Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bye Bye Chesapeake, Hello ICW

We are steaming south with 20-25 knots of wind and 4 foot seas on our nose so it's not the most fun we've ever had on a long shot!! (both boat kitties are sleeping at the moment but I'm sure they will not be happy when they wake up - I was right - Bootsie just woke up and is very much not happy with her house moving the way it is!!) It's as if the Bay is saying "how dare you think of leaving me?? I'll show you!!" - because that is exactly what we are planning to do! We are headed down the Chesapeake Bay into Hampton Roads and then to Portsmouth, VA to take on some fuel and rest up for the night before tackling the many bridges of the beginning of the ICW. Have I mentioned that the first stretch of the ICW in Norfolk is the one part of this trip we really, really despise - not because of the scenery or because we don't like Virginia (Doug was born there and we love it!) or even because of the ton of boat traffic clogging up the waterway! No - it's because there are so many freaking bridges in the first 12 mile stretch, many of which are ancient, many of which open only on a restricted schedule and inevitably one of the railroad bridges is stuck in the down position (despite all the guidebooks which say they are usually open!!) UGH!!! And to think we woke this morning to such a beautiful sunrise and had such a wonderfully calm first hour of steaming ....
Sunrise in Fishing Bay
Sunrise in Fishing Bay
Doug on the Bow After Pulling Anchor in Fishing Bay
unfortunately, just as we started to turn south, things...well....started to turn south!! So for the next 5 or 6 hours we get to deal with a very snotty, nasty Bay that wants to screw with us one last time....oh the joys of cruising!

We've had an amazing time while cruising the Chesapeake though and will miss (we just won't miss the cold and rain of this past Fall) - check out the link to see all the cool places we visited during our several months on the Chesapeake!!

Last night we spent a beautiful evening in Fishing Bay on the Piankatank River just south of Deltaville, VA and the Rappahannock River - there's not much there to see or explore but it's a great stop when you're heading south since it is very protected from all but south winds. Last night the winds were kicking but not from the south so given the dense mud, Gypsies just rocked us to sleep and our anchor didn't budge an inch! We really like nights like that!! We weren't too sure what the night would bring as the winds had picked up as the day wore on - by the time we got to Fishing Bay they were blowing around 20 knots and the waves had started to kick in....but I guess we picked a good spot (along with a number of other boats that are obviously making the same pilgrimage south!) On the trip down, we had several close encounters with large container ships out in the Bay (our AIS told us we would pass within 12 feet of one of them!) so Bootsie who was helping me at the wheel decided that was a little too close for comfort - we veered off course to give the big guy some room - all 931 feet of him!!
Bootsie Assists Tammy at the Wheel
Tanker We Avoided in the Bay

We spent the prior two days in Solomons Island on a mooring ball at Zahnisers - we stayed an extra day to avoid some nasty weather on the Bay (this time of year I guess there's really no getting around it - mother nature's going to get you one way or the other!)
Approach to Solomons Island
Gypsies Approaches Solomons Island
We have spent a fair amount of time in Solomons and always have tons of fun there - we had dinner the first night at Catamarans restaurant courtesy of a gift certificate we had won in a raffle at one of Scott Kirby's gigs we had crashed earlier this summer (thanks Scotty - by the way, the new CD absolutely rocks!!) There's really nothing better than prime rib and red wine from a bottle except when it's free!!! While it wasn't exactly the prime rib at Coinjock, did I mention it was free?
The Calvert Maritime Museum in Solomons
The next morning we awoke to pounding rain, winds and an all round miserable day so we decided to hunker down and sit it out in our protected spot rather than fight a nasty Bay (good call although unfortunately I think we're getting the "pay back" today - the next week looks even worse so it's not like we had much of a choice today unless we wanted to hunker down for a week - NOT!) I am studying for my Captain's license so as if I hadn't had enough studying when we were in Baltimore, I spent the day snuggled up with my Captains license textbook and the boat kitties - they of course had a ball - I on the other hand was very ready for a drink when 5:00 pm rolled around!!! OK maybe I had a beer with lunch but geez give me a break - how do you study without one?? We actually didn't even head into town (I know - we missed happy hour at Catamarans) but it never really cleared or warmed up! We both (and Sunpig especially) need to get south where it is warm - we have about had it with this 40 degree weather that's for sure!!!

