Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

Sorry I missed posting last week. We we were camping with friends. Although my sister claims that since we were in their RV it wasn’t really camping. Perhaps, but we only slept in said land yacht. The rest of the time, including cooking and eating meals, was spent outside, mostly around the campfire, which we started around lunchtime. Anyhoo….

It’s challenging to keep up a blog about learning to love living aboard while I’m on land. I’m not thinking much about living aboard. I just settled back into my land routine. It is a well-baked routine with which I have many years of practice, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised it happened so quickly. I am thinking ahead to November and moving the boat to Florida, but we’ve decided we will transit the North Carolina ICW to Beaufort, NC and then do mostly continuous offshore cruising to Florida, weather permitting, of course. It’s more of a delivery than living aboard, and I will have the annual Holiday Craft Fair on my mind as I try to complete as many items as possible while we’re under way.

I love being back in the yoga studio! Yoga on the boat is often beautiful and serene, but it can get lonely. Balance can be challenging, as one might imagine being on a floating object, but it seems that boat yoga has improved my land balance a little, which is a welcome benefit. I also like the companionship and energy of doing yoga with others. I hope I will find some yoga buddies in the Caribbean.

The past couple of weeks I’ve spent preparing to teach my first AARP Smart Driver class as a new volunteer. Given my educator background and my need to be uber-prepared for such presentations, I’ve been preparing for days. The downside is that I’ve spent far too much time sitting in front of a computer over the past two weeks, rather than being outside. The upside is that I only have to do this once, since the curriculum is unlikely to change for the next several years. I also felt a bit of a crunch to get the planning done since my first class was supposed to be this Monday & Wednesday. Notice I said “supposed to be.” I ended up canceling yesterday when one of my three registrants said she wouldn’t be able to make it. It’s difficult to have rich discussions around varied driving experiences with only two perspectives. Alas! The class I have scheduled for November 2nd already has at least nine students, so I know that one will proceed as planned. And I’m already done my preparations 🙂

This is the last weekend of summer and it actually feels like summer. We’ll be spending this afternoon and evening mostly outside with friends, music, and bacon! It’s our friends’ annual Bacon Fest fundraiser for their nonprofit, The Continuum Arts Collective, which supports students in the arts by supplying materials and mentors. What an excellent way to spend a gorgeous Saturday! 

Monday officially ushers in autumn, although it’s felt like autumn since our return. The leaves are changing color a little more each day. The air is crisp (and not humid!). It is the season of craft fairs, county fairs, harvesting and putting up food. I’ve canned salsa and pickled beets. As I type, my Bacon Fest food entry is baking in the oven- apple tartlets with candied bacon. They smell great and I can’t wait to try one! There will be much more seasonal baking in the coming weeks (without bacon). Next weekend starts the much anticipated slew of autumn events with the Deerfield Fair. After that there’s Apple Harvest Day, mine and mom’s annual Columbus Day sleepover and local activities (while the Marchi men and Dave gather for their annual ME weekend), eating apple cider donuts, choosing pie pumpkins and jack o’lanterns, Halloween. Welcome autumn- I look forward to spending time with you!

red and orange autumn leaves on the ground and on trees beside body of water
Photo by Jake Colvin on Pexels.com

Land Lubbing

I am so happy to be home! I missed my family and friends very much. I know myself, and I knew when Dave and I started dating and he told me of his plan to live aboard in the Caribbean that I would join him in pursuit of that dream, but that I couldn’t do it year-round. Fortunately he understands this, so he acquiesced to return home each year for the autumn and through the holidays. After being away only four months and missing family and friends so badly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to be away for 8 months a year once we actually get the boat to the Caribbean. I may have to sneak home for a week or two about halfway through, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there

We haven’t lost any time since arriving back on land. Dave has already refinished the deck, resealed the driveway, ordered a new garage door, and contracted to get the house painted. I started tackling the long list of tech issues aboard that we need to solve while home, weeded three garden beds, 8 raised beds, and the entire side of the house where a growing stand of milkweed is developing (we asked our neighbor not to mow that patch while we were gone). I’m also ramping up to teach my first AARP Driver Safety class at the end of this month (and another in early November), plus fitting in sewing in preparation for the craft fair I participate in during the first week of December. I did not get nearly enough sewing done aboard! On top of all that, we’re scheduling in visits with family & friends.

