Wind Power

May
8
2014

 

Since our metal building has been built, we have made a little progress.  We’ve made room in the garage so we could bring down the bins and boxes we’ve already packed, and we’ve taken a truck load of those bins and boxes from our house in Jersey down to Maryland.

Little Choptank 2014 G May 2 - 6, 2014 084

I put Chrissy’s bins in plastic, just to make sure no little critters find their way in:

Little Choptank 2014 G May 2 - 6, 2014 082

Now we will start doing a few more fix-ups at the Jersey house, and also pack up more bins!  We’re finally back on track.  Target month to put this house up for sale is now July, so hopefully things will keep moving ahead.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d write about our wind turbine.  We’ve looked at it a lot lately, since the metal building is right next to it in the field that is right outside our gate.  To digress a bit, whoever cut up this property did a crazy job of it!  There are three properties down by the end of the peninsula, ours has the largest amount of land, but half of it is a field, then there’s our neighbor’s property, then the other half of ours is on the water.  We fenced in the area on the water where we are building the house (and where the garage and crab shack have already been built) but the field was just sitting there, really kind of wasted space. We decided to put the wind turbine there, mostly because it was out of our and our neighbors’ way.  So then, of course, we decided to put the metal building over there and eventually we hope to put some solar panels out there also.

This was when we first had it installed

This was when we first had it installed

Our windmill is a Bergey.  Bergey Windpower is the oldest and most experienced manufacturer of residential-sized wind turbines in the world.  John told me it makes about 1200 kw, which is more than we use right now down there.  Of course, after July, when we’re in the Crab Shack full-time we may use more, but paying a $20 electric bill is a lot better than a $200 electric bill! (and dare I say…a $400 electric bill!!)  And now, since we sometimes don’t use as much electricity as the windmill makes, we get a check back from the electric company!  This month they sent us $93!  Once the house is built, and the pool operational, our bill will be higher, but we’re expecting with the solar panels and the geo-thermal system, they will be quite reasonable.

We were getting the pad ready for the metal building

We were getting the pad ready for the metal building

The cost of the turbine is pretty high as you would imagine. They can run from $30K to $70K for a residential model.  We had a lot of cable to run since it was far from the transformer, which is in our garage.  And we put it up 100 feet, instead of 80, which is what a nearby family had.  So of course, that added to the cost.    You do get money back from the state, at least we did, and the federal government gives you tax breaks, so that helps to offset the cost.  John and I thought we would see a return on our investment in about six years, but it turns out it will be more like ten to twelve years.  But we’re still very happy with it.

The blades are 22 feet long each and weigh about 600 lbs. total!

The blades are 22 feet long each and weigh about 600 lbs. total!

One thing we were pretty happy about is that it is not really too loud!  It does hum when there are really strong winds, but of course the wind itself is noisy then.  Usually you don’t hear it at all, I guess because it’s so high up, and it turns kind of gently.  It turns itself towards the wind, and believe me, down there, the winds can come from every direction and turn rather quickly.  We’re very glad we decided to make the investment.  And being a little greener makes us happy too.

Little Choptank 2014 F April 27 - 28 021

You Can’t Stop Progress

February
27
2014

 

You’ve probably noticed I haven’t written in a while.  Mostly it’s because nothing has been happening on our building!  Whoever coined the phrase, “You Can’t Stop Progress” never tried to get a building built on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  I guess as John would remind me, that’s one of the reasons we are moving there, life goes by at a slower pace, we don’t have to rush, rush, rush all the time.  But still.  Slow is one thing.  Not moving at all is quite another.

As you would imagine, there are quite a few “gotchas” when you are building on the water.  Of course you have to take the weather into consideration.  The house and roof have to be built stronger than an inland home since the storms can be very severe.  Also, you need to build it up off the ground more, either by adding more soil, or adding more foundation, or doing both, as we will do on the house.  So, even though we were going to build up the soil for the metal building, we found out we have to build it up even higher. Resulting in more time lost and more costs!  Another “gotcha” -  if you add a building where there wasn’t one “grandfathered” in, you need to plant trees and bushes equal to the square footage of that building.  And they have to be native Maryland plants to insure they will grow.  Now I guess in the grand scheme of things it’s a good idea.  But I think it’s human nature not to like being told you HAVE to do it and what you can and can’t plant.  So, anyway, after these few hurdles,  slowly but slowly things are kind of moving along.  Sort of.  The company building the metal building is now backed up because of the weather.  So we’re hoping around St. Patty’s day is when we’ll start to see something going on.  (We originally thought we’d have it up before Thanksgiving!)

