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Posted By Robin & Jim

We had one last surprise before we left Staten Island, NY.  There is a group of Italian gondoliers who have come to the U.S. each of the last few years to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy in some way.  They ship a 43 year old wooden gondola over from Italy, and last year they rowed it some distance up the Hudson River.  This year they shipped the 1100 lb. gondola to NY again and took several days to row the 36 miles around Staten Island for their tribute.  Even more amazing is that these 5 gondoliers are 70 years old!

memorial gondola

We happened to be going ashore just as they entered Great Kills Harbor with a FDNY Fire Boat shooting water cannons as an escort - the pace and vigor of the gondoliers was really impressive. 

Despite waiting for improved weather we still had a lumpy ride down the NJ coast to a very pretty anchorage in Atlantic City.  It's just across Absecon Inlet from AC, a marshy area with lots of wading birds.  Nature on our doorstep and the bright lights of Sin City reflecting on the water...

ac anchorage

We had a favorable current to run through Cape May, up the Delaware River, and through the Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) Canal into the north end of the Chesapeake all in one long shot, so we made a 16 hour run.  There was still a bit of floating debris in the water from all the heavy rain so we had to keep a careful watch, especially when it got dark.  It was a fine ride and we managed to avoid any hazards, anchoring in the Sassafras River around 11pm.  The weekend was starting and we wanted to avoid all the heavier recreational boat traffic so we slept late and then headed up the Chester River to hide out for a few quiet days after the long run from NY.

We've seen so many beautiful places and the scenery has changed so much in the many miles we've traveled on this cruise.  Since we used to live on or near the Chesapeake for so many years it's easy to forget how beautiful the Bay is.  The rolling hills, forests, and farm land on the Eastern Shore are very pretty, and we were sorry we couldn't spend more time exploring new places and visiting familiar favorite spots. 

langford creek

The only thing spoiling the quiet was the constant honking of huge flocks of Canada Geese.  Ah yes, the sound of Fall in the Bay!

We had to stop in Baltimore for some annual doctor visits, and we were able to see Jim's brother Richard and his wife Carol (pictured below)...

richard & carol

as well as his sister Margaret and her husband Rene. 

The temperatures are falling fast and we are heading south to warmer places!


 
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