There are aspects of being aboard that I do miss. I miss the slower pace that living aboard often affords, like swinging in the hammocks in the afternoon just reading or listening to the sounds of the water and birds. When I’m ashore I feel like I have to constantly be doing something. (Truthfully, it took me about a month aboard to shake that feeling.) I miss having my boat home with me as I explore new places. Here on land I have to travel away from home to explore new places, which not only involves driving time, but also the expense of accommodations and food if I choose to explore a place for more than one day. Most of my day aboard is spent outside in the fresh air, while here on land most of my day is spent inside. I think my body misses the boat. A boat in the water is never completely stationary, even when not in transit. The constant motion requires my muscles to work in harmony in ways they don’t have to on land.  I also find that I sit too much when I’m home, while aboard sitting still for long periods of time is rare for me. 

Still, I love being home. I may have mentioned that already 🙂 . I love the conveniences like hardware and grocery stores close by, a comparatively spacious bathroom (7.5’ x 8’ feels huge), plenty of water, the hot tub, and WiFi. It’s easier to move in my land-home without bumping my head, shins, knees, elbows. I’m always bruised when I’m on board. Those bruises have finally faded over the past week and a half on land. While I love Indigo Lady’s layout and spaciousness compared to other catamarans we looked at (within our price range), we did make compromises. Her beds in the hulls are over the bridge deck. This makes changing the bed challenging. It also means I have to climb steps to get into and out of her. That’s fun in the middle of the night when I need the bathroom, because I have to crawl over Dave. (Yes, I could sleep on the outside, but it doesn’t feel right. I know, weird.) We’ve done what we can to make the beds themselves comfortable, but it will never be as comfortable as my bed on land. The seating is also uncomfortable on board. In part this is due to the fact that as I get older my back gives me more trouble, so I’m rarely comfortable sitting anywhere, but at home on land I have more options than I do on board, including lying flat. It’s difficult to lie flat on a boat that is all curves and hard surfaces. 

Our galley is really quite spacious for a boat. We have ample storage for dry goods and non-perishables, we have a fridge and a huge freezer, and as a solar-electric boat we can have electric gadgets. As a result of all that, I’m becoming quite comfortable cooking and baking aboard, but there’s still nothing like cooking in my kitchen here on land. I’ve already canned salsa and will soon be doing pickled beets. I enjoy having convenient access to fresh food whenever I want. Just this year the CSA I belong to started offering shares for flexible months and year round, so I was able to join for just the months we’re home. Now I get my favorite late summer and autumn produce- fresh and organic. Yum! I know that once we reach the Caribbean, obtaining food provisions will be more challenging, but it will also result in us getting more exercise, and trying new foods, which I am looking forward to.

This is a great time of year to be home. I have no love lost for winter anymore, and I tend to appreciate spring simply because it means winter is over. Summer is all to brief here at home, but in the Caribbean it’s pretty much summer all the time (at least the months we’ll be there). But autumn, that’s a mid-latitude season. I love the colors, textures and smells, the crisp feel in the air, the flavors of hearty autumn produce. It’s a time when nature slows down for a bit. My body and mind sync with and appreciate that restfulness. It is a time to recenter and reset myself. Plus I enjoy the autumn and early winter holidays which always mean time focused on celebrating with family and friends. Autumn is cozy and I need a little bit of that each year.

So I will delight in this time at home, spend as much of it with family and friends as I can, and just as it starts to get a bit too cold, I’ll head south for warmer climes with a sense of readiness for our next adventure.

This little piggy went home

This is another short one. Allow me to summarize:

  • We’re home!
  • Lady is buttoned up and in the care of a marina. We spent three days cleaning and closing her up, and we’re beat! But she’s in good hands, and we get some family & friend time.
  • The map below completes the picture of this leg of our journey towards the Caribbean. It is interactive, so click away and see where we’ve been. (The image at the top is static.)
  • If you missed the map of the first half of our trip, check out my July 6th post, “Oh the places we’ve been.”

Next week I’ll post something about re-adjusting to life on land. Until then, happy clicking!

And I’m spent!

I have enjoyed our travels from New Hampshire to Virginia. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to explore and learn about parts of our country that I’ve never visited before, and to revisit some places I hadn’t been to in decades, but I’ve reached my saturation point of being a tourist. It’s tiring after four months, especially given the pace at which we moved. We stopped at 64 different locations in 17 weeks (plus 1 day, as of Friday when I’m writing this). That’s moving every two days on average, and when we moved it was generally a 4-6 hour trip to go 20-30 miles. Of course we didn’t really move every two days. There were several times when we stayed 3-4 nights in one spot, with extended stays in St. Michaels and Yorktown (5 nights each) and in D.C. (12 nights). On the flip side, when we left DC we traveled each day for eight consecutive days. Hmmm…no wonder I was so tired when we got to my cousin’s place.