This is really what has been going around here:

February snowstorm

February snowstorm

 

Back Yard

Back yard

 

A friend of mine

A friend of mine

 

It did melt a little this past weekend, so today it looks like this around here:

 

Front

Front

 

This and That 2014 004

 

Here's my friend again today

Here’s my friend again today

And her friends

And her friends

 

The other day there were a couple of foxes in the back!  The animals  are having a hard time finding food.  And one thing I’ve learned about foxes…. they are very itchy.  Must be dry winter skin.

Little Choptank 2014 B Feb. 21-23 112

Little Choptank 2014 B Feb. 21-23 089

Last weekend we decided to take a quick trip to Maryland, and there’s NO SNOW there!  Another reason why we are moving there.  The winters are shorter because the weather isn’t as severe!

Looking toward the entrance

Looking toward the entrance

 

Our Bocce Court (Just past that little tree on the right is where we will build the house!)

Our Bocce Court
(Just past that little tree on the right is where we will build the house!)

 

 

Looking across the water

Looking across the water

 

 

And of course, our beautiful sunset

And of course, our beautiful sunset

Weekend in Maryland

November
20
2013

We went to our place in Maryland for a long weekend and it was just glorious.  We visited with one neighbor for coffee, and we went out to dinner with another.  It poured two nights, but well after we went to bed, it made me think of the song Camelot, where it doesn’t rain till after sundown.  Two mornings were very foggy (it’s supposed to disappear by 8) but it was very interesting looking and it cleared enough for us to go fishing on Sunday.

But first, our winter sunset.  It’s over the trees this time of year instead of over the water, but still beautiful.

We arrived at sunset

We arrived at sunset

We woke up to a thick fog where you couldn’t tell the sky from the water.  As it cleared a bit, we found we had some visitors.

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 025

Who then made themselves right at home.

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 026

It stayed foggy most of the day, but we didn’t mind relaxing and reading and putzing.  (That’s John, he likes to putz.  Or he is a putz, one or the other, I forget.)  We also had a nice visit from our neighbor, Judy, who came over for coffee.

Sunday, we were determined to go fishing.  The weather was supposed to be warm and sunny, and we were a bit surprised when it was also kind of foggy.  We had to wait for the tide anyway, and as it got a little later, the fog started to clear.

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 034

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 033

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 035

This is across the water from our place.  It looks like a painting with the fog.  It’s such a cute little building, and we always wonder who lives there.

As we headed out to the Chesapeake, the fog was still hanging onto the water.

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 040

We hardly saw this guy till he got a little closer.

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 039

But then it cleared, and we went out to find some stripers!  Or as people in Maryland refer to them, rockfish.   This is the big prize, since they have to be a certain size in order to keep, plus some of us who aren’t that crazy about eating fish (me) will eat striped bass.

These we caught out in Montauk one year, one of our FAVORITE places to go on vacation.

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Our little family of fisherpersons:

Copy (2) of Montauk Vacation July 22-29, 06 148

And this one John and our friend Bill caught last summer, right out in the Chesapeake.

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And this one John caught last December! He was fishing with our electrician, Rick, in the Chesapeake.

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So, anyway, we’re no strangers to catching them.  And did we catch any you may ask?  Um…. no.  We didn’t.  We caught two crab buoys.  Which we certainly didn’t intend to catch.  And we caught a giant net that must have broken off a commercial fishing boat, it was so big!  We could hardly lift it, so we didn’t bring it into the boat, but I wish I took a picture.  You know what I could’ve said then….   nothing but net.

We did see a pretty sailboat though.

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 fixed 043

And we caught the sunset as we were flying home to get in before it got too dark.  It was such a nice weekend, we really can’t wait till we move down there.

