Monday, August 20, 2012

Just Desserts 2012, Cruise Ship Drama?, and Remnants of a Fire

One of our boating friends plans a dessert weekend every year. Every boat brings a dessert to share and we gorge ourselves on sugar (of course, there is some other food). This year we had the gathering at Good Ol' Fairlee Creek. We arrived a little later than normal on Saturday and Fairlee was already hopping.
This is the line of boats waiting to pull in.
The weather was a little cool for August so I never got in the water. No worries. With so many boats there was always someone to talk to.

After dinner, the desserts came out. Silly me, I forgot to take a picture of the spread (maybe I was too excited about the treats?). We made Bananas Foster to share. Yes, you can make this delectable dessert on a boat. Here's the trick: Put a pan on your grill. Melt butter. Add brown sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Slice up bananas into the mixture. Add banana liquer. Cook a couple minutes. Add 151 rum and carefully light on fire. Wait until the fire goes out and pour over ice cream.

There was apple pie, rum balls, pineapple upside down cupcakes, Berger cookies...

I had a couple boating firsts on Sunday. Five boats from the middle of our raft up left early afternoon on Sunday. We were the only boat on one side so we pulled off to let them loose. I captained the boat as we rafted back up with our friends. (Normally, I'm the one handling the lines as Doug does captaining duties.) It wasn't pretty, but I successfully got our boat next to the raft up without any damage. I just need more practice.

I also captained the boat as we left Fairlee Creek. The entrance to Fairlee can be tricky. The sandbar seems to constantly change, the current can be swift, and there are always people watching. It was drizzling on Sunday so many boats had already left by the time we headed for home and the current didn't look to rough. All the conditions were right for my first attempt. Another happy success!

With ended up with two more adventures on Sunday. A Carnival cruise ship was leaving port as we were entering Baltimore.
This is a pretty regular sight so we didn't think anything of it until this boat came flying towards us.
It's a little freaky to be approached by a boat with a man on the bow with a very large gun. We figured we would be boarded but they simply told us to stay a certain distance from the cruise ship and then sped off to talk to the boat behind us. Phew!

It appears that there WAS something special about this cruise ship. Has there been a recent threat against cruise ships? Or was someone very important on this particular ship?
I know it's just an illusion from this vantage point but I'm still amazed that they fit under the Key Bridge.
When we got back to our marina we had a surprising sight.
I'm not sure how we didn't notice the burnt dock as we were leaving on Saturday, but a boat caught fire on a few slips down from ours on Wednesday night (articles here and here). We've heard through other boaters that the fire may have been started by a faulty power strip. Or, it had something to do with work they were doing on the boat. Either way, I'm glad no one was hurt and all other boats were saved. Just imagine what could happen with a fire and that much fuel.

As always, just another adventurous day in paradise.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kids and Kayaks

I must first apologize for not posting anything recently. Remember those shiny new outboards? Well, they needed to be serviced after 20 hours of use and that just happened to fall in the middle of boating season. We were out of the water for a couple of weeks.
We took my niece (age 12) and nephew (age 15) on an overnight trip this past Saturday and Sunday. We anchored in Sue Creek - site of the infamous derecho storm - with a few other boats. No storms this time. Just good ole fun in the sun. But what do a 12 and 15-year-old do on a boat for 24 hours? Adults relish the relaxation time. We float in the water with a beer in hand and not a care in the world. Teenagers need to do stuff. So, when they weren't busy texting their friends, they were using the inflatable kayak or our friend's paddle board.
We bought the kayak years ago. It served as our dinghy before we bought a zodiac. It's a Sea Eagle and it is rated for white water. When it's deflated it is a nice compact roll that we are able to store under the seats. The oars come apart into two pieces for easy storage. And it blows up relatively quickly. Poor Doug, I had gone downstairs to get the camera Sunday morning to take a picture of the kayak for the blog. I had failed to tell Doug what I was doing and he pulled the kayak out of the water to deflate it for the ride home. It was mostly deflated when I came back up top but he kindly re-inflated it for me.

The wind picked up on the ride home Sunday. I estimate that the waves were 4-5 feet. We felt like we were in a trawler because we couldn't go over 8 knots for about an hour. We still got wet when the bow went right into a wave. But we made it home safely and we are ready for our next adventure.