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Summer Boating on the Chesapeake Bay

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Festive December Boating

Saturday, December 3rd

I've been very remiss in my writing, even though I've had several great opportunities to blog.  I've taken two cruises - a 5 day Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda from Baltimore and an MSC cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas, where I could tell stories of big seas, seasickness, and new found friends.  We've also taken the boat out on several occasions for short periods of time.  I even miss it- I got used to being ever vigilant of good shots, good stories and good quotes).    Anyway...  last weekend we took a short jaunt to the harbor for the day and I thought this was a good opportunity to put it on paper (or at least in to words). 

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and so much to do all over the city that day- bands in harbor east, tubas in the harbor, the boat parade, the light show at the power plant, and I was ready to get in to the holiday spirit.  We had lots of friends that would be downtown too.  So I talked Buddy in to going to the city and staying on the boat before it was winterized (it wasn't very hard). 

When we got to the marina, Clark said he wanted to take his boat out so we unloaded, turned on the heat and headed over to F pier.  I immediately noticed something VERY attractive about Clark's boat (not that it isn't a beautiful vessel anyway), but the cockpit was WARM!  A HEATED COCKPIT!  I was in heaven since anyone that knows me knows I hate to be cold.  He fired up the engines, and off we went.  We cruised around the harbor and enjoyed seeing how crowded & festive the city was.  It was especially entertaining when we pulled up alongside the wall at the Inner Harbor.  There were over 100 santas walking from Tir Na Nog, in front of our boat and on in to Federal Hill.  (The annual Santa Stumble that benefits inner city schools).  We were cracking up - some of the santas were even themed!  There were viking santas, elvis santas, geeky santas, skinny santas, fat santas, even a jewish santa!  They were certainly spreading good cheer!
We decided that would be a great place to watch the boat parade and tied up in front of the old J. Pauls (didn't even know it was gone!).  Right away we had some friends hop on board, and just as the santas were drifting out of site, then what to our wandering eyes should appear?  But 200 tubas coming in near.  No kidding!  Tubas, tubas everywhere.  They played beautiful holiday music for an hour and then the tuba parade began again. 

Next up?  The Baltimore Parade of Lighted Boats, of course!  A few more firends came aboard to watch the boat parade, now in it's 24th year here in Baltimore and put on by the Fells Point Yacht Club.  Well over a dozen boats of all shapes and sizes were decorated in varying degrees to festively entertain.  My personal favorite was Santa's Sleigh, with the Choo Choo Train (and accompanying life-like horn) in a close second.  There were two aweome boats from BMC Lighthouse Point (that I know of) there to represent our marinas.  And the whole time I was toasty warm in the cockpit!! 

So after the fabulously festive day we had, we said so long to our guests and started the engines, made our way back across the harbor to the marina, where I finally had to step out in to the cold night's air.  A bonus boat ride in December - LOVE IT!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beautiful Key Waden

Key Waden - Naples, FL September 10th, 2011

Shark Bait

 There was no boating in the Chesapeake for us this weekend.  We went to Naples, Florida to visit Buddy's mom & to celebrate my birthday weekend.  We have a 21 foot Key Largo we keep down there because it's just so perfect for that kind of boating.  We keep it near the entrance to 10,000 islands so the smaller, faster, more nimble boat is perfect for scooting around the islands and even going out in the gulf. 

Bridge to Marco Island
 We headed out Saturday morning to do a little fishing and catch some Florida rays, since the sun's strength is waning in Baltimore now.  We keep the boat in Goodland, the wayward step-child of Marco Island, in a hurricane rated boatel.  The service is great - you show up and they put your boat right in.  We loaded up with shrimp and ice and off we went.  The water was a little murky around the islands, so we didn't have a lot of luck fishing.  A few hits and lost bait, but not even a cat fish on the line!  So we moved on (which was my ultimate plan anyway) up the Marco River, under the two bridges to Marco Island, through the Pass, across the shoal and over to Key Waden!  I like to call it Hart-Miller South.  It's a barrier island that you can only get to by boat, with beautiful crystal clear waters and a white sandy beach.  The water drops off quickly, so you can bow in your boat and spend the day on the island, swimming in the warm gulf waters, laying on the beach, shelling the millions of differing shells, cooking out or doing nothing at all.  There are dozens of boats there on the weekends, so you have to get there early to get a spot on the beach.  