Little Choptank 2013 I November 14 to 18 048

 

 

 

The Crab Shack

September
25
2013

Little Choptank Nov.5 to 7, 2011 078

 

A kind reader asked me to show you around the inside of the “Crab Shack.”  You’ve seen the outside, and I’ve mentioned that we actually were going to build a different building, one we called the “Boat House,” modeled after the lighthouses on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  But, after all the soil testing and the modifications and the collapse of the economy, we scaled it down.  John found plans online, Katrina cottage plans, and much to our builder’s delight, we still decided to build something.  We love our little “Crab Shack,” and yet, if we had it to do over again, there would be a change or two we would make.  We don’t have room for a table and chairs, so we would probably push the front of the building out maybe four more feet, giving us room for not only the table, but a dishwasher.  It would also make the “living” room a bit bigger, and with the amount of company we sometimes have, that would be a good thing.  But for the two of us, it’s wonderful.  Have a look:

This is what you see when you walk in the front door

This is what you see when you walk in the front door

 

When Thom, our builder, first painted the place, he called us and said we should come down and take a look at it.  He thought the color might be too dark.  So we took a trip down, looked at each other and said, “It’s perfect!”

As you first walk in, the kitchen is to your right.

As you first walk in, the kitchen is to your right.

While we were looking at tiles for the backsplash (and bathroom and fireplace) John saw these heron tiles for behind the stove and just fell in love with them.  We (as you will see) love using herons in our decorating, so these were perfect!  We had to “fit” a refrigerator into the space, we only had so much room, and we were lucky to find something that fit exactly right.  I have learned, however, that I don’t really like the freezer on the bottom!  I know it’s very popular now, and many people really like it, but I find that things get buried down at the bottom, and with “Reynauds” in my hands, rummaging around in the freezer is not my favorite thing to do.  You understand, right?  I’m going to stick with the side by side for the main house.

The "living" room is to your left when you come in the front door.

The “living” room is to your left when you come in the front door.

 

We had this couch, chair and coffee table from our place in Pennsylvania, but we think it goes pretty well here.  We had Thom make the TV stand to fit right in between the windows and we bought the leather chair and ottoman because it was a smaller profile and fit in that space so well.

When we first started building, we decided John would do most of the “decorating” of the Crab Shack, and I would do the house.  We both wound up making the decisions, but the Crab Shack does have more of a “fishing” cabin feel because of his choices.  It’s cute though, it fits the area.  The chair on this side is from my mother in law’s apartment, we also think it fits in well.

 

Looking back at front door

Looking back at front door

The stairs at the far end of the living room lead up to the loft.  Originally we thought John would use the loft as an office, plus it would also be a bedroom for guests.  We found out, however, that the reception for his phone (and therefore his internet connection through his phone) was not the best up there, and he moved his office to the room above the garage.  So now, it’s a guest room.

Heading up the stairs to the loft is the fishing wall of fame.

Heading up the stairs to the loft is the fishing wall of fame.

 

The loft area

The loft area

 

From up in the loft

From up in the loft

 

Looking down into living room.

Looking down into living room.

 

 

See our fun fan?  We first saw it at the Blue Point Restaurant at the Hyatt Resort in Cambridge, MD.  (If you’re ever around there, give it a try, the food is great!) It reminded us of boat propellers!  So we tracked it down, went to Dan’s Fan City in Laurel, MD and we think it fits in perfectly!

Okay, moving on, as you walk down the hallway, the first room after the kitchen on the right hand side is the bathroom.  When we first saw the room before it was actually built, when it was just studs, I couldn’t picture how everything would fit it!  I thought we’d be squished in the shower so that your arms would be touching all the walls!  But, small as it is, it’s got plenty of room!

Here's what the kitchen and bathroom looked like

Here’s what the kitchen and bathroom looked like

Little Choptank 2013  H August 2 to Sept 4 500

 

Little Choptank 2013  H August 2 to Sept 4 503

 

After the bathroom, again on the right hand side, is the mudroom/laundry room.  Thom did advise us to add to the original plans in the back part of the house, so we expanded it about 4 feet.  It gave us a bigger mudroom, and also a bigger bedroom.

