Wrapping Up the Chesapeake: June 11 2022


We are back in Baltimore after our quick train visit to Boston where we went from 57F to 83F on the clickety clackity rails along the coast.  It feels like summer and we love it!  But things seem a bit off kilter because we are used to setting out on Barefeet in the Fall and it’s summer now.  Well, variety is the spice of life.  We worked on Barefeet cleaning out a storage locker and starting the shower fiberglass project (moving the shower controls higher and fixing a crack in the shower wall).  This will be a multi-day project so we will take it one step at a time.  TGIF and we were off to the National Aquarium for half-priced Fridays (5-8pm).  Big mouth prehistoric shark, jellies invasion and the shark tank were favorites but we are lucky to have seen most of the exhibitees in real life.  Perfect weather for a stroll had us back in Fell’s Point for some live music at The Cat’s Eye Pub…open since 1975 with live music seven days per week (6/3).  


Forecasted good weather for days has us clipping along nicely…restocking the pantry and continuing on the shower work (6/4).  Check out the corner mold Chris created – wow.  A return to the American Visionary Museum was loaded with human creativity.  Creations by self-taught artists who often worked with everyday items were amazing.  Especially impressive was the hand crocheted horse dress made by a Baltimore County Mental Hospital patient diagnosed with schizophrenia and worn in defiance of the hospital’s dress code.  Clearly the artist had a sense of humor; however, the artist write-up mentions that the intricacy of the design (made without a pattern) casts doubt on the diagnosis which includes extreme difficulty in thought organization.


Baltimore was the third largest port of entry into the USA from 1830 – 1914.  Walking a bit beyond the museum to Locust Point is the Baltimore Immigration Museum.  The museum structure is the last standing mission house in Baltimore where immigrants (including Germans, Irish, Jews, Poles, Lithuanians, Czechs, Italians and Greeks) could find temporary housing before they moved on to other destinations or found permanent work in Baltimore.  Since government assistance to immigrants was virtually non-existent at the time churches and already established immigrants were the primary sources for support.  The old Baltimore map in the photo above has colored dots for the churches (blue for Synagogues, orange for Catholic, etc.) which helps illustrate where immigrants settled in the city.  A branch of Erin’s family was part of this immigrant group and it was fascinating to put tangible items with the one-dimensional family tree.  What a journey it must have been!  Thanks for the details Jim, docent, and Nicholas, historian.  Back to Barefeet and Chris was off for some poker at the nearby Casino.  Drat – loses came fast and early such that the solo dinner of Chinese take out from NiHao became a picnic for two on the shady bow.  It was a nice way to end the day (for Erin, anyway).


The shower project rolled along with daily progress from cutting out the corner crack and filling in the hardware holes to cutting and laying up 12 layers of fiberglass mat to fill/fare/sand and drill higher (ergonomically better placed) holes for mounting shower hardware.  The paint job was several coats from a rattle spray can.  Voila!!  But the fumes were not so great.  A walk around town was perfect to let them disperse.  Back aboard and it was time to put Chris’ closet back together after sealing up the plumbing behind the closet wall.  It was just a crack (no water leaking through – just unsightly) that is now smooth and pretty…with the better placed shower controls as a bonus.  Great job!


Between boat projects we have peeled back the layers of Baltimore like the layers of an onion and we like what we have found.  Okay, on some measures Baltimore is the third most dangerous metropolitan city in the country.  We have all heard about or seen The Wire TV show with its truly scary portrayal.  Chris and I have been careful where we explore; however, luckily, "scary" is not what we have found.  We have found row house neighborhoods where window boxes are lovingly tended and chairs are arranged on the sidewalks for afternoon relaxing.  And at the Sunday Blues afternoon at The Cat’s Eye Pub in Fell’s Point it felt like a neighborhood block party where new arrivals were warmly greeted with handshakes and back slaps before grabbing a drink and settling in for some live music from the GrapeFruit Kings.  Couples periodically danced and twirled for a few beats before visiting some more and musicians came in with guitars on their back and shared waves and head bobs with the band (6/5).  There is a real neighborhood vibe in Baltimore and we like it.

But our time here is finite and we need to be ready to move along in a few days.  The freezer was re-stocked with raw materials such as sweet Italian sausages, ground hamburger and chicken breasts all purchased in large family sizes but vacuum sealed into dinner for two sizes. 


The Green Mount Cemetery is 2.9 miles from the marina and worth a look.  It was established in 1834 after a Baltimore tobacco merchant, Samuel Walker, visited Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA.  Today there are more than 65,000 individuals having a final rest.  The look is much like an old Auntie’s garden shed full of mismatched chairs and stacked vases and well worn lawn ornaments.  However, at the cemetery the items are varied statues and crosses and headstones decorated every which way you can imagine and all squished together with a few that stand out more than others.  Ouija board patent holder Elijah J. Bond proudly displays a Ouija board for his headstone and sculptor William Henry Rinehart tops his headstone with a stunning example of his work (he was born on a farm in Maryland, died in Rome, Italy and in-between was financially successful with works such as the bronze doors into the Capital in DC and commissions for wealthy clients).  No kidding – even the fingernails are impressive on the lazing nymph.  But the real story of interest is the grave of John Wilkes Booth.  I have no need to see his burial site; however, many people do visit it and leave a penny.  You know whose face is on that...Lincoln!  Great bit of karma so I left my two cents worth.


Wrapping up our time in Baltimore had Barefeet getting another cleaning inside and out.  The exterior wash went quicker than usual after the torrential rain soaking from last night which gave us time for a walk to Patterson Park and a soft serve ice cream cone from BMORE LICKS on Eastern Ave (6/9).  Who knew soft serve could have 25 flavors?!  Sorry, no photos because the cones melted too fast to stop licking.  Wandering around town it is clear that Under Armour is a favorite son worn by nearly everyone we see (including us).  Our final night in Baltimore found us again at Silks and again Chris had a chicken cheese steak sandwich.  Yes, two nights in a row because they are that good.  Thanks Baltimore!  We’ll be back. 


We tossed the lines from Anchorage Marina and had a gentle ride on a gorgeous day to Chesapeake City (6/10).  Oops – it seems not moving for one month made Barefeet a bit sluggish from growth on the prop and bow thrusters.  Hhhhmmm…  Okay, once anchored Chris sparked up the hookah for underwater scraping and I manned the decks keeping an eye on the water and keeping the hose from tangling.  With that sorted out we headed ashore to see Lisa and Phil.  These good friends are part of the reason we love this place and make it a must-visit for us.  We had a lazy summer weekend with pizza beside the fire pit, breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Café on the Bay and telling tales and laughing like crazy at The Hole in the Wall bar.  Scoot and nest, scoot and nest – you summed up our lifestyle perfectly, Lisa.  See you guys next time.  It’s off to the Jersey shore for us.