Tuesday, May 29, 2012

St. Mikes

Days on cruise:  67

Distance traveled today:  28.7 miles

Time traveled:  3 hrs, 8 minutes

Total trip odometer:  1,362 statute miles

We got up early this morning and left lovely Annapolis to cross to the east side of Chesapeake Bay to the city of St. Michaels, a popular destination for Loopers and others.  The conditions crossing the Bay were fine: a few whitecaps and waves in the 1-3 foot range, but only briefly on the beam, so we were content.

After getting settled in at Higgins Boatyard with desperately needed electrical hookups because it hit 90 degrees today and we’d suffer without air conditioning, the kids settled down to work and Bob and Cathryn took off for a walk around this very pretty  little town.


Like many towns we’ve visited on the east coast, it has charming, old (meaning 100 or more years) houses that are well-kept. These are mostly smaller than ones in big cities like Charleston, but very sweet.

This one used to be a tiny Waterman’s Cabin, built in 1805 and restored and relocated in 2002. Now it’s a vacation rental cottage.


The Main Street in town is small and active, with a number of colorful shops like the toy store below.


So, it’s time for the story on Mackenzie and Matt’s week with us.  Mackenzie’s a project manager for Bank of America and works full-time from home on a laptop in Seattle. Matt is a financial analyst for Russell Investments (for those who are investors and have heard of the Russell 2000 stock index, this company is one and the same) and normally works in an office in downtown Seattle, but occasionally on his laptop from home. They NEVER have enough vacation to do all the travel they want, so came to see us during a short week in which Monday was Memorial Day holiday, and Friday Matt has the day off, and Mackenzie only has to work a half day. So they have to work while on the boat Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  We have a Verizon MiFi that provides a wifi for up to five computer connections, and Mackenzie has an air card, so as long as we have a cell signal, they can work.

Since they normally work on Pacific Standard Time, and we’re currently on Eastern Standard Time, we figured if we left early each morning to travel, and quit moving by 11:00 or so, they could begin work at 8am Pacific Time and have no problems.  Because they spend lots of time in meetings via teleconference, they can’t easily do their jobs while twin diesels are running in the background.

So here’s what things looked like this morning while Bob and Cathryn drove the boat from Annapolis to St. Michaels:


The dinette across from the galley became Matt’s office for the week, and Mackenzie settled on the L-shaped settee in the main salon. They came up to the flybridge to join us briefly a couple of times, but mostly kept their noses to the grindstone.

During their lunch hour, the 4 of us wandered over to the St. Michaels Maritime Museum, a really great one!  A relocated lighthouse is there (one of 77 lighthouses originally on the Bay), a wooden boat restoration shop, a decoy exhibit, lots of displays explaining the crab and oyster business in the Bay, and much, much more. Have you ever given a moment’s thought to the people who are “crab pickers” for their career?  All that work is done by hand.  We know a lot about it now. M&M had to race through the museum  quickly, but Cathryn and Bob spent more time enjoying the offerings, which were quite good.


The huge figurehead below at one time resided on the front of the schooner “Freedom”, but was later relocated to the Annapolis Naval Academy. The signs explaining her history say the Midshipmen at Annapolis would rub her breasts for good luck before exams or difficult assignments. One hapless Midshipman wrote to his mother about the great luck he had after following this tradition, she wrote to complain to the head of the Academy, and the figurehead was immediately moved off campus.  Watch out what you tell your mother!!!


One shed at the museum contained this 3-year boat restoration project underway, a beautiful example of handiwork done by many volunteers, all skilled in the craft of wooden boat-building.




The history of decoys, in use both for hunting and for artistic display, was explained in another exhibit.


And we climbed the circular staircase to the top of the lighthouse to see the lens and lantern.


The town’s old-fashioned street signage contributes to its charm.


Now that M&M have finished work for the day, they’ve headed out for a walk around town while we blog, and next we’ll go out for dinner to celebrate a late Mother’s Day and early Father’s Day. Life is good!

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