I can’t believe it’s June already! Where has the time gone? We are 233 days into our trip & we have traveled 3481 miles. We are staying at Dozier’s Regatta Point Yachting Center. Jack & Craig Dozier write & publish the Waterway Guide’s that we all depend on so heavily while cruising. Knowing so much about boaters, they run a very accommodating marina & we thank them for that. The boys did engine maintenance. The girls entertained themselves in town to stay out of way. A nice relaxing day (for the girls). Once again, boats out number residents here 4 to 1. Mostly sailboats, which is hard for cruisers to understand. We wonder if they have read this book because we totally agree with the sentiment. “Sailing-the fine art of getting wet and becoming ill while slowly going nowhere at great expense” by Henry Beard & Roy McKee. But there is a brotherhood among all boaters & some of our best friends are “blow boaters”! This perfect weather day (warm sun, cool breeze) comes to a close and I have Caesar Salad and Mooie Chicken ready for our friends. We sit on the aft deck and eat and drink and laugh and thank the Lord that we have this opportunity. What will Day 234 bring? We don’t know, but we also don’t know how it could get any better!!!
We waved goodbye (again) to Deb & Bob this morning. We needed one more day for our guys to rest up because they worked so hard in the engine rooms all day yesterday. Next stop is the Solomons & we will catch back up to the Koerners there. We are beginning to refer to them as “The Life is Good Tour” Advance team. They check out the navigation to the next port, the dock facilities, the nearby restaurants & other important data for the location. Now that they have the official Goldenrod shirt, they will be easy to spot on the dock when they catch our lines at the marinas. (JK-they actually just have a much faster boat) We spent our day catching up on “household” chores, at West Marine, enjoying the amenities of the marina & watching a relaxing movie this afternoon. Mary & I are cooking another gourmet meal, Spinach/Bacon/Egg Salad, a special carrot dish, and grilled Steaks with Tomato Chutney. We are so spoiled we are “rotten”! It’s wonderful!
Forecast for some “weather” coming across the Chesapeake this afternoon & we have a 6+ hour cruise today so we push away from the dock at 5:30AM. The Bay is chock full of little hamlets up both sides of the water with many rivers entering the bay. We passed the mouth of the Potomac River & would have loved to have visited Washington DC but that would be several hundred miles off the route & would be a minimum 2 week decision that we decide not to do. Wanting to do & see it all is natural but not practical. It would be easy to push ourselves to cover ground but not enjoy as much because of the fatigue & limited leisure/exploring time. Did I mention that the first sign that we are doing too much too fast is when the crew gets anxious and cross. Yes, there are times in boating that become quite tense. These moments can be caused by a tired crew, strong winds, high seas, swift currents, skinny water and enhanced by tight maneuvering around other vessels or fixed objects. Those times have inspired T-shirts for cruising couples like one of my favorites: Hers says DON’T YELL AT ME & His says I’M NOT YELLING!!!!!!!!Those moments also inspired the term “boat sex” (See Cruiser’s Dictionary on Home Page). So we are trying to pace ourselves. We arrive in Solomons Island around lunch time & take the bikes out to see what’s about. First oyster canning plant was built here in 1867 & 1st oyster dredging sailing vessel was built here in 1879. Many famous racing yachts came from here. There will be a lot to see tomorrow. Dinner out tonight!
A cold front moved through last night and today is overcast with high around 70 degrees.We rode bicycles to the West Marine with Bob, Andy & Mary. Mary & I found a gourmet market to enjoy & then we all went for a BBQ. Brad & I biked for several more hours in the afternoon and then we came home to prepare for dinner guest. Lisa & Jim Favors (Kismet) are summering here and we haven’t seen them since the Abacos & then the Florida Coast. They write for several boating publications & some of us are going to try to help Lisa with a new book called “Women On Board” about the role women play in the world of long term cruisers (like Loopers)! Tonight, I “paid forward” a tradition. It started about 3 years ago when a cruiser made a beautiful nautical wine holder bag, added their boat card to a luggage tag holder, documented date & next recipient, and asked them to drink & replace the wine & pay it forward to a “well deserving” boat couple in the future. “Good News” had passed it on to us 3 months ago and “Headquarters” had passed it forward to them. There were 3 other recipients before them. “Kismet” seemed well pleased & they will look for the next recipient to add their “boat card” to the stack. We enjoyed a wonderful meal together. What a great group of people.
