We decided to give ourselves a break. After two [very long] days in St. Michaels, we were ready to call it quits on the boat. The anchorage was just really crappy, plus it was so crowded and hot. It was really hard for us to enjoy the area. But instead of throwing in the towel, we decided to find another place to go. I mean we don’t HAVE to stay anywhere if we don’t want to. That’s the beauty of this cruising thing.
Jake found a place just a short ways away, called Shaw Bay. It was only 6 miles north of our location, and boasted lots of open space and protection. As always, bad weather was just around the corner, so these were good things. Plus the anchorage supposedly had a beach…OMG A REAL BEACH!!!!
So, that was that. It was Tuesday morning (2 days after we arrived in St. Michaels) when we left. We pulled out of the anchorage at 830 AM and by 840 AM, we had the sails up and were plugging right along. The wind was quite gusty (upwards of 25 knots) but consistent, so we flew on a beam reach (when the wind comes directly over the ‘beam’ or widest part of the boat – perpendicular) for the entire trip. It took us only about an hour going a little over 5 knots.
The sailing was perfect. Bosco simply loves big wind. There was no one else on the water and the waves were small (only 1 foot). The current was flowing with us too. Added bonus – it wasn’t HOT! This is what its all about – moments just like this. [just gotta remind myself whenever sh$% gets hard again]
It only took us an hour to get to the anchorage, and pulling around the last outcropping of land we saw that we were all alone in a huge expanse of water. Back to our favorite type of anchorage. This was stark opposite of the last one, with tons of open space, tons of depth (20 feet) and nothing but nature. Since we were planning to hang for a few days, through a few storms, we put out almost 200 feet (10-to-1) of anchor rode (line). This way we should be perfectly fine if weather gets out of hand.
It is always so weird once you get to a new anchorage figuring out the routine for the rest of that day. Its hard to settle in. Not sure how to do it yet? Its often more difficult in secluded areas because there are no distractions or glaring agendas; especially since there’s really nothing to do and nowhere to go (to the untrained eye). That is when the boat becomes our everything.
But actually those are the best times. Its when we can really relax, have fun and wrap our heads around what we’ve just done, or what we want to do next. And honestly, there’s A TON to do (+ a beach!)
We learned that the beach is only visible at low-tide (still a few hours away). So we hung out until then, doing small boat chores, cleaning up, etc. Soon enough, the fun was on. We meandered over…well it wasn’t much of a meander, more like a very arduous paddle session against the current (since our outboard is currently indisposed). Thats okay because I LOVE to paddle and it was really pretty.
At first we were going to just lay out and soak in the water on shore, but this beach had a lot of hard rocks, shells and muck in the sand. Not the pristine white beaches I’ve been dreaming about. Plus we forgot towels. DOH! So instead we walked along collecting shells and discovering sea creatures; Blue crabs and sea nettles, tiny fishes, oyster shells and lots of sea grass.
It felt amazing to have no agenda except have fun exploring. Almost like we were kids again. It is the first time since we began this journey where it feels like a real vacation, and not just sufferfest. 😉
After our beach fun, we made our way back to Bosco. As our ‘little island’ got hotter and hotter, we decided to experiment using our generator to power the portable A/C (Cruize Air). As of now, this thing has been taking up precious space in our ‘garage’ only ever used while we had shore power. But with 100 degrees in the boat, it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. So we did – and it worked perfectly. We only ran it for a couple of hours because we have to conserve gas. But it helped pull a lot of humidity out of the boat, and cool it off a tiny bit.
One funny thing, or at least I think its funny, is taking showers on the foredeck. I have only tried this once, but it was a crowded area and really windy; too difficult for me. Our seclusion to the world meant that I could attempt this feat again. I found the hardest part using the hose while lathering up. Plus the water does not run constantly like a normal shower. Shaving is also a bit of a challenge (it helps to sit down). Jake has it so much easier!
We were battered with a few storms during our stay, but thankfully the worst of them passed just to the north of us. One storm had tornado-warnings associated with it, so we were really nervous about that. It makes me wonder how the heck we’re going to handle storms at sea or down in the tropics, when they get way worse? Being in storms is one thing I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to, or NOT be afraid of. Storms Suck Period. 🙂
After the storms passed, it left our boat really hot and muggy. So we slept out in the cockpit, where it was cool and breezy. The stars that came out lit the sky like I haven’t ever seen. Half the sky would be filled with stars and the other half with clouds and lightening from the storm that passed by. The other part of the sky had clouds and lightening from the lingering storm. It was an amazing sight (one I wish I could have captured).
The rest of our time was spent reading, writing, soaking in the cold water to cool off, taking cat-naps, editing photos (Jill), doing small boat jobs, planning our next move, cooking elaborate meals, and sitting around. Its easy to find things to occupy your time…even nothing is something!
One might think this would be boring. But taking things slow is a huge luxury so many people miss out on. When there are no distractions, the true magic of the world comes to life.