Key Waden
 We were lucky and got a perfect spot.  The neighbors were playing music.  Buddy threw out his line (he's been lucky there before) and I went for walk. 

BK fishing
  Again, as with earlier summer finds, the beach has changed dramatically since the last time we were there.  A small creek has formed allowing a pond to form on the interior of the island.  The water there was holding fish & minnows captive until the tide comes in again.  But there are still tons of shells to be found.  And it seems that the sea birds have found a home here too.  There were flocks and flocks of noisy pipers on the gulf side of the island.  If something spooked them they all flew at once to the other side in a beautiful, if raucous display.  I spent most of the day lounging at waters edge in the 87 degree waters of the gulf, watching Buddy toss his line and reel it in and toss and reel... a soothing routine like the waves coming in and going out . Such a relaxing day. 

Lounging in the gulf
We headed out around mid-day back toward Goodland to have lunch at one of our favorite places - Mile Marker 8.  It's someone's old house that's been converted to a restaurant.  We were greeted by Pirate the Parrot, who was not-so-patiently waiting in a golf cart for his owner to come out of the bar.  We talked the waitress in to bringing him in where he ate a cracker out of my hand and talked to us non-stop.  Just another typical day in Goodland...
Pirate the Parrot
A few years ago, Marco Island tried to buy up the land in Goodland to no avail, and I'm sure glad they didn't get their way.  Goodland to Marco Island is like Key West is to West Palm Beach.  It's old school, kitschy, politically incorrect, anything goes and I love it just the way it is.  And if you ever get a chance to visit, our favorite festival is the Mullet Festival that happens at Stan's Idle Hour the 3rd weekend in January, where you can learn to Buzzard Lope, watch a mullet tossing contest and enjoy a buzzard cocktail alongside the many cast and characters that make up Stan's.  Whitey Schmidt has even been known to make an appearance.   And don't forget to stop by the Island Woman Boutique for a kooky hat & sunglasses, it's a must!

House on Marco Island

Home in Goodland

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Premier Ride's KC Crew

Boating season is winding down now so I’m not sure how many more blogs are in the works, but we’ll keep them coming as long as we can.  I had a special edition up my sleeve, but will be saving that for next week as Sara Ingram has quite a story that she has so graciously offered to share here.  I had asked on her facebook page when we would be boating together again, and this is the response I received.  Enjoy.

Hard Yacht Café, Bear Creek
September 10th, 2011 (two days after the Conowingo Dam opening)

"You ask, “when will we boat together again?” and I answer you this way:  “when you throw out common sense”.   I have to share the story and photos!!!

Last year we went to the playoff game in Kansas City, and to make a long story short we “worked” our way into the best suite in the stadium—50 yard line, double suite, 2 fire places, ex-players, etc. all there.  We invited our “friends” to Baltimore for the first regular season game.  They arrived Friday.  After confessing we didn’t know anyone in Kansas City, nor did anyone from Baltimore tell us to look them up, we enjoyed dinner at Ruth Chris and offered to take them boating the next day since Saturday was expected to be great weather.
KC Crew
We got a nice crew together (see pics!) and while waiting for a few late arrivals, our boat neighbors mentioned that they heard there was a lot of debris from the dam being opened.  They warned us to be careful since others had turned back after seeing an RV Trailer in the water.   With an adventurous crew ready, Premier Ride departed.

