Solomons Island Maryland – Zahniser’s Yachting Center (Port #94) ; June 6-9

Jun 6 – Wed
Since our stay at Beaufort NC , where we dropped off the Hinmans on May 27th, we have had a very fast paced Looper Life
> Oriental North Carolina = 1 night / 28 miles
> Belhaven North Carolina = 1 night / 52 miles
> Columbia North Carolina = 1 night / 55 miles
> Elizabeth City North Carolina = 2 nights / 36 miles
> Portsmouth Virgina = 1 night / 50 miles
> Hampton Virginia = 1 night / 20 miles
> Deltaville Virginia = 1 night / 47 miles in Cheasapeake Bay
> Solomons Island Maryland = 4 nights / 68  miles in Cheasapeake Bay

The last ride into the Solomons was the most difficult, being a long 68 miles of fairly rough water on the Cheasapeake Bay.
But due to the high 68 miles we had to travel (7-8 hours at our normal speed of 10mph), we temporarily abandoned our fuel economy strategy and went 20mph for about 2 hours to cover more ground.
It was a fairly rough ride, but we made it into Solomons about 1:30-2:00pm, after a 7:30am departure.

In spite of thinking that our canvas issues were over, while we were traveling 20mph into a 15-20 mph headwind, we noticed the zipper on the port side panel was coming loose from the canvas top. We safety pinned the zipper to prevent any further damage.

After our arrival at Zahniser’s Yachting Center, Nellie washed the boat of the heavy salt coating & Mike sewed canvas.
Nellie used the Salt-Away product recommended by Looper pals Donna Mae & Craic – It worked great !
Mike used a needle, marine thread, and a finger thimble – it worked ok.

Zahniser’s is a very nice marina, with an on-site ships store, on-site restaurant, a nice pool, and free loaner bikes. The town is supposed to be very nice, & we will see in the next few days with friends Dave & Deb Noffert (arriving Friday).

By 7:30pm , we were both bushed, but went to dinner at the marina based restaurant Zahniser’s Dry Dock Restaurant. It is a very classy restaurant & the food was great.
We watched sailing teams come in from some type of racing event in the bay.
Zahniser’s is heavily occupied with sailboats, and there is a sailing school on-site.20180607_085452
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By the time we finished dinner, we were both finished.
Bed time was an early 9pm.

Jun 7 – Thu
Thursday was another work day.
Mike replaced the engine oil cooler on the starboard engine.
Nellie washed sheets & cleaned in preparation of the arrival of Dave & Debbie Noffert.
We both went grocery shopping to stock up on some healthy Noffert snacks (vs unhealthy Murphree snacks).

While we were traveling to & from the grocery store in the marina shuttle van, we met another couple from the marina,  – Mahlon & Linda Stauffer, from just north of Baltimore.
We hit off the conversation so well in the shuttle van, that we invited them on the boat for some extended socialization. They are sail boaters who live on the further-most point of the Chesapeake Bay, just north of Baltimore & just south of the New York state line.

About 3pm we were united with our great Looper pals on the vessel Odyssey, Bud & Sue Hansen.
We had not seen Bud & Sue since the Dog River Marina in Mobile Alabama in November of 2017.
We have kept in touch with them the entire time since November, but were not able to re-connect until now. They had cut across Florida thru Lake Okeechobee, we had went down to Key West.
They arrived at Solomons about 3pm while we were visiting with Mahlon & Linda. We made our initial greetings with hugs and we let them get checked in and settled in.

Bud & Sue came over to our boat about 5pm.
We reminisced about all of our past endeavors, mutual Looping friends, family, and future plans.

We initially met Bud & Sue in 2014 when we were only dreaming of The Loop.
Jonell & I had driven down to Rogersville Alabama for our 1st Looper rendezvous in October of 2014 (Rendevous = a week long series of tutorials about the Loop).
Bud & Sue began their original Loop in 2014/2015, but had to abandon the trip due to family issues. So they bought a new boat and had restarted their 2nd Loop last year.
After not seeing them since 2014, Jonell & Sue were doing laundry way back in Green Turtle Bay Marina in Kentucky last September 2017. After a few minutes of staring at each other they both remembered that we had originally met in 2014, and that Jonell & I had spent a few hours with them on their 1st boat “When I’m 64” in Rogersville Alabama.
It was wonderful to be united with them, they are sweetheart people with a hilarious sense of humor & a great sense of adventure.