Looking from the door in the hallway out to the back

Looking from the door in the hallway out to the back

 

This angle is from the back door to the door in the hallway

This angle is from the back door to the door in the hallway

And then, if you’re back in the hallway, the room on the left hand side is our bedroom.  We’re so glad Thom advised us to make it bigger.  We love waking up and being able to look out at the water. We pinch ourselves and can’t believe we were lucky enough to find and buy this property.

Looking in from the door in the hall

Looking in from the door in the hall

 

We recently purchased the artwork that is over the bed.  Again, herons.

We recently purchased the artwork that is over the bed. Again, herons.

 

Here's a closer look at the artwork.  Looks like it was just made for us!

Here’s a closer look at the artwork. Looks like it was just made for us!

Heron lamps too!

Heron lamps too!

 

Looking back to the hallway

Looking back to the hallway

 

Back deck and patio area.

Back deck and patio area.

Thank you for joining our tour of the inside of the Crab Shack.  It was the first time we built anything, and we never realized how many decisions and choices we’d have to make.  It gave us a good preview of what we’ll be doing when we start building the house next year.  I’ve read if a couple can survive building a house together, they can survive anything.  We say, bring it on!

 

Crab Shack and garage from the water.

Crab Shack and garage from the water.

Enjoy the sunset!

Little Choptank Nov 13, 14 2010 067

Back to Reality

September
18
2013

 

It was not easy coming back to “reality”. We spent a little more than a month in Maryland, the site of our future home. It was the first time ever in our 32 years of married life that John took off so much time in a row. We love it there, we truly do, but we wondered, will we get bored? It is in some ways a quieter life. There are less stores, and as of now, no internet to speak of. Will we regret that we picked this place to retire to? We both grew up in New York, John in Brooklyn, me in Queens, and just moving early in our married life to Long Island was a big adjustment. How will it be moving to a more remote area? Well, suffice it to say, we didn’t want to come back.

It is quieter in some respects, but much more active. A lot of our time is spent outside down there. We cook and eat outside more, we kayak, we fish, we ride our “Gator” up to the mailbox. We take our coffee down to the beach in the morning to look for the herons and plan our day. Some days we plan a trip to the dump! Yep, then it’s Dump Day! Even that’s an experience. We have so much to explore since the area is new to us. So if the weather is rainy or cold and windy, we’ll take a drive and explore a new town. We found a restaurant in a cute waterfront town with a little gift shop, and bought a pretty piece by a local artist to hang over our bed.

Little Choptank 2013  H August 2 to Sept 4 444

I don’t think we were bored for one single minute!  And even though I was (and still am)  recuperating from knee surgery, we still managed to do a lot and keep ourselves occupied.  We kind of figured – but now we know for sure, that we have absolutely no regrets about moving there.  Actually, we can hardly wait!

But first, back to reality.  And the reality is, John is very busy with work.  And the house up here needs updating, sprucing up, and cleaning out.  It needs work  that today’s young “marrieds” and lots of bloggers are finding fun, but which to me are just a chore.  Cleaning out 22 years of living in one house, yikes!  Like George Carlin once joked, our stuff has stuff!  And when we first move to Maryland, we’ll be living in the little Crab Shack – most likely for a year – while we interview builders and get the house built.  As a result, so many things will need to be stored, but… not everything.  So packing up now has to be divided into what will come to the Crab Shack, what I might need sometime, but I don’t have room for IN the crab shack so has to be stored close by, and what can wait till the house is built.  And then there’s also the “kid’s” stuff.  And by kids I mean two grownups who have left a lot of their treasured belongings here at the house.  Some they can take now, some they also don’t have room for yet, so that has to be stored in Maryland. But it means waiting till they can go through all that stuff.  I ought to buy stock in plastic bins at the rate we’re buying them!

This and That 2013 079

But at the end of all this clean up and clean out…. ah….   paradise.  At least to us.

