Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cruise, Day 6

We’ve been busy with the usual holiday things that I know have been keeping you occupied as well. The tree is up, Christmas cards away, shopping done. So, we wish you all the best of the holiday.

                                                             Turner's Creek Wharf
Back on the Chesapeake cruise, we weighed anchor and departed the next morning under power. Full main and genoa were set as soon as we cleared Turner’s Creek. The wind was a mere zephyr from the east, but I was here to commune with MY river, and light air or no, I was going to sail, just like when this was home. A house is a house, but this river felt like home. This river is where we went to experience life. The kids grew up here. We had our holidays here, anchored in a cove to hide Easter eggs in the nearby field, and sought things that were new and exciting. The river was home.

The fall was my favorite time on the bay. The geese were migrating, the anchorages were less crowded, the winds more reliable, bugs absent, and there was a constant flow of sailing snowbirds from around the world who were migrating south in search of a warmer winter. Just outside Turner’s Creek were two snowbirds that had ducked into the river for a rest before continuing south.

I rounded Ordinary Point and tucked up into Money Creek. You can’t get in there very far, even with a shallow draft. By the time the duck blind is abeam, you’re aground. I ran in until the duck blind was abeam, and yup, I drifted to a halt. My son and I went in there and parked (anchored) one night many years ago. The geese and ducks came in and settled all around us. We listened to them chat among themselves until we finally drifted off to sleep. To keep from startling them, we remained below until the sun was up enough for them to start lifting off before we came on deck. But now I just visiting, so I raised the board and backed the jib until Thistle slowly turned. I watched the trees on the shore, and with a couple rocks of the boat to break the suction, we ever so slowly started to move and then drifted clear.

I drifted up Back Creek as far as I dare. It’s hard to imagine that we had never sailed or anchored in there before. It is shallow, but perfectly navigable with care. Thistle turned and sailed back out, and we had no sooner cleared Knight Island than the wind went dead flat. I motored up into Freeman Creek and took a picture of a navy boat from Port Orange, FL, that was apparently now a classic yacht. It appeared to be an old YP, or yard patrol boat.

We continued up river and ran into Island Creek to Daffodil Island, and then headed for Skipjack Cove Marina. We had always berthed our boats there, and while most everything we remember from there is gone, I can’t speak highly enough for the renovation that has been done there. We took on fuel and then slid down to lay at the end of the wharf while I did laundry.

After leaving Skipjack, I made a visit to Georgetown Yacht Basin, and then sailed back down river. By 1645 it was obvious that this was as far as we were going to get, so we ran back into Turner’s Creek for the night.

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