Yesterday started as a cloudy day with very high humidity. Temps were in the low 70’s but climbed to the mid 80’s by late afternoon. The sun came out around 1:00 in the afternoon. Water conditions were great with a light breeze from the Southeast so we got a small boost from the light chop behind us.
The tide was going out for the first couple of hours so that slowed us down but we were able to make it up once the tide stated coming in. We started later than normal because I had to get the dinghy back onto the davits. We had lowered it so we could get further into the slip at Butler’s Marina and get off the boat onto the short finger docks.
Our intial portion of the cruise took us under the bridge north of Annapolis that connects the east and west sides of the Chesapeake Bay. Bridge is high enough for the freighters to pass under but yesterday there was a large fleet of recreational fishermen on the bay in almost ever type boat imaginable. They real did not care whether they were in the marked channel or not so we just motored thru the crowd at our slow pace of about 8 mph. The strange part was that once we passed under the bridge I think we passed maybe 4 other fishermen on the rest of the trip to Baltimore, about 25 miles. We passed a couple of tows headed down the bay and one tug near Baltimore.
The approach to Baltimore Harbor is quite nice. We had a lot of haze but were able to pick up the building skyline from maybe 7 to 8 miles out. There are lots of commercial docks as you get closer to the Inner Harbor and you pass under the Francis Scott Key Bridge with a great view of Fort McHenry. We were humming the Star Spangled Banner.
There were several Navy ships in the harbor area but once you get into the Inner Harbor area it is ferry traffic and recreational boaters that dominate. The Marina we are staying at is the Inner Harbor Marine Services Marina which is on the South side of the Inner Harbor. It is the furthest into the harbor you can go.
The water’s edge walk or park area the City has built around the Inner Harbor is really something. It is a wide promenade and is used extensively by the residents. The Maryland Science Center is on the walk along with the US Constitution Sailing Vessel, The Baltimore Aquarium and a couple of shopping centers. The whole are is full of people and a real vibrant downtown area. The Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Raven Stadiums are close enough to walk to from the harbor.
We went to dinner last night at a restaurant in Little Italy. It is a section of downtown that is about a mile form the marina and there are 18 Italian restaurants in Little Italy. The restaurant, LaScalla, even provided courtesy ride back to the marina after dinner.
Next to the Marina and part of the waterfront park is an area devoted to volleyball courts. The courts are lighted for nighttime use. They have 7 sand courts and last night all seven were in use.
Sorry about the Looper Locater. AGLCA said they were going to discontinue use on May 1, 2013. They kept it online until approximately May 20, 2013 but it was gone yesterday. I am looking into what else I might be able to use. I will let you know if and when I find something that works.