On top of the moving and touring, there was the incessant planning of where to go and when, plus the constant attention to the weather, marine conditions, and the timing of tides and currents, all of which could result in the need to replan where to go and when. Then there were the things that broke and needed fixing, including one systems issue that is actually still unresolved. This is all on top of normal needs like laundry and groceries, which are a little more logistically problematic when one parks on the water and does not have a car. Phew! I’m getting tired all over again just typing this. 

It’s not over yet. We arrived today at the marina where we will leave Indigo Lady while we go home for a couple months. Over the next three days we will do several loads of laundry, vacuum seal everything made of fabric, clean Lady inside and out, stow everything that needs to be stowed, hopefully solve a couple of lingering boat  issues, and generally “button her up” before we fly home. The marina is well-protected, so Lady will be safe, but we’re tucked in the back where there is hardly a breeze but lots of trees and fresh water flora that promises a lot of insects at dawn & dusk. This is not conducive to a good night’s sleep, so we opted for a (cheap) hotel and rental car while we do all those “buttoning up” chores. We will sleep in air-conditioned comfort for a few nights, pick up things we need without having to walk or Uber, and eat dinner out. 

I think I need a vacation. 😉

 

We broke our streak!

After sleeping aboard for 107 consecutive nights we finally broke our streak. We spent last weekend with my cousin Tom and his wife Luz at their home near Saluda, VA. We only see each other every few years or so and always at family gatherings, which leaves little time for extended conversation. So we spent the entire weekend talking, and eating. In addition, they had us use their washer and dryer, took us to get groceries, and even drove us around Yorktown as a preview to our stay here. (I’m writing this at anchor off the fishing pier near the Yorktown beaches.) We had a great time catching up, and truly appreciate their hospitality. If you’re reading this, thanks Tom & Luz! I never did take a picture of the four of us, just Dave playing with their dog. Alas!

I took readily to sleeping once again in a bed that doesn’t rock, and it’s amazing how much sleep one can get with light block shades over windows. It was also a welcome respite from twelve days of touring DC by foot, followed by eight consecutive days of 5-6 hour cruises to get from DC to Urbanna where we anchored Lady before going ashore with Tom & Luz for two nights. That was our longest stretch of daily travel, and something I don’t care to repeat because it’s tiring.

We’re spending the weekend in Yorktown with a side trip to Jamestown, courtesy of Tom who is going to join us for a day while Luz is traveling to visit family. After that we have less than 2 weeks left before we dock Lady at a marina and fly home for a couple of months. The time has gone by both too fast and (sometimes) too slowly. Does that make sense? At any rate, I can’t believe we’re almost finished with this leg of our journey, although I am ready for some time at home.

Ramblings

I’ve been having a difficult time deciding what to blog about today. It figures, because I actually remembered it’s blog day and I have time. So I’ve decided to just ramble, a sort of stream of consciousness. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and settle in.

I miss having an exercise routine and I continue to struggle to develop one onboard. We’ve gone ashore exactly once since we left DC last Saturday morning, and that was to hunt for more shark teeth at Shark Tooth Island on Tuesday. I can’t really call that exercise. Other than that, we’ve been either in transit or hanging in the hammocks at anchor in the afternoon and evening. Some mornings I’m able to get in a little yoga before the sun is full on the bow, the only space aboard where I can do yoga. We can’t really swim, especially now that we’re in jellyfish territory. I expect that once we’re in the Caribbean I will have an easier time getting exercise. I won’t mind slathering on sunblock and doing yoga in the sun and trade winds because I’ll be able to swim to rinse off afterward. Plus we will likely dive or snorkel most days, and there will be walks ashore. I’m following other cruisers, some of whom share how they stay in shape while cruising. For now I’ve resigned myself to walking and doing yoga when I can. 