So for that reason we are braving the wrath of the Bay - that and we can't wait to catch up to September Song who is already in Georgia for some much needed fun in the sun!!! Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween - don't let the goblins bite....unless you want them to in which case we don't need to hear about it!!!

Click here to see a map of all the places we stopped in the Chesapeake Bay.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On The Road (Sea, or more precisely the Bay) Again!!!

Well believe it or not both of us are now certified Professional First Responders and CPR/AED Professionals - which means we passed our test last night - YIPPEE!!! The Red Cross actually thinks we now know how to save people with sucking chest wounds, in cardiac or respiratory arrest, with angulated fractures (bones sticking out at weird angles), shock, diabetic coma or just plain and simple arterial bleeding!! What is even cooler is that we feel pretty comfortable that we could actually do that too!! The past three weeks have gone by in a fleeting haze - we have been learning tons of new stuff and reactivating our brains which despite the long hours of studying has been pretty cool. It now frightens me quite a bit to think we traveled as far as we have on Gypsies knowing so little about real first aid - we had the big trauma kit, AED and supplemental oxygen on board but I hesitate to think what we would have done if we had really needed to use any of that stuff before. Now we know exactly what is in each of our first aid kits and better yet, how to use everything in them!!! While we seriously hope we never have to use anything but the antibiotic cream and some bandaids (because good luck living on a boat and not getting cuts and scrapes you don't even know how you got!), we at least now feel comfortable that if something more serious went wrong, we'd know how to handle it!! Piece of mind is a great thing (especially when you're not sure where the rest of your mind went!)

More importantly though is that despite the rainy, cold, damp, overcast, miserable (you get the point I'm sure) morning, we flung off the docklines this morning in Baltimore and Gypsies is heading south!!!
A Rainy, Miserable Baltimore Off Gypsies' Stern
Francis Scott Key Bridge Off Gypsies' Bow
We're passing through a sailing regatta outside of Annapolis
Regatta Outside of Annapolis
while I sit here munching on grits - now that's sure not something this northern girl ever thought she'd be doing let alone admitting to it!!! Grits to me always tasted like wallpaper paste until we stopped into this great little bar called Key West Crazy in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on our way south last Fall where the owner/chef Mike served us what even Doug admitted were the best grits he'd ever had (and for a southern boy born and raised that's saying something!!!) Even I had to admit his grits were pretty good - they had actual flavor unlike all the grits I had eaten before. We conned him out of his recipe and I have been trying to perfect it with my own little twists ever since!!! A hot breakfast just seemed to hit the spot this morning as it really hasn't warmed up that much from the time we woke up at 0'dark-hundred!!

Before we left Baltimore we had several wonderful evenings with our friends Denise and Ray Maskell who live just outside of Baltimore - the first night they came over to Gypsies (it was pouring rain of course since our boat couldn't be any farther down the dock and away from the gate unless we were in Fort McHenry!!!) What is it about Baltimore anyway? I think it has rained more in the past three weeks than in the entire rest of our 15 month trip to date (or maybe it just seems that way as we have had many a trudge to class in the rain!) Anyways, we had a great dinner on Gypsies - our last mahi and skipjack that we had caught in the Bahamas and key lime pie!
Dinner on Gypsies - Ray, Denise and Doug
Because there were only four of us and we were inside around the helm table because of the rain, I actually served our pie on plates rather than Bahamian style - what a concept. It wasn't nearly as much fun so that's the last time I try that!!
Denise and Ray Out on the Bow of Gypsies

