Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Raising the waterline!!

In a big way.....goodness! We had a "30-yard" dumpster loaded into the driveway on Monday and we were brave -- and strong enough -- to fill it during the last few days. Actually, filling it to overflowing! Everything into the dumpster is that one less string holding us to land, so we are that much lighter and thus....will be free and able to head off to cruise later.

But... nostalgia reigned today as I looked at Ally's old kindergarten art projects, 3rd grade poems, 5th grade "graduation" photos...I felt like I threw out her entire childhood memorabilia. Despite a few tears shed, I thought of the young woman that Ally's become...and am SO proud it was easier to let the little girl go. Really, the childish things can be put in the past. And...thankfully, Ally herself reassured me she didn't need all the dreck and papers of school days left behind. While I allowed myself a little time to reminisce, I was also able to just LET GO. Who knew it would be so hard, yet feel so liberating??

A classic 5th grade Park School May Day photo: Ally (at left), who raced
up at the last second to be included in the photo with all her male
classmates. A mother of one of the boys enjoyed how Ally darted in at
the last second, grinning away happily as usual, and sent me the photo.

When the strong backs came this morning, and started hauling everything out... I just went upstairs. I didn't want to see it going out or I knew I would find myself clutching items to retain the physical evidence of years gone past and wanting to store them away out of sheer emotion. Stuff from college, stuff from the early days of our marriage, stuff from Ally's infancy....just STUFF! Now, though....the basement is empty and I don' t even remember what I was so nostaglic about. The rooms are gloriously large and lovely....and, best of all, I still retain the memories -- they haven't been stripped from me. Why did I worry otherwise??

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chilly Maryland

Well, the autumnal equinox has come and the weather has turned here in Maryland...cooler, crisp mornings in the 50s. Today is sunny and gorgeous, and the early morning waterview would be stunning as it always is, but alas, we are not aboard. We are actually at our house, getting set to de-clutter and purge the furniture in preparation to show the house. We're sorting through everything with an eye on downsizing, since we plan to cruise aboard Equinox extensively after Ally is off to college.

View of the morning sun across our back yard

SO...we spent a good portion of yesterday going through the basement, deciding 1) what will be sent to the Florida condo, 2) what will be stored for Ally for her first apartment post-college (since the cost of storing the items will be less than having to buy everything new again), 3) what we will be donated or 4) what goes out in the trash. Not an easy task after having been in a house 14 years!! But, it feels FABULOUS to lighten the load and raise the waterline! We had a large dumpster delivered to the driveway, and will have some strong backs in tomorrow to start filling it in earnest.

We also donated all of our gym equipment to Oldfields school....a significant amount of things, including a competition level ping-pong table, a Life Fitness treadmill, exercise bike and an elliptical cross-trainer. I will miss those, to be honest!! I really enjoyed having the use of it all while it was here, but we will definitely not have room in FL for it. We use our bicycles whereever we go with the boat, so it's not as if we aren't getting our exercise!

Well, back to the crush of boxes and bubble-wrap!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Sign

What a crazy day on the Bay....apparently we had "the sign" out again. It's a phenomenon that occurs every once in a while, when there's a sign on our boat that's invisible to us, but clearly seen by all usually reads, "Please anchor as close as possible to us" but today's sign must have read, "Please come flip us the bird"...!!

Halfway down the Bay during today's run to Annapolis, we had a very weird incident where a fishing boat came up from behind us off our port quarter, approached us extremely closely, and when I stepped outside on the portuguese bridge, (wondering what the guy wanted) the captain started yelling obscenities and giving us the finger! Why??? What had we done??

To the best of our knowledge, it's not like we cut him off or anything -- the boat approached us from BEHIND, and clearly was going faster than we were. There were a bunch of guys aboard with rods, so perhaps we crossed their trolling lines inadvertently?? However, both Ron and I only saw the boat when it started overtaking us; certainly neither of us saw it ahead of us or on a crossing course. Ron's usually quite alert in giving other boats (fishing or sail) any needed room, and in fact, between the two of us, we're always confirming that the person at the helm is visually aware of any approaching boats. Ron tried hailing the boat repeatedly, but they refused to respond, only kept gesturing at us rudely and got so close I almost thought he was going to ram us! They finally left, but I was actually rather shaken by the nastiness of it all.

