Sunday, June 10, 2012

Aquia Bay Marina, The Second Time Around

Do you recall reading in the last post that I was not thrilled about getting out of the slip and fairway of the Alexandria City Marina? Well, I was right. It was awful. On the morning of June 5th there was light winds which would make for a good cruising day, but as they were north-easterlies they played havoc with our departure. As soon as I started to pull out of the slip the breeze started to shove the boat in every direction I did not want it to go, mainly further down into the fairway. This was all made worse by the excursion boats were all in the fairway which lessened the space to work with, and one of these boats was parked at an angle in the fairway which reduced the maneuvering space even more. But after a bit of swearing I did get the boat out and we are on our way back down the Potomac River towards Chesapeake Bay to resume our journey.

Our routes going back down the Potomac are pretty much backtracking the routes we used going up with the exception of skipping the stop at Colonial Beach by making a long single day run from Aquia Bay Marina in Aquia Creek to St. Marys River. But the first stop was back to Aquia Bay Marina which was the first locale on our entire trip so far that we have actually revisited. Cruising conditions were good.

When we entered Aquia Creek we radioed Rick and Margi Decatur saying we were headed in towards the marina. After we signed off with them we slowly motored in. Then all of sudden we saw two jet skis streaking towards us. It was Rick and Margi! They ran circles around us and we laughed our butts off. It was hysterical. We got to the dock and tied up and Rick and Margi joined us for a while. It was great to see them again. And when it was time for them to head back to their home they jumped onto their jet skis. Margi’s fired up right away but alas Rick’s was dead in the water. So our final vision of them was to see Margi towing Rick back to their dock.  

On Wednesday they picked us up at the marina and we all went back to their lovely house. We brought our four loads of laundry, had lunch and took a golf cart sightseeing tour of the peninsula they live on. It’s a beautiful place. After the laundry was done we loaded everything up, had dinner at the local Pizza Hut and went to a local Walmart Supercenter to stock up on groceries and some other stuff. They then drove us back to the marina where we met by a very happy, excited stray dog, all alone in the marina.

Meet “Dock”, and for about twelve hours he was our guest on Why Knot.

We had no idea whose dog it was but suspected that it was from one of the nearby houses. But it was dark and late so I was not going to go knocking on people’s doors. So we took Dock into our home for the night and he was a very pleasant happy dog. He was housebroken, or boat-broken, if you like, and he very easily settled in with us for the night. He certainly was not bashful and he jumped into bed with us and made himself right to-home.

The next morning I did walk to some of the houses in the area but there was only one person at home and they did not know the dog. One of the houses I did visit had one of those Toyota Land Cruisers – bright yellow in color – parked in front but there was no one at that house. But I noted the car because it was very bright…hard to miss. Back on the boat now Lisa and I were trying to figure out what to do with our friend. It was at this point that Lisa took Dock for a walk up on the grounds of the marina while I was filling the water tanks of the boat. At one point I looked towards the shore and saw that bright yellow Toyota stopped in front of the marina office. I quickly put two and two together and figured out that was the dog’s owner looking for their little friend. I walked up on shore where Lisa met me with the little line that we had used as a leash and it was dog-less. We then walked towards the car and I noticed that the woman owner was trotting around the outside of the boat yard. Dock had gotten away from here and there was a game of catch-me-if-you-can underway. As we got closer to the building Dock came dashing around the corner of the building right to us. I picked him up and waited for a minute for the owner to come back around. When she did I handed him off to her. Lisa had told me that the owner said the dog’s name was actually Cujo. We liked Dock better. And we both admitted that it was very tempting to make him a full time member of our crew if the owner could not be found. But now Dock (or Cujo) is back home in his rightful house and the story has a happy ending.

On Friday we got together with Rick and Margi after lunch and we went for a little sightseeing around the Fredericksburg area. It is steeped in Civil War history as this area was a hotbed of military action at that time. We visited the Fredericksburg Civil War National Park. Some of the fortifications were still there and with the help of very well done descriptive displays we could easily see how the battles were fought. This was the scene of terrible carnage during the war, especially to the Federal troops as the south had the high ground with some excellent fortifications and cannon placement forcing the advancing Union troops to attempt to attack marching straight through an open low lying plain. They were sitting ducks, and the death toll proved it. Interesting.

After dinner at a local restaurant we went back to the boat for an early turn-in because Friday’s cruise directly from Aquia Creek to St. Marys River was going to be a long day.