Sunday, 2 December 2007

Two weeks on the Chesapeake Bay


We purchased our first sailboat, Sandpiper, a 30ft S2 9.2, in 2005. Our collective sailing experience prior to Sandpiper was gained aboard OPB's (other people's boats) and on Hobie Cats rented on stormy afternoons at Balmoral Beach in Sydney. During July of 2005, we spent two great weeks exploring the Chesapeake Bay with our youngest son, Elliot and Daisie Dog. Although we'd spent the past 3 months putting our mark on Sandpiper with a few coats of varnish on the brightwork, re-caulking of the toerails and chainplates, installing a new hatch and new head, removing the microwave and re-installing the original Origo fuel-burning stove, and a general spit and polish above and below decks, we learned a thing or two during that 2 weeks about proper maintenance. Quick attention to the stuffing box and a new forestay were both on the agenda during that trip.

St. Michaels Museum
We sailed out of White Rocks Marina on Rock Creek, Pasedena Maryland on the 4th of July weekend, heading to St. Michaels. From there we criss-crossed the Bay all the way to Crisfield (the Home of Crabs) in the first week, then turned around and headed back towards Baltimore during the second. Anyone who sails the Chesapeake Bay will tell you that July is not the best time to sail. Despite the heat and the need to run the engine when we'd rather be sailing, we count those 2 weeks as 2 of the best weeks we've spent on vacation.
Crisfield, old and new.

On the final day, we sailed back into White Rocks with a storm chasing us up from Annapolis and another closing around us out of Baltimore. A spectacular moment at the very end of our journey; the skies pitch dark all around, a small craft advisory over the radio, power boats tearing across the water for shelter, sailboats docked, and one bright shaft of skylight breaking through the clouds directly above the entrance to Rock Creek. Like a light in the window welcoming us home, it was as if someone had turned on the light waiting for our return; an incredible sight and the perfect ending to a special vacation.

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