SO...after much speculation on our part and re-hashing of how it all might have occurred, we just don't know. We'd been keeping an eye out for crab pots, although hadn't been seeing any, but since it was a work/crabber-type boat, perhaps we'd cut one of his crab pot lines? Somehow cut him off? Had we crossed their trolling lines? Not sure, but nevertheless...we must have done something inadvertently. But, where is the civility any more? Honest mistakes do happen, and to get nasty and intensely rude isn't the way to react. Later, when a friend hailed us on 16 and we switched to a working channel (he wanted to be sure his AIS was transmitting), some guy also switched to the same channel and kept cutting into our conversation with childish obscenities --- clearly the same friendly fellow.

Then, as we were coming into Annapolis, as is usual on a Saturday, the approach was filled with many sailboats, some racing, some cruising, going every which way. A lot of the little "gnats" were out -- the tiny sailboats from the sailing school, barely big enough for the lone 8-10-year-olds at each helm -- all bouncing about in the chop from the stiff easterly breeze. Then, heading right for us comes a guy in a 36' Wellcraft, still well inside the 6 mph zone but roaring along at a good 20 knots. Ron's not usually one to play police, but Ron signaled to the guy to slow down, thinking of all the tiny kids in the miniscule sailboats ahead...the guy's response? You guessed it! He never slowed down, just yelled obscenities at us and...flipped us the bird!

Yep, the sign was out!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In sunny Florida!

Ok, so we are a moving target these days...just don't get frustrated and use large caliber ammunition on us! Ron and Karyn flew down to FLL on Monday, and spent a couple of days in the Stuart/Hutchinson Island/Jensen Beach area looking at condos. The idea is to have a smaller home base once Ally is off to college and we are off cruising aboard Equinox. While Ron isn't sure we really even need a home base, the prices and availability of condos are such that we thought it worthwhile to look. We want something with ample storage for personal items should we want to rent it out, and a condo is key since we don't want to be dealing with home maintenance long-distance.

It was a depressing day on Monday...the condos we looked at weren't what we were hoping for, and after a tiring day of a lot of slogging about, we had an awful dinner at one of our (formerly) favorite restaurants here where Ron lost his phone... He'd been leaving things behind all day -- forgot his computer at home (grabbed mine instead by mistake), left our car keys in the realtors car & then he left his phone @ the restaurant. We'd gone straight from the place to our hotel room, and realized exactly where he left it on the table at the restaurant. We immediately called... and supposedly, no one found it. But someone definitely has it, as the phone is now shut off -- it goes to voice mail immediately, and wouldn't do that if it was still on. iphone stolen. It was a disaster of a way to start the trip....very depressing!!!

On the bright side, we found a place we absolutely fell in love with!! After some discussion, Ron made an offer and --- after a bit of back-and-forth negotiation --- it was accepted!! We feel we got a fair deal for an absolutely beautiful, well-built new condo unit right on the Indian River in Jensen Beach! WE LOVE IT!! Ron was so excited -- wanted to buy the model with the furniture, as is!! But, the model was just more $$$ than we wanted to spend, and after seeing a few other units, we actually preferred a mirror-image unit. Thus...right now, we have a deal! We still need to consider all the ramifications, and will mull it all over during the required 15-day grace period. We go from euphoria over the place to uncertainty about whether it's the right move to whether we even need a home...AUGH!! Nevertheless, it feels right, and we're excited.

In any event, we're already moving ahead to clear out the shed/storage areas at home with an eye on getting things de-cluttered, and ready to show. We need to downsize, and are donating a lot of things to Oldfields, since we know the girls will use and appreciate some of the stuff we have, like our gym equipment and ping-pong table. It feels really good to lighten the load! We have SO much stuff, and we just don't need it!

While we were in Stuart, we stopped in at the Kadey-Krogen office to chat with everyone, which was great. It was SO nice to see everyone again! Of course, Laura was immediately working on Ron to think about getting the new 64' they want to build!! And Ron said he has a lot of good ideas for it...!! But, I think we'll stay with Equinox for the time being. We also popped into the Martek offices as well to say hi, and had to stop in at the Dolphin Bar Shrimp House before we headed south. We are now down in FLL visiting our Bahamas boating buddies, the Miles' (Miles Aweigh) before we fly back to Maryland tomorrow. Fun times and lots of laughs!

Whew!! It's exhausting traveling by plane...I need to get back aboard and slow down!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Go Bucky!!

Sign at the Rotary Bratwurst Beer Garden before the game.
Breakfast of champions!

