Cruising close to home
We just returned from a great week cruise on the Chesapeake.* Six nights aboard, four at marinas and two at anchor.* We left our home port of Occoquan, VA on Mother's day and headed down the Potomac.* The water was flat and we made good time in getting to the St. Mary's River for a night at anchor.* We enjoyed a great dinner aboard, and watched a beautiful* sunset (pic 1).
Day 2 we headed across the bay, around Tihlman Island to the working town of Crisfield, MD.* We stayed two* nights at Sommer's Cove Marina.* We met up with cruising friends and met the owners of Serendipity, loopers headed home to* NJ for the summer.* We shared stories over a glass of wine.* What a* great way of life! *The marina was deserted as it is still* early in the season, and we were there mid-week.* We had the place to* ourselves.*
*Day 3 we took* the mail* boat over to Smith Island.* This* place is all* about crabbing (pictures 2&3), accessible only by boat.* The residents live an isolated life but really welcome visitors.* The museum*on Smith Island*has a great video explaining the lifestyle and interesting displays with artifacts from the watermen's history on the bay.
Day 4 we headed back*West across the bay to Solomon's Island.* Zanhiser's Marina was very accommodating, allowing us to borrow a car for a short drive to a sculpture garden and the grocery.* They have good facilities, and are well located for provisioning and dining out.*
On day 5, the kids used loaner bikes to* get around for a little tour and ice cream was a hit.* We met a couple that had sailed their catamaran*from California, and after a 9 month stop because of some health problems were anxious to continue their journey up the east coast.
Day 6 we headed south, back to the Potomac River.* This was the rough day of travel.* We had 4 foot seas on the nose for several* hours.* Not bad, but a slow slog.* We anchored out just off*the shore of St. Mary's College.* This was a beautiful* anchorage and a place we will*stop*again.* I would like to do some exploring on land in this area, and I hear they are cruiser friendly on campus and have summer concerts.
Day 7 we headed back* up the Potomac for home.* We had our first boarding by the Coast Guard.* It was uneventful, partly because we had two Coast Guard officers aboard (my son and his girlfriend).* Professional courtesy may have prevailed.* The young Coasties were respectful and personable.
The trip was great and left me wanting more.* Being newbies, we learned a lot about how to handle our boat and what to expect from it, and we learned more about how to operate as a team to get the expected results (especially when docking.* We really enjoyed spending time with the kids and* their friends, meeting cruising buddies ands making*new dock* friends and sharing boating stories and experiences.* It's all about the poeple.* We can't*wait to get out again!