Oct. 3, 2021
Saturday morning, Scott, Holly and little Wes drove into D.C. for the week end. We’ve had friends aboard a few times, but this was the first family visit, and we were a bit nervous about keeping our 18-month-old grandson safe and happy. We ordered a big fajita box for lunch from the taco shop and enjoyed our picnic on the fly-bridge. Then we headed to the National Children’s Museum for a delightful afternoon, watching our grandson explore a new setting. He loved the pillow fight with his parents, and as he settled in, he found slides, and lots of places to try out his construction skills. Returning to the boat, Steve and I quickly grilled and prepared dinner, but Wes’s late nap in the stroller after his very busy afternoon, plus his novel environs, understandably, made bedtime a challenge. Sunday morning after baked oatmeal, we took a short cruise down the Potomac. Wes loved the big yellow “taxi boats” and the steady procession of planes taking off at Reagan National Airport, but remained wary of the noisy and slightly threatening helicopters. Riding at the bow with his parents and rearranging the ropes was fun!
We returned to the dock to find a small boat in our slip. After hanging out for 20 minutes and not knowing how much longer it would be before the owner returned, we decided to dock temporarily on the neighboring pier. I called to two guys out working and asked for their assistance with our lines. They readily came to help, but as we came nearer, I realized that one of them was Senator Joe Manchin. As I handed him our lines I said to him, “ I can’t believe I asked a US senator to catch our lines!” He kindly responded, “You’re fine.” After we were secure, Steve came down from the flybridge and joked, “You know, I usually give the guys who catch our lines 5 bucks!” The senator laughed as he turned to walk away and said, “No problem— just pay your taxes.” Later Steve saw him again around the yacht club, and the senator greeted him and slapped him on the shoulder. As a side note, I will add that we had come to understand that Mr. Manchin lives on MV Almost Heaven at Capital Yacht Club when he is in D.C. Thursday evening a group of protesters in kayaks and small boats chanted and heckled until he came out and talked to them. We had also seen him and exchanged greetings another time on the ramp to the club entrance. Whatever your politics, however big the infrastructure package should be, I would venture an opinion that Joe Manchin is a nice guy.
Back to Sunday—Mr. Manchin’s friend knew the owner of the boat in our slip and went to find him. It wasn’t long until the boat owner returned and was appropriately contrite, and we were able to return to our spot. After lunch and Wes’s nap, Scott and Holly headed back to Frederick, just an hour’s drive. Suddenly feeling exhausted, we caught dinner at the nearby pub before retiring unusually early. Red Pearl is extremely cozy for five people, but how we loved having family aboard!