We were lucky enough to be in Wisconsin on game day weekend...Dad and Sandra have season tickets to the Badger games, and managed to get a few extra for Karyn, Kiki, Pete while Jordan scored some student tickets for Ally and Taylor. (Wasn't that hard, as Wisconsin was playing Wofford.) Ally and Taylor spent the day on campus with Jordan, who is a junior at UW-Madison. They had a wonderful time, from seeing Jordan's sorority house (Tri-Delta) to being in the fray in the student section of the Camp Randall stadium, from all the cheers to doing the "Jump Around". It was a fabulously sunny day, and we had great seats, about 8 rows behind the Wisconsin bench! It was just SO fun to be at a Wisconsin game again! The game was rather lopsided that it wasn't exactly riveting, but watching the student section more than made up for it. Of course, Ally was really taken with the campus and the atmosphere....but hard not to love it. On Wisconsin!!
Looking across to the student section, all on their feet.
Final score: Wisconsin 44-Wofford 14

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wisconsin Interlude...

...Karyn is in Wisconsin visiting with her family this week in the lovely town of Oconomowoc. (Nope, not making up the name, honest! It comes from a Potawatamie word for "where the waters meet".) While Karyn grew up in the near-by town of Hartford, her father & step-mom recently downsized and moved to a lovely condo overlooking the shores of Lac La Belle. Settled in 1837, Oconomowoc was actually quite famous as a summer resort town of the families of wealth from Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee. Palatial, slate-roofed country homes were built on its lake shores, and Lake Road became known as "Presidents' Avenue" since Taft, Grant, Cleveland, Coolidge, McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt all spent time here at Draper Hall, enjoying the hospitality of the wealthy locals. The Montgomery-Ward estate is just a few doors down the road from the condo here, and the Pabst estate is not too far either.

Clearly a coveted sign

It's a pretty time of year to be here...the trees are just beginning to turn, and the days are crisp and sunny. Karyn got her boating fix in last night, cruising around Lac La Belle on her dad's "float boat" (very popular here) with her sister Kiki and brother-in-law Peter for a pre-dinner cocktail cruise of sorts. Pete had just switched out the fuel from the boat's fuel tank (it had gone bad from all the condensation in the tank over the summer), and the boat needed to be run. Fun times on Lac La Belle!

Peter relaxing

Sunset over Lac La Belle

Monday, September 14, 2009


We hauled out this morning, at 9:00 sharp with Rafael and crew doing the honors of adjusting and positioning Equinox in the lift at BMC's Clinton Street facility. It's an 80 BFM Travelift, capable of lifting 88 tons...we aren't shy of stressing it at just short of 50 tons. Nice to know there's a margin, for at 96,000 lbs: fat girl! In fact, Rafael remarked that, "She's growing up. She's getting larger!" And, it sure seems that way...! Funnily enough, both Ron and I feel oddly seasick being aboard at the beginning of the haul-out, swinging away as we are in the slings, but being off the boat watching is even worse. A boat needs to be in the WATER!!
Creeping along, ready for pressure-washing and zinc change-out

A view of the props -- clean, but ready for a power-wash nonetheless!

Actually, the hull looked extremely clean underneath...of course, we'd just hauled out in June and that was only 4 months ago. There's was a bit of a beard along the waterline, but in the disgusting brown Baltimore waters, that is to be expected. Nevertheless...we changed out the zincs: the two round rudder zincs and the "diver's dream" big plate on the stern, as well as the small ones on the cutter spurs on the shafts. (Due on the next haul-out are the small zincs in the stabilizer fins.) Our slip package here in Baltimore includes three haul-outs a year, so we use them! Knowing the guys operating the Travelift (after 6 years here) is great peace of mind too, especially when your heart and soul are hanging over the asphalt in the slings!

After the haul-out, Ron put Karyn through some paces to practice with the boat, doing close-in maneuvers to walk Equinox sideways for side-to docking, and lining up on slip spaces inside the marina. Karyn doesn't usually pilot when docking; the usual routine is to have Ron at the helm, and she handles the myriad of lines and fenders. But, so as to gain confidence and to keep things sharp with handling the boat, it's nice to have a bit of time at the helm!

Karyn is heading to Wisconsin in the morning to spend a few days with her family before being joined by Ally on the weekend; Ron is greatly looking forward to a few days of solitude and peace aboard alone, without the crew! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rainy days...

