Sailing blogs are hard. Especially when life changes and you’re not sailing anymore. I go back and forth trying to decide what to do with this little piece of the internet, and mostly, I just let it be. I read it now and again, clicking posts that I forgot I wrote. It’s such a lovely stroll down memory lane. I often think about what our friend, Anthony from s/v Magnolia, told us about his blog. Anthony said, “I don’t even proof read it. I write, insert pictures, and publish all for my 80-year-old self to read one day down the road.” I love that. So I’m going to keep this little internet corner open for a while longer, you know, for my 80-year-old self. Hope you don’t mind. And I hope this is a fun update for some of our dedicated readers out there too.
Since landfall in 2014, land life is happening, taking up most of our time and energy. I imagine you didn’t start reading this blog to learn about a stranger’s day-to-day land life, so I’ll leave those glamorous details out. But JR and I did decide to give Journey some exercise last summer after leaving her on the hard for over a year. We splashed her in April 2016 and did a few weekend trips and day sails, making our time on the water a weekend priority. We opted out of a week long beach vacation last year for various reasons, and, in October, decided to do a week long “Bay-cation” instead, exploring some of the nooks and crannies of our beautiful Chesapeake Bay.
I planned a general route, crossing the bay and heading up the Choptank River. Of course, it all depended on the wind which was a fun reminder of our old cruising life. We knew we wanted to start with a night on the hook, no plans, no land adventures, no nothing. Just stars and JR and Leo and boat food. So that first day we crossed the bay and ended up just inside the mouth of the Choptank River, Harris Creek to be exact, for a quite night of acclimating… It was lovely and as usual, and the stars did not disappoint <3
The next morning we headed southeast and further into the Choptank to Cambridge, MD for some land adventures. The sail was calm and as we entered Cambridge Creek, we decided to anchor right in the middle of the city, so once we wiggled up Cambridge Creek we anchored in the basin, right smack in front of Snappers Waterfront Cafe. We had a great view of the Market Street draw bridge and access to land via the sea wall in front of the Dorchester County government building. I both love and hate being in the middle of a busy waterway like this. I loved watching Journey bob around while we ate outside at Snappers, but I had a panic attack every time that touristy pirate ship came through the basin to turn around :) Cambridge was a really fun place to visit. Great history that was wasted on us, fun restaurants, and neat little shops. We were about a week too late to experience the Iron Man Triatholon, but heard a few fun stories about it from a local shop owner. Quick notes (and things I want to remember) about Cambridge:
- If you read that the Municipal Yacht Basin allows cruisers to use their shower facilities, it’s outdated information and a LIE! Full on cockpit showers for us in Cambridge!
- If you like macaroni and cheese and you choose to dine at Snappers, get Syd’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese sandwich. Just do it.
- If you decide to go walking in town. Pay attention to your surroundings. It can go from trendy Gastro Pub (highly recommend High Spot) to pit bulls chained to a fence post real quick! FYI.
- RAR Brewery is nearby and poppin’ and it’s really fun to say. “Rar” :)
Next on our itinerary was Oxford, MD. We headed back west and crossed back, to the other side of the mighty Choptank and up the Tred Avon River. It’s funny, when I first shared my week Baycation plan with JR, he grumpily whined, “All those towns are close together, I wanna saaaaaaaiiil…” But once we got out there, we realized what a BEAST the Choptank is! We surely got in our share of sailing. It was a beautiful sail toward Oxford, up until the Tred Avon River. We even reefed the sails, mostly because we wanted our elderly cat to be comfortable <3 and we saw a bald eagle frolicking overhead!
Oxford is a sleepy, little, boat town with a little over 600 residents situated at the mouth of the Tred Avon River. We were able to anchor in Town Creek, head to shore to sneak in some schmancy showers at the Brewer Boatyard Oxford Marina (#cruiserlife), stumble upon an antique car show, watch the sunset, AND eat crab cakes at the infamous Robert Morris Inn all in one night. There were so many fun tidbits from that night like the lovely man who gave us his blessing to use the marina showers, watching the ferry cross the Tred Avon, the fun accents of the folks who were partying after the car show, the crappy milkshake we grabbed at the Oxford Market, and the debate between Octoberfest and some other beer we can’t remember the name of. But above all else, I do not ever want to forget the dinghy ride home after this close-to-perfect evening. It was so dark and the stars were so bright. The moon was rising as if on cue and JR was terribly worried about running into a submerged piling (it was on the chart). I was holding this weird new dinghy light we acquired and it didn’t shine forward enough to see what was in our path. It was a little bit chilly, but that feeling of skating over the dark water, in the dark night, like the world is moving under you and you are standing still… That feeling, that moment, I never want to forget. I felt alive, as I often do, when we are living the cruising life, even in the murky old bay. Such a wonderful dinghy ride home. You’re welcome, 80-year-old self, you’re welcome for that flashback.
One night in Oxford was all we did, but not before this very special photo shoot. You see, part of this blog update is to let you know our world-rocking news. We, like so many of our cruising buddies, were expecting our very own little sailor girl. We used the beautiful weather and view to try to capture the perfect announcement photo. I think we nailed it. We have mixed feelings about this new adventure. We really like our life, so it has been hard to adjust to the thought of change… but I think we’ll be OK. Now would be the time for all of our sailing buddies to tell us that life does not have to come to a screeching halt and that a new baby just means free crew <3 Thanks.
Our last stop was St. Michaels, MD. We wouldn’t be Bay sailors if we did drop the hook near St. Michales at some point in our sailing career. We chose the less poppin’ anchorage at San Domingo Creek which meant back out to the Tred Avon and up Broad Creek. Lots of motoring this time to get into the very protected anchorage and after a wrong turn, we found our way into the creek, much to our surprise, one of only two boats there. We stayed home that first night and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Leo did a few laps, JR kept his eye on a storm that was brewing, and we all enjoyed boat drinks. Mine were virgin, of course.
The next day we went into town to see what we could see and spent the day wandering the streets, having lunch al fresco, and tracking down the ice cream shops. We knew our mini-cruise was coming to an end and, I for one, was feeling a bit melancholy, knowing this was our last cruise as a family of three. I knew that the next time we cruised, no matter short or long, we’d have a little nugget to worry about. As exciting as it was, it was equally sad. I’ve been dealing with these dueling emotions a lot since we found out about our sailor girl. I didn’t realize opposite emotions could exist simultaneously.
We headed back to our marina on Saturday October 8, 2016, just in time for the Annapolis Sailboat Show. It was a rainy, soaking sail home. It reminded me of a saying one of our favorite captains once told us, “If you wanna know what sailing is like, poor a bucket of cold water on yourself with all your clothes on.” Yep, our sail home was kinda like that. Wet or dry, JR is happy when he sails, so there wasn’t any complaining coming from our little cockpit <3
We decided before our baby was born to put Journey in the water this (2017) season. We really want baby to grow up on the water and even though we knew it would be tricky to have a newborn and sail, we wanted to make sailing a priority. If it goes well, I hope to share those experiences with you. If we fail, I’ll gladly share that experience as well. We hope all of our blog friends are well… Thanks for reading.
<3 Mariluna Ann * February 28, 2017 * 12:44 am * 8 lbs. 1 oz * 20 1/4 inches <3