Best Cloud Formation I Did Not Want to See - A dark grey cloud spreading over the Little Annemessex River burying the golden light of morning. I could hear the thunder over Tangier Sound, just made it to the dock, tied up and ran for cover as the rain, lightning and wind hit on the last day of the Tangier Sound Walkabout.
Nicest Clouds - sailing down Chincoteague Bay
Most Miles Covered in a Single Day - 51.7 nautical miles during the Over the Top from Chesapeake City, Md, down the C and D Canal, then down Delaware Bay to Bowers Beach
Most Tortured Body of Water - Indian River Inlet Channel, a surging mass of water with giant eddies, steep chop and breaking waves
Best Brunch - Grilled speckled trout and sweet potatoes in Mouse Harbor after catching the fish off of Pamlico Point on day seven of the Tidal 214
Latest Running Tide - Outgoing tide at Ocean City Inlet that was still running out at over three knots an hour and one-half after the predicted low tide. "Yeah, it does that sometimes" said the woman at the fuel dock in the boat basin.
Worst Storm - Three storm cells in a row that passed over Spartina in Abel Bay off the Pamlico River on day six of the Tidal 214
Best Hamburger - The Rusty Rudder, Dewey Beach, Delaware
Most Disorienting Music in the Middle of the Night - Mariachi music as the radio shorted out and turned itself on after an evening of storms on Abel Bay
Nicest Park Ranger - the one that opened the store at Janes Island State Park to sell me three bottles of cold green tea on day four of the Tangier Walkabout
Best Sail with the Dolphins - on the ocean from Indian River Inlet to Ocean City Inlet, the dolphin swam so close we could almost touch them
Best Floating Artwork - a topless mermaid on the door of a home-made houseboat at the basin in Chesapeake City
Best Luck with the Weather - a day of north wind, the only day in our time frame, to carry us down the coast from Indian River Inlet to Ocean City Inlet
And that's it, selected by a panel made up of one judge. Looking back, 2012 was a good year on the water.
I'll take it as a good omen for 2013 that the January photograph in the WoodenBoat Calendar shows a yawl. A much larger and more expensive yawl than Spartina, but still - a yawl. Got to love those yawls.
Here's to a good year for everyone!