Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Luv'n Life III in Action

Doug and I hang out with a few people at our home marina, however, most of our raftups are with people from other marinas. We all show up from different directions and arrive/leave at varying times. On the Sunday after Bumper Bash, James and Sandra on Durrano left at the same time as us. Since we were heading in the same general direction for a while we cruised together. It's pretty much impossible to get a picture of your own boat while it's in motion, so we always make a point of taking pictures of our friends' boats in motion. Many thanks to Sandra for taking these pictures of Luv'n Life III with her cell phone: Here's a quick pic of Durrano in action:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bumper Bash

The hottest day yet this summer, a band and DJ set up on a barge, and an estimated 700+ boats -- aka Bumper Bash!

Doug and I and two friends arrived at Dobbins Island at 10:30 Saturday morning and found many boats already anchored for the festivities. We could see some friends of ours closer to shore but it was already too late to raft up with them. Oh well, we set our bow and stern anchor and settled in for the day. When we first anchored we had a great view of the music barge. The music was great. Lots of songs from my childhood mixed in with today's best hits. Boats quickly filled in just about every inch of space and became more entertaining than the music. I wish I could have captured the real essense of the number of boats anchored in this space.I was amazed by how many people were crammed onto some of these boats. a) Is that even legal? b) It was HOT that day and they had little to no shade (wow, I must be getting old to make that sort of comment). c) We estimated the water to be 84 degrees - kept you cool but not exactly refreshing. Then again, they all appeared to be having a great time, so who am I to judge. There was dancing and a lot of booze so we started taking bets on who would pass out or fall off one of those boats first. There were definitely some pass outs by the end of the day. Not sure we saw any people that fell off unintentionally. We did see girls play the "Oh No! Don't throw me in (giggle giggle) game." There was also a nearly sunken canoe.We were able to raft up with our friends on C-Dreamer and Durrano at different points during the day. We also took the zodiac to visit other friends. It was nice to visit, but easier to be rafted up. There were so many people swimming in the water and so many boats close together. Plus, as soon as you took the zodiac anywhere there was a random group on a raft somewhere that requested help getting back to their boat. Doug and our friend Mike "saved" a few people. There were also rafts that needed returned to their owners. I wanted to keep a penguin but did the right thing (we still collected a few rafts later in the evening that had been left behind). Some of the guys needed "saving" from their unmanly predicaments....Or poor choice in alcohol....(Jaeger and a Natural Light - seriously?)I can't believe I'm posting a picture of myself in a bikini on a public blog, but.....look what I got to try!We offered this guy (who looked just like Ben Stiller) a beer as he passed by. He stopped and let us all try it out. I've seen these numerous times now and have wanted to try it. He actually said that one of the best reasons to own one is to see people try it out. Most people fall. He taught us the key -- "Don't look down!" and I was able to find success on the first try. It was fun but I'm not sure I want to own one. Might be just a novelty. Either way -- thanks dude!

By 8pm the anchorage area had really cleared out. Only the larger boats remained. The coast guard, police, and fire boats kept most people in line as boats pulled up anchor. We did see a fight on a boat next to us. Luckily no one was seriously hurt. We also witnessed a young man on a police boat later in the evening. Doug, Mike, Annie and I decided to name him "Chad." While we don't know the real story, we have decided that his buddies unknowingly left him behind and he was drunkenly swimming around looking for them. I'm sure the police brought him somewhere safe in the long run.We stayed the night and had more fun in the sun on Sunday. Looking forward to the 6th Annual Bumper Bash next year.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Crabs and Tons of SeaRays

Waterman's Crab House never disappoints! With an extremely full boat we made our way across the bay for lunch. There were 10 of us yet we were seated immediately. Waterman's has tons of outdoor seating, I've never actually eaten inside. There must be an inside part to the restaurant? Oh well, we sat outside on what has been the most beautiful July day I've seen in a long time.Six of us chose to have crabs - YUM! (and very well priced - only $60 for larges). Crabs are such a great social food. It makes me wonder if crabs would ever be a good choice for a first date. What if you find you have nothing in common? If that's the case, you are in for a long night.

Everyone seems to eat their crabs a different way: some dump their shells in the bucket right away -- some create neat piles to dump later. Some scrape off the old bay and don't use it at all(crazy!) -- some scrape it into piles to make sure every bite can be rolled in old bay for extra flavor. Some suck the meat out of the legs -- some just toss the legs aside. Some eat the body first -- some eat the claws first. Hmm...what is the best meat on a crab? I have difficulty deciding. Oh yeah, one more thing, some people just have fun with the mallets:
Apparently, Waterman's also has non-seafood. While it would never have been my first choice, apparently the ribeye sandwich special was quite good.

