03 June 2013 | Miles River / St. Michaels, MD
My goal was to pull out of the slip by 10:00 a.m. to head over to St. Michaels, but of course the only reason to set goals is because you like to listen to them blow past you. The odds of that were immediately shot when we stayed up drinking wine until well after midnight with our friends Joel and Antonia - who are probably sailing with us next weekend. To minimize time packing , we bought a foot-long sandwich from Harris Teeter for lunch and then grabbed some snacks, figuring we would eat on shore.
This was the first hot weekend we've had and were drenched by the time we had everything stowed away. With a little hustle we were able to get half the things I wanted to do Saturday morning done and pulled out at 12:15 - not too bad.
The winds heading out of the West River were really light. We were burning up and Bailey - our dog - wasn't doing much better. The thought did cross my mind that we might end up in Annapolis or back at the dock. We motored out into where the West River meets the Bay and the promised winds picked up. Pretty soon we were cruising over six knots and had our routine down pretty well. Meredith manned the high side, Bailey the low. We rounded Bloody Point Lighthouse and started making our way up Eastern Bay in a little more than two hours. We had almost forgotten about how hot it was until we turned north to get around Rich Neck and Tilghman Point. Between the land blocking the breeze a little and running downwind, we were quickly reminded of the heat. Meredith and Bailey retreated to the shade of the bow and I cranked the engine. We motored about 20 minutes or so until the wind picked up and allowed us to sail right up to where the Miles River narrows north of St. Michaels.
I wanted to anchor in Fogg Cove, but knew it wouldn't be likely pulling in at 5:15 - made it about 30 miles in five hours, not bad. The water was a lot thinner than my charts suggested and anchoring would have been tight - I would assume you need to get there the weekend before The Crab Claw opens and never leave to get a good spot. We anchored out in the Miles River - twice. My first spot, while closer, was a tad too close to our neighbor and I didn't want to start the weekend by making them mad. After all, having a red-hulled sailboat not only makes it easy for friends to find you, it also is easy for others to remember you.
Anchor firmly set, we began the process of taking Bailey to the bathroom. Me in the dinghy and Meredith passing the outboard. It wasn't pretty, but we got it done. I loaded up Bailey and off we went. Bailey has a special way of showing you his displeasure at situations - it usually involves peeing in your lap. My lap unavailable, he decided my foot would work just as well. By the time we made it to the town dock, Bailey didn't need a bathroom break but I figured we could both use a walk - and Meredith said she would have appetizers and drinks ready in 30 minutes so I wasn't in a rush.
Peter and Judy from the marina happened to be in St. Michaels and saw us pulling in (see perks of having a red sailboat). They were nice enough to join us for a Dark & Stormy. Neither of us are huge rum fans, but the Gosling Black Seal
, Ginger Beer and lime hit the spot after a day in the sun. Peter and Judy were grilling on their boat and Meredith and I were heading into town.
It was Meredith's first dinghy ride - and it showed. She executed a very nice swan dive into the dinghy and maybe flashed the neighbors in the 30 seconds it took to pile in and crank the outboard. We loved walking around St. Michaels even though all the shops had closed for the night, which I was kind of glad about. We decided to try Gina's Cafe
(601 Talbot) for dinner. We had some fresh guacamole with homemade chips followed by a seared tuna taco with ginger and a spicy shrimp taco. For dessert we opted for a slice of peanut butter pie instead of walking back to the ice cream shop.
Back on the boat, Meredith did some reading while I poured myself a glass of wine and lounged in the cockpit looking at all the stars - I also fell asleep in the cockpit and woke up when I spilled a cup of wine on myself.
I got up before Meredith on Sunday - a rarity because she usually wakes up with the sun when we're on the boat - and took Bailey out. She joined us on shore and explored a little more while I went for a quick run. St. Michaels really is a great town, but breakfast options are slim - something everyone else at anchor must have known because they all headed home right after waking up. We ended up grabbing breakfast at Sweetie's
- a local cupcake/cookie shop. The breakfast was actually really good (breakfast croissant and bacon-cheddar biscuits with sausage gravy) and the cinnamon bun even better.
We headed back around 10:30. I'm not very good at relaxing when other people are at the helm while the motor is running, but Mere motored us out of the anchorage and raised the sails while I admired a couple gorgeous boats, including a nice Hylas 54. The wind died down when we got in the Bay proper and the engine came back on. We did get to finish on a high note when the wind picked back up allowing us to sail into the West River.
It was a great weekend. We've been having so much fun sailing that it's time to spend some quality time at dock tackling a few boat projects, but hopefully they won't take too long so we can get back out there soon to explore more of the Bay.
So, our firsts? First long sail with Bailey. First time to St. Michaels. First time anchoring out. First dinghy ride for Meredith. First time Meredith "slept in" on the boat. First time Meredith raised / lowered the sails solo. First shower on the boat, which will be followed by my first time buying water purification tablets.