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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Tuesday we made the run from Bear, Delaware to the Philadelphia Marine Center in just under 7 hours. The journey wasn’t much to talk about, pretty boring if you ask me. I thought it would be similar to traveling the ICW with homes, businesses and communities along the waterfront, but it’s not. We did see remnants of two small towns, a couple of refineries, an old fort and what looked like a defunct factory, but that was it!!! Even the boat traffic was next to nil!!! Fortunately, we had the current with us most of the way and FOX news, on SIRIUS satellite radio, to make the time pass quickly.

All of that boredom changed, however, when we reached the outskirts of Philadelphia. Here, we found lots of ocean going ships that had either sailed up Delaware Bay or come up the Chesapeake to drop their cargos at Philly. It was difficult, sometimes, to detect their direction of travel or whether they were at anchor or just waiting their turn to pull into an offloading dock.

Then, as we pulled into sight of Camden, New Jersey, Gordon suddenly became excited. He began yelling at me to, “Look, Look,” and was pointing towards the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. As I looked in the direction he was pointing, I saw the outline of a big U.S. Navy battleship, which Gordon swore was the battleship New Jersey. The New Jersey had been in action off of the coast of South Vietnam when he was over there and had shelled, and silenced, the North Vietnamese guns that were attacking where Gordon was stationed. Sure enough, as we got closer, the name on the back of the battleship was the New Jersey. It was really quite an impressive sight.

From Camden, it was just a mile or two up the river to Philadelphia. We had made reservations at the Philadelphia Marine Center the night before and in no time were at the mouth of their marina. After pulling in the marina, we got tied securely just before the rain started. And fortunately, the rain was also kind enough to wait until after Schooner’s walk. She was most appreciative!!

At the Philadelphia Marine Center, we just happen to be right beside the Ben Franklin Bridge. Cars and the trains travel across the Delaware River to Camden, New Jersey on this enormous bridge. The one thing we found right away is there is not much green space here!! Thank goodness Schooner isn’t picky about where she does her business!! And the TRAINS…the first night, I heard the trains all night long, but I guess I am getting use to them now and only hear them occasionally. Other than that, it’s a pretty cool spot and we are pretty much within walking distance of most of the Historic sights.

We called Harry, (native Philadelphian) and were given some information on places to see and places to eat, so we are ready for the morning. Now all we need is some Internet service!!!

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