Day 7 – 43 nm (passage total: 223 nm) We were up by 0600, drinking coffee and waiting for enough light to haul anchor and be on our way. Today makes a week since we left the marina in Chesapeake and we've fallen into an easy routine. We were up anchor and cruising towards the Harry W. Nice Bridge by 0650. On our trip from the Baltimore airport to the boat a few weeks ago, we paid a $6 toll to cross this bridge. Luckily, there's no toll for passing under its 105' high span.
It was another grey, hazy morning as we passed by the “Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay”, rotting hulks of WWI military vessels that weren't completed in time to be of use during the war and later abandoned.
The Potomac River is quite circuitous in this area and the channel narrows considerably due to shoals. As we rounded Maryland Point, we noticed a pair of birds perched on a green can. We'd seen lots of gulls and cormorants and figured that's what they were.
It wasn't until we got closer and I took a pic that we were amazed to see two bald eagles. What a treat!
The Potomac is a natural boundary between states … Maryland to starboard and Virginia to port. We passed by Quantico Marine Base and the FBI training center. The facility doesn't look like much from the water although they do have a nifty marina there reserved for marines. We weren't invited to stop for a tour, so we carried on.
Another change in plans. We were making good time and instead of stopping at our intended anchorage at Mattawoman Creek, we continued another 12 nm and anchored just off George Washington's Mount Vernon. We were all ready for a visit to George Washington's historic homestead in the morning when we heard a Coast Guard broadcast on the VHF radio advising that there would be fireworks at Mount Vernon on this very evening. Really? In honor of our arrival?
We enjoyed a spectacular sunset and expected several boats to join us in the anchorage.
By 1945, when the fireworks barge began shooting off rockets, we remained the only boat in the anchorage and we appreciated the display all by ourselves.
Tomorrow we head in the dinghy to the wharf and plan to spend the entire day exploring George Washington' Mount Vernon.