Saturday, August 29, 2009

Slow Down, Take it Easy...

Sometimes as cruisers even if you are Gypsies you have to slow down and take it easy - that's what we have been doing for the past several days. We spent a final day on Tangier Island and decided it was a perfect day to lounge around on the sandy beach that we had seen on the southern end of the island (we try to take advantage of all sandy beaches we find given how often we have had to make due with mud on the trip up the ICW). The September Song crew (human and canine) and the Gypsies set out by foot for the trek across the island - although it was a "healthy" walk, we got to enjoy the tranquility of the back side of Tangier Island with its green marsh grasses blowing in the wind, snow white egrets feeding in the flats, and the little houses with their white picket fences and cat guardians at the gate.
Egret Feeding in the Marsh
Water Tower on Tangier
White Picket Fences

The beach itself wasn't quite as pretty as it had seemed from afar as it was strewn with dried seaweed, washed up portions of crab traps and we even found a couple fish carcasses which Cassie was especially enthralled with to her owners' chagrin! On top of that there were horse flies the size of small bats that had a special affinity for our ankles and feet (of course where they are hardest to kill and where you don't really notice them until they have sunk their fangs deep into your skin and sucked out pints of your blood!!) These things were downright vicious - I think they were so excited to find fresh blood that hadn't been tainted by centuries of cross breeding!! I can't believe I actually said that instead of just thinking it - sometimes my fingers type too fast for my own good!!!

Oh well...after some serious play time on the beach with the September Song boat dogs (while trying to fool the flies by standing in the water - which unfortunately didn't work), the SS gang headed back to the boat - both the dogs and the human crew were looking a little peaked after such intense playing and losing so much blood - better to get the long walk over with! We decided to hang on the beach for a little while longer - Doug had lugged a full cooler all the way to the beach and was intent on emptying some of it before the walk back!!! Besides the killer bug eyed flies didn't seem to be as attracted to us as to the September Song crew - my theory is that's because of how pickled our blood is (we work hard at that on a daily basis!) But even we didn't last too long - sun pig was finally driven off the beach after several flies got together and threatened to carry me away!!

Doug and I walked back through town stopping at Spanky's for a couple appetizers to take back to the boat for lunch and then spent a quiet afternoon/evening on Gypsies. We contemplated a visit to Hoistin Bridge but didn't want to intrude on the local courting couples....after all what else do they have to do??? The next morning we left bright and early to head north in the Chesapeake Bay - as always when we pull away from the dock I was at the helm and Doug was undoing our lines. Well obviously Mr. Park's had never seen a girl at the wheel as he came flying (OK well as fast as his little 78 year old legs would carry him) down the dock yelling "Hold on, I'll help!!!!"" No thanks - we're just fine was Doug's response - after he told me to stop using the bow thruster to swing our anchor towards Mr. Park's head....deep breath, it's all just part of the charm of the place....
A Look Back at Tangier as Gypsies Departs

That day we had a great steam up the Chesapeake, past the Navy's bombing zone where an old rusted out hulk of a ship sits with holes either from small missile strikes or decomposition (we think the latter!) but at one point you can see all the way through the hull to the water on the other side. Luckily no bombing was happening on our way by!!!
Navy Bombing Target
We pulled into the Little Choptank River where we planned on anchoring for several days. It is a great little river except for the flies - if I thought the flies in Tangier were big, these puppies made them look like sand fleas. I am talking full blown mutant ninja flies here and of course they all started to dive bomb us as we came in to anchor. Poor Doug didn't know what to make of Gypsies going around in circles as I was swatting these mini teradactyls as opposed to tending to the throttles - all I could think of was in Top Gun when Mav buzzed the air control tower!!! These things had me in their sights and although they didn't seem to want my blood, they did seem to want to gouge out my eyeballs!!! After sending a number of them to a watery grave, I think they got the idea I was no pushover and left me alone long enough for us to drop the hook and get it set!!

We headed up the river a ways to see the sights but ended up back by the mouth of the river across from a nice little sandy beach - from the mouth of the river you can see one pretty spectacular estate about a mile up river - wonder who owns that thing??? Maybe the bat flies carried away the owner and are now living in the lap of luxury!!!
Estate on Hudson Creek
Anyways the weather has been pretty iffy - first a cold front swept through giving us some wind and a biblical thunder and lightning storm (which the cats really don't care for too much!) and now we are getting the outer effects of Danny.
Puss is Nervous About the Storm
It was overcast all day yesterday so we had a really lazy day hanging out on the boat getting caught up on internet, email, the blog and a bunch of other stuff we've been putting off. In the afternoon, SS dropped their dink and took the dogs over to the little sand beach and then came back to pick us up since we were too lazy to drop Hobos! We knew a storm was coming from the looks of the sky so told ourselves that's why we didn't drop it...yeah yeah that's it!!

Sure enough the skies opened up and the light show began just as we got back to the boats - coincidence? I think not!! We had another quiet evening of homemade pizza and a movie - too much fun!! Today it is overcast again and we still haven't put the dink in the water although we have made plans to go exploring this afternoon weather permitting. It's looking pretty borderline at the moment but we'll see. In the interim we are catching up on odd jobs and cooking up a storm for tonight's dinner with September Song on Gypsies...I won't even begin to tell you what all we're having because I don't want any drooling on your keyboard!!

Tomorrow we head further north up to Haven Harbor Marina in Rock Hall, MD which those of you who follow the blog will remember is where we bought Gypsies. We had them do some work for us back then and need them to fix some things, namely the watermaker that they installed which has never worked!! Would have been nice to have that in the Bahamas!!! but ces la vie...better late than never! We will probably be there for several days at least and will use their courtesy car to do some provisioning and exploring!! Wonder if they still remember us at Ace Hardware and West Marine??

Click here to see our anchorage in the Little Choptank River.

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