Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's the people...

Tuesday night.  We were well into the preparations for leaving Solomons on Wednesday morning. The dinghy and motor were lifted and secured.  We went out on to the deck to enjoy the cooled down, 85 degree, late evening for a few minutes. A dinghy came tooling along so we waved. They waved back and we waved back again. Friendly is good. With that, the dinghy slowed and turned toward us. So began a wonderful, unexpected evening.

We started talking with these folks about the usual cruiser stuff. Where are you from? Where have you been? Where are you going? We were having a very pleasant conversation and then they said, ‘Come on over and have a cup of coffee.’ Well, our dinghy was already stowed so they said, ‘No problem, come with us and we will bring you back later.’ And we went with Bev and Dave to their Krogen designed trawler-ish boat ‘Cloverleaf’ (Dave, sorry if this is a bad classification for ‘Cloverleaf’. She is too special for me to categorize). For the next several hours, we talked, heard about their adventures and their plans. Their philosophies and love of life threaded neatly through the stories without being spoken. Mementos were pulled out of cabinets to reinforce the tales and added to the wonder. We truly enjoyed the evening. Well into the night, Dave ferried us back in the dark to ‘SeaClearly’ so we could finish preparing to leave at dawn – only hours away.

Now, Bev and Dave are in their eighties. People like them are our inspiration and proof that you can keep enjoying your life and doing cool stuff. We laughed about our shared habit of never quite managing to take videos of events. Bev’s justification – ‘If you are busy living your life, you never find time to go back and look at them anyway.’  And, they are living their life.

Leaving Solomons - early morning.
This is the square-rigged ship that
we saw two weeks ago in Norfolk
waiting to launch
That nice evening made getting up before the sun just a little easier. We were anchor-up and gone at first light. We had sails out as soon as we cleared Solomons and kept them out for hours. Originally, the intention was to head to Fishing Bay, just below Deltaville, to anchor for the night. But the hot weather, long hours of daylight and the potential for thunderstorms on Thursday had us, once again, revising our plans. We traveled over 90 miles and drifted back into Old Point Comfort, near Norfolk, in the last few minutes of twilight. By the time we got the anchor down, it was dark. A long day after a short night and we slept very well.

Today, we moved over to the Waterside Marina a day earlier than we had reserved. It was 97 degrees. As we are coming to a dock, we always have the planning discussion – what line do you want to secure first? Today, our first response was, ‘Shore-power cord! Get the AC on!’ We actually went with the mid-spring line instead.

Three headsails, apparently, required for admission.
One surprise as we pulled in – there was only one other sailboat in the marina and it had three roller-furling headsails. Usually, it is easy to spot ‘SeaClearly’ in an anchorage or a marina because that is a pretty unique arrangement. Neither the owner of this boat (a Southern Cross) nor I know exactly what to call this rig. It could be a Cutter Rig with an added head sail. It could be a Solent Rig with an added staysail. Or, it could be, as this guy described it, a Furler Farm.

Shortly after, we met our second experienced, inspirational cruiser-couple within 2 days. John and Sue are only in their seventies - but they have a lot of tales to tell. We have already enjoyed meeting them and we have a couple of days to hear more of their travels. We had always heard that the best part of cruising is the people and it truly is.

Speaking of people, we expect to start seeing a lot around here tomorrow. Son, wife and grand-daughter, and daughter and hubby, neighbors Deb and Ron, friends John and Tom with their wives (whom we haven’t met yet) all expected. Can’t wait to see them.  Also, the entire turn-out for the Bayou Boogaloo Festival will be right off our stern. Should be a good time – family, friends, Cajun food, Norfolk Harbor. Sweet!

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