Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maryland Blue Crabs


Maryland is known for their blue crabs.  Although I grew up here, my parents were not from here and never learned how to eat or cook crabs.  So my only exposure to them was from friends homes.  I had never cooked them before and had only eaten them a handful of times, many years ago.IMG_3832 

The kids have been trying to catch crabs for awhile and were excited when I said this weekend we would cook and eat what they catch.  We brought oIMG_3840ur little inflatable boat from Idaho for them to use and play in and they had fun sitting in it trying to catch crabs.

We spent the weekend out exploring more of the bay with some friends on board.  Peggy and Ken Townsend, IMG_3823good friends of my parents, whose kids I grew up with, joined us for our weekend near St. Michael’s and Oxford.  They suggested chicken necks for catching crabs.  So we picked some up in St. Michaels, MD.  We tied the necks ontIMG_3825o a couple of strings and hung them off the back of the boat so they reached the bottom of the river.  Every few minutes the kids would run to the back, pull up the string while one of the other kids would watch the water to see if a crab was hanging on to the IMG_3845chicken neck.  If so, then they would grab the net and scoop up the crab.  They would then check the size, they must be at least 5 1/4 inches across to keep them.  At the end of the day they had 6 crabs to cook and eat.  I didn’t have a steaming rack to cook them on in a pot, so with the help of Ken we built a rack out of knives and forks in IMG_3847the bottom of my pot. In went the live crabs. With the Townsend’s direction we added water, vinegar and lots of old bay seasoning; put the lid on and let them steam for about 20 mins.  The pretty blue color disappeared and the crabs turned red.  We pulled them out of the pot and set themIMG_3846 on a baking sheet to cool for a few minutes.  The Townsend’s then showed us how to open, clean and pick the crabs.  The kids had a lot of fun learning this new skill and trying crab meat.

Monday, September 19, 2011

St. Michael's and Oxford

We spent the weekend at anchor.  We invited some family friends to join us-Ken and Peggy Townsend.  We motored over to the south side of St. Michael's, MD, a popular boating area.  We anchored in a quiet anchorage surround by big houses with beautiful big lawns on the creek. It was quiet and peaceful. We even saw deer a couple of times. Where we anchored off of Broad Creek is often called the "back door" to St Michael's, most boats go to the north side of the town to the harbor there.  We liked the peaceful side.  We dinghied to the back side of town and walked about a half mile to the maritime museum.  They have a bay lighthouse to tour and see what it was like to live on one out in the bay away from land.  It was originally located 40 miles south of St. Michael's.  It has living quarters and an outhouse for the operator. The museum showcased the lifestyle of the people living on the bay.  They had crabbing and oyster boats.  Some for the kids to crawl on and in to see what it was like to live on.  They even had and area to catch crabs and try oystering off the dock.  It was a great family friendly museum and we learned so much.

On Sunday afternoon we pulled up anchor and motored a couple hours over to Oxford and anchored across from the channel headed into this historic Maryland town.  It was also a lovely area, but not quite as lovely as Broad Creek.  Monday morning we dinghied over to Oxford for a short walk around town.  We visited the small town museum.  Oxford is one of the oldest towns in Maryland.  We headed back to the boat for the afternoon trip back to the Marina.  It was a great weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fort McHenry


IMG_3775Outside of the Baltimore Harbor is Fort McHenry.  It was used in many wars, but it’s mostly known in the war of 1812 against the British.  During the battle at Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key was on a ship out in the harbor and could not reach Baltimore because of the British ships.  As he watched the battle of the British ships and the Americans at Fort McHenry fight all night he awaited the morning light to see which flag would fly over the fort.  And if you have heard the Star Spangled Banner, then you know which flag it was.  He wrote the poem of The Star Spangled Banner the morning after the battle, shortly after seeing the flag hanging in the dawns light. It wasn’t long until the poem was put to music and gained popularity.  However it wasn’t until 1931 that it officially became our National Anthem. 

While Grandpa was visiting us here in Maryland, he took us for a field trip to view the Fort in Baltimore and learn the history behind the American Flag and the Star Spangled Banner.  The kids were able to earn Junior Ranger Badges with the National Park Service as they gathered info at the fort. Unfortunately it wasn’t a windy day so the flag wasn’t blowing for us.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Wye River

Our first overnighter on the Bay since we got back was up the Wye River.  The scenery was beautiful and the weather just perfect. The water was so flat and the sun was shining with a light wind, we hoped grandpa would dare to spend the weekend with us, but we had recently took him out on a not so pleasant day and he felt sick, so he didn't want to risk sea sickness again.  We had fun exploring the area of Wye Island.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Herrington Harbor North




The marina we have been staying at has kayaks for use free for its boat users.  We have been taking advantage of this, when it's not raining.  It has been fun for the kids to learn to kayak.  As you can see, you can fit more in a kayak then seats available.  The orange kayak is a double, which we fit 4 in, and the yellow is a single, but holds 2.  The kids have fun learning how to use the oars and will soon be good kayakers.  There is a fun creek to kayak on to explore nearby.  David and I have thought in the past of getting a couple kayaks, so after all this practice we may have to get a couple to have on board for use.
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