We had plans to head to Shuckers on our last Sunday in port to watch the Pats play the Bucs from Wembley Stadium in London when our first aid instructor had to move class from Saturday to Sunday....bummer! But Denise and Ray to the rescue - how cool is this - they invited us out to their house for dinner and they would TIVO the Pats game for us so we could watch it Sunday evening after class!!! This was seriously above and beyond the call of friendship - especially given the fact that they are Ravens fans and the Pats haven't been too kind to the Ravens the past several years! But what an amazing treat for us - not only were we able to have another evening with some seriously cool people (and their little dog Molly who is just too cute) but we got to watch a Patriots game on a wide screen TV, with no commercials AND with sound (when we're in a bar there are always at least 5 or 6 other games on so there's no sound!!!) On top of that we had wine from a bottle (OK several) and Ray was the amazing chef for the evening spoiling us with kick butt appetizers followed by Emeril's spicy scallops, steak, squash risotto and all the trimmings served on real china!!! Not to be left out was Denise's drop dead cake for dessert served with Port - AND did I mention the Pats opened up a can of whoop ass on the Bucs so it was an unforgettable evening all around. Thanks so much guys - can't wait to see you both down in Marathon where hopefully it won't be raining and we can show you the underside of Key West!!!

So far our steam today is relatively uneventful - the rain has let up and the wind hasn't kicked the waves up too badly yet although Bootsie was not particularly happy this morning (in three weeks at dockside she lost her sea legs!)
Bootsie is Not Happy With Us Today!
The wind is supposed to increase this afternoon into a small craft advisory but we'll just have to wait and see - for now we are driving downstairs in the pilothouse since it is too cold and damp up on the flybridge and its not too bad. As I look ahead of us out into the Bay though I am reminded of one of our friend Scott Kirby's lines from one of his songs about how everything is grey - the sea is grey, the sky is grey, the clouds are grey.... everything is grey (other than the Fall colors of the turning leaves along the Western shore of the Bay which frankly I could do without!)
The Foliage is Turning - Time to Go South!
Oh well - we are pointed in the right direction at least and are headed to Solomons Island this afternoon - hopefully we beat the nasty weather in!! We have a gift certificate to Catamarans Restaurant which we won in a raffle at one of Scott's Chesapeake gigs so we plan on having a nice prime rib dinner tonight - life is good! After all, we're on the water again....and this time we are headed south!! Look out September Song, here we come!!!
Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the Distance

By the way, Ray sent this quote to Doug this morning and it just seemed so appropriate to our life that we wanted to share it with all of you:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

Friday, October 23, 2009

Top Ten List

Well, our stay in Baltimore is winding down - we have our last class on Sunday to review for our big test which we take on Tuesday evening. We've successfully worked our way through first aid for diabetic comas, heat stroke, hypo(and er)thermia, altered mental state illnesses (we paid particular attention to this one guys since we know who we tend to cruise with!) and even childbirth (which we're REALLY hoping to never need let me tell you!!!) So on Tuesday hopefully we will become certified as emergency first responders - as lay persons, we have no duty to act so be nice to us! Vicki we did ask about your safety pin concept and Norm, sorry to say, our instructor did tell us it would work as a last resort - but luckily there are better ways to keep the tongue out of the way and open the airways. For the price of a mere couple beers we just might show Vicki those techniques!!

We've certainly learned quite a bit while we have been here in Baltimore but more than anything we have learned about urban fashion chic while riding the numerous metros and buses around and through the seedier sides of Baltimore. So while we can't communicate all we have learned about first aid, we did think it would be fun to let you all know what is "IN" or "NOT" in the world of ghetto fashion (and before you think this has anything to do with race - believe me it doesn't - these rules are universal!!!) so here is our "top ten list:" (Please note that we have no pictures to back any of this up as we wanted to escape the bus or metro with our lives intact but trust me, could I make this stuff up???)

