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|Roni Tails||Sea Tales and Other Stories||Pictures of Doublewide||Mayaca Railroad Bridge|
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| May 7, 2004 - May 10, 2004 |
Sailing down from Annapolis was very exciting! Aside from the brief melancholy of leaving Annapolis, I am thrilled to be on my way. This is 'old water' for me, as I have sailed this route many times, but also many years ago (30, but why count?) It felt better than I could have imagined to be taking a boat out on the Chesapeake again.
Galesville is located on the West River, which is right next to the Rhode River. The Rhode River is an anchoring paradise. Most of the Northern shoreline is owned by the Smithsonian Institution which uses it for Chesapeake Bay research, so you aren't allowed to go ashore. However anchoring is permitted, and it may be one of the best anchorages on the Chesapeake. Because I am travelling with Roni, I need to stay in a marina each night, or at least in an anchorage with easy access to the shore where she can walk frequently. So I chose the West River and the Hartge Boat Yard.
The Hartge (pronounced Hart-gee) Boat Yard, where Doublewide is berthed for a couple of days is generations old, has hundreds of slips most of which are filled impressive boats. Doublewide is a poor relation in comparison to the Sabre 40 to Starboard and the gorgeous one design on the Port, and almost every other boat here. There are a couple of Gemini's around though so she doesn't feel ill at ease and floats nicely in the company she keeps.
The people here are generous with time and with advice if asked, but there is an initial remoteness that takes getting used to - particularly if you are from Texas where everyone waves, whether friend or stranger. Roni is a natural ice-breaker. Lots of folks stop and pet her and want to know all about her. This morning I spoke with the Granddaughter of the Founders of Hartge, because we were playing on the front lawn, and she admired Roni's athleticism. She told me a couple of stories about growing up in Galesville and swimming in the bay every day during the mild seasons. Imagine living in this verdant paradise. Sigh....
The boat in the port slip next to Doublewide has a duck nesting in her cockpit under the canvas covering (see pictures). She found a nice pile of line (rope) and just laid her eggs in it. She didn't even bring in any sticks. The owners are having some canvas work done, but don't want to disturb her until the chicks are out. I am not sure how she plans to get her chicks down to the water once they hatch, but there are folks here who will keep an eye out for them and lend a helping hand if they need one.
Again I am reminded at how jaded and nasty boat yard workers can be. I had a little trouble backing Doublewide into her slip (it is narrow, as is the channel, so it was threading the needle and I am still new to this big wide boat! The guy that was sent out to help was unhelpful, unfriendly and disparaging. But the resentment that must build up in people who barely get by, seeing daily examples of extreme wealth must leave some scars, and certainly questions of worthiness. This contrast between middle class and powerfully rich is quite evident in places like this. I will note that both boats next to Doublewide are owned by lawyers (big smile, there Randy - when you going to get your yacht?)