Taking our Boat to the Chesapeake Bay

Dear friends of ours, Stan and Fran Pangborn, were going to leave the Potomac and take their boat to the Chesapeake. Marie and I had talked about this several times and decided to join them.

This would be our longest cruise yet, about 100 miles down the Potomac, then about 50 more miles up the Chesapeake to Hartge’s Boat Yard on

West River, where we had reserved a slip.

One evening, well after dark, we were following Stan to a marina/restaurant he knew about on the river. He wanted us to follow him, because he said it was a bit tricky getting in there. We were well out in the Potomac when he suddenly veered off 90 degrees to port. We followed. Sometime later, he veered back on his original course. Wow, I thought, is this ever tricky! And I hadn’t seen a single buoy.

As best we could, we followed his exact course. When we got in, I said, “Boy, talk about tricky!” He and Fran laughed like crazy. Then he explained that on another trip down the Potomac they had seen a huge buoy anchored in the river along about where we were and that, in the dark, he had the strange feeling that he must be almost upon it, thus veered off.

One day, we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on Smith Creek, a short distance from the mouth of the Potomac. We enjoyed the finest deviled crab cakes I have ever had—anywhere! They were superb.

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Hartge’s was our home port for the next five years. Naturally, we joined the West River Sailing Club. WRSC, a very active club, had numerous regattas, races, and rendezvous throughout the sailing seasons, and Favonian participated in everything. Thus, we got in a tremendous amount of sailing.

I have inserted an image of the WRSC burgee.

George and his wife, Marie, sailed professionally, chartering boats in the Bahamas, then in the Virgin Islands. They then leased an uninhabited island, Little Thatch, in the British Virgin Islands, and turned it into a small hotel. After six years, they left the island and bought a lovely beachfront property on Jost Van Dyke (BVI) where they built Sandcastle Hotel and the original Soggy Dollar Bar. George is now the author of Incredible Virgin Island Adventure: A True Story.

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