Even before the Key Bridge, there was a surprising amount of debris in the water.  As we crossed under the bridge and continued beyond Fort Carroll, we realized that this was no joke—we had two spotters plus the captain screaming “turn right!”, “go left!” , “uh…not sure which looks worse, better just put it in neutral!”.  We approached the John Brown, who was out on one of their three “Living History Cruises” of the year, with hundreds of people on board.  The ship cleared the way for us beautifully, but then we realized that it would fill back in after we went through and then there would be no John Brown for our return.  Moving at this pace, we knew we would miss the bikini contest at Riverwatch, so headed to the Hard Yacht Café instead.

Liberty Ship John Brown
Others must have had the same idea, because Hard Yacht was packed!!  Our Kansas City friends had their first Maryland Crab experience at Hard Yacht.  There was a great live performance by Mark Alan, and some of our ladies even became his tambourine dancers!  We were having a fabulous time, until all of the sudden a storm approached and down-poured.  I ran to the boat to cover the electronics and put up the canvas.  By the time I got just the windshield canvas up, you would have thought I’d gone for a swim fully clothed.  Almost as soon as it started, the rain stopped but the amount of water that fell was worth putting up the canvas, and got me a new Hard Yacht tank top!!

Fun at the Hard Yacht
We returned to BMC, stopped for a drink at Bo Brooks Tiki Bar, then went home to get ready for the Flip-Flop Festivus at Silo Point, benefiting the Life and Breath Foundation. 

Floating islands of debris
I tell you, I have never seen anything like it.  I tried to take some pictures, but was so worried about the boat that what I have just doesn’t do it justice.  YIKES!  Always an adventure on Premier Ride! LOL
Next time you DEFINITELY should come with us…and wear your life vest J"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bittersweet Boating

Tilghman Island Marina
Labor Day Weekend, September 3-5, 2011

Every year we go to Tilghman for Labor Day weekend.  It's one of the boating bookends: Memorial Day anchored in St. Michael's and Labor Day at the Tilghman Island Marina.  One of my favorite weekends of the summer with some of my favorite people, and yet I hate looking forward to it because it means summer is coming to an end.  This year was no different (although I almost threw a wrench it by trying to coerce Buddy in to going to the Grand Prix - he was having none of that so we compromised.  I went to the Grand Prix Friday (great fun, by the way), he got to go to Tilghman and I got a cruise to Bermuda!  (I'm a pretty good negotiator.)
Heading for better weather

We headed out early Saturday morning with INXS and All In knowing we would be dodging storms.  As luck would have it, we were heading toward brighter skies, so that was a good thing.  We got lucky, and though we saw three storms on radar, didn't run in to any of them.  Instead we had a lovely cruise on a busy bay.  Two hours later we arrived in Tilghman to a welcoming committee of the crew that had come Friday night.  They were already fishing on the docks.  And we tied up and our blood pressure lowered and the stress melted away.

Fishing the docks

Harbor Shark at T.I.M.
 The weather cleared up and we had a beautiful leisurely day of pool time, chatting, reading, munching, chatting, fishing, eating, swimming, cocktails and chatting, even napping before it was time to gear up for sunset dinghy cruise.  Our group was 8 boats, which is a little difficult to organize, so half made it out and half did something else.  We had lovely colors but no sunset to speak of, but no mind.  We tied together and sang Kumbaya and watched the ospreys and seagulls until dark started to settle in and then headed in for the annual festivities of the birthday twins' celebration.  A smorgasbord of meats, salads, vegetables and desserts, all home made and brought off the boats.  MA's pudding shots are always a huge hit and this year (the first time since I've known him) we had a special treat from Buddy - Square Dance Calling!  We all lined up and he taught us square dance tips!  Being that it was around midnight at this point, none of us are quite ready for the Chesapeake Squares, but it sure was a pretty great time.

