Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Farewell to Washington

We left our wonderful anchorage in the Washington Channel two days ago.  Our last day we spent learning about the White House in the visitor's centre then we walked all the way around to get views from the front and the back.  If we wanted a tour we should have applied weeks ago so we could undergo a security check, and I never knew we had to do that. First thing in the morning we lined up for our free tickets to the Wash. Monument, we were there at 0915 and all the tickets for the 1830 ride up to the top were already gone, it is very popular.  We went up at 1230 and it was a geat day for it, bright and sunny, you could see for miles.  We saw our boat at anchor, the White House, the Pentagon, the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial.  It was great.
You can see Cat's-Paw IV at anchor, she is the closest one to the bridge. 
Looking west to the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial. 
The long Washington Mall as it is called and the Capital Buildings to th east. 
This fellow was keeping an eye on all the tourists as we walked by the front of the White House. 
Proof that we were there. 

We had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves so we spent some of it in the Natural History Museum.  They do such a great job in the museums, there are interactive things for kids and the information is presented in such a way that you can take in a little or a lot depending on your reading and interest level.  They had the Hope Diamond in the Gem section, it is a stunning dark blue diamond found in South Africa.  They had all sorts of other famous diamonds, some that had been worn by Russian Czarinas, there were a pair of enormous earrings that put my bling to shame. 

A sandstone structure that Mother Nature has sculpted
A moth with snake wings to camouflage himself. 
Pretty sure this would be an Alaskan King Crab. 

I spent some time in the human genome exhibit and after visiting the butterfly room I gravitated to the ocean world. They had a dead giant squid as well as a fake giant jelly fish, I hope I never encounter something like that while I am in the water. 
Later we planned to have a crab dinner, after dodging all those pots all the way up the Chesapeake we decided to see what all the fuss was about.  It was Friday night and the part of the waterfront we are on in under construction.  When we went to buy the crab the traffic was backed up for blocks partly due to the construction. guess it is a DC institution to head on down to the fish market on Fri. night and have a feed.  It was crazy, we bought a dozen crab and some fresh prawns and headed back to the boat, Barry ate 9 and I had 3!  Barry said he wasn't full even after that, they were pretty small and
getting the meat out was a workout in itself, but they were tasty.

On the way back to the boat last night after a trip to get more fuel and visit the West Marine Store.  We also managed a very good seafood dinner.  The community was called Solomons.

We headed off down the river at dawn the next day.  I must recommend the Capital City Yacht Club to anyone who sails up the Ptomac. It was one of the most welcoming clubs we have ever been to, everyone said hi and made us feel at home, for $16/day we had full access to showers, laundry, kitchen facilities, bar and a secure spot to leave our dinghy we were at anchor, I did not want to ask what the rtes were to dock. It was also within walking distance of all the main attractions.  At the moment we are headed towards Annapolis where I hope to be able to spend some time ashore.  We are watching the weather so we can have a sailing window the overnight sail we will have to do on the open ocean to NYC.