Something like 14 days in a row here with temperatures over 90 - with several visits above 100. Not a lot of rain, the reservoir levels are dropping rapidly - combine low water with 95 degree temperatures and dew points in the 70s means kayaking is not tremendously attractive. The heat obviously addled my decision making - Carole and decided to invite Jim/Jacquie and Mike/Kathy out on the boat Saturday am. Putting three radio nerds, and the women with bad-enough judgement to marry them, all together on a small floating platform is not a rational decision.
The random weather forecast generator at NOAA said the winds should be light, 5 - 10 knots, with waves 1 foot high, in the Thomas Point Light area, even though the actual Thomas Point Light anemometer was reading 17 knot winds at the time. I decided to trust the forecast and ignore reality, so after loading 6 people and various coolers and environmentally conscious tote bags, we headed out of the South River to the Thomas Point Lighthouse. OK, it wasn't quite as bad as the above picture, but the Bay was rocking and rolling and the passengers were either getting very wet, turning green or both. So, we turned around and cruised up and the down the South River - the winds made the temperature very bearable.
After viewing many large, expensive sailboats ("James, why don't you buy that one?") and homes on the shore ("Mike, why don't you buy that one?") and some nice mesh tops on older boats (John - "let's buy that mesh top") we decided to find a nice spot to anchor and have some lunch. Out of nowhere, a flock of a dozen ducks flew in front of us, formed an arrow pointing the way and lead us to Harness Creek just upstream from Quiet Waters State Park. After we anchored, we returned the favor and fed the ducks some cheap waffle potato chips while we ate the expensive flatbread crackers. One of the ducks got too close to Mike, and there seemed to then only be 11 ducks. Later than night, the aroma of Duck a l'Orange was reported in the Davidsonville area but that could just be coincidence.
We snacked and marvelled at the variety of inflatable things nearby anchored boats had tied to their boats: tubes, rafts, kayaks, sofa-looking things, cacti, large screen plasma TVs, etc. The wind died completely and it got to be a bit toasty, so we packed up, shipped the anchor, scuppered the mizzenmast and turned the boat to the left to get the hell out of there. By the time we got back to the marina, it was 91 and barely a breath of wind - July 2011 has turned out to be the hottest on record in the DC area, leading all the people who signed up for Peak Rewards air conditioner cycling by the power companies to rue that decision.
On the way home, we stopped to see how the rebuilding of The Old Stein Inn is going - looks like the roof and exterior walls have all been replaced, but no notice of impending re-opening.
The Bay was still calling, so the next day Carl and I biked the Cross Island Rail Trail on Kent Island, extending it a bit to go over the old drawbridge over Kent Narrows and down to the Chesapeake Bay Environment Center in Graysonville. We bike their road/trail to the boardwalk and then walked to the shore area for a nice view of the Kent Narrows bridge. A bit more board-walking at the closed Eastern Shore visitor center at the Narrows and we biked back for a 21 mile total. We both commented on the shrinking numbers of roller-bladers - perhaps global warming has caused them all to move north.