All posts by Diana

Crab, a boat ride and a beautiful sunset….yeah we’re good!

We left Annapolis, which has turned into our home base this summer, to go less than an hour to Ridout Creek in Whitehall Bay.  We were visiting our friends Kirk and Donna who were staying at a friend’s dock.  This is yet another idyllic creek with gorgeous houses around it.  But the difference here is that their friend had a power boat!  So, the six of us took off on the boat to head to Cantlers for some Maryland crab!

Arriving at Cantlers












Enjoying the crab in some of that delicious Old Bay Seasoning














After dinner we took a fun boat ride through some of the nearby creeks and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset!


Relaxing with friends in Shaw Bay

We spent 3 nights tucked away in Shaw Bay on the Eastern Shore.  The trip was organized by some friends who usually stay in Annapolis.  We all ate together and there was so much food to go around!  It was nice to go somewhere to relax and enjoy the good company.

Gail on the ATA Marie.

Gail on the ATA Marie.

There was nothing around except some big fancy houses and grass and trees, but our dinghy could go fast and we zoomed around for a while!

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And there was a beach there!  Stanley had gotten used to running and playing on the beaches in the Caribbean and the Bahamas so he was happy to relive that experience!


Harness Creek

Harness Creek is a nice little spot about an hour by water from Annapolis.  It’s off the South River and there are lots of pretty houses to look at and a nice park to go walk around in.

We rode our dinghy around to check out the creek.

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And walked Stanley in the park.  They even have a dog park where he made a new friend!

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And spied Ryana through the trees from the park!



And we took the kayaks out to explore!  This was such a nice relaxing place.

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The Eastern Shore

We were lucky to be invited to share the dock at the house of our friends brother in Cox Creek.  We spent one night there enjoying their hospitality and took a fun walk around the neighborhood.  I think that seeing this beautiful house and neighborhood was the highlight of the trip for Ryan’s Mom!

At the dock and looking up at the house:

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We took a fun walk around the neighborhood with our friend Kirk.  It used to be an old plantation that is now broken up into a few parcels for houses.  There is still co-op farming done on the land and we met the farm manager Mr. Fred.  He gave me a start when he saw a fly on me and smacked it away, but as he said “that’s how we do it around here.”  LOL.  What a fun time!  And we are continually amazed by the hospitality shown by folks in these parts.  But, I guess ,that’s just how they do it around here.

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A quick trip to St Michaels

After visiting Washington DC we took the boat over to St Michaels which is a delightful town on the Eastern Shore.  Ryan and I had never been there so were excited to visit somewhere new.  The harbor has plenty of room for anchoring and the town is very cute.  We pulled our dinghy in next to the Crab Claw restaurant and maritime museum.

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We had a great time and wandered around town.

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And then had an amazing dinner at the Bistro restaurant.  Chuck’s comment was that this was the first time in 30 years that Cindy had eaten her whole dinner.  I just wished we had gotten a picture of the empty plate!!

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The next morning we visited the maritime museum.  It has an old lighthouse that you can tour and a lot of old boats and exhibits about the Chesapeake Bay.  We spent about 4 hours enjoying all the sights!












They even have some tools for you to catch oysters!  St Michaels was a fun place I’m sure we’ll visit again!


Fun in DC – Day Two

The next day we woke up eager to experience more of DC.   First though we wanted breakfast to build up our energy before a tour of the Capitol.  We went to Old Ebbits Grill to fuel up and had a delicious breakfast!  We enjoyed ourselves too much though and were running a little late for our tour.  We also underestimated the distance across town.  When everything is so big it feels closer together!  We did make it for our tour though, thanks to Ryan sprinting ahead!

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After that we went underground (beat the heat!) to the Library of Congress.  It’s an interesting building and had a great view of the Capitol.

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After exploring there we walked back underground to the Capitol and got some great pictures in front of it.  We were running so fast earlier to make our tour that we didn’t have time to stop and smell the roses.














We next visited the National Art Gallery and then decided to call it a day.  What a fun time in DC!  I think we walked 5 miles each day but had a blast!

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Fun in DC – Day One

We had Ryan’s Mom and Stepdad out to visit us a few weeks ago. and they wanted to go to DC.  Cindy had never been and Chuck has been when he was much younger.  So, on a couple hot and steamy days we took the metro in and played tourist!

We hit all the important spots…

The Washington Monument

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The White House

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Lincoln Memorial with a break along the way!

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Vietnam Memorial where we traced a name for Cindy’s brother who served in Vietnam.

