Monday, September 23, 2013

You Voted for Them…

“Don’t blame us, You voted for them.”
The Capitol Steps
DCIMG_3358After a 3 day motor up the Potomac River we anchored in front of the Capital Yacht Club in DC. In the morning we had an appointment in the Hart Senate office building, courtesy of our friends on Kokomo. They setup a Capitol tour through their extensive DC connections with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office. ALL VIP, all day!!
(above is good old Abe just getting ready to roll his eyes after the last vote in the house)
DCIMG_3350  For me, this was best part of the tour. We got to ride in the senate underground railway from the Hart Building to the Capital.
We had to rush right by the This elevator is reserved for SENATORS ONLY at all times sign. We were VIP, but not that VIP.

We got to hang just outside the House Gallery while the boys and girls inside were voting on funding the government for fiscal 2014 and de-funding ObamaCare. It’s an embarrassment to see these guys ignore their responsibility to govern the country while focusing solely on their petty party needs. As far as I can tell the secret Republican strategy that they are pushing is to guarantee that Obama does not get voted into a third term as President. Beyond that there doesn’t seem to be any substance.
Our Senate and House Gallery passes

Here’s the crew in the Capitol lobby – photo courtesy of our Senator Murkowski’s aide, Nick, who took us on the tour. He had only been with the Senator’s office for a month, but did a great job.

The Capitol rotunda

Part of the frieze in the rotunda

This is a close up of the palms in the the frieze in the picture above. If you look close you can see where the final painter decided to paint his own image sneaking out from behind the palm.
Or maybe this this is where he snuck his image in at the bottom of the tree. Either way, it makes a good story.

The old House of Representatives meeting room.
The original Supreme Court chambers
And where the Justices hung their coats

Here I am trying to get a refill of my mug from the Sam Adams beer distributor.

We stopped into Senator Murkowski’s conference room. Here’s the 60+lbs salmon, Walter, that she caught up in Kenai in Alaska. You can see her struggling to hold it in the photo below Walter.
The Senator (center, in orange) came out and spent some time with us. That’s Denny’s sister-in-law to the Senators left. She works in the office and setup the tour for us.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Good Passage to Cape Henlopen

We had a fast passage running down the Atlantic on the front edge of the cold front. It took us 31 hours to cover 226 miles through the water. The winds got a little feisty about 45 miles off the entrance to New York  harbor – solid 25 kts gusting to 30kts. A reef in the main sail and the smaller headsail made for a smooth ride. In the morning things calmed a bit and we ended up sailing all the way to Cape Henlopen, the anchorage and harbor of refuge at the south side of the entrance to the Delaware Bay. We anchored at 11pm, got some deserved sleep and were on the road again by 7am to catch the tide heading up the Delaware Bay toward the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
The photo above is sunrise on the C & D Canal.
IblockisMG_3242 A heron looking for an early breakfast on the C & D
We’re off for a quick trip to Annapolis and then the plan is to head up the Potomac River to Washington DC to meet up with the Southern California March for Freedom, aka ours friends the Matusmotos and Philips.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Newport, Rhode Island

We stopped into the anchorage in Newport for a couple of night stay. We got to hook up with Mary, honorable number one son Derrek’s girlfriend, whose parents live near by. Mike and Pam – the parents -had us over for a very tasty fresh garden vegetables and BBQ dinner. Great hospitability! Somehow we managed to not get any pictures.

Next day was a tough sail over to Block Island. It was all close hauled in a stiff breeze – that means we are sailing as close to the wind as possible and the wind is blowing like stink. To break up the bouncing, we had a visit by about 20 dolphins who came by to play with the boat wake. We haven’t seen a dolphin pod this big since we were in the Caribbean.
blockislandIMG_3220 Here’s Chris communing with a playful little guy who wanted to out run our dinghy.

We’re leaving from Block Island this afternoon to sail back down to the Chesapeake. Its clearly getting to be fall up here.  There is a cold front coming in tonight. This should clock the winds around to the North and blow 20-25kts. We’ll sail tonight, tomorrow and the next night – south along the outside of Long Island, past the NY harbor entrance, and along the NJ coast and around Cape May, arriving at the mouth of the Delaware Bay in the early morning. If timing works, we’ll take the flood tide up the Delaware and then anchor for the night near the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
blockislandweather Here’s the wind feathers showing the expected winds blowing from the North. The wind direction is the angle of the line with the feathers flying like they would on an arrow. The marks that make up the feathers tell you the wind strength. A long one is 10kts and a half length is 5kts. So the arrows near the boat icon are 2 long, 1 half == 25kts out of the north. Should be some fast downwind sailing – till the front peters out and we have light winds near southern NJ and the Delaware Bay.

Friday, September 6, 2013

In Search of Martha

We sailed out to Martha’s Vineyard and anchored in Vineyard Haven harbor at the town of Tisbury. The weather wasn’t great, so we stayed a few days to let it settle down. They have a great bus system and for $7 you get an all day pass. Took the bus around the island and out to the Gay Head light. The bus gave us a good tour of the coast and inland part of the island. Its a big island, at 20 miles long with something like 16,000 year round residents.
mvIMG_3130 Here’s Becky (with Denny, off Kokomo) searching the island by bus looking for Martha Stewart’s house. Turns out she has an island house on Mount Desert Island, Maine – but not here. I think Becky was pretty disappointed and still a little confused as to why they call it Martha’s Vineyard. The island was known as Martin’s Vineyard (Capt. John Martin), then Marthas Vineyard and finally Martha’s Vineyard.
Next stop was New Bedford, MA, famous for its old whaling fleet and current fishing fleet.
NewBedfordIMG_3150 There’s a surprising number of fishing boats in New Bedford. Apparently they haven't caught the last cod yet.  Its clearly a working harbor. Not many pleasure boats.
NewBedfordIMG_3187 The entrance to New Bedford is crossed by a long breakwater. In the middle is a cut for ships to pass. It has huge gates on it – the Hurricane Gates. They can close them up in storms and keep the storm surge out of the harbor. At least that’s what it said in the sales brochure.
NewBedfordIMG_3161New Bedford has a great whaling museum. In-depth and well done. Here’s a large model of a Concordia Yawl in the museum’s model ship collection. A lot of years ago I delivered one of these from NJ to Annapolis – not the model, but a full sized one.
NewBedfordIMG_3170 As we were leaving New Bedford, we passed the Nantucket Lightship coming in. In the past, this lightship shone her beacon about 40 miles SE of Nantucket Island. This one was built in 1950 and was in use till 1983. The first Nantucket Lightship was in place on the 1850’s. Now there is a large navigational buoy in place of the manned lightship.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Proof of Global Warming

Now don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m not turning this into a political blog espousing some left-wing, liberal, or is it Liberal, agenda. Its just when you see scientific evidence of something, you have to be a fool or delusional to ignore it.
woodsholeIMG_3121 ________________________________________________________
nashounIMG_3115 We spent a few nights on a freebie mooring at Naushon Island. The island has been owned by the Forbes family for 150 years.  That’s Forbes like in Forbes Magazine and presidential candidate.
File:Wpdms na elizabeth islands.jpg
Its located on Buzzards Bay in the Elizabeth Islands – in Massachusetts

We took the dinghy for a bumpy ride over to Woods Hole. That’s the home of the Marine Biology Lab and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Got a good view of the harbor seal feeding at the small research aquarium. On the way back we saw this skateboard ramp conveniently located on a mooring in Woods Hole harbor.  Getting air must be fun.