Saturday, September 29, 2018

Dangerous cargo

We are upbound on the Potomac River, abreast of Piney Point. The river is nearly glass calm, a perfect day for travel, and the Chesapeake itself was also flat, as was the Patuxent.

We had a very nice evening of cocktails and dinner aboard Loligo last night with Louise's cousins Donna and Tom. They were gracious hosts, and we enjoyed finally seeing their sailboat after hearing about it for so many years. They anchored quite a ways up Mill Creek and we had about a fifteen minute tender ride in each direction in the speed-restricted creek.

Family medical issues have had Louise contemplating a visit to California for the past couple of days. During the course of our visit last night some phone calls were made, and after we arrived back home, Louise had more or less decided she needed to go, sooner rather than later. We spent a bit of time looking at the logistics of getting her on a plane from Solomons, where we were well-anchored with access to services.

We could quite easily have rented a car there and I could have dropped her off, about a three-hour round trip. I myself would have remained in Solomons only one more night, and then moved the boat solo up the Potomac to DC: if I'm going to spend a few days stag, I'd rather be in Washington, where there is a surfeit of things to do.

Sunset over Mill Creek, as seen from Loligo.

After a bit more thought and discussion, cooler heads prevailed and she decided that flying today would be premature. We decided instead to make best possible speed to Washington together, where she could fly out easily if needed. Best speed meant weighing anchor fairly early this morning.

After making the turn into the Potomac she got the word that her help would be appreciated, and we spent the next hour or so making flight arrangements. And so it is that we now have on board Vector the most dangerous thing to have aboard a vessel: a schedule. Louise flies out of Reagan National on Monday morning.

The trip up the Potomac to DC for us is three comfortable and leisurely days. That allows for timing the tide to avoid fighting the ebb, and making a few comfortable stops on the way. Long-time readers may remember our last trip here, where we made stops at Quantico, Mount Vernon, and National Harbor as well as some quirky riverfront joints.

On this trip, however, we're pressing on regardless of tide direction and making it in just two long days of some 60 nautical miles each. Tonight we'll be anchored somewhere in the river, possibly near another quirky riverfront joint, and tomorrow we should have the hook down in the DC Channel by dinner time.

I canceled my Red Cross deployment availability until later in the month, and once I settle in I'll get a couple of boat projects knocked out in and among traipsing around the Mall and checking out some more of the museums.

At least now I have a working battery bank and should be reasonably comfortable at anchor. The last couple of weeks the batteries have barely lasted overnight, with us running the generator at 1am and again at 7am. Last night we dropped anchor at 4:30pm and we were able to brew a pot of coffee this morning without having to start it at all.

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