I am sure most of you at one time or another had to have your car towed. Well, last week, we had our first overnight cruise of the sailing season and we had to have our boat towed, not once.............but twice! Thank heavens for unlimited towing insurance.
We had a fabulous sail up to Harness Creek off the South River in Annapolis, only using our engine to get out of the slip and down the channel and then into our anchorage. An absolutely heavenly sail. We dropped hook in a beautiful cove, enjoyed some wine, and fired up the gas grill. Ahh.......relaxation. (But my mind is never far from Encore!) Went to sleep with the sunset and in the middle of the night I turned my reading light on and I thought it was a little dull. So I coaxed Larry to turn the engine on to rev up the batteries.
Nothing like sleeping on a boat! So quiet and restful. We were psyched for a great sail back.
But when we went to start the engine in the morning, NADA. Hmmmmmmmm. So we called Tow Boat US (they're like the AAA of the water). They came out to our boat, gave us a jump start, and we were on our merry way, except we found out we had no electronics. Apparently it was more than just a dead battery. Hmmmmmm. So that meant we absolutely could not stop the engine or we would need another jump start. We were motoring down the bay and then the engine RPMs started to slow - a sign the engine is not getting fuel. And then the engine just stopped! First time out and maybe the fuel had some gunk in it from the winter clogging the filter. Usually no big deal - we carry spares, but now with the batteries dead, we couldn't restart.
We put out the jib and sailed into Herring Bay, not far from where we keep the boat. But of course it is difficult to sail in the narrow channel and into our slip and we were a bit anxious about it. And then the wind just died. We pulled in the jib and bobbed around. We didn't want to put out the anchor because the windlass is driven by electricity and we had no electricity. And that anchor is very heavy. Not a good day. So we called Tow Boat US..... AGAIN. Twice in one day. As a conductor and former opera singer, I enjoy being in the limelight, but I truly do not enjoy all the attention you get when Tow Boat US shows up at your boat. Everyone gawks. You can see it on their faces. They're thinking "poor you"- just like when you see someone broken down at the side of the road. Tow Boat US towed us into our slip and of course by that time, the wind was coming up again. All in all, quite a season opener.
The boat is now fixed and we will try it again today. Never a dull moment out on the water!
All of the Encore rehearsals have been truly fantastic! The singers are really excited about the performances..........eight in three weeks.
The Lorton and Potomac Academy of GMU at Woodlands merged this past week to sing a great short program for the non-profit Haven volunteer luncheon at The Woodlands. The singers had a great time meeting one another and chatting at lunch. Haven of Northern Virginia offers support for the bereaved and seriously ill. Encore is a non-profit that offers an opportunity for musical excellence, great support from fellow singers and uplifting rehearsals and performances. And Haven helps people get through very difficult times. I thought our missions complemented each other. We all enjoyed ourselves and were pleased to be a part of honoring Haven volunteers.
The Smithsonian Encore Chorale is in concert on Sunday, April 26 at 1:30pm at the beautiful Kogod Courtyard at the American Art Museum. Talk about a fabulous rehearsal at the Smithsonian this week! After vocalizes, we began with "Guys and Dolls" and they were singing so well. I stopped and asked them what they all ate for breakfast! They are ready for Sunday and I can't wait. Carol Gilmore of the Lorton Encore Chorale will be the soprano soloist and she came in to rehearse with us. She wowed us! And the Smithsonian Encore Chorale will wow their audience!
Encore keeps exploding. We will be opening two new Encore Chorales in September. We will be at Anne Arundel Community College and hopefully we will be able to serve not only Annapolis, but Eastern Shore residents. Singers will rehearse from 2 to 3:30pm on Mondays. And we will be opening an Encore Chorale at the Schweinhaut Senior Center in Silver Spring, Maryland on Mondays from 10:30am to noon.
And with our first affiliate Encore Chorale, Laurel Lake Encore Chorale, we have so much to look forward to. I am really going to try to travel to Hudson, Ohio and hear the Laurel Lake Encore Chorale performance on May 28 at 7:00pm. Donna Anderson, their conductor, and I are already talking about doing a joint concert in Ohio next May. I have spoken with some of my Encore singers and they all think it would be a great idea. Road Trip!!!!!
I am so pleased to have Donna Anderson as a fellow blogger. She is doing great work at Laurel Lake and I am proud to have her as my colleague.
Oh yes, Encore has been invited to cruise on the Celebrity Cruises' Mercury, January 2 - 11, 2010. We will be cruising from Baltimore and our first stop will be Charleston, SC. Then we go to Key West , on to Nassau, Bahamas and down to Cococay, Bahamas. We will rehearse in the mornings for one and one half hours and we will be ready for a concert at sea on January 10. Also offered will be a wonderful fitness program designed for older adults. Sounds like fun to me. Encore keeps getting better and better.
I better sign off and go to see my great singers and friends at the Goodwin Houses. Cheers everybody!