November will pretty much mark the end of the boating season, so Carole and I took advantage of what was supposed to a sunny (but cool) Saturday and took the boat out. It was sunny and about 55 degrees when we headed out of the South River, onto the Chesapeake Bay and turned north to run up to the Severn River. The NOAA random weather forecast generator had said 5-10 knot winds out of the west but it was a bit higher than that but not bad enough to make it unpleasant.
The winds definitely brought out the sailboats - the mouth of the Severn River at Annapolis was lousy with sailboats, all zigging and zagging and spinaker-ing randomly. There were big private yacht sailboats, medium-sized Navy training sailboats and eensy beensy rowboat-sized training dinghy sailboats careening about. Since theoretically they all get the right of way, it was like trying to weave your way through a dance floor where most of the other dancers are about 5 martinis into their evenings.
Once we made it though the sailboat gauntlet, we headed up the Severn into the wind where I could open up the throttle a good bit. We enjoyed the view of the bridges and all the amazing houses and the Annapolis area. On the way back out to the Bay, I noticed something up ahead that was either a new island in the Bay or a submarine. We excitedly headed right towards its to get a picture, but we were quickly intercepted by one of the 5 Navy runabouts with flashing blue lights and deck-mounted machine guns on the front who were guarding an actual submarine. Over their PA system they blared "Change your heading, change your heading" and I realized the USS Cole incident of years ago probably changed the standard operating doctrine, and I quickly turned south and away from the sub.
We headed down to the Thomas Point Light for probably the last time this season but by then clouds had moved in from the West and it was actually pretty chilly. The next time on the boat will probably be a work trip to clean it up before winterizing.
The next day Carl and I did an 8 mile round trip hike in Cunningham Falls State Park. We climbed up the trail to Cat Rock for about 1.5 miles, then headed over to Bob's Hill, another 2.5 miles away. The weather was phenomenal but winds and rain earlier in the week had knocked down most of the colorful leaves - there were only a few spots of color. Very few stinkbugs were out, so spending time at the viewpoints were much more pleasant. We scouted out the area for possible future Summits on the Air portable ham radio operation but the arcane SOTA rules don't currently recognize Bob's Hill or Cat Rock as actual summits for some reason.
The return trip was largely downhill and the skies had brightened a bit. As we went under the power lines there was one patch of decent foliage color. On the way home we stopped at a local apple orchard but pretty much the only apples left are those "Delicious" apples that look good but never seem to have any taste. The last boat ride and the last crisp local apples are definitely the true end of summer.