We had a late dinner with Bud & Sue.
I had Guinness in honor of FCA worker pal Pat Gibbons !

Jun 8 – Fri
Today was finally FUN DAY, no more work !
It was the arrival day for The Nofferts – Dave & Debbie.
I have known Dave since 1971 when we met at Nolan Junior High School in Detroit.
Our friendship grew as we grew, going together on the rough public busses down to Cass Tech High School in Detroit, and then to Wayne State University.
I was Dave & Deb’s Best Man at their wedding, Dave was Best Man for me & Nellie !
Dave has become a very successful dentist, and has built his own dental practice in Imlay City Michigan , where he owns his own building and has a staff of about 12 people.

Noffert Dental
2034 Almont Ave
Imlay City, Mi, 48444
noffert cover

Dave & Deb arrived about 11am on Friday.
We did the usual check-in process, into the Gettin’ Looped Hotel.
Then we completed the mandatory photos & guest log book signing.

About 1pm, we headed into the Solomons Island town, and walked the main drag.
Bud & Sue from Odyssey joined us for a nice walk & lunch.
We started along the Solomons Island Riverwalk (correct, no apostrophe in Solomons).
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We had lunch at The Pier Restaurant.
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We strolled by some Churches, Art Galleries, Gift Shops, and Restaurants.
Solomons Gallery (shown below), had some really cool Metal Art. The guy can put any photo you take on a metal substrate. It looked very cool (sorry, did not get a photo).
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Our next stop was in search of the Infamous Solomons Island Tiki Bar.
We found the place, but it was a ghost town, everything was dirty, dusty, and looked liked nothing had been going on there for a long time.
It was strange because we had some previous Loopers & some blog followers tell us that this was the “happening place”, and that we should not miss it.
It was also strange because we found dusty magazines & flyers dated April of 2018.
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When we left The Tiki Bar, we met a local guy named Tom.
Tom confirmed that there was no zombie apocalypse event here, but that the owner had died last year, and that the place did not re-open, and the land was up for sale.
Tom also told us that as recent as this time last year, on Opening Day (around Memorial Day) there would be 10,000 people coming to the spring opening of The Tiki Bar. He said there was so many people and so much traffic that it would fill the bay with boats, and shut down the road.

Local guy Tom, who gave us history about The Tiki Bar.

I went on-line to research Tom’s claims, here are some photos from 2017.
Looks like we missed a darn good time.
tiki 1tiki2tiki3
After the big let-down at The Tiki Bar, and after several hours of walking in some hot/humid temps, it was time for , as Fred Flintstone would say ” Everybody into the Pool”.

We went back to the Zahniser’s Yachting Center Pool.
We had a wonderful afternoon sittin’ by the pool, having some soda pops, and enjoying the company of Dave/Deb & Bud/Sue.
Unfortunately the team photographer was on vacation and did not get those snappy bathing suit photos.
The Zahniser Yacht Club Pool & pool-side bar , and weather, was very nice !
After the pool, we got cleaned up and headed off to dinner at a place recommended by several locals, and a little hard to get into on a Friday night.
It was a place called The Island Hideaway, yes hidden off of the main drag, but in a very nice setting on the Back Creek Bay.
We had to wait about 45 minutes for a table but it was worth it, the view was great and the food was awesome.
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We got back to the Zahniser’s Yacht Club about 10pm, it was a long fun day, but time for lights out.

Jun 9 – Sat
On Saturday we had a big day planned.
We started with a 40 minute taxi ride from Solomons Island to Historic St. Mary’s City. A very social taxi driver Sharon, provided the transportation there & back.

St. Mary’s City is a former colonial town that was Maryland’s first colonial settlement and capital. It is now a large, state-run historic area with; reconstruction of the original colonial settlement, a living history area and museum complex, and is most commonly referred to as Historic St. Mary’s City.
It is also home to St. Mary’s College which has a beautiful campus.

Historic St. Mary’s, is historic because ;
> It is composed of 800 acres of beautiful landscape, wrapped in waterways, and placed on top of the best preserved English colonial archaeological site in North America.
> It has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark since 1969 and is one of Southern Maryland’s leading tourism attractions.
> The museum commemorates the fourth permanent English settlement in North America, & Maryland’s initial city capital for sixty-one years (the current capital is Annapolis).
> St. Mary’s is considered the birthplace of religious freedom in America, with the earliest North American colonial settlement ever established with the specific mandate of being a haven for both Catholic and Protestant Christian faiths.
> The first legislator of African descent in North America (Mathias de Sousa, 1642)
> The first woman to petition for the right to vote in English America (Margaret Brent, 1648).