10) New York Yankee hats ARE acceptable as long as they are too large for your head and worn sideways at a rakish angle (and only if they are not in the traditional blue and white team colors);

9) Big hair and hoop earrings down to your shoulders did NOT go out of fashion in the 70s;

8) Anything bright purple may be worn at all times (boxers, sneakers, pants, shirts, glasses, toupees, mohawks, you get the idea) - in fact Ravens gear may be worn to any event including but not limited to formal affairs;

7) Suitcase purses (the bigger the better) in vinyl, plastic or any other material that can be wiped off with a handi-wipe is all the rage for carrying your semi-automatic, pepper spray and condoms;

6) Dread locks are not just for Jamaica anymore (nor are they just for men or for persons of color);

5) 17 year olds are not completely dressed without at least one drooling infant/young child attached to their hips;

4) Cell phones, MP3 players and pagers are required accessories and the more of them you have, the cooler you are - especially if you can be using all three at the same time, after all, why miss out on that drug deal;

3) As a woman, your nails should be at least as long as the length of the rest of your hand and each nail must be decorated differently, ie a skull on one nail, a butterfly on the next, a picture of your chihuahua on the next......and so on;

2) The larger the woman, the less clothes she must wear and the tighter they must be while conversely the skinnier the man, the baggier his pants and hoodie sweatshirt must be;

and the number one ghetto fashion rule IS:

1) Black stocking caps are not just for robberies anymore!!!

As you can maybe tell, Doug and I fit in very well here.....Wednesday can't come soon enough!!!

But seriously after spending a great almost three weeks here, we are getting serious wanderlust and Gypsies is ready to kick up her heels and head south. The weather has been much better - sunnier and warmer so we've been dealing but it is just time to be back out on the water. We've had some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets but we are anxious to be out in places where there are no buildings around when the sun sinks behind the horizon. Tonight we are having our friends Ray and Denise over to Gypsies for our last batch of mahi caught in the Bahamas and some key lime pie!!! All work and no play.........

Sunrise Over Baltimore Harbor 1
Sunrise Over Baltimore Harbor 2
Sunrise Over Baltimore Harbor 3

Monday, October 19, 2009

Here Comes the Sun....

We woke this morning to this strange orange glow in the eastern sky - we stared with wonder...could it really be the sun...we dared not hope! But then it continued to rise and our spirits rose with it.
After so many days of really rainy, cold weather we had almost forgotten what the sun looked and felt like. In fact, you know it's really bad when you see the seagulls lining up two by two at the door of Gypsies waiting to come aboard - we had contemplated rechristening Gypsies as The Ark. Doug certainly has the hair to play Moses!!! Seriously though it has rained basically nonstop since our friend Mary left Baltimore last Tuesday as one Nor'easter after another slammed through town (see I told you not to leave Mary!) On Tuesday night we broke out our foulies to make the trek to class and got there looking a little like a drowned rat - we had decided to forego the foulie pants being the slaves to fashion that we are - come on, we have to compete with the ghetto chic of inner city Baltimore riding the public transportation that we do to get to class. Thursday when it was still pouring out, we said screw it and donned our full foul weather gear, pants included, and reached the Red Cross fairly dry and toasty (other than my toes which were close to frostbitten in my flipflops since I still can't wear shoes over my mangled toe (even I think it might be time to go see a doctor on that one and coming from me that's really saying something!!)) When we decided to stay in Baltimore to take this first responder class for the month of October, we knew we were postponing our southern run with the boat to the warmth and figured we'd have some cool weather - but come on, weeks of 40 degree temperatures is not what we envisioned. It's been cold here, damn cold!!!! So we are counting down the days until class is over and we can head the pointy end of Gypsies, aka The Ark, south!!! We're coming to meet you September Song - as soon as class is over and as fast as Gypsies will move!!!! To say we were jealous when we saw pictures of you guys in Church in Charleston is an understatement - boy never thought those words would come out of my mouth (or fingers)!!! For all of you that know me and can't possibly imagine me uttering that thought, you have to realize that the Church Bob and Stephanie were in has been converted into this great little bar that we found together on our trip north this summer - how cool is that - drinking in church??? Now I know most of you are shaking your head and saying "now that's more like the Tammy we know!!" Have no fear I'm still as irreverent as ever!!