Sunset Dinghy Cruise

Tilghman Sunset*

Birthday Twins - Can you tell who's who???*
 We awoke Sunday to the disappointing news that there would be no Buddy Fest this year at Harrison's Chesapeake House.  Always the main event of the weekend and our Sunday activity.  This left us with an entire day to entertain ourselves.  Ha!  This crew???  No problem.  The girls went for a power walk, the boys went fishing.  The girls made brunch for all, the boys put out the crab pots in a small cove around the corner from the Narrows. I walked over to check how the guys were doing at fishing and saw Davy in a dinghy going to check on the crabbers, so MA and I hopped in and went with him.  In the cove, we found some of Chesapeake Bay's finest wildlife.  A herd of cows cooling off at water's edge.  Bulls, mamas and babies, all hanging out.  They were curious too, which kind of freaked us out when they started wading out to greet us.  Clark & Buddy had only caught about a dozen crabs and were ready to come in, which meant we weren't having crabs for lunch, so we did some dinking and then headed over to Bay 100 to meet the rest of the gang.  The Nawlins Shrimp (served with warm bread for dipping in the sauce- mmm) & Fried Oysters were delicious.

Wildlife on the Chesapeake!

Bay 100 Fun
 The sunset dinghy cruise that evening was a bit of a debacle.  Being dinghyless, we were on All In's, and Buddy didn't want to go to begin with, so he was grumpy.  We knew there wasn't going to be a sunset, but headed out anyway to be with the group.  We tied together just in time to watch the Carnival Pride cruise down the Chesapeake. When the dinghies started bumping and splashing water, we looked back to find we had drifted far off shore and the wind was picking up.  Two footers on the way in, poor Lexi shaking under my legs and me with water dripping from my head.  And from Buddy "This is why I didn't want to go" - in deadpan.  Kevin was ready to throw him overboard.

Tilghman Island Inn
Not having planned to make another dinner, several us decided to dine at the Tilghman Island Inn as a special treat that evening.  The place is a such a treasure.  On the web-site, it says this:  "A tonic for the soul, a feast for the senses, in one of the most picturesque and magical settings on the Chesapeake Bay".  And that's exactly how you feel while there.  We had drinks in the chic & cozy bar area (picture zebra striped carpet next to the fire place with a large standard poodle draped across the sofa). before being seated in the dining area.   The couple on Beach Music were married here seven years ago and are good friends with the owner, who stopped by to say hello.  We took our time enjoying the ambiance, the conversation with good friends and especially the fine cuisine.  Favorites at the table:  Oysters Choptank:  "Plump Mollusks in a Pernod Scented Champagne Cream Sauce in Puff Pastry" and Lavender Ice Cream (!).

Married 7 years ago at T.I.I.

Next to be married
We awoke in the morning to gray skies and the threat of heavy rain and storms.  Total bummer.  Beach Music was all ready to go.  HarborShark was getting antsy, Crown Jewels had her engines running.  Wow - not expected.  My mood changed to match the weather.  I knew this would be the last group boating outing of the summer and it's heartbreaking.  This is my summer family.  I won't see many of them again until next Spring, and to have to leave so suddenly made me very sad.  To quote The Verve, "it's a bittersweet symphony, this life..."
Thanks Ron & Nancy!
We couldn't leave before saying so long to our gracious hosts - Ron & Nancy, which is why we come every year to the Tilghman Island Marina.  They're a welcoming couple we love to hang with.  Nancy is a foster mom for Tomcat Solutions in Easton and always has kittens when we visit, and being a cat person, I love to help socialize them while I'm there.  We went up to the office to pay one by one, and one by one we pulled out.  Until next year Tilghman... 

Note:  We were fortunate on the ride home that we didn't hit any storms but the boat traffic from the mass exodus of boats from the Grand Prix made for a bumpy ride.  Plus, the site in the city was like something out of a movie.  We were one boat going toward the harbor with hundreds heading out.

