I am a little confused that this place is referred to as Solomons Island. Look at the map. It’s not an island. The post office refers to the town as Solomon but all the towns’ people say Solomons Island. We haven’t figured this out yet. We’ll keep asking.
I need to start asking better questions. Whenever we mentioned we were going to Solomons local sailors say, “It’s beautiful there” or “You’re going to love it”. That was pretty much where we would leave the conversation. But I should have asked, “Why are we going to love it?” And, “What is there to do there?” As we travel we try purposely not to find out too much about our destination. We like to be surprised, sometimes pleasantly surprised, sometimes not so much. Based on sailors we have met telling us how beautiful Solomons is, we expected something great. We thought the place was a bit of a bust, but then it clicked. There isn’t really a lot to do here. There are a few restaurants and yet another maritime museum. At first we scratched our heads thinking we were missing something. Was there a part of town we hadn’t found? The attraction of the Solomons is the boats themselves. The inlet is deep and in close proximity to the man body of water of the Chesapeake Bay thus making it a perfect location for sailboats. There are marinas and anchorages everywhere. This is the attraction. People come here to eat at a restaurant and look at boats. We are the attraction.
While in Solomons, we docked Cream Puff at Calvert Marina. This marina sits on a historic site. It was once a U. S. Naval Amphibious training base. All of the sailors who piloted amphibious vessels on D-Day during world war two trained at this station. The base operated from 1942-1945. The only reminder today is a bronze statue of a sailor looking out to the bay. The statue is called, “On Watch”.
While sitting on Cream Puff enjoying our fabulous view of boats passing by, we watched a boatyard near us stay busy hauling large yachts. About every two years, a boat in saltwater needs to be lifted out of the water and painted on the bottom. The paint protects the fiberglass from absorbing water and blistering. It also deters bottom growth. I use the word deter rather than prevent because nothing is going to stop barnacles from growing (that the EPA allows us to use). Cream Puff’s bottom is right at the two year mark and we planned to have her hauled out in October prior to us leaving the bay for the winter. We booked a boatyard in Deltaville for late September. In addition to the paint, we need to do routine maintenance on the propeller shaft seals and the bow thruster. The yard where we had scheduled the work proved very difficult to work with. We contacted several boatyards for work and surprisingly, many either never returned our calls or failed to provide an estimate. So on a whim, I walked over to Washburn’s yard. They gave us an estimate. We signed on the dotted line. For us, Washburn’s turn out to be the best thing in Solomons. Cream Puff gets lifted from the water. (To be continued)