Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Good Times in Cambridge

We left Le Trappe Creek about 10:00 a.m. Thursday, August 19th, and traveled another five miles up the Choptank River to Cambridge Creek where we tied up to a public wall in a nice, protected basin.

The “Choptank River Queen” makes a pass through the basin.

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Bill & Ana on “Knot Tide Down” decided to leave their marina on the Patuxent River to join us in Cambridge, arriving at 2:00 Thursday afternoon.



Diane stopped by a short time later and told us where to find the Farmers Market that started at 3:00. As I mentioned in the previous blog update, Steve & Diane are both licensed captains and they are currently moving a boat named “Jolly Good” whose owner is due to arrive in Cambridge sometime next week.

Since Ana was working, Bill, Todd and I walked to the market to check out the fresh local produce. Diane met us there to purchase corn on the cob for our evening crab feed which had grown from four to eight with the addition of Bill & Ana and another couple, Don & Barbara, on “Cavara.” Todd was in charge of procuring the crab from the J.M. Clayton Company located in the harbor where we were tied up.




The Admiral feeds momma duck and her little babies from the lower helm.


We decided to have the crab feed on a shaded picnic table near “Life’s2Short” so Steve & Diane brought Don & Barbara over about 7:00 p.m. Soon everyone was pigging out on Maryland blue crab and some excellent fresh corn on the cob!

Since Todd & I knew nothing about cracking and eating hard crabs, Diane printed out “how to” instructions for us!


Let the party begin!

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Deoge liked the corn, too!


Friday morning Todd went over to “Jolly Good” to help Steve pick the meat out of the leftover crabs. He returned a couple of hours later to get me and Bill & Ana and we joined the rest of the group on “Jolly Good” for a wonderful crab scramble brunch.

Chef Todd slaving over a hot stove.


While Bill supervises.


Time to chow down!


After breakfast I walked up town to get a haircut while Todd revisited the Clayton crab company. While he was there he learned that the company had been featured on the show “Dirty Jobs,” a program on the Discovery Channel in which host Mike Rowe profiles workers who make their living in unusual (and “dirty”) ways.


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Late that afternoon all eight of us did a little dinghy exploring before meeting up at the Portside Restaurant for dinner. Then it was back to the boat to play Catch Phrase on “Knot Tide Down” where the boys managed to squeak out three wins.

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Late Saturday morning we caught the $2 per person local bus to Wal-Mart only to discover that it isn’t a supercenter. But we still managed to make a few purchases before taking a $7 taxi ride back to the boat, a better deal than the bus since there were five of us.

That afternoon we all went to a wine tasting at a winery called Layton’s Chance in nearby Vienna, MD. Steve & Diane had access to a small pickup owned by the electronics company where “Jolly Good” is tied up but they were only able to take two people with them. So Todd called the winery and asked if the winery had, or could provide, transportation for the remaining four of us. As it turned out, he spoke with Joe, the owner, and Joe agreed to come in to town to pick us up and bring us back when the event was over. You just can’t ask for better customer service than that!

On the way to the winery Todd started quizzing Joe about what made him decide to go into the wine-making business. Apparently Joe’s family has been farming a variety of crops in the area for several generations. The winery is the result of a diversification effort following Joe’s son’s decision to return home and become part of the family business. The first grapes were planted in 2007 and they produced their first wine last year. They have a very nice facility and we all had a great time at the event.

Our host, Joe, describes the nuances of each of the five wines we sampled.


Joe’s wife, Laura. What a sweet lady!



The rest of the gang arrives.

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Great music by Rusted Axle and the Gingers. Bill took up a collection to bribe them to play an extra hour – and it worked!


Enjoying the outdoor accommodations on a sultry, hot day!


Deoge was hot, too!


Joe gives a tour of the vineyard and winery.


Are we having fun yet?




Is this what they mean by a double-fisted drinker?


Steve, you really need to learn to relax!



If you’d like to know more about Layton’s Chance, go to their web site at Check out the upcoming events and plan to stop by if you’re going to be in the area. Tell them the boat people sent you!

As if we hadn’t had enough fun and excitement for one day, after Joe delivered us back to our boats we dinghied over to “Jolly Good” for pizza and a few rounds of Apples to Apples. Diane finally ran us off so she could go to bed!

Sunday was a day of rest, at least until 4:00 p.m. when we were invited over to “Knot Tide Down” for docktails (yes, I meant docktails). Barb & Don came over a little later and we ended up ordering Chinese food (Don & Barb’s treat – thank you!) and playing more Apples to Apples.

Bill serenades us with his original cruising song.


Late Monday morning we browsed through several little shops in the downtown area with Bill & Ana and had lunch at Jimmie & Sooks before Ana started her four-hour work shift at 2:45. Diane & Barb stopped by about 2:30 on their way to Wal-Mart, so Bill, Todd and I caught a ride to Food Lion to get some groceries.

Photos of downtown Cambridge, MD

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The gang shopping for books at a local thrift store.


About 5:30 Bill invited us to Snapper’s for a drink while Ana was finishing up her shift. (Snapper’s is on the waterfront between “Knot Tide Down” and the crab company.) We then grilled steaks for dinner and played more Catch Phrase. Once again, the guys dominated even though Ana did her best to distract them!

The full moon rising over the bay.


A cold front moved in Monday evening and chilled things down considerably. Tuesday morning Todd decided to borrow a bicycle from “Knot Tide Down” and pedal a couple of loads of laundry to the laundromat while I worked on the blog. That afternoon Steve & Diane and Don & Barbara came by for a final happy hour get-together.



Today is Wednesday, August 25th, and “Knot Tide Down” has left to go back to the marina in the Patuxent River for a few days before returning to further explore the Choptank. Our plan is to move on to Oxford and see what we find there.

Before leaving Cambridge, Todd went for a walk and took a few final photos.


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It is another beautiful day and the forecast looks perfect through the weekend. Perhaps we’ve seen the last of the stifling heat. One can only hope!