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MLK Monument and Korea Memorial

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After all that walking we headed to the museum of American History.  Man, these museums are huge.  After two hours we had been through one wing of one floor!   By that time we were thirsty and hungry and ready to head home where we could recharge for the next day!

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Our Top Ten Caribbean / Bahamas Destinations

All summer we asked the question of every cruiser we met, “Caribbean or the Bahamas?”.  And what we discovered was equivalent to a religious divide on the subject.  Not one person said, “oh both are great!”.  So here is our list of favorite places including both the Caribbean and Bahamas.  Keep in mind the furthest south in the Caribbean we went was Dominica.

1.  Falmouth Harbor, Antigua –  Antigua is very welcoming.  Falmouth Harbor with its bars and restaurants were fun and the nearby Nelson’s Dockyard was an awesome place to visit with a lot of history.  We toured the island and enjoyed the people we met and all the places we visited.  Plus the harbor was very sheltered and it was nice to have some calm nights!

Falmouth Harbor

Falmouth Harbor

2.  Gorda Sound, BVI –  We may be biased because we got married at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Gorda Sound.  However, while in the BVIs we did find ourselves gravitating towards anchorages in Gorda Sound which were both beautiful and and calm.  And the free wifi from Saba Rock didn’t hurt either!

Ryana in Gorda Sound

Ryana in Gorda Sound

3.  Road Bay, Anguilla –  What made Anguilla for us was the people.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, smiled at us and said hello as we passed.  Even the teenage boys who were headed home from school took a moment to say hi!  The smiles and good vibes (not to mention amazing beaches and great food) made this place for us.

Anguilla beach

Anguilla beach

4.  Hope Town, Abacaos, Bahamas –  This is probably the cutest place we visited in all the Bahamas.   The houses were all adorable and well kept.  There were restaurants, a great beach, grocery store and lots of shops all within walking distance.  Plus they had a wine bar downtown.  Now you’re talking!

House in Hope Town

House in Hope Town

5.  Culebra, Puerto Rico – This little out island off the east of Puerto Rico was an oasis in itself.  The cruising community was vibrant and the island is a (somewhat) hidden gem.  It doesn’t hurt that it boasts one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, Flamenco Beach.   We enjoyed the laid back feel and the wonderful company.  And the tacos (at Zaco’s Tacos of course!).

Flamenco Beach with storm brewing.

Flamenco Beach with storm brewing.

6.  Les Saintes, Guadeloupe – This was a place everyone told us we would love, so expectations were high.  And it did live up to what was said.  This place, above all the other French islands we went, evoked a feeling of France.  We loved that we could walk everywhere and not worry about lots of cars on the road.  There were interesting historical places nearby, like the Fort, and beautiful beaches, and fun dance clubs and good restaurants.

Les Saintes Harbor

Les Saintes Harbor

7.  Providenciales, Turks & Caicos –  This place was fun to see, with all the inlets cut out of the limestone, the amazing Grace Beach, and of course Prince’s House complete with purple driveway!  We stayed at the Southside Marina and I think this made the stay for us.  We met great people, including amazing friends Kirk & Donna, and heard about all the history of the island at Bob’s Bar.

At Southside Marina.

At Southside Marina.

8.  St Croix, USVI – We mostly spent time in Christiansted here and loved the quaint town.  The Dutch architecture was gorgeous and to be honest we loved the comforts of St Croix (i.e. Mexican Food!!) which we had been missing while further south in the Caribbean.

The Fort in Christiansted.

The Fort in Christiansted.

9.  Grand Case, St Martin –  What’s a LOLO?  Turns out it’s code for super delicious, inexpensive meals!  We had great meals on the cheap in Grand Case (actually so good Ryan preferred it to my cooking.  Hurrumph!  🙂 .  The vibe here was more laid back than other parts of St Martin and we felt at home and comfortable here.

Grand Case

Grand Case

10.  Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas – You’ve got swimming pigs and the Thunderball grotto nearby, what’s not to love?  We had a fun time anchored out here in the beautiful water with these fun attractions nearby.  And the Staniel Cay Yacht Club was a nice place to eat out!

Swimming Pigs

Swimming Pigs

What happens when Stanley falls in the water?

He gets a bath!

Stanley is always eager to go ashore, so eager that he will leap from the dinghy even before we’ve come to a full and complete stop.   🙂  This means that occasionally he goes in the drink!  Poor doggie.  Stanley is NOT a water dog!   And, after all that trauma of falling in the water he gets to experience one of his most hated things…the bath.

Can he look anymore pathetic?







Here he looks mad!


But after his bath he is feeling good!