N 39 9.1, W 76 29.7

October 2, 2000

Rock Creek, Patapsco River, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

As our trip nears its end it is time to find a place to haul Titania for the winter. We set out for the Baltimore area and after sailing slowly for an hour or so, we once again turned on the infernal internal and chugged over a glassy bay reaching the Patapsco by mid afternoon. An internet search back in New York had turned up a "cheap" marina called Old Bay and armed with directions we cautiously headed up into it. The Patapsco is decidedly part of a working port. Just upstream are the cranes and activity of the main seaport. Though the Sparrows Point steel mils are quieter than 30 years ago there is still plenty of industrial activity here too. Tugs and barges hustled up and down the channel and occasional large noises sounded from shore as somebody dropped something or released something or moved something very big there.

We poked up into the shallow murkey waters to the marina a few hudnred yards from some sort of cement factory. A very talkative marina tenant directed us to a slip and then for 45 minutes told us what a wasteland we had come to. Even without his discriptions of the ecentric owner and the effect of a winter's worth of industrial fallout on your yacht finish we were put off by the shallow windswept setting of the place. Maybe there's a reason why this place was $300 less than all the others we'd called.

Our informant (who owned a wooden Irish built bally, a working fish boat built in 1856 and converted to yachting at the turn of the century and brought across the Atlantic to the U.S. in the 1950s) recommended a couple of spots across the Patapsco not dead down wind of big city steel so we chugged over to Rock Creek to try one out.

Here we found Fairview Marina whose owner said he'd be glad to haul us next week. He also gave us a fast lift to the supermarket in his shiny black BMW. Pricey car not withstanding the marina was competitive with the others we called. I liked the security force here too, Nelson the Dachshund and Lilly the bull terrier. This looks likely to be Titania's winter roost.