Little Choptank 2013  H August 2 to Sept 4 095

Building Advice and Tips

June
19
2013

 

After John read my blog on Monday, he thought it would be useful to have some specifics about the garage and Crab Shack, and about building in general.  So I’d like to share some of our experiences with the hope that they’ll help you make more informed decisions.  We were total novices.  We’ve remodeled.  We’ve put on additions.  But we had never taken on a job of this magnitude.  So in other words, we knew nothing.  And we made mistakes.  Maybe this will help you avoid them.

Before we even began doing anything, as mentioned in a previous post, we had to take down two buildings.  We found out, through a contractor, that our local Fire Department would consider burning them down, and use the experience as a learning session for new recruits. We gave these wonderful people a donation, and it was a win-win experience. I’m not sure if they do this in other areas, but if this is at all a possibility for you, it’s truly a great way to go.

Little Choptank Dec.07 004

We began to “design our retirement” with the stand-alone garage.  I like to say we started the building process backwards, doing the “out” buildings first, and leaving the house (which we won’t start probably for another year) till last.  But we had our reasons.  (We needed a place to put the “stuff” from a PA vacation home that we sold, and we knew we wanted this garage for the tractor, and the other vehicles right away.)  For this building John found plans online that he liked, and we had them tweaked a bit by a draftsperson.  (Also known as a Residential Designer.)  After we decided that Thom Huntington (of Huntington Construction) would be our builder, he drew up a contract (Time & Materials) and he built it.  It was a very smooth operation and there were no surprises and no cost over-runs.  As for the structure of the building, we went with 2×6 lumber for strength, regular roll insulation, a large propane heater, an on-demand hot water heater (more on this another time) and because we are building on the water, we needed to raise the garage up, which meant building up the soil all around the building to allow for a gradual incline – expensive, but a necessity for a place where hurricanes and flooding storms are likely.

Little Choptank copy 020

The second, and more “exciting” building was (going to be) the Boathouse. (Blog post here.)  This was where we made many of our mistakes.  We had a dream, a vague vision, and needed to have someone draw up this vision for us.  Of course, we again used Michael, the Residential Designer we used on the garage.  Now, because of our inexperience, the costs of these plans (in total) were sky high.  We kept changing things, and having the plans re-drawn.  Many, many times.  (At great expense.)  Then, in one instance, Michael was doing “due diligence” making sure the ground would support our Boat House, and had our soil tested.  I can now tell you what our soil looks like for 16 feet below sea level. It’s interesting, but we weren’t expecting that charge.  And, as already mentioned, this all happened during the collapse of the economy.  So, $20,000 later, rather than scrap all of our plans, we scrapped the building, and bought plans online from Lowe’s at a cost of $500!  (The Crab Shack.)  I’ll speak more about house plans another time, but here’s another tip:  if you can find plans you like online or in a book, use them.  Believe me, you will be saving yourself a ton of money.  Even if you just use them as a starting point.  Or cut out parts from different plans. You’ll thank me later.

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For the structure of the Crab Shack, we again used 2×6’s, but went with the spray insulation.  And I can definitively say this type of insulation is excellent. The building cools down instantly when we need the air conditioning, and heats up and stays warm in the winter when we need the heat.  For both buildings we decided on the strongest metal roof available, which has many, many benefits.  It’s great against the elements, being rated to withstand over 200 mph winds; it saves in home heating and cooling energy costs;  there are energy tax credit incentives available; it’s good for the environment , (considered a “green” solution) and comes with either a 30 or 50 year warranty – depending on the roof you buy.  All this, and of course it has that “coastal” look.   In the “con” list, the only thing I could say is that it costs more initially to put in than a traditional asphalt roof.  But it pays for itself in other ways.  I was worried that it would be noisy, especially during a rain storm, but I can tell you honestly, it’s absolutely not.

We also built it up high, knowing the area could possibly flood if there was a bad storm, (like Hurricane Irene and Super Storm Sandy) and built it with flow through vents in the foundation that allows the water to literally flow through and prevent any structural damage. (You can see them in the photo.)

