Wednesday, July 27, 2005
We walked more than 2 miles in blazing heat to the ferry for Ellis Island. The building held the stories, pictures, and cherished belongings of the people who immigrated here. There were beautiful photographs of the buildings prior to their restoration. The photographer's grandparents had come to Ellis Island from Russia with only a borrowed empty suitcase.
graffiti found inside.
Many of the immigrants traveled across the country from this train station, which is now abandoned.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
After several days we arrived in Baltimore. The anchorage was a small paddleboat pond roped off in the inner harbor between an enormous naval vessel, the Constellation and a submarine with a soundtrack repeating, "CLEAR THE BRIDGE, DIVE, DIVE, HONK". We were the only sailboat in a pond of shrieking children in dragon boats and unwilling guests in a party that lasted to almost midnight.
After anchoring near the Mall in DC and running about the city, the Chesapeake seemed very still and quiet. We anchored near islands and watched the local wildlife: jellyfish, crabs, and seabirds. In just a day and a half, we had sailed over a hundred miles and were in a very different world.
During out visit with Maria's sister Liza and her family, we went to the folk life festival on the Mall. After enjoying pictures of Pakistani trucks in magazines, we finally got to see this one and it was spectacular. The musicians from Oman were also great and often the stage was packed with dancing adults and children. Some of the kids were so small that the dancers had to lift them to the platform and carried them in the dance. We enjoyed it greatly, but be assured, we were not on stage.
On our way up the Potomac we anchored across the river from Mount Vernon. Early the next morning we toured the estate which has a remarkable place in our history and is a wonderful place to wander about. We learned that the French considered George Washington to be a father of their revolution. General Lafayette gave him the key to the front door of the Bastille, which still hangs in the main hall.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
We left the Dismal Swamp from the oldest locks in the US while the debonair lock master played a conch shell horn. At Norfolk, the water was an enormous military complex with warships moving through the harbor and helicopters buzzing the air. We toured the Wisconsin and talked with several elderly enthusiastic veterans who served as doscents. The day was full of museums and naval history.