I’ve got driving the dinghy down pretty good, so I no longer have to rely on Dave to get me ashore and back. That gives me a new level of freedom to do what I want on my own schedule. I’m becoming more comfortable handling Indigo Lady. I now frequently drive us out of and into anchorages which for this trip tend to be bays or harbors off of rivers. I still need to work on docking, an experience difficult to come by because we so rarely pull up to a dock, and I’m not yet comfortable doing it in anything but ideal conditions. I’m getting better at anchoring but am still adjusting to our new Rocna, which joined us in DC. It tends to set quickly if there’s any current or wind pushing us back, so I have to be sure I let the chain out at a good pace, which I find a bit tricky while watching for the first (50’) distance mark on the chain. It’s difficult to spot when the chain is moving quickly. I also need to work on choosing a location within an anchorage area and driving the boat while Dave handles the anchor. I have abysmal distance perception on land and it’s even worse on the water, so I’m not sure choosing a place to drop the hook will ever be my strong suit because I can never tell if we’re too close or too far away from land and other objects. With more practice I will learn to read the water and wind so I can properly handle the boat while Dave tends to dropping the anchor. Perhaps I should practice at this afternoon’s anchorage. 😉

We had a lovely chat with Brian yesterday morning before we left Smith Point. He paddled out in his kayak to chat with us and give us a visitor’s guide magazine about this section of The Chesapeake. He also took a picture of Lady at anchor and sent it to us, which I used in this post. (Thanks, Brian!) It’s meeting and talking with local people like Brian that are one of my favorite things about traveling. Each conversation reveals something about the community and its people. Locals have shared with us the history of their towns, suggested things for us to see and do, inquired about our unusual boat, or simply passed a few minutes in simple conversation with us about everyday things. We’ve been offered rides, invited to cookouts and provided WiFi access. On one of the first really bad heat advisory days, the director of the outdoor museum we were touring drove us to and from its remote parts so we could see everything without worrying about heatstroke! At the marine supply store in DC where we ordered a part that was supposed to arrive next day but didn’t, the employee who placed the order for us made sure it was forwarded to our next land stop and convinced the shipper (who was responsible for the delay) to pay for the expedited overnight shipping. These may be tense times in our country, but kindness still abounds and this trip reminds me of that repeatedly. 

On the flip side, these pleasant interactions are all too brief and we have to keep moving on; there’s no time to forge friendships. I find myself missing my family and friends a little more each day. Thank goodness for social media and cell phones, because they provide a link to the folks back home. If it weren’t for these means of communication, I’m not sure I would have decided to give this lifestyle a try. Still, it doesn’t replace visiting with someone in person, which I am starting to sorely miss.

Thursday marked the end of our 15th week on the water. We have 2-3 weeks left before returning home for a bit. I’m ready for a good chunk of home time.

On the road again

We are finally on our way back down the Potomac after our extended stay in DC. We had originally planned on 7 nights with my cousins on board for six of those, elected to stay an additional 2 nights after they left so we  could finish up a couple of museums, and stayed 3 nights beyond that waiting for replacement cables and connectors so our starboard battery bank can once again communicate with the system control panel. So all told, 12 nights on a mooring in DC.(We got the connectors, but the cables are going to have to catch up with us in St. Mary’s City in a few days. So much for next day delivery.)

We had a blast in DC, but I didn’t realize how exhausted and over-stimulated I was until we got to this (mostly) quiet anchorage. There are a few power boats pulling water skiers and tubers around, tossing up wakes (and rocking the heck out of us in the hammocks!), but they’ll be gone by sunset and it will be real quiet here. They’re not constant anyway, so their buzz is punctuated by the quiet lap of water and the sound of birds. It never truly got quiet in DC; there was always some level of background noise, even late at night. It’s a city; it’s to be expected. We even went for a swim after we set the hook this afternoon, something we couldn’t do in DC (too much debris- natural and trash).

I will miss the convenience of land showers and free laundry at the marina, museums, restaurants with fabulous food, iced lattes, and the city skyline at night. However, I am looking forward to recharging in the peace and quiet of the next several days anchoring in beautiful surroundings with no onshore amenities, and simply enjoying the view, a good book or two, and the company of my sweetie.

I posted an album of DC photos on my Facebook page. Us the Facebook ‘Follow Us’  link at right. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Diggin’ DC (plus some boat issues…)

Sorry I didn’t post this past weekend, but we had guests aboard followed by boat issues. So let me catch you up on our week-plus (and on-going) stint in DC.

When we realized we had plenty of time to get to Indigo Lady’s landing spot for September and October, we decided to trek up the Potomac to DC and check out our Nation’s Capitol by water. We are so glad we did!