...and Mondays, or whatever the song line is...! Actually, it's not Monday, but Saturday, and it's been raining for a couple of days now, which makes for extremely lazy days aboard! We took a break from all the running around, and simply enjoyed being aboard. Both of us did some much-needed cleaning and organization of things, from the refrigerator to the spares inventory under our bed.

Thursday was Ron's birthday, (another trip around the sun!) which we celebrated with our friends Kerry and Karen, who came to the boat to watch the NFL season opener Steelers-Titans game. It was a tough call as to which team we wanted to lose more, seeing as we're Ravens' fans!! Karyn made an easy dinner for all: broiled chicken breasts, steamed green beans and some fabulous home-made mac-n-cheese as a treat for Ron, along with a small assortment of cheesecake slices for dessert. Gotta love the comfort food!! Kerry also brought along his favorite board game, Parcheesi, (something the Equinox crew hasn't played in 30+ years!!) and we indulged in a game of that while waiting for the football to begin. Such a raucous birthday celebration, let me tell you...! Ron's favorite gift was the new parrot squeaky horn for his folding bike handlebars.
And, happily, Ally is back aboard for the weekend -- we spent Friday evening having a comfortable family movie night, watching The Illusionist with Edward Norton, and this morning Ally worked on her on-line college applications. Lots on her plate this month, trying to get everything done before all the deadlines! Karyn and Ron focused on paperwork and correspondence this morning, and various course & routing possibilities for voyaging south in October/November. Tonight we're headed out for a family birthday celebration for Ron at Oceanaire. Haven't been there in a while, so are looking forward to it!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More boat projects & errands...

...will they never cease??? Karyn was at full speed today, at yet another doctor for a check-up (so healthy, all good!), picking up the folding bikes after their tune-ups, getting more oil, more dry goods and provisions for the Bahamas, running dead batteries to the county recycling center, checking the mail at the house and arranging secret birthday surprises for Ron (tomorrow is the big day!), and futilely attempting to find a new flag that will fit the smaller flagstaff for the stern. Despite repeated disappointments on the flag front, a lot of ground was covered!

While she did that, Ron was busy with his tasks: multiple phone calls scheduling our autumn haul-out, the needed time to arrive for the construction of the hard top, the state of affairs with the dinghy's repairs, and arranging a berth in at Old Bahama Bay for November/December (yay! -- the staff is SO fabulous there!). Once all that was done, Ron spent the day in the engine room, changing oils in the mains, gen sets AND transmissions (although Karyn returned in time to be first mate and swabbie to help with the latter). We found that it's definitely a job requiring patience, since the oil fill on the transmission is about 1 cm in diameter, and can only accept a dribble at a time -- WHO designs these things?? Nevertheless, while Ron showered after his efforts, Karyn pulled together a lovely veal marsala for dinner AND did the dishes as a pre-birthday treat for Ron. After his heroic efforts with all the oil changes, he was a tad hungry, so appreciated the dinner!

Cooking aboard is really a lot of fun...I find I spend a lot of time thinking about menu ideas, and the possibilities of what we'll have, using what I have in the refrigerator. While you tend to be working in tighter quarters with a smaller prep area than what you might have at home, it's lovely to be creative and know your efforts will add to the ambience, tone and romance --- and not the cluttter -- of the boat! We enjoy our dinners together: nice place mats, cloth napkins, a good bottle of wine to accompany one's dish...fabulous! If there's a pretty sunset to burnish the table settings, all the better!

By the way, a great website to peruse: -- it has great insight for women who are contemplating the cruising lifestyle and who might be worrying about the realities of actually doing it. It really helps to hear the advice of other women who have faced their fears about cruising, and learn from their experiences. There's a section that I've really enjoyed, as I prepare to provision (yet again!) for another trip to the islands -- I'm still finding new ideas. LOVE it!! Check it out: it's the section called "Galley Advice from 18 Cruising Women". There's tons of other advice and resources to read as well. All valuable!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rolling stones...

