Larry and I crashed a party this weekend. It was on the water over on the Eastern Shore, on a barge with about 40 kids, about 20 years old! Now how about that!
We had sailed over through the Knapps Narrows - Tilghman Island - on Friday evening and decided to anchor in Dun's Cove, a lovely and very peaceful place on Harris Creek which is off the mighty Choptank River. Well, it is usually peaceful. When coming into the cove we noticed what looked like a barge with lots of folks - loud folks - partying hearty. There were workboats, as in crabbing boats, tied up on either side of the barge. They had put picnic tables on the barge and they were cooking crabs, drinking beer, playing beer ping pong and just having a ball. We anchored quite a distance away, with the wind carrying their noise downcreek. After we got situated, we decided to get in the dinghy and take a little motor over to get a better look. Larry said I couldn't take my glass of wine because we would look like old snoots. I took my wine. He had a beer. Just out for a cocktail cruise on the dinghy, but really being nosy about this fun party. Well, they invited us to their party! Those kids were so nice. Just having a good time celebrating a birthday. They were swimming and dancing and playing games. They thought these two white haired folks were pretty cool. Even took our picture with some of them. And actually I was pretty good at beer ping pong. That was the best party we ever crashed.
The next morning we enjoyed coffee in the then very peaceful cove, watching a hot shot pilot do all kinds of neat things in his little yellow plane. It was a gorgeous morning for air acrobats. We decided to pick up anchor and go over to San Domingo Creek, off Broad Creek. San Domingo is the "back door" to St. Michael's. It is a more peaceful anchorage than going in on the Miles River and the holding ground is much better. There were only three boats anchored. We got in the dinghy and went into town and discovered that the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum was having a Chesapeake Folk Festival. We were very lucky to see the Caleb W. Jones - a Skipjack - launched. She has just been lovingly restored at the museum . We saw her pulled out of the water three years ago, so it was a thrill to see her go back in fully restored.
She looked so beautiful. I couldn't help but think what the Chesapeake must have looked many years ago with all those lovely, graceful skipjacks plying the waters. Now we see some mighty ugly new power and sail boats.
The festival had lots of demonstrations on antique letterpresses, blacksmithing, nameboard carving, dipnet making, crab pot making and pound net fishing. There was story telling by historians but I was really interested in the Smith Island Cake demonstration.
Our neighbors had ordered two Smith Island cakes for a chamber music party we were giving this past winter and I was really interested in seeing how they make them. The cakes are fantastic! They were desingated the Official Dessert of Maryland in 2008 and they have become quite a sensation. They were giving a demonstration on how to make the cakes and the women from Smith Island had the Smith Island accent and all the fascinating Smith Island stories. For those that do not know about Smith Island, it is the only Maryland inhabited island accessible only by boat in the Chesapeake. Visit if you have not. It is truly amazing how those hearty folk make it.
After the festival we dinghied back to Cantabile and cleaned up and went back into town for a fabulous dinner at a new place called Rupert's. What a great day! That evening we sat on our "front porch" (the bow of our boat) in our chairs and watched the day quietly slip away. Nothing like being on the water.
Sunday was just your basic "windless" August day, so we motored back. The storm that the weather channel was talking about slipped up the bay to our west. What a lovely weekend. Let's see.....it's Monday and we get to do it again leaving on Friday. The plan is to explore in August the rivers off the Choptank . Next week is Oxford. The Robert Morris Restaurant is again back in business and I hear them calling us to visit.
But for now, I hear Encore calling. The Chautauqua camp is now less than a month away and registrations are still coming in. This camp is now officially the largest we've had and the numbers are still growing. Looks like I didn't order enough music or tee-shirts - gotta get on the phone and order some more!