We arrived Monday, July 22nd, and picked up the mooring we reserved from The Wharf Marina (formerly Gangplank Marina), after watering up and pumping out our holding tanks. Can’t beat the price of $35/night. (Apparently they were also supposed to charge us $10/day to land at their dinghy dock and use their laundry and showers, but they never did. Shhhhh.) 

We were impressed from the first! Dave & I went ashore to explore this new District Wharf area here in the SW corner of DC, not far from the National Mall. It spans one mile of the Potomac from the 395 bridge and down river. Phase I was completed and opened in October of 2017; Phase II is slated to be finished in 2022 (more marina). It’s an impressive area, with restaurants galore, ranging from the long-time fish market (fresh and cooked options) to Shake Shack to casual and white-tablecloth dining. There are of course shops, businesses and residences. There are several outdoor gathering spots on three different piers and along the waterfront. There’s a gas fire structure they light at night on the end of Recreation Pier. We saw another wood fire pit in front of one of the restaurants. And we did see people all over the public spots during our stay- meeting, eating, resting, etc. It’s a very vibrant area. They provide a free shuttle that makes a four-stop loop between The Wharf, L’Enfant Plaza Metro, The National Mall, and the International Spy Museum. How convenient! Read more about The District Wharf if you like; you don’t have to come here by boat.

My cousins Bob & Jolene joined on the 23rd arriving just in time for lunch ashore. We spent the week together exploring museums and sampling the cuisine. After lunch on Tuesday we started to wander The Mall, ending up at the Capitol just in time for the final tour of the day, unplanned by us.  Score! Then we set out for some of the memorials. We managed to see the WWII and Korean memorials before we petered out and headed back to the Wharf for dinner at Mi Vida (awesome Mexican food!). We’d all forgotten how HUGE The Mall is and were tired and foot sore! Over the rest of the week we explored the Thomas Jefferson, FDR, MLK, Lincoln and Vietnam memorials, plus the museums of African American History and Culture, Native American History, and Natural History. Dave & I spent the entire day in the new Fossil Hall at the Natural History museum, while Bob & Jo spent the morning there, had lunch with us, then went to the Bible Museum. On Saturday the boys went to the off-site annex of the Air & Space Museum to see the large aircraft, including the Shuttle Discovery and one of the Concord jets. Jolene and I went to Arlington National Cemetery and then Ford’s Theater and Petersen House. Sunday we all went to the US Holocaust Memorial. I’d been there before quite a while ago, but the others had not. Thank goodness that was the only venue we planned for that day because we were there for four hours and were quite overwhelmed by the time we left. 

We saw Bob & Jo off the morning of this past Monday for their trip back home. We had originally planned to leave the same day, but partway through the week opted to spend Monday night here as well after Bob & Jo left us. So Monday the 29th was a bit of a chore morning for us; we pumped out and filled our water tanks, and Dave installed a replacement part for one of our battery banks that we had hoped would return it to working condition; it didn’t. So he sent off another email to Oceanvolt with an update, but since they are 7 hours ahead of us in Finland, their work day was over. We had lunch aboard and then spent the afternoon back in the Natural History Museum- me in the Human Origins hall and Dave in the Ocean hall. As we left the museum at 5pm, we decided to extend our stay into Tuesday night and fortunately the mooring was still available.

Tuesday morning Dave worked on some more trouble shooting while waiting to hear from Oceanvolt. I did a solo trip ashore to do laundry and grocery shopping. I’m getting better at running and landing the dinghy, of which I am quite proud. 🙂  When I returned to Lady, Dave had arranged for a call with Oceanvolt early the following morning (Wednesday) before we had to vacate the mooring. So after wrapping up our chores and having lunch aboard, we returned ashore to finish touring the exhibits at the Native American History Museum. 

And because boats always have issues, the systems saga doesn’t end here, and neither does our stay in DC…

This morning (Wednesday) dawned and while I was doing yoga at 6:30am, Dave was in a Skype call with Oceanvolt, which did not solve our problem, but resulted in both Dave and them doing a little more homework and Skyping again tomorrow morning. Shortly after the call, more hell broke loose. Our controllers stopped fully communicating with the solar panels (we can see how charged they are, but not what they’re bringing in). I went ashore for coffee and WiFi while Dave tried to trouble shoot that. Okay, and I wanted a donut from District Donut right at the head of the pier which had been calling to me all week until I could ignore it no longer. I returned to Lady to hear Dave say, “Bad news, I no longer have any control over the starboard motor.” Another email to Oceanvolt with the new issue and Dave determined we needed to order some new cables in case one or more were fried. This resulted in a trip ashore to order said cables, and another call to the marina to extend our stay through Friday night. Good thing they have nobody coming in for this mooring in the near future; it’s the only one that can handle a boat this size!