It’s raining now & the forecast tomorrow is a little “iffy”. We choose to stay an extra day and wait for more perfect conditions. Hey, we’re retired and a day here or there to make sure our cruises are comfortable, that works fine for us!
What a gloomy rainy day! But we are not complaining because since leaving B’ham in mid October, we have had only about 5 of these which is pretty unbelievable. It is though we have been traveling in a weather bubble. We are glad we did not travel today because the visibility on the water was very limited & we got to enjoy seeing more of Maryland. The Favors (from Kismet) loaned us their car today so we drove around and checked out the local area. Went by the Calvart Marine Museum, saw the “On Watch” Bronze Statue honoring Solomons Amphibious Training Base in WWII, stopped for lunch at Stoney’s and of course visited the local Walmart before returning to the marina. “Good News”, “Headquarters” & “Salvage Crew” throwing together for supper tonight. Looks like we will be back on the move tomorrow.
We wave goodbye to “Headquarters” who are moving all the way up to Annapolis today & head out shortly behind them into a gray morning. It got brighter all day & the sun was shining on “Good News & Salvage Crew” by the time we arrive in Oxford around lunch time. We pull the bikes off the boats & pedal the town. Founded in 1683 on the Tred Avon River, this town thrived as one of the only ports of entry in the Maryland province until the Revolutionary War. When the British ships were gone the population dwindled. There were a few other temporary growth spurts when canning & packing oysters was profitable until the Chesapeake beds played out in early 1900’s. Then it became the sleepy little town that it is today with most of its residents making their living on the water. It oozes a quiet charm with its old homes, manicured shady lawns & sea breezes. Gold Burgee Loopers (that means they have completed the Loop) Jim & Margy off “Ping” live here & come take us by their home for cocktails and then to Latitude 38 Bistro for dinner. We had a delightful evening & so much appreciate the wonderful hospitality.
We may be going through our 2nd childhood. Seems we are spending a lot of time doing the same things we wanted to do all day when we were 7 years old. What you want to do next? Swim, boat, bike, get an ice cream? We got the dinghy down and went across the river to Belleview, around to the mouth of the Tred Avon River and back into Town Creek. Later we met Andy & Mary at Schooner’s for lunch and when the boys decided to do some varnishing on the boats, the girls biked into town for some shopping. What a beautiful day. Maybe we have come full circle!!!!!
We left Oxford at 8am. Our chart plotter showed that we were 7 miles from our next stop, St Michaels, Maryland (that's as the crow flies, too bad we aren't crows)! We arrived at our destination 40 miles & 4 hours later. We had to come all the way back down the Tred Avon River to the Bay and then back up Miles River to St Michaels. I’m glad we did. We saw “Darling” out on the Bay & got to chat on the radio to Buck & Haldine. These two towns are the most popular destination towns on the Eastern shore of the Chesapeake and for good reason. Both totally charming. These Bay boaters have so many different ports they can visit easily, so many directions they can go. Too bad their boating season is not longer. This is the town that “fooled the British” in the Revolutionary War. In the dark morning hours of 8/10/1813, the British attacked this port. Forewarned, the residents had a “blackout” & hoisted lanterns to the tops of their ships and up high in trees. The cannons overshot the town except for one house that took a cannonball through the roof. That house still stands today & is called the “Cannonball House”. What? You thought it would be called something else? Mary fixed jambalaya with North Carolina shrimp and sausage & I fried squash croquettes (yet another southern dish I’ve got these Yankees lovin’)!