Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just me and My Wife

A mid-week cruise, to celebrate our webbing anniversary. Few days of nothing planned and no commitments.

We went to the boat the night before. No morning rush to pack things away and get away from the dock. It got a bit cold, below 50F at night I think, but that's outside, the heat works, and so does close company.

The wind was working in the morning, a nice broad reach with a 10-15 knot breeze and a brilliant sun. In spite of perfect traveling conditions, we weren't headed far. The goal was to have an afternoon in a quiet place with nothing to do.

There's an an un-named creek off Harris Creek, off the Choptank River, between Briary Cove and Cummings Creek, one of the nicest little anchorages in the area, with no mention in any guide. Perhaps the shallow entrance--about 6 feet over a narrow bar during exceptionally low tides--is enough to disqualify it for inclusion, but it's deeper inside, 7-10 feet over most of it's area. If you chose to visit, stay close to the south side of the remains of a blind located in the center of the mouth of the creek-- that is the deepest spot, and it is quite shallow on the north side. Most of the creeks in this area are heavily gentrified. We passed the ever-popular Dunn Cove on the way in, always crowded; I supose folk feel some safety in numbers. Perhaps being in front of a mansion or two makes them feel secure or perhaps they hope something will rub off if they stare at money long enough. Our cove has only a few old houses, well screened by trees, a few blinds, and a few working farms.

We took the dingy and explored the margins, in no hurry. Even in October the water is warm enough for wading, and with the reduced algae population, the water becomes clear. We read books and told stories and listened.

See the decoys in the woods, waiting for the gunning season to open?

Morning found us homeward bound. Though the forecast had suggested no wind, we got 10 knots just behind on the beam and slid across the Bay in no time. The Annapolis Sail Boat Show was starting and I had a press pass waiting with my name on it.



A press pass is, first and foremost, an invitation for every two-bit gadget maker to grab your sleeve and pitch his latest must-have-you-can't-survive-without-this-and-mine-is-better doo dad. It gets you more attention when you wander on boats costing more than your house and that would require your entire family and all of your friends to crew. And it's free.

The reason for the visit was practical, a working day to shop for article ideas, for myself and for other reviewers. There is so much, but any thick catalog will convey that. But what things make sense to test, side by side? Many things--clothing, kitchen stuff--boil down more to personal preferences than quantifiable differences. Most of what I write centers on fuels and chemistry, my area of expertise, and that narrows things further.

A boat fell on my head. I was talking with a salesman about a small catamaran that looked particularly fast, when a small gust of wind came up. They had placed several performance dingies up on stands, 3 feet tall, with full sail set perpendicular to the wind and trimmed in tight, on the most windward dock of the show. Fortunately it was a small dingy and the event caused nothing more than apologies and excitement. Pretty dumb, though.

What I should have spent more time doing, was to sit on the edge of the dock and simply listen to the banter. To the comments folks make upon leaving a boat. To people on the boats trying to impress each other or the salesman with some sophomoric display. Lots of mature people, simply enjoying the spectacle, the weather, and boat shopping. Interesting people to meet; Lin Pardey called out to me from her booth--she has a new book out--wondering who else from Practical Sailor was there. We talked a bit about sailing without and engine and writing.

But my wife was waiting, hanging out in Annapolis and shopping, but mostly enjoying a perfect day. We sat at a table and exchanged stories.


1 comment:

  1. Happy belated anniversary! No plans and no schedule on a boat overnight sounds like the perfect way to celebrate!