So the saga continues, but with parts arriving tomorrow and a call with Oceanvolt in the AM. We’re giving ourselves some downtime today, but will probably make use of our extended time here and visit the International Spy Museum tomorrow between the AM call and parts arriving in the afternoon. There are worse places to be stuck. 

I will try to post again this weekend with an update. Until then, enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

Fossil hunting during a heat wave

The Chesapeake is part of the heat wave much of the U.S. is experiencing this week. It started here on Wednesday and is supposed to break late Sunday night. Ugh! It has been unbearably hot, especially from about 3-9pm each day. Even the breeze is hot and humid! Still, we’ve managed to enjoy ourselves. 

Today we struck it rich! We spent four hours this morning hunting for fossils in Wade’s Bay off of Purse State Park, MD. We didn’t know this was here until we decided a couple of weeks ago to cruise up the Potomac to D.C., so our “equipment” consisted of our colander, and two dinghy bailers (a Folgers coffee container and a Chlorox bottle cut into scoop shapes). Our morning search was entirely in the shade and spent wading (and often sitting) in the water. Yay for comfort! The pictures in this post show our bounty, although some of them we’re not sure are fossils. There are more pictures, with captions, on my Facebook page (link at right).

We returned to Indigo Lady for lunch, but it was much too hot to stay aboard. So we returned to shore shortly after for refuge and more fossil hunting. It’s not a real beach, but there are many spots to sit ashore, even at high tide. We hunted fossils (sitting in the shallows) for a bit, but then just sat back and read in the shade, dipping into the water to re-wet ourselves and cool off when necessary. It was a busy place; I counted about two dozen small pleasure craft, but the bay has plenty of room and we had a shady spot to ourselves. 

I write this from my hammock back on Indigo Lady, swinging in the humid breeze after snacks and an icy drink of ice, fruit juice and rum. The air isn’t stagnant, but it’s still hot, and I am anticipating sunset when it should cool down a bit. The projected low tonight is 80 degrees, but that’s 20 degrees cooler than it is now. Relief!

(Note: I’m posting this Sunday morning. It cooled only a little last night and not appreciably inside Indigo Lady. I did not get much sleep, alas!)

I need to take a weather course!

I used to “teach” ninth graders about weather. Kind of funny looking back on it, because I’ve come to realize over the past eleven weeks how little I truly understand weather. So any former students who may be following me, you go ahead and chuckle now. 

I’m obsessed with the weather. I have never spent so much time checking land and marine forecasts as I have these past eleven weeks. I repeatedly check the My Radar app and our real-time on board radar for hours as storms play around and approach us, simultaneously watching the skies and trying to read patterns. I hope that as I continue to watch over time, the skies will make more sense and I won’t need to stare at the radar for hours. I religiously check the (sometimes inaccurate) marine forecasts so I know what kind of ride we’re in for on days when we move to our next location. I don’t mind a bumpy ride, but I prefer our bow seats are not repeatedly dunked into the sea. My hope is always to make it to anchor before any predicted afternoon thunderstorms. Although, really, being at anchor during those hasn’t been great. Our four anchor dragging experiences haven’t helped my state of mind regarding storms. The last one hit us in Smith Creek with 45+ knot winds and a wall of water we couldn’t see through. We dragged about 200’ in the short time it took us to take evasive action to avoid the pylons that were suddenly about 150 feet behind us. We have decided that we will be purchasing a new style anchor soon so we can sleep on stormy nights.

I never worry about thunderstorms when I’m home, but on a boat in the middle of the water I feel very tiny and exposed, even if land and civilization are only a couple of hundred yards away, like in Smith Creek. Mother Nature’s power is awesome, and I respect it…and fear it a little out here. I have been amazed and entertained watching rain clouds approach only to mostly pass us to starboard, lightly showering us with rain from the edge, while the port side remains sunny. At a fireworks display in St. Michaels, we watched Mother Nature compete with her own light show. (I was very thankful that stayed in the distance!) and I’ve been equally terrified by how quickly she can get cranky.

Fortunately, there are weather classes for cruisers. I plan on taking a few to combat my ignorance and increase my peace of mind. Why wait? First one is a webinar next week.