As we pulled away from the Solomons area to make our way to Reedville, VA, it was overcast and a little foggy. We carefully made our way back out into the Patuxent River and under the bridge as we headed back towards the Chesapeake. It was very still and pretty foggy out, with not many other boats around except for a few clam/oyster/fishing boats, when I noticed a power boat heading straight towards us. As it got closer, I realized it was a Coast Guard boat and then they turned on their lights, pulled alongside of us and asked when was the last time we’d been boarded by a Coast Guard boat. We told them it had been some time ago (and later realized we had never been, but we had been stopped by the Border Patrol several times on Lake Erie), so they told us they were going to be doing a safety inspection.
They didn’t actually board our boat, but rather proceeded to do their safety check by asking us for each item, which Jim would retrieve for them to inspect one by one. The woman doing the inspection was very nice and explained exactly what she was looking for as she took a look at each item. The list of items we were asked for included:
- Jim’s driver’s license
- Boat & dinghy registrations
- Two life jackets
- Two fire extinguishers
- Flares (that were not expired)
- Noise making devise
- Locked thru-hull for overboard waste (they did not come on board to see this, but just asked if it was locked in some manner)
Good news….we passed! 🙂 In casual conversation, we were also asked if we had done any fishing on our trip, which of course we have not yet (too cost prohibitive), but I’m sure if we had said yes, we would have been asked to produce fishing licenses!
The whole stop took about twenty minutes and then we continued on our way, the fog staying with us the entire day, and at times getting so thick we could only see for a couple of boat lengths around us in any direction. As we neared our destination and headed up a creek to anchor for the evening, we were sure that the fog would have burnt off, but it was actually worse and pretty darn scary! I knew there was land all around us, but couldn’t see it anywhere. I just drove following the GPS and Jim was on the bow keeping a lookout for other boats and crab pots. We dropped anchor safely, but it wasn’t until a little later and then the next day that we could actually see our surroundings. Talk about spooky!