The rain didn't impact everything this past week though - it was still Beer Week in Baltimore which was fun although we didn't partake as much as we would have if we weren't so studious (yeah right!!) and it didn't stop the schooner races that played out in the harbor! We had a great vantage point from Gypsies to see these magnificent ships as well as a flock of sailboat watcher wannabes. We had a fun afternoon watching these spectacular ships circle the harbor despite the rain and fog although we could have done without the frequent cannon blasts (or more importantly the boat kitties could have done without them!!!)
The Schooner Races
The Schooners
By the way, Puss and Boots are LOVING the wet weather and the fact that we have to study - they curl up next to us on the settee in the pilothouse for hours getting petted and eating treats!!!

Our first responder first aid class has really been wonderful - we feel like we have learned so much!! It has actually been a little frightening to realize how little we knew all those months we were traveling far away from prompt medical care. But over the past two weeks we have learned not only CPR and how to use an AED which we have on board, but how to administer oxygen, insert breathing tubes, stop arterial bleeding, splint up all body parts, recognize and care for shock, cardiac and respiratory arrest as well as numerous illnesses we can't even pronounce and care for poisonings whether self inflicted (can you say big time hangover - we should charge for the O2 shots as a way to add to our cruising kitty) or not (no more fear of those nasty jellyfish, snakes or spiders- well maybe that's not quite true but at least we know what to do to ease the pain and swelling!!)
The Instructor, Jim Elliott, Demonstrates Bandaging Tammy
This week we are on to head, neck and spine injuries and childbirth...OK not like we're ever going to need that one, but..... This course has been a lot more work than we expected - we have had to read a 500 page book (and believe me this is no Harry Potter!!) and our big test is not this coming Tuesday but the following one so we are coming down to the wire. Lots of studying this week although I'm sure we'll find a way to throw in some fun too along the way.

In the spirit of all work and no play making Tammy and Doug dull people, we connected with one of Doug's former bosses and his wife, Ray and Denise Maskell, who live here in Baltimore for a great night of fun and laughter. They came over to Gypsies for a few drinks before we all headed out into Fells Point for dinner at a great little place called Peter's Inn.
Drinks at the Bar before Dinner
Dinner at Peter's Inn
Lots of red wine later (which came out of bottles so was a huge treat for us!!) we had to call it a night but not before making plans to get together again this week for the last of our mahi that we caught in the Bahamas (I thought we were out but in re-provisioning and moving stuff around in the freezer I found one more big package - yippee!!!) So we have that to look forward to!!

Yesterday after studying all day we decided we really needed a break so off we went to our favorite sports bar in town, Shuckers, where the bartenders really do know our names - funny how that seems to happen wherever we go!! While splitting a bucket of Coors Light (OK it's not the Kalik we usually get by the bucket down at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West but....), we had a wonderful time watching our Patriots demolish, crush, annihilate (you get the picture) the Tennessee Titans - let me put it this way, it was 45 -0 at halftime when we headed back to Gypsies - now that was a fun afternoon!!! But what made us feel even better than watching Tom Brady look much more like his old self (as if anything could - welcome back Tom!!!!) was seeing that it was snowing in Foxboro, MA where the game was played - as cool as it has been down here, we haven't seen snow yet!!! Soon we'll be headed in the right direction and that picture of white stuff on the ground just makes us want to head there even faster!!

Click here to see our location at Henderson's Wharf Marina.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Friends and Family...Here and Then Gone

We've had a really busy week here in Baltimore - first we survived a gale (actually it wasn't too bad here on the dock although we had 40 knots of wind and even the seagulls were having trouble standing around!!) Glad we weren't still out on anchor!!! There were serious whitecaps on the inner harbor - I can only imagine what the Bay was like. Hope all our friends were tucked away safe and sound - we hunkered down with the boat kitties and did some serious studying!
The Gale in Baltimore Harbor
The Seagulls Survive the Gale

After an all day class this past Saturday we are now professional rescuers in CPR and AED so have no fear guys - we'll save you. Now we're into breathing tubes, tracheotomies, severe bleeding and shock - no we have not come across the need for any large safety pins yet so Norm can rest a little easier (although sticking a tube down someone's nose or suctioning out vomit to keep their airway open does not look like much fun!!) Oh the joys of first aid!! Luckily we're practicing on mannequins because Doug's eyes got a little too bright if you ask me when our instructor told us about the nasal and oral breathing tubes!!!

