Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Summer 2007 - Chesapeake Bay

From the time of our arrival at Frog Mortar Creek on July 28th until our departure on October 22nd, we took short trips on the Chesapeake Bay, completed more boat projects from the never-ending list, visited and shared many wonderful meals with friends and family, and relaxed into our cruising-retirement lifestyle. It was wonderful to have quality time to spend with family and friends, which enabled those relationships to grow to a new and deeper level. The true highlight of the trip was Sean and Meredith’s wedding on October 5th!

Spending the summer at Frog Mortar Creek with John, Linda, Dylan, Bob, Dora and Sailor (ruff-ruff) was truly fantastic! We all grew closer as friends and became extended family to each other. When it came time to part ways it was very bitter sweet. But we all know our paths will cross again soon. Thanks to everyone for a fantastic summer!

So, here’s a brief synopsis of the summer’s events:

August 18th – 22nd

Time for the last hurrah before Dylan headed back to school. So, John, Linda, and Dylan joined us for a several day cruise on the Chesapeake Bay. John and Linda's House We headed to Still Pond for a nice quiet anchorage, then up the Sassafras River to Georgetown, which we found to be a big disappointment. Georgetown consists of several expensive marinas and a few houses, nothing else, so we headed on to Havre de Grace, where life for John, Linda and Dylan began to take a turn. Why? Well, this is where they fell in love with the Hunter 41 Deck Salon sailboat! Little did they know that this discovery would lead them to find and purchase a boat by mid-September. Way to go!

August 29th

Happy Birthday Barry! We invited a few friends and close family to a small gathering on shore at the Yates’ home for a birthday celebration. The celebration was also for John, as his birthday was August 27th. John and Barry are best of friends and are very much alike in many ways. Happy Birthday John and Barry!

August 31st – September 4th

It was time for another short cruise on the Chesapeake, so we took off for Gray’s Creek to pick up Stan and Kaye for a long weekend of sailing. The winds were favorable, so we sailed from Gray’s Creek off the Magothy River on the western shore to Gray’s Inn Creek up the Chester River on the Eastern Shore, which was a wonderfully beautiful place to anchor. The next day we were off to Rock Hall. The anchorage was more than full because it was Labor Day weekend, but we managed to find a spot. Then we dinked to shore for a walk around Rock Hall and dinner. From there we sailed home. I can’t forget to mention that we once again dined to Stan and Kaye’s wonderful cooking! No, they can’t sail with you, because they’re coming with us! Thanks for a great weekend!

September 8th

Day sail! Yes, our extended-through-our-son’s-marriage family, John, Kitty, Len and Karen Rogers, joined us for a day sail. The winds were favorable and we enjoyed several very relaxing hours on the bay. It was great to catch up on our children’s lives and on ours as well. Karen graced us with a yummy peach pie to top off our chicken salad sandwiches. We’re so glad you could join us and we really appreciate your driving all the way from Burke, VA!

September 9th

Day sail again, how lucky are we? This wonderful family day graced us with Kim, Mike, Matt and Stephanie. I think Mike could have moved in permanently, as he enjoyed being on the water so much. The winds were quieter today than yesterday, which allowed some sunbathing on the front deck. The day was filled with endless conversations and munching on healthy (and some unhealthy) snacks. Well, we can’t be perfect all the time, can we? Thanks for joining us!

September 14th – 16th

John and Linda settled on their new found Hunter 41, “Jo-Lin-Dy”. Bob and Barry went along to Deltaville, VA for the closing and to assist with sailing the boat back to Frog Mortar Creek. Linda drove home and was on the dock with Dylan, Dora, Sailor and me to welcome the boys home from a rather eventful sail. They encountered high winds, heavy seas, a radar that fell off the mast and bounced into the cockpit (luckily it didn’t hit anyone!), a jib-sail that unfurled when it wasn’t suppose to, and a few other learning events. Needless to say Jo-Lin-Dy and its crew arrived safely to a warm homecoming.

Let the projects begin!

We were now finally able to pull up to the Yates’ dock. Why now? Well, the dock had been under construction since spring and was just getting to the point where we could pull the boat in and begin some projects that required us to be tied up. Here’s a short list of the main projects:

  • Added two batteries to the house bank to increase amp-hour capacity
  • Fixed the leaks in the hardtop, removed windows, bedded new windows, rolled out truck bed liner down the middle of the hardtop to prevent slipping when walking up there
  • Removed solar panels from the arch, tested and fixed connections, mounted solar panels on the hardtop
  • Raised the height of the wind generator
  • Removed and adjusted the enclosure to better meet our needs

Return of the Swab

In the midst of working on the projects, Swab Beth came for a week long visit and to attend Sean and Meredith’s wedding with us. We so enjoyed having her back aboard. But, she is off creating her own life now and will probably only join us for short visits in the future, such as when she can’t get to sleep because her bed doesn’t rock!

October 5th - The Wedding

The wedding was absolutely beautiful, as you can imagine. Aren’t our children’s weddings the most awesome experience in the world! We saw many friends from days gone by and enjoyed catching up on the latest with them and with family. There was plenty of fun, sharing and dancing to be had, and we did it all. Congratulations to Sean and Meredith!

Finishing the Projects!

Now it was time to really polish off those projects on the list and plan for our get away. Plans included the Annapolis Sail Boat Show. On the way to the show we rendezvoused with Rick and Jude Cunningham for breakfast. They had driven in from Illinois and will head back to Jacksonville this winter. While at the boat show we hooked up with Di and met her friends Charlie and Joanie. Di filled us in on the Jacksonville crowd and it was so good to spend some time together. We all bought boat “stuff” at the show but none of us bought a new boat. Thank goodness, although we’re considering selling our boat and moving to another type of cat.

Sharing with Friends

There were many fun trips to visit friends, fix computers and generally chat about cars, retirement and life. On several wonderful days we visited with Gary and Donna and only wished we’d had more time to spend with them. Next summer we’ll get out on the water and head to Cape May!

There was the trip to Frederick, MD for the ‘Boot Hill Dancers’ reunion (Barb’s old dance team) at Camp David and Judy. Of course none of us had aged in the almost 15 years since we’d all been together.

And there was the trip to Winchester, VA to visit Barbara and Frank, who are storing our ‘Beach Cruiser’ car for us for the winter. We spent a couple days on the mountain and watched beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Barb took off for Mason Neck, VA to spend time with Isabelle and her 4 year old twin boys, Xylan and Nathaniel. Those boys sure kept us going with biking, running, swimming, and their own computer games! Oh, and they also came to the boat for a day of fun playing in the river.

October 14th – Farewell Dinner

It was time to say good bye until next summer, which was usually difficult because we never knew when we’d be back in the Baltimore area again. But this time we said good bye for only a few months, as we plan to return to the Chesapeake Bay for another summer of fun cruising with family and friends.

So, to send us off in style, Carol put on a fantastic farewell dinner for the family. All were there, Carol, Mike, Dillon and Jimmie, Kim and Mike, Sean and Meredith, and of course us. Carol outdid herself once again with an awesome spread for our dining pleasure. We sat around and had those old familiar and wonderful family conversations.

Over the course of the summer we spent time with Carol and Mike on several occasions and enjoyed time for long visits, home repairs, and computer talk. We will continue next summer!

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