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Heading North: Hurricane Arthur to “Home”

When we left the Dismal Swamp after Hurricane Arthur, we headed straight to Norfolk, VA to catch their postponed fireworks display. Most of the cities in that neck of the woods re-scheduled their fireworks because of the weather conditions and it surely worked out for us! We enjoyed the music of a live concert and an impressive fireworks display from the comfort of our own cockpit. It was a festive night, and well-deserved after our little hurricane panic.

The beautifully calm Dismal Swamp Canal.

The beautifully calm Dismal Swamp Canal.

Norfolk skyline.

Norfolk skyline.

This would be me dancing on the deck to a Bruno Mars cover.  Good times :)

This would be me dancing (and singing) on the deck to a Bruno Mars cover. Good times :)

Great fireworks show, Norfolk!

Great fireworks show, Norfolk!

Our last official stop as real, live cruisers was Solomons Island, MD. It was really heavy to cruise in and grab the same mooring ball at Zahniser’s Yachting Center as we did about 8 months ago. We knew this was it, so we stayed for a couple of nights. The amount of reflecting, and sighing, and thinking we did in Solomons was pretty incredible. How on earth did we pull this off? Why are we so lucky to have had this experience? How are we going to go back? But we took our time in Solomons and biked around, as cruisers do, and met up with other cruisers. Our marina even had a pool, so we lounged around there for a while as well. It was a much different atmosphere than back in Novemeber, and instead of being homesick and terrified (me), we were grateful and a bit melancholy knowing this chapter in our story was drawing to an end.

You know you're getting close when you see this guy.  Can you name it!?

You know you’re getting close when you see this guy. Can you name it!?

Journey at sunset.

Journey at sunset.

JR chillin' in the pool.

JR chillin’ in the pool.

Being that it was summer on the Chesapeake, we knew we’d be dodging thunderstorms, and as much as we wanted to stay moored in sweet Solomons, we knew we had to head to Annapolis and find a resting place for Journey. With the threat of thunderstorms in the air (and on our weather apps), we dropped our mooring pennant and headed “home.” I’ve been wrestling with the word “home” recently, but more on that another time. We made it to Annapolis after a nice sail, with only a drizzle, and searched for a spacious place to drop the hook while we investigated marinas. Unfortunately, both Back Creek and Spa Creek were a bit crowded for our liking, so we picked up yet another mooring on the inside of Spa Creek Bridge. FYI sailor friends, if your boat is 35 ft. and under, the west side of the bridge is 10 bucks cheaper than the east side :) My BFF, Flavia, is an Annapolitan and happily came to greet us as we held up traffic and went under our final bridge of the trip. She got some fun shots of our beautiful Journey in her festive attire. I remember the day we bought Journey, I was nervous to call the Spa Creek Bridge tender to request an opening. My how things have changed :)

Sails up!

Sails up!

This view, I will miss <3

This view, I will miss <3

Flags up!

Flags up!

Journey heading home...

Journey heading home…

The welcoming committee.

The welcoming committee.

Spa Creek is such a poppin’ little place, we had baby sailors of all ages practicing their points of sail all around us, paddleboarders, kayakers, and even a front row seat to paddleboard yoga a few mornings in a row. JR was not disappointed with that view ;) Annapolis is a GREAT place to visit by boat. Now that we’ve been to a few little boat towns, we realize just how great Annapolis is to cruisers. Every street that ends at a creek has a dinghy dock, which makes exploring really interesting and never-ending. Showers are included in your mooring fee and the dinghy dock downtown puts you right in the middle of everything (like ice cream). I can’t tell ya how many hours I’ve driven around that town looking for parking, but as cruisers, we dinghied right on up to the most popular spots! Pretty. Dang. Cool.

Baby sailors, gettin' their practice on!

Baby sailors, gettin’ their practice on!

In her Sunday best :)

In her Sunday best :)

Lucky for us, our contact at a small marina in Eastport panned out and we took Journey to her resting spot, at least until she gets hauled out in November. It’s a great little location, super-protected and snug in a lovely little community. We have great boat neighbors and can walk to lots of cool stuff downtown. It was (and is) a perfect transition spot for us.

Dock lines tied, y'all.

Dock lines tied, y’all.

Leo enjoying some night-time outside time.  Yup, that's a leash!

Leo enjoying some nighttime outside time. Yup, that’s a leash!

Unfortunately, along with snug protection and many, many dock lines comes lack of wind and rising temperatures! We noticed on the first day that living aboard at a dock is VERY different than living at anchor. I knew pretty quickly that living in a slip was not for me. We suffered through for about a week. JR even bought a little window AC unit and installed it neatly in the companionway. But Journey is not cut out for all that fuss. Yup, the cabin was cool and cozy, but then we were locked in our small space necessitating a gymnastics routine just to get in and out. Life on Journey became complicated. So we moved out.

We’ve been back to visit her a bunch of times and cleaned her up nice, ridding her deck of the jerry cans, our spare anchor, and that silly AC unit. She has transformed back into a little Chesapeake Bay sailor and that’s what she’ll be until we cruise again. We left her fully functional however, so all we need to grab from our house are some clothes, and we can be off for a nice long weekend! A nice long weekend with 0% chance of thunderstorms and mid to high 70 degree temps that is ;) Thanks for reading.

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