After a great lunch, we headed to Hart-Miller Island for some more fun in the sun. For any mothers out there -- it took us at least 30 minutes to get to Hart-Miller Island so no one went swimming too quickly after eating. :)

Hart-Miller was PACKED! We happened upon a SeaRay Aquapalooza. The number of boats rivaled Fairlee Creek on Memorial Day Weekend. We anchored and jumped in. You know how normally there is an initial chill when you jump into water? Well, not this weekend. The water felt fantastic and according to one of our passengers it was "very wet." (Uhm....okay)

It's been a long time since we've anchored at Hart-Miller, I had forgotten how much of a current rolls through there. You really have to pay attention and work to stay near the boat. At least we worked off a crab or maybe a beer.

Thanks to a great crew -- including 5 people who had never been on our boat before. It was a great day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Docked the Boat

How could I have forgotten this detail from our July 4th trip? When we left Sue Creek, I took the helm and drove us back to Baltimore. That really isn't a big deal, I take the wheel all the time. When we got back to Baltimore we decided that I would dock the boat. This IS a big deal. I've been trying to find more confidence in the art of boat docking. That Monday was perfect - clear skies, very little wind, and random confidence. As I approached our slip, one of our boat neighbors came by to help. He's down at the docks quite a bit and will often come by to assist. My first thought was "Oh s%@& now I have an audience." My second thought was "YAY! If I screw up at least there is help." Well, I did it! It was almost a textbook docking. Hopefully over time I'll become more and more interchangable with Doug on the boat.

One more tidbit about this event -- as we were leaving Baltimore, a couple guys on neighboring boats were commenting on the fact that I was captaining the boat out of the slip. I do this almost every time we leave the slip, so again, not really a big deal. But I did make a point of telling them that I also docked the boat after that trip.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

32 Boats and 4 Nights of Fireworks

We spent Friday through Monday of Independence Day weekend in Sue Creek. The first night was just us, nice and relaxing and there were a few fireworks shows in the distance. By Saturday afternoon the wild rumpus had begun. We were in one of two side-by-side large raft ups. As each group added more boats it because obvious that were going to have to join together to make room for everyone. The final count that I heard was 32 boats! I apologize that this picture is so small, we had to take the zodiac quite a ways back to get all of the boats in the picture.How often do you see a 37 foot boat rafted up stern to stern? Many of these boats did not stay the night but it was an interesting sight while it lasted and a couple of us pledged our brand allegiance to the crowd (the white flag is ours):I think we had the hit, surprise dessert when we made bananas foster for everyone. While we make this at home, we were a little apprehensive about lighting the 151 on fire on the boat, but as I pointed out the little grill already has flame. Another plus -- We discovered that our freezer is cold enough to keep ice cream at the right consistency. As I've said before, with a little planning, you can do amazing meals on the boat.

The family on the property in front of us was having one heck of a party. I've been told that this is a private residence. How cool would it be to have a permanent slip and slide into the water?Not only do they have a slip and slide, but they put on a private fireworks show before the Sue Creek show Saturday night. They were so close that we could see the people lighting the fireworks. We were also so close that our boats were covered in firework residue. Lastly, we were close enough to see the remains of the boxes upon boxes of fireworks that they set off. The Sue Creek fireworks were fabulous. We were close and the weather was perfect. As I posted on my Facebook page a few days later, I love being on a boat for fireworks. I especially love all of the airhorns at the end of the show. It always give me a thrill.

The weather was so nice that we didn't need AC that evening. The weather was not so nice at 4am when the thunderstorm rolled through. A bit of a rude awakening but no harm done. We got the boat closed in and settled back down for the rest of the night.

I know you'll be shocked to learn that Sunday was more fun in the sun. I think everyone took a ride in our blow up kayak. It's really a workout if you aren't used to it.

Sunday night - more fireworks and an unsuccessful attempt to take the kayak down the slip and slide. Boys will be boys.

Monday morning - go home. :( We left so we could enjoy the Baltimore fireworks and pool back at our home marina with friends in the neighborhood. The fireworks in Sue Creek were better than Baltimore but was nice to get home and sleep in our own bed.

Here are a few last pictures from the weekend:

I have decided that they should use this house to film the next Corona commercial. Doesn't it look like the commercial with the Christmas palm tree?The egrets all have babies and their nests are so cool.
Finally, I love how many birds congregate on this lighthouse near Hart Miller Island.
No boating this weekend. Instead we had dinner with friends, parties, and cookouts. Can't wait to get back on the water!

My apologies for taking so long to write this post. Shorter work weeks are great but also hectic.