Day 58 - St. Michel's, MD
28 May 2012
Mon 28 May 2012
Anchored off St. Michel's, MD
[photo: gaff-rigged cat boat taking charter guests out for a sail]
We rested well, and were awakened right after dawn by the low rumble of a crabbing boat working his lines. We have never seen this method before, but it appears like there is a long line between two buoys, and every 8 feet on the line is some sort of bait. The boat very slowly runs down the line with a simple curved hook to pick up the line and a crabber with a net, scoops up any crabs eating the bait. One very nice thing for boaters about that method is the lack of a floating buoy for each crab trap. Those floating buoys and the lines attached to them are the bane of boaters since they can get wrapped around the propeller, which is a bad thing, to be sure.
Getting the anchor up manually was not a big problem, although it takes longer. The part that is a strain for the back is the same regardless of how the rode comes up; the last 5 feet is done manually. There is no doubt that yesterday and today brought significantly reduced back pain. It appears highly likely that the problem is limited to just the muscles and not a disc issue. If it is not even better by Annapolis in a few days, I will try to see someone to be sure.
It is a beautiful day, with a nice breeze from the S. The very frustrating thing about today, from a sailing perspective, is that the courses we had to take from Oxford to St. Michel's had us either too close into the wind, or with the wind almost directly astern of us. For the wind speed we had, neither case will let the wind be effective for us. I estimate that we only had the sail drawing effectively one-third of the time. The other factor was the tidal current. Had we left at 0300, or waited until 1400, we could have had the current beneficial much more than it was. Our departure at 0735 had the current against us almost the entire way.
Nevertheless, it was about 6.5 hours underway, and much of it was pleasant except in the Miles River while approaching St. Michel's. There were so many large power boats leaving and arriving that it was like a washing machine with their wakes intersecting and amplifying, especially in the shallower sections.
We are anchored just off the channel into the short harbor and we have very few boats around us; most who were here for the long weekend are now gone.
The dinghy dock is adjacent to the Crab Claw restaurant and Maritime Museum. It is a short walk to see the very attractive little town, and there is a full-size grocery store along that walk, plus numerous cute shops and eateries. Once back at the waterfront near the museum, we went into the Crab Claw for dinner, choosing to eat inside with the air conditioning.
We would not say the restaurant is great, but most of what we had was very good. The prices reflect a tourist town, but the view was superb and we enjoyed the visit. It is an incredibly gorgeous late afternoon on the boat and it will be a pleasant sleep, I am sure.
Tomorrow morning, I will change the oil in the main engine and then we will dinghy to the museum, which looks to be fantastic. then it is off for a very short run (maybe under sail the whole way) up the Wye River for some pastoral scenery.