Note that I completely forgot to bring a good camera so all the photos are from either my or Vicky's iPhones.
My cousin's family (Deb, Nathan, Marianne and Brian) have come sailing with us a few times over the years. They're great crewguests and always contact me in the spring to set a date for sailing. This year, however, their date was two weeks ago when the heat was just unbearable, so we cancelled and rescheduled for this weekend.
Originally, our plan was to sail into NYC with Deb and Nathan, and then sail back the next day with Fanny and her partner, but the entire weekend seemed to have zero wind and it was supposed to be rainy in Keyport. I didn't want to cancel on Deb again, and I noticed that the weather was supposed to be more promising in Rock Hall, MD on the Chesapeake Bay.
Since we moved to Newark, DE four years ago, I have been aware that I'm located mid-way between Keyport (where we lived before and where we keep Seas The Day) and Rock Hall, MD which is a sailing-intensive town on the Chesapeake - just across the bay from Annapolis. We decided to keep Seas The Day in Keyport because my son still lives there, but as he approaches turning 30 we realize that may change in the future, so we wanted to explore Rock Hall some more, thinking possibly of moving Seas The Day down there at some point in the future.
I've also learned that a couple of years ago Captain Andy (who taught us ASA 103 and ASA 105) had purchased a Catalina 425 and started a charter business, Shardana Sailing, which he runs out of Rock Hall, MD.
Regular readers (both of you) might recall that earlier in the season while our fuel tank was being replaced, we sailed on our friend's Catalina 42 and that Vicky liked it.
(See the connections starting to come together?)
So we booked an afternoon charter, cut up and packed some watermelon a friend had given us (Kids LOVE watermelon, right?) and headed down to meet Deb and her family in Rock Hall.
Now the Chesapeake Bay area is famous for its crabs and Vicky was NOT to be denied. We passed the time waiting for our charter time watching Vicky enjoy picking apart a few crabs at Waterman's Crab House. After lunch, we headed over to Osprey Point, the impressive marina where Capt. Andy keeps Shardana.
(Note: As we were leaving the restaurant, I received a call from Capt. Andy letting me know that it was hot with no wind. He gave me the option of backing out, but with two eager children who just sat through a 2 hour drive and an hour at a restaurant, we were going forward.)
We boarded Shardana and AS SOON AS WE DEPARTED, Vicky took the helm and I knew I was in trouble. This felt very familiar exactly the same as our first sailing excursion back in 2013 when I realized I would learn to sail. I think I'm capturing the start of "new boat fever" in this blog post, so if I appear conflicted, please understand
It wasn't long before she convinced me to take the helm. I tried not to smile, but I couldn't help it. Shardana is a beautiful boat that sails VERY smoothly. You'll see lots of photos of Deb and her family thoroughly enjoying the day. The wind came out (starting at 3-4 kts and increasing to 10 kts or so by the end) and we actually sailed. It turned out to be a fabulous day as you can see from the photos.
As I said before, Vicky is working me over not only on a possible new boat, but also on being allowed to hang out on the foredeck. Shardana had a lounge area up there and Capt. Andy had no such hangups so she dragged everyone up front. I even ventured forward to capture a photo.
Capt. Andy had his father in-law, Mike, along as extra crew.
While we were out, Andy lobbied me relentlessly to consider moving Seas The Day to Rock Hall. It was clear that he really enjoyed sailing out of there (and the marina, Osprey Point Inn and Marina, was incredible).
As you can see, the Chesapeake was just beautiful. I can see why it's considered the center of sailing in the US. (Rhode Island may take issue with that.)
As we headed back in, Capt. Andy mentioned that Winters Sailing (where we purchased Seas The Day) was hosting a BBQ in the next marina over and that both Brian Winter and Captain Gary (who took us around NJ in our delivery excursion) would be there. So once we were tied up and had some last photos of Deb's family, we headed over there to say hello to some friends.
Sorry, I didn't take any photos from the BBQ.
So will we get a new boat? Who knows... fortunately, Winters Sailing didn't have a 425 at their event. (They were promoting a different brand yesterday.) If they had it there along with papers, I think Vicky would have signed on the spot.
An hour and a half drive home, however, gives you a chance to think and talk. And that we did... we both have grown to love sailing and see ourselves doing it for a while to come. We are still aware that heartbeats are our most precious resource and Seas The Day remains our motto. But we are also aware that there are many ways we could invest more into sailing.
- We could upgrade Seas The Day with AC and move to a marina (perhaps in Rock Hall).
- We could swap for a bigger/better boat (life has been extremely good to both of us recently.
- We could do more charters - even to more exotic locales
(where we could see more of the world.)
Who knows... Vicky has even started looking at YouTube videos about long-range luxury trawlers.
It's gonna be a fun ride!