The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Rusty Scupper???

One more for the glossary of nautical terms:

Scupper-a drain that allows water on the deck of a vessel to flow overboard.

More about that later.

We had another great cruise from St. Michaels to Baltimore's Inner Harbor last week.  There was the usual "Thunderstorm warning" for the afternoon, which if we had over-worried these past few weeks we would still be in North Carolina.  They, and the accompanying "Small Craft Warning" for Chesapeake Bay were predicted for late afternoon, so taking as little risk as possible, we left very early from St. Michaels.  By the time we were entering the Patasco River which leads up to Baltimore it was begining to stir up a bit, but we had a glassy ride most of the way.  Here are a few shots of the calm bay and some of the sights along the way:

My first mate must have liked this.  She took about a half dozen shots of it, so here it is.

This guy did not have to honk to get our attention!

A captain's work is never done...

As we approached Baltimore on the Patasco, we came upon the Francis Scott Key Bridge.  As you will undoubtedly recall, he wrote the Star Spangled Banner from the deck of a ship here as the British bombarded Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.  Apparently he had a good view, as he and another American were at the time guests of an English Captain on board the HMS Tonnant, as they tried to negotiate the exchange of American prisoners on board the ship.  A side note, the song was not adopted as our National Anthem until 1916 during the Woodrow Wilson administration.

Here is the bridge named in Key's honor.

And in case you wondered, this is what it looks like on a nautical chart!

This bouy marks the spot of the anchored British warship.

Fort McHenry from the water today...our Flag still flying.

For quite a ways up the Patasco, we were reminded that Baltimore is still an important port. 

Our first look at the Baltimore skyline.

A sad reminder of better times.

Aa we closed in on our stop at the Inner Harbor

We stayed at the Inner Harbor for four nights, accompanied as previously noted by our friends from home, Rob and Denise.  Denise had lived in Baltimore as a kid and was amazed at the changes.  As I heard the story from David, the dockhand at the marina, some enterprizing mayor with a vision decided to turn an ugly, dying, industrial, inner-city port into a tourist destination.  And it is really pretty fantastic.  Our city fathers in Sacramento could learn a bunch from visiting here.  Imagine the National Aquarium, a first class Science Museum, an Industrial Museum, scores of first class shops and restaurants, two (not one, but two) major league sports facilities and every other thing you can think of or want.  All of it is available by water taxis which run from early morning till 11 PM.  So, if you are on one side of the harbor and want to go to say, Little problem, hitch a water taxi.  The fare is $10 and is good all day!

Here is one of the smaller ones.

Two happy water taxi customer!

We wore ourselves out trying to do as much as possible in the city and still managed a trip to Walmart for supplies.  Baltimore rule #1:  The water taxis are safe...the regular taxis...whoa baby!  Taxi drivers everywhere are a little odd, here they are nuts.  And where is it written that taxis should have their rear suspension removed before being placed into service?  Anyway, we survived to cruise another day.

Oh yeah, Rusty Scupper.  That was the name of the restaurant and the taxi stop that our marina shared.  Who would eat at something that was named after basically a rusty roof or deck drain?  OK, we did.  Not great.

The last photo of our time in Baltimore is of the mystery woman who accompanied my good buddy Rob.  She seemed kinda camera shy, I think she might be married...

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