Up the Potomac to Washington, DC

Day 9 – 13 nm (passage total: 236 nm) We could have spent at least another day visiting Mount Vernon, but we were excited about arriving in Washington, DC and wanted to spend as much time in our nation's capital city as possible. As we hauled anchor and rejoined the channel, the views of Mount Vernon were majestic.

mount vernon from potomac river

It was only 13 miles to DC and we enjoyed the short trip. Not far from Mount Vernon, just around the bend on the opposite shore is Fort Washington Park, Maryland. “Built to defend the river approach to Washington, DC, Fort Washington has stood as silent sentry for over 200 years. As technologies advanced so did Fort Washington, from the brick and stone of the 19th century to the concrete and steel of the 20th century.” Obviously, a strategic place for a fort, but from our vantage point, there wasn't much to see other than walls and a small lighthouse with a designated red marker.

fort washington

We passed the Spirit of Mount Vernon, headed to Washington's home with a boatload of tourists.

spirit of mount vernon tour boat

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge, aka I95 lay before us, the last bridge before the city.

woodrow wilson bridge

There's something very special about arriving by water at a world-famous port city. It's much more exciting than arriving by plane or car - perhaps it's the time it takes to get there and the anticipation that builds en route. We've visited this city many, many times. Perhaps, cities just look differently when approached from the sea. Heading up the Potomac and seeing Washington, DC come into view was awesome. The Washington Monument and the Capitol Building dominated the skyline.

washington monument from the sea

capitol building from the sea

We stayed to port at the fork in the river and headed up the Washington Channel. Our plan was to pick up one of the new moorings at the Gangplank Marina if it was available. The riverfront is being totally “gentrified” in this area and the current anchorage area is further down the river and not as convenient. As luck would have it, a boat that we passed entering the channel had just dropped a mooring that would suit us. We did a quick recon, picked up the mooring and just relaxed in the cockpit for a few minutes, enjoying the view. The location was outstanding … in the shadow of the Washington Monument, only a 15-minute walk to National Mall.

gangplank marina location

We allowed no moss to gather on our shoes, but that's a story for tomorrow and the days to come. In the meantime, I thought you'd enjoy sharing our view from Nine of Cups' cockpit this evening.

washington monument at dusk from nine of cups