We used vinyl siding on the Crab Shack, for one reason, to keep the costs down, but next time – for the house – we’ll go with Fiber Cement.  It will be stronger and better looking.  We’ve had a few pieces of the siding come down in both storms, and although not a huge deal, we had to have someone repair it.  We went with Anderson windows that are strong enough to withstand hurricanes and have shutters inside just in case anything should come flying through.  On the house, however, we’ll look into getting something installed on the outside of the windows also, either workable shutters, or hurricane screens.  The decks are made of composite material; we want our semi and real retirement to be as low maintenance as possible.

I hope some of these ideas will help you, and if you have any tips or ideas you’d like to share with me, I’d love to hear them!

 

Little Choptank 2013 May 20-22 115wtmk

 

Katrina Cottage a/k/a The Crab Shack

June
17
2013

 

 

 

The Katrina Cottages were originally designed as a dignified alternative to the FEMA trailer.  They have now evolved into a nationwide option for guesthouses, resorts, camps and affordable housing.  They can range from 308 sq. feet to 1800 sq. feet, and John chose one that was just about 1200 sq. feet for our replacement of the “Boat House.”

Here are some of the choices:

Katrina_Cottages

 

After we found out how much exactly our “Boat House” would have cost, and with the economy doing what it did, this became a good alternative so that we could continue with our plans, but not spend all of our “house” money on what will eventually be a guest cottage.   These Katrina Cottages were designed by Marianne Cusato and her design team.  They now partner with Lowe’s, and after having all our floor plans drawn up by a draftsperson, we wound up buying the plans from them!

 

Here is the one we chose:

Katrina_House_1

We showed the plans to Thom (our builder) and he recommended we make the back of it a little bigger.  He said the bedroom was kind of small.  Here are the floor plans:

Katrina_House_Plans_2

We were so glad we took his advice.  Here is the finished product on the outside:

Little Choptank Aug. 7-14, 09 001wtmk

 

And here’s the back:

 

Little Choptank 2013 May 20-22 163wtmk

 

Isn’t she pretty?   We love her.

 

More on the inside next time!

 

The Story of the Boathouse

May
9
2013

Garage, check.  Dock, check.  Boat, check.   Now, finally, we decided to build a building where we could actually stay, and sleep and make a meal.  (And use the bathroom –  just saying.)   Just like our first boat ride, we were excited to think we could actually wake up in the morning and be on our own property. Not in a hotel.  With the noise.   Still, we weren’t ready for the MAIN house.  So what do we come up with?  A “boat” house.   No, not a REAL boathouse.

Little Choptank August 10-12 2008 078wtmk

Little Choptank August 10-12 2008 080wtmk

That’s a real boathouse.

We just decided to call it that because we wanted to.  We would store our boats under it, so it made some kind of sense to us.  And we just liked saying it was a boathouse.   It actually was going to resemble a lighthouse if you want to be technical.  (And I know you do.) The kind of lighthouse we’ve seen around the Chesapeake area.  Like this…..

Little Choptank 08 Labor Day wkend 025wtmk

Here’s what our plans looked like…….

Boat_house_designwtmk

Up in the northeast, we have the tall kind of lighthouses, here’s one of our favorites from Montauk, Long Island…..

Montauk May 20, 09 Anniversary trip 028wtmk

So, anyway, there we were, all happy, planning to build a boathouse.  We hired a draftsman to draw it up, we got the permits, we tested the soil, and we had Thom our builder give us a quote.  And then….. the economy collapsed.  And that, combined with a quote that would have built the actual house, convinced us to give up that dream and move on to another…..  the Crab Shack!  Yep, we’ll build a little Crab Shack that would eventually be a guest house after the main house is built (which we won’t even start for a year or two).  Brilliant!  So, John found plans online, they were from the “Katrina” collection of small homes, designed for the people of New Orleans, and that’s what we decided to build.  After months and months of redoing the plans, adding this, taking away that, having all sorts of tests to make sure the ground could support the house, we changed everything!  Thom was still happy to have the work, and we were happy to begin!

And then it snowed.

Little Choptank JAN 09 015wtmk

But Thom and his men persevered…..

Little Choptank JAN 09 017wtmk

And we were on our way!

We have a boat!

