"A few photographs." I knew that after each cruise we did a post with a handful of photographs from the trip. I did not realize until today that I had used the same title for the posts after each of the three cruises this year. The photographs we put in those posts - you can see them here, here and here - are the first and maybe the most true reflections of the trip. We, in the case of a trip with Bruce, or I, when on a solo trip, typically do those posts just hours after arriving back home. Looking through the photographs we find images that connect with our memories before the memories start to fade. I went through those "photograph" posts and picked out a single image from each just to remind me of the past year.
This is the "bamboo channel"that Bruce photographed as we sailed out of Fishing Creek in late May, leaving the Honga River and entering Chesapeake Bay. I think the photograph is perfect - when I look at now the scene feels just as surreal as it did that morning.
This photograph is from September as I left Saxis on Pocomoke Sound. I love the simple colors, the quiet fish house contrasted with the thunderstorm. The night before I had spent two hours on Spartina at Tangier Island as a vicious lightning storm passed overhead. The power of a nature was fresh on my mind as I watched this storm erupting up into the sky.
And I'm a little embarrassed to choose this photograph of myself from a solo trip in early May in North Carolina. But when I look at it I see what I love about sailing small boats. Solitude, the water, a hint of evening sun on my face after a good day of sailing, a good book and the bivy set up for a good night's sleep. Dinner was over, cook gear washed and stowed, notebook filled out with details from the day's journey. When I look at it now I feel as comfortable as I did then on that evening anchored in Maw Bay.
Looking ahead in the short term. The forecast, as of now, is excellent for this coming weekend. Low 60's, clear skies. There might be a daysail in there somewhere.
A couple weeks out, we are looking at a long Thanksgiving weekend on Ocracoke Island. One of my daughters asked if I was bringing Spartina. My first reaction was "no." But now that I think about it, why not? I'll watch the weather and if it looks half decent I might bring the boat along. What could be better than a Fall sail on Silver Lake? A Fall sail, with the daughters aboard Spartina, on Silver Lake. Above is the pier in front of the place we have rented for the weekend. Can't you just picture Spartina tied alongside? I can.
Early December, a three day weekend, time to start the off-season maintenance.
Winter. Then Spring.
Somehow, through a clerical error in Crisfield, I'll be receiving a free year pass to the ramp at Somers Cove. My application and check for this year's pass was briefly lost at the marina office. It was soon found and I received my pass in time for the Fall trip. There was no inconvenience to me, yet I am told I will receive the new pass early next year. I might as well use it.
I've been fortunate enough the last couple of years to combine a long weekend with a couple of comp days for a five day solo trip. If it works out it the Spring I would like to do a short trip on Tangier Sound while the striper are still schooling in the open water. We'll see. On my sail behind Cedar Island, just off of Tangier Sound, I passed by a couple of marshes that would make for beautiful anchorages. You can see them on either side of my track, below. To the west is The Prong, to the east is Fishing Ditch. Both looked peaceful, quiet and very well protected. Early May?
And a week-long sail in late May or early June? North Carolina? I did 16 days on Chesapeake Bay this past year. Yes, I think North Carolina.
Early Fall we are planning the "over the top sail" as we work our way around the Delmarva Peninsula. Starting and stopping places are not quite certain, but we'll figure it out. The following year we'll complete the circumnavigation with a trip down to Cape Charles and back up the Bay to Onancock.
Half the fun of sailing is sailing. The other half is thinking about it.