Finally we have been spending time with friends and family over the past several days - first we had drinks on Saturday night with Julia and Joe from Sea Pearl, a beautiful 53' DeFever that we had met down in Marathon and then again at the rendezvous last February. They were passing through Baltimore on their way south and had read in our blog we were around so we got caught up over several cocktails and lots of laughter at Koopers Tavern, a great little bar in Fells Point near our marina (which we have come to know quite well as you might expect!)
Julia and Joe at Koopers
Unfortunately Salty (the boat puppy) was not out with them that evening but we did get to see him the next day as we ran into them on the street out exploring. Salty was not in a photogenic mood so all my friend was able to get was a picture of his behind - but then again isn't that how dogs say hello??? It was wonderful to see those guys and we look forward to catching up again much further south - trust me, we're a little jealous of anyone headed south right about now given that the forecast here for the next four days is for temps in the 40s and 50s - UGH!!!! I may even need to break out the long pants and hoodies!!!

On Sunday Doug's daughter Lisa and her three girls joined us on the boat for the afternoon as did our wonderful friend from Rhode Island, Mary Ouellette. After a quick chat together on the boat, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day by dividing and conquering - Doug, Lisa and the girls walked to the Inner Harbor for an afternoon of ice cream and rides on the dragon boats,
Oldest to Youngest, Lisa, Caytie, Tina and Lexi, Prepare for the Dragon Boat Ride
The Girls on the Dragon Boat
while Mary and I explored the many special watering holes in Fells Point (think Doug and Lisa would have liked to switch spots with us but heh someone had to do it!!) We ran into each other outside of Moby's where Mary and I had been taking advantage of the $1 beers while cheering against the Ravens (not a popular thing in Baltimore) - actually we didn't make our opposition too well known given the mix of people in the bar - we wanted to come out of there alive after all!!
Mary Makes Friends at Moby's
We had actually been looking for a place to watch the Red Sox game which is why we had to try out so many of the local Fells Point establishments (good rationalization huh??) but as it turned out, I guess I'm glad I missed that one!

While Doug and the girls headed back to the boat for some dinner, Mary and I wound up at Koopers to watch a little of the Patriots game - we felt the need to go to a different bar after the Ravens lost and Moby's got a little out of hand! Eventually we headed back to the boat to help out with dinner for the girls - after inhaling spaghetti and meatballs (and you think growing boys can eat??? I'd take these girls any day!) and watching a great sunset, we had to say goodbye to Lisa and the girls.
Sunset over Baltimore Harbor
Time for Mary, Doug and I to head back out to Shuckers to see the end of the Patriots game - what, we had a lot of fun and catching up to do!!! Unfortunately that game didn't wind up the way we wanted it to either....bad sports day for Boston, but great day of seeing old friends and family!!
Mary and Doug at Shuckers

Mary stayed with us for several more days of fun and games - although we did get our drug tests taken (one step closer to our captains license) and did some re-provisioning. When asked how Mary's trip was, she can brag about hitting Costco, Walmart, Best Buy, etc - whooeee some fun there!! When we were out and about doing errands we happened to run into a great sign for another bar - it took us a minute but then we dissolved into fits of laughter - you just absolutely can't make this stuff up!!!
You Can't Make this Stuff Up!
Do you really think the guy didn't get it??? Anyways we made it up to her that afternoon by heading over to the inner harbor for some sightseeing - we saw the Coast Guard Cutter Taney, the last surviving warship that was at Pearl Harbor;
the lightship the Chesapeake which was stationed as a manned navigational beacon at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay until the beginning of WW II - she remained on duty until 1970 when she was replaced by an automatic beacon;
The Lightship Chesapeake
the USS Torsk, a submarine active in several wars;
Mary and Doug in Front of the Torsk
the old converted Baltimore power plant which now houses the ESPN Zone, Hard Rock Cafe and other notable stores;
The Power Plant
the USS Constellation, the last Civil War vessel afloat;
USS Constellation
the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse;
Seven Foot Shoal Lighthouse - Now on Pier 5 in Baltimore
Federal Hill where all the Federal troops gathered to plot attacks on the Confederacy during the Civil War, and the Katyn Memorial, which is dedicated to all the Polish military officers who lost their lives in the Russian slaughter at Katyn forest and in the three camps the officers were sent to in Russia.
Katyn Memorial