*Photos compliments of J.G.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Troublesome Ms. Irene

BMC Lighthouse Point
August 27th & 28th

We had been planning a group gathering to St. Michael's at the special request of a friend for over a month for the weekend of the 27th.  A friend of ours has been dating a very special someone he's just crazy about and we all had our own ideas about what was going down once we got there (champagne on board, just in case), but as it turns out, Mother Nature took the reigns and instead of finally getting my Ava's pizza, we met Hurricane Irene. 

Waking up Saturday morning, I turned on the news and was a little uneasy with the report.  I was planning on going to a wedding shower in Montgomery County since the boat trip was ixnayed, but decided against it based on the forecast.  So we went to the Farmer's Market in Fells, which was also where you could fill sand bags for free.  The mound of sand was at the end of Broadway and traffic was bumper to bumper with last minute fillers.  The market itself was busy, considering the impending storm (the bars too, but that's not surprising).  We enjoyed a deliciously spicy bloody mary at Koopers before returning to Canton to hunker down for the storm. 

Love a good bloody!
 We didn't hunker too long before the square called us, so we headed up for lunch, where we found some of our "Smaltimore" crowd riding out the storm.  We went to Fins where we sat trance-like at the bar watching Irene's progression.  We belly-laughed when the Virginia Beach streaker ran across the screen!  (Amazing that within a few minutes it was already on youtube.) After being there a while, we got a little punch drunk, and started playing with our phone apps.  The funniest by far was Bald Booth!  More and more of the crew started coming in and the place was filling up.   Seems a lot of the city had the same idea on how to weather the storm.  (Well, it is one of the best perks of city living.)

Round 1 of the Hurricane Party

Bald Booth app!

Almost $100 later, we headed out around dinner time to a friend's house, since we're no longer city dwellers ourselves, where we settled in with a good movie and some wine.  It was a LONG, noisy night with the winds howling and the rains pounding, but we never lost power and we didn't flood and the boat is fine and the new interior carpet that was installed on Wednesday didn't get wet.  We were some of the lucky ones. 

Note:      Never afraid of getting hit on the nose, All In actually did head out to St. Michael's Thursday afternoon as originally planned, and I'm happy to say CONGRATULATIONS to the newly engaged couple!  I think you two are great together, and wish you every happiness as you begin planning your new life as one!

Congrats to the Happy Couple!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

No Plans

BMC Lighthouse Point Marina
August 19th to 21st

Fire Eater
Hula Dancers

Okay, so another weekend where we don't leave the slip.  But it seems that's just what the doctor orders sometimes.  Friday night was the big VIP Customer Appreciation Party at BMC Lighthouse Point Pool & Cabana Club, so I spent the day organizing and preparing and setting up and going over lists and worrying about the weather.  Once the caterers arrived and everything was done as much as could be done, I went down to the boat to shower and change, and just then the wind picked up and the rain started.  Oh no, I thought.  Here come the storms...  But low and behold, 15 minutes later the rain stopped and the sun came out.  We even had a sunset, which is incredible considering that surrounding counties had severe thunderstorms with torrential downpours.  The only damage was the loss of a single candle!  The party was a huge success with over 400 people coming out to enjoy the authentic Hawaiian cuisine & hula dancers.  Many thanks to everyone that made the party possible and for the staff for doing a terrific job in making sure everything was up to par.  I slept well knowing it came together beautifully! 

The Vortex
I knew we were in trouble Saturday when I walked down the dock after some last minute clean up efforts at the marina, and found Buddy in the middle of an afternoon party on the INXS.  Which turned in to a day long party.  One by one another boater was coaxed on board and it soon became clear we were staying dockside on this Saturday afternoon.  Clark, Kevin, Cheryl & Dave, me & Buddy, all victims of what I came to call the Stiffler Vortex.  We did manage to make it up to the Tiki Bar for some lunch, where it was nice to see a familiar crowd - Steve & Angie, Loretta that used to work for BMC stopped by, even Dr. Tom made an appearance.  Billy & Scotty introduced us to the shot of the summer -Fireball Whiskey.  Thanks Randy, for buying the bar a round.    Naptime came not long after.

