Work is still getting the best of me. When Jake suggested taking the boat out for the weekend, all I could think was how much WORK that would be! But I’m so glad he convinced me to go. It was fantastic. Cruising seems to be a lot like riding a bike. As soon as we threw off the dock lines, we felt right at home.
JR had been looking at the weather the whole week to see what we’d have in store for us and it was NOT looking good, at least in terms of actuating sailing. I posted on FB about the predicted weather and one of our cruising buddies from s/v Magnolia asked if we were heading to the Rhode River for the SSCA Gam. We were like, “What the heck are they talking about?” but we looked into it and, although not member of the Seven Seas Cruising Association, decided to head in that direction.
It looked to be about a 3 hour motoring trip and there seemed to be ample room for anchoring with lots of back-up choices. Pulling out of the close quarters of our protected, little slip was a bit of a challenge since our propeller and rudder where pretty dang dirty (the prop issue is normal for a docked boat, but the dirty rudder is mainly because our anti-fouling bottom paint didn’t stayed adhered for very long so stuff really likes to grow on it), but we pushed and glided our way out and down Back Creek, searching for the open Bay. The wind was pretty much non-existent as predicted, but since we had no concrete plans, we bobbed out there for a bit anyway and motor-sailed the rest of the way.
Heading in to the Rhode River, we did a little research on Camp Letts (where the Gam was to be held) and realized that the only thing poppin’ on that side of the river was “the Gam.” There wasn’t really a little town to explore or a restaurant to patronize, and being that we aren’t SSCA members, we probably wouldn’t be welcome at their parties without paying some kinda’ dues :) We also thought about the anchorage and after reading a couple of Facebook posts, and hearing the chatter on VHF channel 72, we decided that a crowded anchorage wasn’t what we were looking for. We took a hard turn south and headed for the neighboring West River instead.
The West River is home to Galesville, MD, which, we discovered had at least one cute bar/restaurant and plenty of anchorage space. Score. We dropped that anchor and chilled the eff out. It. Was. Epic.
Everyone fell right back into their cruising routines… Even this guy:
I insisted that we watch the sunset from our cockpit and then we hit the restaurant for dinner. The dink did great and it felt so good to be arriving to dinner by way of our little turtle shell.
I forgot about stars until about 1:30am when I woke up thirsty. I headed out into the cockpit and gazed for a bit. Leo came out and drank his outside water and I watched Orion rise. Someone was having a good ole party on land, playing drums and singing away. The ducks were tucked and floating aimlessly and it was the perfect amount of chilly.
The next morning we woke up with the sun and fiddled around a bit. JR brought stuff to do boat work and I brought work work. He replaced the hinges on our anchor locker that were corroded and then jumped in to clean our dirty prop, rudder, and seawater intakes and put on a new zinc anode. I planned for the week and texted my co-worker 100 times about the dreadful SLOs that were due Monday. None of it seemed quite as tedious with a view like this.
At about 1pm we decided to dink back over to “Thursdays” for ice cream and beer and we met a nice couple (albeit, power boaters) who lived on the Rhode River. They had no idea why sailors infiltrated their back yard once a year and we were happy to enlighten them. They gave us a few numbers for marinas on the Rhode River and inquired a bit about our trip. Talking to strangers, that’s what its all about :)
We headed for home at about 4pm, sailing steadily out of the channel and enjoying the little bit of extra speed we got from having a clean rudder. I fell asleep in the cockpit and woke to JR cursing about a crab pot. Seems like someone got a little big for his britches and decided to run over one right on the edge of the channel, so as not to alter his course. We snagged it and had to drop anchor to keep from running aground and then JR jumped in to cut it off the prop. Our first crab pot snag! And for anyone else who that might think you are safe from snagging them when the engine is off and out of gear, we can tell you that is not the case. At one time something like this would have really stressed us out, but we knew exactly what to do, dealt with it, and got back on course in no time. Nothing seemed to bother us out there, but I’m sure if the water was a few degrees colder, JR would have been slightly grumbly :) The view seems to make everything better.