After two weeks on our sailboat, my brain seems like a mess of cobwebs! Being away from civilization will do that to you.
I must confess that I hardly thought about work. Maybe that is why it is so difficult to be back at my desk. It feels so foreign!
Actually I have been out of the office for a total of three weeks. Our Encore Chorale Camp at St. Mary's college of Maryland was June 15 to 19 and we had a perfect week. We really had a great five days of meeting new friends and making great music. Throw in some dance and movement and terrific evening concerts and a beautiful boat cruise and a truly great grand finale concert and that sums up the five days. We sure packed in a lot in a short amount of time.
I returned home on Saturday night and Larry and I were out of the door on our beloved sailboat Cantabile by 11am Sunday morning. No wind to take us down to Solomons Island but we didn't care. We have a big engine and we just put on the auto pilot and enjoyed the five six hour cruise. It was delightful. Absolutely delightful. And from that time on, we had fantastic wind for the most of the rest of the two weeks. We covered 448 miles and we sailed most of those miles. Incredible wind. Ahhhhh
Next stop was the Wicomico River on the Eastern Shore of MD. Great sail and stunning scenery. We stopped in at Whitehaven and pulled into a marina so we could have dinner at the Red Roost restaurant. Yum! We got the New England clam bake. Then we motored up to Wicomico Creek for a very peaceful evening at anchor. Next morning we took the dinghy up the creek for about four miles. Talk about gorgeous!
Then we were on our way to Tangier Island. This was the only other time we really had to motor all the way. No wind. The last time we were in Tangier Sound, about three years ago, we had a very fast sail. Not this time. Got in to Tangier and went into Parks Marina, the only one on the island. We have been there about four times and Mr. Milton Parks is such a hoot. He has lived his entire life on the island as a waterman and now at the age of 79, he just does his marina. I remember the first time we pulled in there many years ago, he recited Shakespeare as we were tying up! He know everything about Tangier and he knows everyone! But there are only about 600 people left on the island. They all speak in a Elizabethan English dialogue. Very interesting. Went out to dinner at the Waterman's Restaurant and then Mr. Parks gave us a tour of the island in his golf cart. No cars on the island....just carts and bikes. And everyone goes visiting in the evening. You won't find this anywhere else. Well maybe on Smith Island, the island due north of Tangier. Next morning we walked down to the end of the island to the beach, the most beautiful on the bay. Nobody is ever on that beach. And I mean nobody. Just beautiful.
We returned to the boat and took off for Dymer Creek off of Fleets Bay on the Northern Neck. So peaceful there. We sailed most of the way, but the wind died and it got really hot. So we motored in, dropped the anchor and had a lovely evening. Took a little dinghy ride up the creek. Came back and slept well.
Next morning we started to go across the bay to Cape Charles but the wind was blowing out of the south east (the direction we were headed) so we went up the Rappahanock River. By this time a heat wave was really settling in and it was 98 degrees. We had a fabulous sail but it felt like it was a blowing furnace in your face. The forecast was for the heat to continue or get worse. We didn't like what we were hearing, so we decided then to head for home. Nothing like being out on a sailboat in 100 degree heat and sun. But the morning brought a very strong north wind, not conducive to going north. So we decided to go for a fabulous sail down to Cape Charles, just about where the Bay meets the ocean. What a sail! And the temperature stayed in the 80's. Thanks heavens we didn't go home. Cape Charles is gorgeous. On the way in to Cape Charles, a coast guard boat was racing past us with its emergency light on and we thought they must be going to a huge emergency. Well, that emergency was us! They pulled up alongside of us and asked if we had ever been boarded by the Coast Guard. We said no. Then they asked us if we had firearms. We said no. I was nervous. Here we are......two 60 year old folks with white hair and the Coast Guard is coming aboard! They asked to see our registration, all our safety equipment, flares, fire extinguishers, etc. We passed with flying colors and we got a "good as gold" certificate. So that was the excitement for the day. Had a fabulous dinner at Aqua and slept well.
On Saturday morning the temps started cranking back up. We walked into Cape Charles, did a little shopping and walked back to the boat. Larry watched the USA-Ghana soccer game at the bar and I went swimming. Then 40 huge power yachts from Hampton started arriving. Party central. The dockhand suggested if we wanted to sleep we may want to move to a dock farther from party central. We did....happily. That evening we made reservations to take a train ride on the Bay Creek Train. It was a dining car so we would be dining as we rode thru the countryside. Well, the train overheated and only got about 20 feet. So that was the train ride. Temperatures were heating up and Cape Charles was becoming an oven. Back to the boat for a hot sleep.
Sunday brought hotter temps so we decided to put in the AC and stay in the marina one more day. Wrong decision. It was so hot that the AC could not keep up with the heat. The boat was like an oven. We decided we would head for home the next day.
We left Cape Charles and got to the Great Wicomico River with three menhaden boats on our stern and our roller fuller jib was not cooperating. And tons of wind. Wrong time for the furling not to work. So Larry had to bring the whole jib sail on to the deck. It was about 101 degrees. Miserable. All I wanted was my house and AC. We agreed we would continue north in the am. But the next morning there was a very heavy north wind so we decided to sail thru the Kedges Straits over to Crisfield. It wasn't exactly north towards home, but it was a great sail. Crisfield is a very sad little town. Mrs. Paul's Seafood and Carvel Cutlery have long since moved out and everything is boarded up or falling apart. And they built these ugly condos thinking people would buy them and bring the town back to life. Hasn't happened.
Tuesday the heat wave finally broke and we crossed the bay into the Potomac River and went into the quiet Coan River on the southern shore of the Potomac. Not much happening there. Dropped hook and had a great evening. Next morning we went up to Nomini Creek off the Potomac. This is a beautiful area, with high cliffs and an island where you can hunt for sharks teeth. Our cruising guide said there was a great inn to have dinner but it had gone out of business. Bad luck. We had a great dinner on board.
On Friday we had a roaring sail to St. Mary's River on the Potomac (where our camp was) and dropped anchor in Horse Shoe Bend. We grilled some tasty chicken for lunch and then took naps. What a nice way to spend an afternoon. St. Mary's River Concert Series was having their big July 4 celebration that evening with Brian Ganz playing Gershwin Piano Concerto. Our daughter Heather plays in that symphony. Heather brought a picnic for us and we sat and visited before the concert. She also got us front row seats! It was a great night. There were more than 4000 people there! There was actually a traffic jam at the dinghy dock!
The next morning we had a great sail half way up to Solomons. This was our final night of the cruise. We dinghied ashore and dined at the Dry Dock, then returned for a restful night.
Sadly, we had to motor much of the last day of the trip, but we sure did have some phenomenal sailing along the way. There is nothing like being on our boat. Well..........maybe the Queen Mary 2. But that will be next summer. Hint, hint. Encore is going on the QM2 next summer!