We start The Great Loop from Washington D.C. next month and had planned to arrive three weeks ago, so just getting here feels like a big accomplishment. We slipped the lines at Colonial Beach in a slight breeze last Friday and cruised pretty easily, although the tide and winds kept us at about six knots. For perspective, that’s about half the speed of a school zone. Pretty dang slow, but we’re all about smelling the roses, right?
The Potomac River shoreline has some cool stuff to see. Not only is there a naval installation at Dalghren, but Quantico has a Marine base with planes and helicopters at the water’s edge. Mount Vernon tour boats loomed on the horizon as we zoomed—at six knots—past George Washington’s plantation. Next up was National Harbor, which is about where the water traffic started increasing. Nothing like the land traffic, of course, although it’ll get worse when the warm weather finally arrives in 2020.
At the confluence of the Potomac and the Anacostia, we took a hard right, passed under the Frederick Douglass Bridge, and found our slip at The Yards. Of course, a day without a problem is, well, pretty dang unlikely. When we plugged into shore power, we tripped the marina GFI. After some quick elimination we discovered that our battery charger is leaking AC current in an amount greater than the trip threshold of newer marinas. That’s a concern. Unfortunately the guys who know our boat the best aren’t waiting around next door. They’re hours away and busy. Nobody can recommend any local marine electricians. We can survive with the generator until help arrives, but still.
We squared things away our first night just before the Nationals baseball game started, and listened to the Anthem from our back porch. The Washington Navy Yard is about 200 yards away so we also get the Anthem every morning at 8 a.m. (And yes, we did give up on using military time.)
On Sunday, Jim Blomo arrived after visiting his daughter at William & Mary. He not only was the last to see us off in Arizona but also our first guest. Because we’re great hosts, Blomo enjoyed a not-yet-set-up boat, no shore power, and a trip to a sketchy Home Depot. On his last morning, however, we had a fantastic breakfast at Ted’s Bulletin next to a liquor store that featured Wyoming Whiskey, which is distilled in Kirby, Wyoming by our old friends Brad and Kate Mead.
We brought with us from Arizona what at the time seemed like an aggressively small amount of stuff. Now that we’re living in a tiny house, however, it’s clear that we still will be leaving the D.C. storage unit packed to the top. There just isn’t room for everything that we thought would be essential.
Mallory spent the night with us and found her bed comfortable but not quite big enough to accommodate a person and a dog. We can’t wait for her and Shannon stay for a while.
The electrician is supposed to resolve the charger issue on Saturday, and the electronics guy is supposed to set up the KVH dome so we can access DirectTV next week. Maybe by then we’ll have jammed everything into place and will start to feel settled.