Friday, January 30, 2009

The Perfect Day!!

If there had ever been a moment when we questioned our decision to chuck our old life to go cruising (and at least for me there hasn't been!!), yesterday would have erased all doubt. It was truly a very cool day!!!

Tammy posting here by the fact the rest of the Gypsies crew is still sound asleep at 8:30 am, so that should tell you something right there...

Yesterday started with us pulling away from the docks at Haven Harbor Marina in Rock Hall, Maryland at sunrise. While I used to have a hard time getting up to go to work some days, I don't seem to have that problem when I know we are going cruising, especially after being at a dock for about a week (we finally have a new water maker!!!). When we eased out of our slip, the sun was just cresting the horizon bathing our inlet in surreal pink, yellow and orange hues.
There was a misty fog that added to the beauty of the morning - the wind was calm, the seas were flat - it was going to be a banner day!! As we steamed out into the Bay, the sun was rising on the horizon fighting to burn off the fog - I thought we left fog back in New England!! Now believe me, this was not the same kind of pea soup, can't see the bow of your boat (or the other boats coming at you) type of fog that we get in Maine - but it was enough to limit our visibility making the first couple hours of the steam a challenge (where the hell did that 703 foot cargo ship come from!) No worries for the Gypsies crew - John and I were just so glad we got to go under (and not over) the Bay Bridge, especially since the fog swallowed the other half of the bridge....

After passing the Bay Bridge and the associated tankers and cargo ships that seem to hang out there waiting to head up into Baltimore, we turned up into the Eastern Bay and the sun finally broke through the fog. It had turned into one of those glorious days on the water - bright sun, 5-10 knots of wind and almost no waves. Doug was at the helm by then and pretty much as soon as he headed into the Bay he was greeted by what looked like the Spanish armada - we're not talking a couple sailboats here, we're talking hundreds of them and they were all coming straight at us. We felt like salmon returning up river to spawn - the lone powerboat heading into a fleet of sailboats, all of whom had the right of way over us. Even on his best days Doug isn't all that fond of snailbotters as he calls them - granted, he always does seem to run into one that tacks back and forth in front of him as if to get their kicks since we have to get out of their way each time. So with a few choice words, Doug maneuvered Gypsies up, down and around the oncoming flotilla - we hadn't seen this much boat traffic since we hit the Cape Cod Canal on our trip bringing Gypsies up north in the Spring. Guess everyone agreed with us that it was a day meant to be spent on the water!

After 5 hours of cruising, we reached Kent Narrows and it was time to dock. Now docking is a challenge in perfect conditions - just to make our day, the winds had kicked up to 25 knots and the water was pretty shallow. The guy who ran the docks, George, had told us where our slip was - the only problem turned out to be that it had 5.2 feet of water and we have a draft of 5.5 feet. Yup, you guessed it, we ran aground trying to get in our slip! There's a saying down here in the Chesapeake that if you haven't run aground, you either haven't left the dock or you are lying! Well we've gotten that one out of the way and it wasn't too bad - we were going pretty slow at the time so Doug was able to fire the engines in reverse and unstick us!! We picked a different slip on the face dock and tied her up without further issue.

As if that wasn't enough fun to convince us this cruising life is the bomb, we then geared up for the second half of our day and the real reason we had come to Grasonville, Maryland. Our friends from Key West, Scott Kirby and Dave Edmisten, were playing a gig at the Big Owl Tiki Bar and we were on a mission to surprise them by showing up.
Last time we saw Scott was over a month ago when he played at our bon voyage party in NH - how time flies when you're having fun and drinking rum!!! For those few of you out there that don't know Scott and didn't get to the bon voyage party, he is an amazingly talented musician and songwriter. Dave regularly plays guitar with Scott and is incredibly talented in his own right. Scott's music is getting a lot of airtime on Radio Margaritaville - check out his website to listen to his music, get his cds or see where he's playing next (! Maybe you'll even see us there...

We hit the Tiki Bar right about when Scott and Dave did so we got to act like roadies and help them carry the equipment. By the way, mission accomplished - unlike some people, when we say it we mean it - Scott and Dave were very surprised to see us!

Can I tell you how cool the afternoon turned out to be!!! The Big Owl Tiki Bar has a fantastic vibe - it is a funky orange shack with picnic tables and bars out on a pier that overlooks Kent Narrows, a very popular boating destination.
A steady stream of boats paraded by us and some even tied up to the pilings to take in a little of Scott's music. The sun was blazing, the beers were ice cold, the music flowed, the Pats won, the people were incredibly friendly, the wings were spicy and the beers were ice cold (oh yeah I already mentioned that - but it probably needed to be mentioned twice given the quantity we imbibed over the course of the afternoon and evening)! 'the-gypsies.jpg' Scott and Dave were scheduled to play only from 3-6, but as time wound down, Big Al, the owner of the Tiki Bar saw how much fun everyone was having so paid them to keep playing - how kewl was that!! So the party kept going long after the sun had set and Big Al had blown the conch shell - you had to see it to believe it!!
That was the end of the season blow-out for the Tiki Bar so it was only fitting that we closed the bar! The only downer of the day came in the 12th inning when the Angels wound up beating the Red Sox (but I didn't find out about that until this it remained a perfect cruising day!)

Today once everyone wakes up and is able, we are off to St. Michaels, a quaint town just south of here in the Eastern Bay...

For additional pictures go to our Flickr site.

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