Ship's Log Uune 1, 2010

Trip Start May 05, 2010
Trip End Oct 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Capital Yacht Club

Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

As I write this log entry we have just finished our 10 day stay in DC. For those reading along, you may often thing our cruising life is all about fuel leaks, racing bridges and running in heavy seas. That’s far from the case as most of our summers on the First Forty are not running very hard and really enjoying ourselves. Sue and I are museum freaks and enjoy finding small, un- heralded museums up the east coast. We also like live music and we try to seek out interesting performances where we can find them. So to dispel and sense that our travels are all work, here is a recap of some of the most interesting things we did while in Washington DC for 10 days.

Before I get to that, keep in mind that taking your boat into DC is quite a kick. The last 10 miles are pretty exciting. First you go by Mt Vernon, home of George Washington. It’s possible to dock there as they have a small pier. We did this 4 years ago and while I recommend it, once does it. Secondly, when you get close enough you can see the Washington Monument. The tall obelisk comes into the sky line as does all the ‘consultant towers’ or office buildings for the city’s hordes of integrators and consultants. You dock really close. So close, you can walk to the Jefferson Memorial in about 10 minutes. Its possible to anchor here too, but we chose to take the Capital Yacht Club. Sounds high end huh….? We all the marina’s here are pretty…..well…. basic so no luxury here, but it is close and its pretty good..

So ten days in Dc.
Here are my highlights.

• Chesapeake Blues Fest- this is the music fest I bought the tickets for last January. We went on our first Saturday and it was great. A ‘small’ crowd of 6,000 folk sat on lawn chairs and heard amazingly good and amazingly loud electric blues. We were very worried about the weather of course and the forecast was very “iffy” to say the least. The day started with heavy clouds and we took raincoats and umbrellas but for whatever reason, it was nearly a perfect day. The music rocked and crowd ‘interesting.’ Now, I know where many of the hippies I went to school with ended up! A few really strange agents in long beards, suspenders and crazy hats. Most were folks over 45-50 and a few up to 70. It seems today’s blues like today’s country music has morphed over the years and have come to include things like Jimmy Hendrix and overtones of Janis Joplin. This is on top of other electric blues sounds exemplified by players like John Mayer and Eric Clapton. The headliner was Buddy Guy, the seventy something godfather of Chicago blues. He was fabulous and shows that he is still the man and why Eric Clapton called him ‘an inspiration’ to him. Second favorite was “The Yardbirds”. I thought they might be a sleeper but not so. There were 6-7 guys and two were the originals. But with them they had hired some of the hottest guitar players and singers I could have imagined. One that was a sleeper was the Patty Reese band. I had no idea about here, but after about 10 minutes I was sold. Solid blues and a few Janis Joplin sounds. We got back about 10pm exhausted and our ears were ringing…..but it was fabulous.

• Ford’s Theater- we had been there before but we wanted to see the 45 minute two man play about the assignation. The acting was great and we leaned a great deal more about the important day than we had known before.

• Lincoln Theater to see Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies”. This all music show showcased all of the Duke’s music and feathered a 15 piece live band and several great singers and dancers. The theater is located on U street near the famous Ben’s Chile bowl. It was a great show. I was interested in going for a “Half Smoke” as recently enjoyed by the president, but the line was out into the street and the greasy smell was too much for me. Its been around since 1958 and will likely last to 2058 if the crowds have their way.

• Memorial day service at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every American should attend once. We were fortunate to see VP Joe Biden speak as well as Admiral Mike Mullins. It’s a moving experience set in one of the most sacred of American places.

• Memorial day parade- Two hours of bands, floats and marching units. Highlight was to see some of the WWII heroes still able to take part. I love the cheers when the vets go by.

• Smithsonian- As I said, we love museums and you can spend days here. The highlights were the new exhibits in the Natural History Museum. Unlike the old version that was centered around, “stuffed animals”, the updated museum included a knock your socks off exhibit about the origin of man. We also attended a lecture by two professors who discussed the relationship of science to religion concerning the origin.

• Food- we ate and ate. As ethnic food is not the cornerstone of Hilton Head’s gastronomical world, we tried every day to eat a new country every day. The best was Thai restaurant we went two twice.

Hey, that was just the highlights. We did much more. But after 10 days of tight quarters, low flying helicopters, busses and subways we are ready to go. That does not include the heat. It has been hotter than he**. I had never expected us to see 90’s this early. So we start to look toward getting up to Long Island and perhaps some cooler temps. Stay tuned.

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Bill Kingsbury on

From your prolific writing, it appears that you are having a super cruise. You certainly were busy in D.C. As for us, we have leased a truck to haul a lot of household items to the Blue Ridge area where we have our cabin. You may remember the log structure that houses a great antique store located just as one leaves Meadows of Dan toward the West; we have leased a storage unit there. Our grand children were here for several days last week; enjoyed a super sail with my daughter and her husband on Fathers' Day, and we went to the beach several days and to the Club pool twice. Otherwise, I keep busy working on the house and the boat.... Dave and Ellie Pierce are scheduled to commission their new boat, Miss Ellie II, a 35' Island Packet, this Friday. Otherwise, there is no more news from this end.

See you when you get back,


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