up the Historic Potomac River

We’d been at dock so long we felt like kids at Christmas when it came time for our seven-day cruise up the historic Potomac River to Washington, DC, a 270 mile round trip. After cruising around Lookout Point, we spent our first night, after a short 40-mile day, anchored out in a cove off of Canoe Neck Creek. It was peaceful night surrounded by farm land, a dozen grazing deer and dramatic stormy skies. Up early for the final 80-mile run…

Read More

Summer Plans

Well, we’re all caught up on boat maintenance and web updates and ready to enjoy summer and the Chesapeake Bay and it appears by the way our calendar is filling up it will be a busy time and busy is good.As we make this post to our blog it’s the first day of summer so let the fun begin. Because we’re not constantly traveling our summer will be a welcome change and it all begins with a week long trip…

Read More

Father’s Day at Mount Vernon

Yesterday we wanted to leave the dock and head up the Potomac towards the Capitol to do some more sight seeing but the weather just did not want to cooperate. So instead of waiting until we got there by boat we hopped in the truck and made a quick road trip to Mt. Vernon. We thought that it would be more than appropriate to spend Father’s Day at the home of the father of our country, George Washington.Well, it turns…

Read More

A Capitol Excursion

Way back in January we asked our congressman for tickets to tour the Capitol Building and the White House. So we have been looking forward to a relatively short trip to Washington D.C. from our base in Solomons, MD.We drove part way to D.C. and took the Metro train the rest of the way in two different days as we could not get the White House tour on the same day as the other tours. The middle picture above (middle) is…

Read More

Testing the Waters

Just a quick overnight anchorage up the Patuxent. Calm, quiet and very relaxing.This week we met two boats from Michigan who were passing through the Solomons.

Read More

Friends Passing Through

Photos (above) courtesy of Mary SarverJune brought us several opportunities to share some fun with friends as they passed through the Solomons area either by land or water.Andy and Mary Sarver, on Good News, Brad and Patti Salvage, on Salvage Crew and Bob and Deb Koerner, on Headquarters all stopped in the Solomons and we were all invited over to Salvage Crew for cocktails and Good News for dinner.We were surprised to be the recipients of the traveling wine gift…

Read More

Time for Some Boat Maintenance

Maintenance, that ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure came together all at once for Kismet, upon our Solomons arrival. First order of business was to change the engine oil and filter, fuel filters, engine zincs and thoroughly clean the engine room. Completed we headed to Washburn’s Boat Yard to have Kismet hauled out of the water where they immediately power washed the bottom of the boat the clean  as much of the barnacles and slim from her…

Read More

A Step Back in Time… St. Mary’s City

Today we decided to take a road trip to see some of the countryside while heading toward historic St. Mary’s City, which is the site of Maryland’s first capital. English settlers established the colony in 1634, not long after the founding of Jamestown and Plymouth. The small city flourished until the capital was moved to Annapolis in 1695. Today, the city is a National Historic Landmark and is recognized as one of America’s best-preserved archaeological sites.The original city no longer…

Read More

Calvert Marine Museum

Last excursion of the day was the Calvert Marine Museum. The Chesapeake Bay is fed by hundreds of rivers and creeks which flow into salty, tidal currents to form this brakish body of water. More than 2,500 species of animals and plants are supported in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. From the prehistoric past to the present and ever changing Chesapeake Bay this small local museum was fun and well worth the time.We learned a lot about crabs and…

Read More

Annmarie Garden – Sculpture Park

The last full day with Skyler and Sarah started with a walk through the Annmarie Garden, Sculpture Park which is located just a few miles from our marina. It was a very relaxing walk through the woods while discovering obvious and hidden sculpture. It gave us a chance to experience the local flora and fauna... Delightful, even though all of our allergy triggers were tripping full force as we inhaled spring’s fragrant and woodsy, flowering plants.

Read More

Passing Inspection

Just after we set the anchor and got settled to watch the Blue angels, we saw the brightly colored Coast Guard boat approaching, quickly, along Kismet’s portside. There were a lot of boats in the Patuxent River today to watch the air show and this situation is always a good occasion for the Coast Guard to do a lot of boat inspections. For us this is a great opportunity to meet some of the young men who protect the waters of…

Read More

Crazy About the Blue Angels

While formulating the plan to meet Sarah we found out that the Blue Angels would be the featured event during a Aviation Show, Saturday and Sunday, at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. We love the Blue Angels and told Skyler that we had a surprise for them when they got here.Well, little did we know that, Sarah is a Blue Angel junkie. She just cannot get enough of them. She has watched them at many venues in Michigan and…

Read More

Meeting Sarah

A month or two ago our son Skyler Nelles informed us that he had a girlfriend he wanted us to meet. We suggested Skype since we did not have any plans to return home in the immediate future. But Skyler said that he really wanted us to meet her in person.We were excited to meet someone that Skyler thought of as special and we devised a plan for them to drive our truck out to meet us over Memorial weekend,…

Read More

We Have Arrived… Solomons, Maryland

On tuesday we arrived at our 2009 summer homeport in Solomons, Maryland, a little later than planned due to continuing windy weather but it was only a one day delay.We pulled into the Solomons Yachting Center and were welcomed to our slip, B5, by Quentin the harbormaster. Not many people around here yet but we can imagine that this place is really hopping after Memorial Day.There are so many marinas and boats here, predominantly fishing boats and sailboats. We are…

Read More

Mother’s Day in Deltaville, Virginia

We love stopping at Dozier’s Regatta Point Marina. This marina is well thought out and definitely has the boater in mind. The homey surroundings will make the transient boater feel relaxed with a large, open, porch bedecked with many white rocking chairs and a warm, cozy boater’s lounge. If you happen to run into Jack and Craig Dozier you will always be greeted with big smiles and a warm welcome.We were fortunate to spend Mother’s Day here with a mother duck…

Read More

Delaware Bay

Early the next morning we departed for the long cruise down the Delaware Bay to Cape May and the state of New Jersey. It was late when we arrived in Cape May and we were too tired to explore so we never left the marina but we ran into other Loopers on Running Free and Rhumb Line and had a little get-together on the back deck of Kismet.

Read More