Solomons- Amphibiously Fabulous

entering Solomons

Entering Solomons

Calvert Marina occupies what was once the site of our country’s first amphibious training base. Few of the buildings remain but you can see and read about them as you walk around the grounds, which indeed have a military feel.

Here’s the short cliff notes summary:

In the early 1940s the world was at war and a new military base was being built on Dowell Peninsula. At its peak, in 1944, the base had 10,150 men. These hastily trained men shipped out to U.S. fleets in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Training was likely to have been little more than a quick cruise on the Bay watching the school staff chief petty officers handle the boat and perhaps getting in a question or two. Men were often formed into crews in those first frantic months of war in 1942 without ever seeing the type of vessel they’d be called upon to operate. God love ‘em.

Fortunately, as time went on the training expanded and the base turned out well-trained men, proficient in all aspects of operations. But only up until 1945, when the base closed.

We received our own very basic training in docking alongside a floating dock (we like these) without an assistance (we don’t like that). We chose Calvert Marina not only for its easy floating docks and reasonable price but because friends Ann & Mike of m/v Traveling Soul were there. They just weren’t on the boat when we arrived, but we knew that ahead.

The marina offers a loaner car that you can take for up to one hour; not much time, but a decent Food Lion is up the road a few miles and that’s all we needed. Got that done Sunday morning and then dinghied over to the excellent Calvert Museum. We love these well laid out, inside and outside Chesapeake museums.

Calvert Marine Museum

Calvert Marine Museum is located across from the Calvert Marina- a very short dinghy ride

We also didn’t mind qualifying for the Sr Citizen rate- amazingly fair at $7.  This museum isn’t as large as the one in St Michaels but it’s the right size for me.

Megladon

Megladon- almost not terrifying as “skeleton only” but put flesh and skin on, and a monster is revealed

The homey-ness of the lighthouse is amazing and a 360 degree view!

After lunch, keeping an eye on the sky for rain, we got in a quick harbor tour then tied up at a town dock on Solomons Island. We found the usual: a few shops, eateries, pubs, ice cream but also the J.C. Lore Oyster Packing Plant now owned by the Calvert Museum.

For many years this was a major shucking and packing operation - Solomons Island by The Narrows of Back Creek

For many years this was a major shucking and packing operation on Solomons Island, by The Narrows of Back Creek

 

Shucking stations- two different heights for taller or shorter person

Shucking stations- two different heights for a taller or shorter person

 

This man was amazing!

This man was amazing!

 

One half of a display of unusual oysters from around the world

One half of a display of unusual oysters from around the world

And then it did in fact finally rain… but we were back aboard. 🙂 Monday was a washout thanks to Tropical Storm Bonny who sent a ton of rain up our way, but most of it passed east of us. We were surprised to see our friends walking down the dock much earlier than expected. But wait, why are those other people with them? Uh oh, car trouble – a tow and a ride from friends!

Russ spent many hours researching and ordering items for our Herrington Harbor project week. Now doesn’t that sound like a fun week? The good part is then we have less to tackle in the summer.

Tuesday brought sunny and warm, as well as another grocery trip, this time with Ann to a Giant (same as Stop&Shop up north) because we blow through certain foods very fast and Giant offers a bigger better selection. We swung by the condo complex where Ann & Mike will be owners soon, living part of the year on land and part on Traveling Soul. I like that plan and that we can see them on land and on the water still. Way to go guys!

Happy Hour aboard Traveling Soul was extra nice. Not only hadn’t we seen these guys and Empress Spot, in 3 months but we also got to meet cruising friends of theirs, Tom & Cristina on m/v Tadhana. Had heard the stories, got the cleanser recipe and now got to meet them.

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