Our first cruising ‘test’ – passed, with flying colors!
So, on Monday, we left Point Lookout Marina at 8:30 a.m. and cruised all day, arriving in Mears Point Marina in Kent Narrows, Maryland, around 5:30. We were out there with the big guys, heading up the Chesapeake Bay. With Dan doing the navigating and Gena driving a good part of the time, we had not one problem. There were two ways of approaching the marina. One was to go north through the Narrows and under a bridge that opens every 30 minutes. As ‘newbies’, we had been told that the current through there can be a bit dicey. So, we took the alternate way, which involved about 2 extra hours on the waterways and approached the marina from the north. The channel coming around the north end of Kent Narrows Island was a bit circuitous, but we got through without running aground – always our goal!
We had been told to call the ‘docking committee’ or the marina dockmaster on the radio as we approached, so we did that…..with no answer at all. The dock facing the channel was where the fuel station is, so we simply tied up there and went looking for someone to tell us where we were to go. After walking Max, we started to explore the area. One restaurant was closed. We saw another restaurant, further into the marina, Annie’s, that seemed to have activity inside. Sure enough, there was a large group of MTOA members enjoying happy hour. We were greeted enthusiastically, and proceeded to have a beverage and some dinner.
After dinner, one member hopped on board, and several others walked around to our slip. As we rounded the channel that goes around the whole marina, we saw our slip…. It looked REALLY narrow! Plus, we now had about 6 people to witness our arrival – just what we didn’t want! But, Dan (he’s the guy with the most confidence) slid us into that slip without a mishap. I think those folks were totally impressed!
We have been in that slip now for 4 nights. We attended the MTOA social and informative sessions, and have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We met some wonderful folks, exchanged boat cards, and got some invaluable advice on using our electronic navigation aids.
This morning after breakfast we are cruising to Annapolis and hope to get a slip at the city dock (first come, first served). We’ll have a couple of days to explore that lovely town, get a few more provisions, and have one visit with an AGLCA member who has offered us a session on his electronics. Dave Skolnick is also an AGLCA Harbor Host. We have been encouraged to contact these friendly, helpful folks whenever we go to a new marina/town.