Bruce and I are trying to work out a conference call today. We hope to sit down at our computers with google earth open and go over the route, options, etc, and hammer out a few details.
As I mentioned a few days ago that plan has shifted slightly. We'll be going to Tangier Island instead of Smith Island. I've got to call Parks Marina to check on docking - most of the waterfront in Tangier is taken up by working boats and the watermen's skiffs. (And as I checked for contact information on the marina I noticed the address - 16070 Parks Marina Lane - and had to wonder how do you get a street number as high as 16070 on an island that is only a couple of miles long.) Above you see a couple of the skiffs, with the crab houses on stilts and their rows of shedding tanks for soft shell crabs, in the background. At left is the channel that cuts east/west across the island and on the far side of the channel is a very classic Chesapeake Bay workboat - I think it is a "buy boat", a boat that picks up the catch from the watermen and carries it to the fish houses.
Tuesday will be the first full moon in May, the traditional peak for the soft shell season. I see some soft shell crab sandwiches at The Fisherman's Corner in our future. The shedding tanks are just a brief walk from the restaurant - soft shell crabs do not get any fresher than that.
Bruce did ask about the weather in an email a few days ago. It is hard to predict a week out, but below is the forecast for the first day of the trip. It looks like a high pressure system will be moving into the Mid-Atlantic. The forecast does look good, but I won't take any forecast seriously until two or three days before we start. And what does it really matter? As Bruce has said on a couple of other occasions when the weather was not the best - "We're going anyway."
I think Bruce was probably more concerned about the temperatures. Last June we sailed with Paul and Dawn during a record setting heat wave. It was very hot three or four days during the trip, particularly on day seven when we had a heat index of 105 degrees and very little wind. Below you can see Paul, Dawn and Bruce cooling off in the evening at Beard Creek. Cold beer never tasted so good.
I expect the temperatures for the bay trip will be much more reasonable.