...are better than rolling boats! But you knew that, right? Anyway...we had a great stay in Annapolis! Lovely weather, great to be with Ally, tied up in a nice t-head slip at Yacht Basin...and serendipity prevailed, for we met up with friends from all places. (Some we didn't even know!) So here we were early Sunday morning, Ally is still asleep, and Ron and I are heading off the docks with our bikes for a quick 19-miler when we're stopped by Michelle and Bill, off Whole Lotta Fun! (Michelle was in her Day-Glo jammies; I almost didn't recognize her at first!) She and Bill were at Yacht Basin, because her sister was getting married that evening at the Annapolis Yacht Club....small world, truly! Turns out our friends Kerry and Karen were attending the wedding that evening as well, although not coming by boat. Fun nevertheless! We headed out on our bike ride, laughing about how we always meet up with folks we know! Cruising life lends itself to that...:)

Then, during our bike ride, clipping along and enjoying the glorious views of the bay from the Bay Ridge neighborhood in Annapolis, we see a guy ahead of us out for a run, wearing a Dean's Yacht Services t-shirt. I think to myself, "Gee, that looks like Jim"....and, it IS! Jimmy Dean, the owner himself! He's a great guy, hard worker and one of our "peeps" -- people/friends who are indispensable to your life -- Jim and his fabulous crew clean Equinox every Friday afternoon when we are in Baltimore. So, we enjoyed chatting with him for a bit before heading back to Annapolis and across the Compromise Street Bridge. We were back in time for the farmers' market at the edge of Town Dock and then brunch at McGarvey's (delicious)! Ally worked hard on her English essay during the afternoon, while we watched a bit of preseason football until she had to head back to school. (Kudos to our neighbors Ricky and David for taking her the last few miles after she dropped her car off at the house -- seniors aren't allowed to have their cars on campus until spring.) After we said good-bye to Ally in the parking lot and were walking back to Equinox, we were way-laid by members of the aforementioned wedding party: Michelle & Bill, whose nephew Jason was in need of a tie for the wedding. (Jason had forgotten to pack his.) Ron to the rescue!! Ron actually had several ties aboard Equinox for Jason to choose from, and...once a classy, appropriate one was found, Ron even helped him "tie the knot", so to speak, so the wedding could proceed!! Ron asked if anyone needed other help...hmmm. A speech, or toast? Just call! He felt like a wedding planner~! :) Truly, a day of family and friends..!

Nevertheless, on Monday we were on the move again by 1100, (rolling stones and all that) to head back to our slip in BMC. (For those of you who are following our boat blog, we welcome all the hellos and how-are-yous! Thanks for stopping by! Ron got to talk with you, but I was still busying with getting the power cables in, so didn't have a chance to say hi myself.) At any rate, the Bay was breezy and filled with sailboats, but we reached Baltimore in time for a leisurely cruise of the Inner Harbor, before returning to our slip for an open-air dinner on the aft cockpit. We're relaxing now, watching the US Open (as we have been all weekend!). All in all, a great Labor Day weekend!!
Coming into the Inner Harbor

Passing the National Aquarium

Town homes along Boston Street, with the Greek
Orthodox cathedral in the background

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Annapolis yet again!

Our stay in St. Michaels was delightful....albeit just a day or two. We stayed on anchor Thursday night under somewhat increasingly gray and blustery skies, and much to our dismay, realized we'd underestimated the Water Taxi runs here. They only run in the evenings or on the weekends, so our anticipated bicycle ride Friday morning didn't materialize since we had no way to get to shore! We are really missing our dinghy!! On the bright side, we're getting a lot of small projects done on the boat, since we are captive audiences to them! I shortened a pair fender lines and whipped all four of the loose ends neatly, as well as repaired the soft-sided dinghy cooler. The zipper corroded in the salt air, disintegrated and fell off so there was no way to close the insulated top on it. So, rather than throw it out, I thought I'd at least try to make the igloo cooler useful again by sewing velcro straps on the front, so we can keep the top closed. Funny how the small things make you feel so productive!

Late Friday morning, Ron called the Harbor Inn at St. Michaels and found they had a no-show, and that there was a slip available to us. SO...spur of the moment, we took it, and had the afternoon and evening in town. We hit Bleachers (our favorite store! Thank you, Wells!) and the Acme for groceries before a late lunch at Foxy's Marina Bar. We also hit the Harbor Inn's pool and hot tub, which was delightful...the pool was ice cold and the hot tub was hot. SO...all in all, rather nice! Plus, the sunset was glorious and we enjoyed it from the flybridge. Again, it's the little things...!

Crisp and clear, with no wind...that was Saturday morning. We were up early for a bike ride: out Rt. 33 from St. Michael's through the woods and fields towards Easton, then over the creek to Oxford, and a ride on the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry. We had the ferry to ourselves on the way across; it was the second run of the morning from Oxford, as we'd just missed the first run -- as we bicycled to the ramp, the ferry was halfway across.