It was a lot like our Greenfield Village in Michigan, with a 1600’s town essentially re-created using facts from archeology, science, and history.

Some of the specific tours we went on were ;
> Archeological Dig – An Active Dig of the Old St. Mary’s City
In 1634 St. Mary’s City was established. For 61 years, this first city in Maryland served as the colony’s capital. When the seat of government was moved to Annapolis, the town was virtually abandoned and left to crumble into the soil. For over 300 years, the fragile remains of the town lay concealed beneath fields of tobacco, corn and wheat. Agriculture protected the archaeological treasure and preserved an unparalleled resource for the study of early America. The National Park Service has recognized St. Mary’s City as “probably the most intact 17th-century English town surviving in our nation.
St. Mary’s City offers a rare opportunity for researchers to coax information about the Maryland colony and people’s lives from a priceless archaeological records.
We listened to archeology specialist & team leader Travis & watched as several college students from universities around the country searched to uncover The Leonard Calvert House, which is believed below this piece of land on the historic property.
The goal will be to eventually use archeology, science, & history to recreate The Calvert House. 20180609_11323220180609_11485220180609_11422420180609_11421020180609_114202

> Printing Press
Excavations in 1992 discovered a site containing a large quantity of lead type. Written documents and archaeological excavations indicate that this was where the first printing press was established in the English southern colonies, owned & operated by a man named William Nuthead, in the 1680-1690 time period. The Print House has been reconstructed and furnished as accurately as possible, as a living history exhibit.

All the printing press letters were stored in a storage bin. The letters in the storage bin were organized like the chart above, with the large letters in the Upper Case of the storage bin & the smaller letters in the Lower Case of the storage bin. Get it – Upper Case & Lower Case (true fact) !

> Brick Chapel
A Brick Chapel dating back to 1667 has been accurately reconstructed on its original foundation. The exhibit helps tell the significant story of early Maryland, the birthplace of religious freedom in America. Many early English settlers fled religious persecution, but colonial Maryland mandated religious freedom,  far in advance of the laws and practices in other new world colonies.

This is the exact historic footprint of the Chapel

In 1997, the Historic St. Mary’s City Foundation initiated the Chapel Campaign with a goal of raising funds to rebuild the 1667 Brick Chapel. Individuals, foundations, corporations, small businesses, social, religious, and civic groups from throughout Maryland and the nation have participated in The Chapel Campaign. The contributions made so far are a strong beginning for the project, but the reality is that additional gifts are still needed in order to complete and furnish the building.

> The St. Mary’s Lead Coffins
Within the Chapel, below a glass floor, were 3 artifacts of Lead Coffins.
The coffins held members of the Cecil Calvert family (Lord Baltimore) and represent the only physical remains of Maryland’s founding family ever recovered. The exhibition contains the coffins in the exact arrangement as they were discovered in the foundation of the Jesuit Chapel, the oldest brick building in Maryland.
In 1990, the three rare seventeenth-century lead coffins were found inside the ruins of the chapel. Recovering the unique information the coffins held and excavation of other graves in the chapel cemetery, have enabled the museum to make a major contribution to the existing knowledge about life and death in the colonial Chesapeake.

> The Maryland Dove Sailing Ship
The Maryland Dove is an accurate re-creation/replica of the Dove, an early 17th-century English trading ship, one of two ships which made up the first expedition from England to colonial Maryland. The modern Dove was designed by the naval architect and naval historian William A. Baker.

> The General Store
There was also another historically re-created general store, where the story goes that the British would bring store supplies once per year, and the general store would dole out the supplies over the year at very high prices.


After about 3 hours at The Historic St. Mary’s City, it started to rain very hard, and we retreated into the taxi and back to Solomons Island.
We had a late lunch / early dinner at The CD Café back on Solomons Island.
The food was awesome.

After Linner (lunch/dinner), we went back to the boat and played euchre into the night as we watched the storms encircle us.
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The night ended watching The Crown on Netflicks, one of me & Nellies new favorite shows (Thx Brenda & Joe).

Next Stop = St. Michaels Maryland !
This will be the Noffert’s only Looping ride with us, on their short 4 day stay.

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