Saturday, September 1, 2012

Solomon's Maryland and beyond

Over the Labor Day weekend we completed our most ambitious leg so far. Friday after work, one of my co-workers, David Hansen, was kind enough to drop me off at the boat before heading to the airport to fly home. Elizabeth drove up to Norfolk, VA where she connected with the Nelson family who we met through Sea Scouts. Zach is the boatswain for ship 747 and had agreed to join us for this leg of the trip. Zach's mom, Susan shuttled Elizabeth and Zach up to Galesville where we linked up. As soon as they arrived we shoved off bound for Solomon's, MD. We managed to find a shallow spot just outside of Galesville but were able to back off and continue our journey.

Saturday's journey was uneventful as we proceeded South. That changed once we turned West on the entrance to Solomon's. We were arriving after dark, so were relying heavily on our GPS as we approached the unfamiliar harbor. Before we made the final turn into the marina the course to steer pointer on the GPS became disoriented and pointed us towards shore, as the water got shallower, we figured out something was amiss. As we felt our way back out to the channel and bumped the bottom several times but eventually made it to the correct side of the channel marker. A quick look at the GPS led me to question the GPS, it was showing the direction of travel was oriented 90 degrees to port, so it kept telling us to turn to starboard and into the houses along the shore. While I was trying to reorient to the  landmarks Elizabeth prayed for guidance. A few moments later we heard  a VHF call to the boat trying to enter the harbor.  This helpful call from a local boat "Key West" offering to help guide us into the marina. After a brief conversation it turns out they were offering to help another boat but we took them up on their offer and once they described what the general approach to the marina looked like from a "shore lights" perspective we were back on track and following the channel markers into our dock. We found our parking spot just as described and were quickly tied up and then walked up to the "The Back Creek Bistro" for dinner, we were seated even though we were a little under dressed, and put our order in minutes before the kitchen closed. The meal and service was excellent and we look forward to our next visit.

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