April
30
2013

What do you think you get right after you build a dock?  A boat, of course!  This is a big part of the dream we have for our retirement.  We’re a fishing family, we all love it.  And anybody who doesn’t want to fish, well, just enjoys the ride.  John was thinking we’d get a “real” fishing boat first.  But after a bit, he agreed that the fishing boat could wait, and we’d get a “putzing” boat!  A party boat.  A cruisin’ around taking in the sites boat.  A pontoon boat!

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 034wtmk

Here it is getting delivered.  It’s a used boat, but in great shape, and from this day on I call it MY boat.

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 041wtmk

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 045wtmk

 

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 048wtmk

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 054wtmk

The guy from the marina is explaining to John how my boat works.  John’s a licensed captain, and he’s familiar with boats, but each one is different, and it doesn’t hurt to know all you can.

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 060wtmk

John’s fixing up the piling so my boat doesn’t get scratched.

Little Choptank - July 08 new 116wtmk

Here’s the inside….. it’s like having your back deck on the water.  The seats are so comfy, there’s a table for your snacks, holders for your drinks, and a great stereo for listening to Jimmy Buffett!  I sound like a pontoon boat salesperson!

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And  the moment we had been waiting two years for –  (since we bought the property)……..    our first boat ride!

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 070wtmk

Who’s happier than us right now?

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 080wtmk

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And here are those osprey nests I was telling you about……

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 078wtmk

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 077wtmk

Little Choptank - July 08 new 122wtmk

See, that one has a little solar panel to keep the nest warm.  Cute, huh?  I really don’t know who set up these osprey nesting areas, maybe the DNR (Department of Natural Resources).  I’m not sure, but that would make sense to me, so that’s what I’m going with.

Here’s my boat all tucked in……

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08 094wtmk

Try not to wait too long to start thinking and planning and dreaming of what you’ll do in the next chapter of your life.  I’m so glad we have a plan, and something to look forward to. It makes all the difference.  Enjoy the sunset………

Little Choptank - July 08 new 106wtmk

 

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

April
29
2013

Little Choptank - July 08 new 182wtmk

Who could be happier than a man with his dock, his boat, and a gorgeous sunset.

As promised, here are pictures of the dock.  When we first looked at the property, the dock was in terrible shape, you could tell it was very unloved.

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We were just happy we had one, because we thought it would save us all the time and expense of getting a new permit.  We reasoned we were just improving what was already there.  But no.  That’s not how it went.  We still had to wait for all the permits to be approved, and pay quite a bit for the pleasure.  Still, fishing and boating are a BIG part of our lives (or would be once we got all this work done) and we wound up fixing up the dock even before we started the “crab shack”.  Like I said, we had our priorities!

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08and May 079wtmk

 

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08and May 080wtmk

 

Little Choptank, NEW BOAT, April 08and May 081wtmk

 

It was an interesting process to watch.  We decided to add a cutting table and a bench, along with lights and electric of course.

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Little Choptank 2010  Feb 18 043wtmk

We’ve had some visitors……

Little Choptank April 24-26, 09 043wtmk

 

Little Choptank Sept3-8 09 066wtmk

But one visitor we really didn’t want……

osprey nestwtmk

osprey nest on cutting boardwtmk

An osprey!  Although it would have been interesting to watch them with their babies, they would render the table unusable for a very long time.  Plus they would squawk and fly around our heads, and “mess” up the dock.  So we re-located their nest out on the “point,” closer to the water and away from where we would hang out.  But they wound up abandoning that nest.  But – don’t worry – there are  plenty of other friendly places for them to build, specific places that are built for them, with solar warmed platforms, so we’re confident they found another home that year.  One year we had to take the top of the cutting table completely off since they were so persistent!  But then, Thom our builder, told us to put up one of those plastic owls in the spring before nesting season, and so far we’ve been lucky they haven’t tried to rebuild again on the cutting table.

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We’ve since added a couple more boats,  which I’m sure you’ll see in future posts.  But for now, we are enjoying fishing from the dock, or heading out on one of the boats to take a ride, or to fish,  or just sitting on the dock watching the sunset.  (One of my all time favorite past times!)  Enjoy!

Little Choptank August 10-12 2008 035wtmk