The Oxford-Bellevue Ferry

Once off the ferry, we finished the route with a pretty spin through Royal Oaks then back to St. Michael's - a good 30 mile ride. A quick soak in the hot tub after our ride, and then since there was now literally, no room at the Inn, we headed out. With Ally meeting us that afternoon, we decided to head over to Annapolis to shorten her commute.

It was a ZOO out on the Bay...everybody and their brother was out on the Bay in their boats, big and small, sail or power, slow trawlers or go-fast boats. There was so much traffic on the radio the squelch function was useless, so it was hissing and squawking all the way. Plus, no one was very polite with one another: folks on the radio yelling about who has right of way, and watching one's wake ...! UGH! So, despite it all, we made our way across the Bay amongst the crowds, and once in front of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, on the spur of the moment, called Yacht Basin to see if they had any slips available. The anchorage was crowded, and looking none too promising, but then...wonders will never cease, as Yacht Basin had room! We indulged yet again, and it worked out well with Ally driving down to be with us for the evening.

We haven't seen Ally all week, with her boarding M-F. While it was her idea to be a boarder, it's been a rough adjustment for her, unfortunately. Cell phone service is non-existent, so she's feeling cut off from her friends (and us) plus she's feeling the pressure of senior year: tough classes, lots of college applications to finish, and little internet access beyond what's available at the school library to get it all done. There were some tears, but hopefully time will help and once classes and routines become familiar, things will get easier.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

St. Michael's, Maryland

Ah....another busy week in port. It's weeks like this that make one realize how fantastic the cruising life is...every day you are so exhausted after running countless errands that relaxing on the aft deck of the boat in the evening is truly golden time. Sitting back, just appreciating being on the water, having a glass of wine, watching the sunset with your doesn't get any better than that!!

This week Ron played pack mule and hauled in cases of oil for the mains for when we are down in the islands this winter. While we've found that Shell products are fairly easy to obtain in the islands (and even in Baltimore, as PPC-Lubes Plus delivers right to the boat), John Deere-specific items are harder to find. We have a supplier in Baltimore County that we use, so we're trying to make sure our stock of oil filters, fuel filters, impellers and oil is replenished, and that we have room for said supplies! Ron has spent a lot of time re-arranging the spares in the caverns under the beds, not to mention everywhere else.

While Ron was busy doing that, I was dealing with dental check-ups, doctors visits and school stuff with Ally. She's now a 5-day boarder at Oldfields; it was a little bittersweet helping her move in to her dorm room this past Monday. Both Ron and I were a bit choked up upon leaving..."you can't go home again", as they say, and Ally is now one step closer to adulthood. Whatever happened to the 4-year-old out in the yard, stomping in rain puddles and singing at the top of her lungs? She's still singing, just a different tune...

While Ally was a bit homesick the first night (and a bit shocked to realize that she had more freedom at home as a day student than she now does at school as a boarder), she is happily settling into a routine. Between reuniting with friends, meeting new students, being a Big Sister on campus, starting classes, and working at tennis practice, she's busy and enjoying things. We will see her for only for a day or so this weekend, as OS has lots of orientation activities going on Saturday, as well as classes on Monday.

In the meantime though, Ron and I cruised to St. Michaels for an early start to Labor Day weekend. We'd originally thought we'd be hosting the McDonnells aboard, but between Ally being in school already and their girls being busy with friends in NJ, it wasn't going to work. SO...another time. Since Paul and Muriel couldn't come down, we were free to head out early, and after a quick provisioning trip, we went across the Bay and through Kent Narrows:

Awaiting the bridge opening at Kent Narrows, MD

Sailboat anchored to our west upon our arrival --certain
to be joined by many others before the weekend is over!

It's hard being without the dinghy as it's still being fixed --- go figure. (Let's see if it will be ready in a month--- but I'm not holding my breath.) Thankfully, St. Michael's has a water taxi that we can hail when we want to go to town or do some bicycling, but we are looking forward to merely being on anchor and enjoying a bit of quiet time. Right now, we are one of just three boats on anchor just to the east of town on the Miles River; we need the depth and the anchorage near the Inn At Perry Cabin gets too crowded and close for our comfort on these busy weekends. Time for some wine on the aft cockpit -- it's 5 0'clock somewhere!!