Traveling to Solomons Island

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We left Doziers Marina at 6:00 a.m. with the sun shinning and very little wind for the first time in five days.  We have 65 miles of navigating today on the Chesapeake Bay, hoping the wind and waves stay calm.

We saw are first dolphins on the Chesapeake Bay there must have been 20 of them feeding in one area.  I couldn’t get a good picture of them and they didn’t want to play with us.  It had been a long time since we saw any dolphins.

 

I wanted to go up the Potomac river but weather and time are not going to allow for this side trip.  I have been to Mt. Vernon twice but would have been nice to arrive by water.  The Potomac is so big it creates its own weather.  The mouth of the river is nearly 12 miles wide and dumps so much water into Chesapeake Bay it causes erosion on Tangier Island almost 30 miles across the bay to the east.  Only the Susquehanna River empties more water into the Chesapeake.

For more than 11,000 years, humans have lived in the Chesapeake Bay region.  And for more than two hundred years, lighthouses have helped them navigate the waters of the Bay,  Since the first lighthouse was placed at Cape Henry in 1792, 74 Lighthouses have dotted the shores of the watershed, building wooden vessels, steam-powered boats and cargo ships through the Bay’s channels and around its obstacles.  Today, more than 30 of these lighthouses still stand and 23 still aid navigation.

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This is the Smith Point Lighthouse some call it the point no point Lighthouse sits six miles north of the Point lookout Lighthouse and the entrance of the Potomac river.  The construction of the lighthouse was part of a program to add lighted navigational aids in a third mile stretch of the bay between Cove and Smith Points.  While construction began in 1901, it was completed in 1904 with several delays with storms in 1903 and ice floes.  Today a two-story white tower sits atop a red, cast-iron base.  In 1938 it was automated and converted to unmanned operations in 1962.  The light remains an active aid to navigation.

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This ship is called the Luminous Ace it’s 617 feet long 102 wide and draws 23 feet of water traveling at 19 m/ph.  It’s traveling twice as fast as we are on the Chesapeake Bay.

We are now in Maryland and traveling up the Patuxent River to Carter Marina in Solomons Island.  The Patuxent River is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay and is the largest and longest river entirely within Maryland, and its watershed is the largest completely within the state.  The Patuxent River empties into the west side of Chesapeake Bay 89.3 miles above Virginia Capes.

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Solomon originally called Bourn’s Island 1680, then Somervell’s Island 1740, Solomon takes its name from 19th century Baltimore businessman Isaac Solomon. He established the first oyster-canning plant here in 1867 and since the time, Solomons has been a major boat-building and waterfront community.  The first big eye (oyster dredging sailing vessel) was built here in 1879, and during the 1930s, the yard of M.M. Davis and Son produced many famous racing yachts.  Solomon’s home still stands on the front of the island.

Sculpture On Watch, commemorating the World War II U.S. Navel Amphibious Training Base, 1942-1945.  The Statue is the centerpiece of memorial park on the Dowell peninsula at the entrance of the Solomons harbor.  The eight-foot bronze monument will remind all who see it that great work was practiced here by our brave soldiers of the past.  During World War II, the island was chosen by the Allied command as the site for training amphibious invasion forces.  The lessons learned at Solomons proved invaluable on D-Day, at Tarawa, at Guadalcanal, and in numerous other military operation.  Three naval bases were established at the mouth of the Patuxent River.

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Drum Point Light is one of three surviving Chesapeake Bay screw-pile lighthouses.  Originally located off Drum Point at the mouth of the Patuxent River, is now an exhibit at the Calvert Marine Museum.

We are staying at Calvert Marina on Back Creek.  The marina is very nice it has a pool (not open yet) a very old Mercedes Diesel with no gas pedal only the knob just like the windows, but it got us to the grocery store and back.   Wednesday we went bar hopping with out dingy.  Liz and Johnny went with us and Mike and Karen (Tranquillity III) went in their dingy.

The first bar Hidden Harbor had beer for $1.38 and .55 chicken wings what a deal.  It’s a small place with a restroom up the hill in a building.  The price of the beer was worth the walk to the restroom.

The second bar was a Tiki Bar that only took cash and happy hr. started at 4 for their specialty drinks MaiTai.  We’re an hr. early so had a beer and waited until happy hr. for the MaiTai.

We then went up Back creek to Dry Creek Restaurant and had some beer and appetizers.

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Cheapest Beer we have found on this trip.

We ended our day back at Hidden Harbor were we started, they had the best deal on beer and the best view.  We had a great day traveling in our dingy with great friends new and old.

 

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