Saturday night we sat at the picnic table and talked with the passersby (the beauty of F pier).  We soon learned what Comic-Con was all about when Rocky & Bullwinkle came strolling down the pier...  About 10:00 pm someone had the great idea to ride the bull at PBR, and so off we went to Power Plant Live.  Once there, the crowd didn't seem too eager to get in line, but my point was that if we had come this far, why turn back now?  So Cheryl and I braved out the line while discussing strategy and decided we would conquer the bull & our fears together.  Forty five minutes later, up we went and less than thirty seconds later, down we went!  But WE DID IT!   (We have the bruises to show for it, but unfortunately, no one got a picture of us.)  
Rocky & Bullwinkle & Guests

Cowboy at PBR
Sunday came and I was up with my swimsuit on planning to hit the pool; however, the storms soon squashed those hopes.  So we met with Missy & Randy and talked about the good times the day before and made plans for next weekend and called it a day and headed home. 

It just goes to show that some times the best times are the times that aren't planned.
Power Plant Live

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Blogger Sara Ingram Takes the Helm

No boating for me this week, so many thanks to Sara from Premier Ride for picking up my slack, and on the perfect weekend too - PIRATE & WENCHES WEEKEND!  We've been for the last two years and it's always a great time with good stories to tell, not to mention the perfect excuse to break out the early Halloween costumes to donn a sexy pirate or wench outfit!  Thanks again Sara. 
Pretty Sara

Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend
Rock Hall, MD
August 13-14, 2011
I am honored to be a guest blogger this week. We were disappointed that Harbor Shark would not be joining us for Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend in Rock Hall this year.  All In and Premier Ride had plans to cast off at 10am Saturday morning…but first, Premier Ride’s Captain and First Mate (wearing my pirate hat) commandeered the air floor from Harbor Shark’s dinghy—our first pirate booty of the weekend! (Karma kicked in, and just beyond the Key Bridge we had to momentarily stop because our dinghy was being hit by our own wake which caused it to shift and fill with water.) 

The day was hazy with few boats on the water, making the cruise calm enough that one of the Premier Ride crew studied for the DAT!  The plan was to tie up to Grateful Escape who had already found the perfect spot in Swan Creek. Bob & Barb are the pirates who never age—the world would be a better place if more people were like them! 
Studying for the DAT

Everyone but the Premier Ride crew, who worked & studied a bit more, set off for the first pirate event on the beach.  The land-lubbers returned, just as Premier Ride’s crew, with beads, bandanas, hats, tattoos and swords prepared to venture to land.  We docked and ordered our first shots and sandwiches at Haven Harbor—yum! 
Premier Ride Crew
The rain subsided and the adventure continued.  A Rock Hall Rickshaw (works strictly for tips) approached but was going the opposite direction of Harbor Shack; two minutes later as rain started to fall again, and he returned to give us a ride!  More drinks, pictures & shots—thank you to our bartender who kept my secret when she saw me pour most of my shot on the ground…!

We spotted a boat (Impulsive, Severna Park) without fenders getting damaged by the rough waters.  The piling to which it was tied had broken and bent the rub rail exposing fiberglass.  We and two others tried to reduce further damage by retying the lines and securing a fender on the piling. PFFFT! It had been pierced by the bent rub rail.  A passer-by called the Harbor Shack and Waterman’s to request announcements to be made in hopes to alert the owner.  Note to self:  when tying up to hard objects, use fenders! 
Boat damage from busted fender

All that work made us hungry, and amazingly, John at Waterman’s was able to seat us immediately; steamed crabs, Caesar salad, corn on the cob, and of course, shots (What, what, what, what?  Pirate Rules!)


Wench of the Year
I saw the Soggy Dollar, so we walked over to thank them for their flamingo beacon that has guided Premier Ride back to BMC countless times.  Noteworthy Sightings include Capt’n Black with his sword, Johnny Depp, a Dundalk Pirate, Justin Beiber, our bartender Carol (thanks for returning the Visa Black Card left behind last week!), and more...  A special congratulation goes to Lana who was awarded Wench of the Year! 