After such an eventful afternoon it was only appropriate we show Mary the other side of Baltimore centered in Fells Point - so off we went to One-Eyed Mikes, whose slogan (It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye) Doug could not resist so another tee-shirt came aboard Gypsies.
One-eyed Mike's
One-eyed Mike's is a Grand Marnier Club - the Original 32 Members' Bottles

Crystal Vodka Bottles in the Shape of a Skull
From there we stopped into the world famous Bertha's for some mussels (sadly we found it to be yet another of those legendary places that is still coasting on its reputation rather than its great food) - although the decor was worth the trip!!
Bertha's Mussells
Sign on the Ladies Room Door in Bertha's
Across the way we spied Max's Taphouse which is owned by the cousin of a friend of ours in Maine - so we stopped for a quick coldie and happened upon a couple more great tee-shirts (Mary and I couldn't resist the "Not tonight boys....I'm here for the beer!" and Doug couldn't pass up the "You can't drink all day if you don't start first thing in the morning")!!!

On the way back to the boat we did a little window shopping but couldn't resist going into the Hats in the Belfry store - in honor of Bob on September Song who we think has a hat fetish, Doug and Mary proceeded to try on all kinds of hats (Doug even tried to pose like Bob - check out our Charleston pictures where we even had a contest to pick the best hat on Bob!!!)

Little did we know that while we were thinking of Bob, he actually was acting on his hat fetish - see September Song's blog from the other day!!!! Too funny!! We obviously miss you guys a lot Bob and Stephanie!!!! and not just because you guys are headed south to where its warm!!!

The next day we awoke bright and early (OK maybe bright eyed and bushy tailed isn't exactly how it was) and determined that a big breakfast was in order so we hit the Blue Moon Cafe where we stuffed ourselves beyond all recognition - a new term STUBAR was coined!!! I avoided the Captain Crunch French Toast only through an act of inhuman will power. Then it was off to search for Mary's heros - Charm City Cakes who have a show on the Food Network (Ace of Cakes I think). Mary is a master cake baker in her own right but wanted to check out where the boys make their cakes - in a not so wonderful part of town, we found their lair but there were black trash bags over the windows so we assume they were filming (the guys walking in and out with cameras gave it away although from the looks of the neighborhood, we still weren't positive it wasn't something else!) Actually riding the metro and bus each night to class, Doug and I are getting quite a lesson in urban ghetto fashion chic - who knew the pants hanging off the butt tied off with a belt around the private parts looking like a tourniquet is still so in???

Anyways, Mary and I then set off to do a little shopping and surprisingly found ourselves at One-Eyed Mikes and the Wharf Rat (really we were looking for a tee-shirt for Mary's son Matt....)
The Wharf Rat
before we finally settled for an outside table at Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant to enjoy the last sun we're going to see for some time and so Mary could experience one more Maryland crab cake!!
Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant
Tammy and Mary Having Lunch at Slainte
Unfortunately then it was time for Mary to head to the airport and for us to head to class - I guess the old saying "the party's over" is appropriate. Now that we've had our fun for several days (thanks Mary for coming down and playing!!!), it's time for us to buckle down, study and get back to boat projects!!! Two more weeks in Baltimore and then we will be making tracks to head south - especially since we just heard that one of the bridges over the ICW right above Charleston is going to be closed for 10 days in mid November -we need to be south of there before that happens!!! Good incentive I guess to get to where its warm - as if we really needed one!!!

Click here to see a Google map of our location at Henderson's Wharf.

Click here to see a Google map of all the bars we visited this weekend in Fells Point.