Washington DC to Annapolis, MD


Leaving downtown Washington DC we were going to pass right by Mt Vernon and had to stop. It was Memorial Day weekend but we arrived early and tied up at one of the  two spots on the dock at the waterfront to George Washington’s home. 

We purchased tickets online as we were walking up to the visitor center and surprisingly snagged space on a tour that began within an hour of our arrival. We have certainly lucked out with last minute tour/ticket availability this past week. No pictures were allowed inside the mansion and the entire front of the home was under restoration but the tour was very informative and of course waking the grounds was impressive. We even toured the gristmill and distillery where grains are processed and spirits are still made today. 

Mt Vernon overlooks the Potomac River. It was Washington’s home for 45 years and where he died in 1799.

Mt Vernon once consisted of 8,000 acres. Today 500 acres are preserved. Walking the grounds we saw everything from slave quarters to stables. This is the upper garden and greenhouse. 

Grave site of George Washington and other family members.

Slave memorial. George Washington’s will stated that his slaves were to freed upon the death of his wife. Martha Washington ended up freeing them earlier than that. 

After our time at Mt Vernon we headed down the Potomac to Mattawoman Creek, MD for the night. The next morning we rose early and went 56 miles (~8 hours) to Canoe Neck Creek. This was a small bay full of various birds and offered great protection from the forecasted thunderstorms. From there we did another 53 miles to Solomon Island, which put us back in Chesapeake Bay. Our side trip up and down the Potomac River was officially complete. 

Watching the encroaching thunderstorm from Mattawoman Creek (no filter on this picture, it was quite the natural contrast in light and dark skies). 

Heartbeat at Canoe Neck Creek. This area was filled with birds and was calm as could be. 

Solomon Island Yacht Club (SIYC). Wonderful waterfront location in a small town, friendly people and you can’t beat the prices at their bar!

Our stay at SIYC was a working stop, Kent replaced the water pump for our AC, I buffed/waxed the boat (well not the hull but everything else) and Jan’s (Ceci Kay) expertise helped Kent dismantle our Engel cooler and get it running again. This is an important item on the boat – it keeps the beer cold. 

We left SIYC needing fuel. We could press on to Annapolis or stop short where fuel was slightly cheaper. With the threat of thunderstorms (yes again) and an added bonus of “small isolated tornadoes” we decided to stop south of Annapolis at Herrington Shores. Here we filled up on fuel, pulled into a marina slip and sat on the boat in the AC for the rest of the afternoon. It was just too hot and humid to do much else. 

Penny dog underway to Herrington Shores. It has been hot and humid lately and she is not a fan. 

Kent and his bug zapper. When the bugs invade the boat they do so in massive numbers. No bug is safe from this guy and his bug zapper. 

Our next stop was Annapolis. We grabbed a mooring ball right off of downtown and the US Naval Academy for one night. We then moved to a free dock a few miles south for several nights. The free dock was courtesy of old friends of Kent's (Gavin & Holly) from his days in San Diego who live just south of the downtown Annapolis area. 

Annapolis is where the US Naval Academy (USNA) is so we signed up for a walking tour one day and then went back the next day to give the museum at the academy the time it deserved. The walking tour was very good, allowing us into many of the building and giving us a good sense of what it would be like to attend there. The museum we had seen 10+ years ago. It has since been updated and the new displays are done very well. The highlight is still the ship model collection, which is the largest collection of 17th and 18th century models in North America. 

 Penny outside of the USNA. 

USNA: Tecumseh Court

USNA: Chapel 

USNA: Crypt of John Paul Jones, who was the first well known US naval commander (1760-1799) in the American Revolutionary War. 

Maryland State House. Oldest US State Capitol in continuous legislative use. 

Washington gave his resignation as Commander In Chief of the Continental Army here in the Old Senate Chamber (1783). 

It has been fun to have friends visit us but it just as nice when we can stop by and see those who live along the route we are traveling. Kent, Gavin and Holly reminisced about their time in San Diego, we meet their kids and we greatly appreciate them letting us stay at their community dock for a few days. 

Holly, Kent and Gavin talking up the old times back in San Diego. 

The heat has certainly been turned on around the Chesapeake Bay area and we are now looking to move a bit faster north. We will next go through the C&D canal, pass through Delaware Bay and travel up the coast of New Jersey. This will require planning and patience for good weather and while we hear it does not claim to be the most scenic portion of The Loop we will make the most of it. Stay tuned and until the next post or you can always see where we are with the Track Us button.