Friday, September 9, 2016

St. Michaels...or Bye Bye Baltimore.

Finally...yesterday, we finally left Baltimore.  It was starting to feel like we were stuck in the mud.   Baltimore harbor is typically mud colored (or at least that is what I keep telling myself as the other options for that color are less appealing) but I know boats can move on it.  With some plans made and storms out of the way, it was well past time to go.

We departed in a morning with fair weather but not much wind.  Oh well, moving by motor is better than not moving at all. The temperatures were expected to be "above normal" and "near record breaking"...two phrases we have heard far too much in the time we have spent here.  We motored along and a light breeze picked up from the southeast...naturally the direction we were heading.  I have to admit the high temperatures, having wind on the nose is better than having no wind at all.  The wind made the temperatures bearable.

The bay bridge as we head southbound leaving Baltimore.
As we approached St. Michaels, my wife decided that she wasn't all that keen on anchoring out in the heat and about 30 minutes from arrival, she started calling to see if any marina's could handle our boat.  Smaller towns, particularly the further north you are, tend to have very limited options for boats as wide as ours.  She was able to find one and, after a little confusion trying to get directions from the marina, we where parked at their face dock.

I forget who told me or exactly how the warning went, but it was something to the effect of: the more times 'yacht' is found in the name of a marina or boatyard, the less likely you will actually find something worthy of the name 'yacht' and the less likely the facilities would live up to the standards of someone who owned a 'yacht'. The place we spent the first night lived up to that reputation. It is a combination marina and boatyard.  The most notable problems were the WiFi signal that didn't make it out to the docks and the restroom (that was described in one review as basic) I would describe as boatyard rustic with rusting fixtures, exposed plumbing  and flaking paint over cinder block and concrete construction.

Part of the St. Michaels Harbor
While it wasn't really all that bad, I had hoped for better at this charming little town. Oh, and did I mention that they only had room for us that one night and we wanted to stay two?  So, after getting settled in, I did a little searching and found that another marina across the way had a Friday special of $1.50/foot (plus a $29 resort fee that includes resort amenities).  This is a very good rate for this area, so we moved across the harbor the following morning.

Rover at the new dock...from near the old one.

After getting the boat over to the new dock, we took a couple of the resort bicycles and toured the town. It is a cute older town with lots of historic buildings from the boat building and fishing days. There are a couple museums including the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. This is a tourist town, so the main street is also lined with lots of stores and restaurants.

Buildings near the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
Waterfront homes were a bit different back then.

We had lunch at an overpriced gourmet pizza place that could only survive in a tourist town (high price and less than mediocre food doesn't make for many repeat customers). Fortunately our ice cream stop later in the day proved to be a much better option and a welcome respite from the heat. The St. Michaels museum was an interesting stop and a chance to tour historic structures and see how people lived long ago in St. Michaels.

The main street in St. Michaels
Cannonball house.  Called this not because it stored cannonballs or was some important
part of the war of 1812, but because a cannonball came through the roof  and scared the

The town is definitely worth a stop.  If you are here on a Friday, I would even recommend the Harbour Inn Marina and Spa (even though I won't know how the free continental breakfast is until tomorrow) on a Friday. Stop by the St Michaels museum for a peek into the past and a map for a walking (or biking) tour of the town. Might skip the pizza place though.

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