The weather on Sunday made most our raft up decide to get an early start home.  Only All In and Premier Ride stayed a few extra hours.  We decided to stop at Waterman’s for crabs before returning to Baltimore.  It was a ghost town!  Hard to believe the place had been packed full of pirates and wenches just hours earlier.   It was a peaceful quiet ending to a crazed weekend of pirate adventures!  Arrrgh! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Weekend in August

Bodkin & Bear Creeks
Cheshire Crab & Hard Yacht Cafe
August 6th & 7th

Cheshire Crab
This week was a mishmash of unplanned boating.  We didn't have any plans, other than to stay on the boat for the weekend.  Saturday morning I went to the Farmer's Market in Fells and shortly thereafter received a call from Buddy that we were going on Samantha's Dancer for lunch at the Cheshire Crab in the Bodkin.  When I got there, the engines were running and everyone was standing on the dock ready to pull off the lines.  No time to unload the goodies from the market, so I just climbed aboard and off we went.  It was then that I got a good look at the crew.  Five men and me.  Oh, sounds good, right?  Until they started talking.  The entire trip was boys talking engine parts and bathroom humor.  Perfect. 
Buddy & Doug enjoy the ride

Lexi missed us!
 The weather wasn't fantastic, a little overcast and pretty choppy on the bay, but we barely felt it on  Samantha's Dancer.  There weren't that many boats out for a Saturday afternoon.  We had no trouble docking and walked up the hill next to the huge yellow & white structure and into the restaurant.  It was crowded with several private parties - both adult and child parties.  They have a great deck, both covered and uncovered tables, but this day we decided to dine in the air conditioning.  They had $50 and $70/dozen crabs.  We went with the $70 and they were meaty and good, but not hot.  Most likely reheats, which was a disappointment. One thing that never disappoints there though are the shoestring onion rings - a favorite.  They boys tried to "fix" the tv, made lots of noise, drank a few pitchers of beer, gave the waitress a hard time, made a mess and then left...  But it was all good and everyone had fun and no one got hurt. 

Key Bridge

The weather on Sunday started out better.  We were going with the All In to the Hard Yacht Cafe.  You never know who will be a part of Kevin's crew, so I was pleasantly surprised to see such a nice group for the day, and especially that it wasn't over-crowded.  We enjoyed a nice cruise out to the bridge (my husband likes to say that he's been under that bridge many more times than he's been over it, but growing up in Pasadena, I can't say that's true for me), around Ft. Carroll and in to Bear Creek. 

Rick (he's single ladies!)
We tied up at one of the long docks out in front of the restaurant and headed in.  Once again, we opted for inside dining.  The Hard Yacht hosts an eclectic ambiance, mostly beachy with some sport added in.  It kind of looks like they add on whenever they run out of space with the little rooms, decks, shacks, and what have you.  It's cozy and they usually have music but on this day the musician didn't show up.  The food is delicious.  The crabs were good and local and the beer cold.  I finished up a little early and went back to walk the dog.  I headed straight for the pastel adirondack chairs out on the lawn, where I took the opportunity have a sit and just may have drifted off for a few...  A beautiful thing. 
Hard Yacht Cafe decor

We headed to white rocks for a swim, but as soon as we anchored we saw lightning in the distance.  We decided to make a run for it to get back to shore and we ALMOST made it (almost being the key word).  As we were in position to dock it started pouring.  Captain Kevin did a great job of getting us in the slip in the middle of the storm.   We sat on the boat until the rain subsided, where we sang along with the music and took turns trying on the cowboy hat and Kevin and Crystal indulged in the new summer hit - alcohol infused whipped cream. 

Jill looking good!

Crazy Kevin & Crystal
What a way to end the weekend!