Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival - a blur

It was all a blur.  Boats, lots of boats.  Friends, lots of friends.  And lots of new friends with names I could not remember (I'm terrible at that).  

With the gusting wind and rolling waves almost a crash landing at the docks for Spartina, saved by three sailors who ran out to the docks to help with the lines.  Greetings from Kristen and then meeting up with Barry and daughter, then a delightful dinner with them followed by a wonderful sleep in that somehow-paid-for but unused hotel room, the hot shower feeling great after a couple stormy days on the water.  Friday has a free breakfast at the hotel in a room crowded with folks headed to the small craft festival and somebody says "There's a lot of energy at the museum these days," and they are right.  Back at the waterfront more friends arriving, friends from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.  Some I've met before, some I've met by email.  A little clash of my worlds.  That evening I carry a stack of spice covered steamed crabs and a wooden mallet over to an empty table but I'm pulled away by Harris and his friends from the Chesapeake Float to join their feast, what a treat.  And then Barry's night at the movies, Spartina even making an appearance on the big screen in a couple of the videos.  And Barry's got this friend there with an assortment of whiskies and fine glasses and I spend some time hanging around that table though I don't think I was ever invited.  No free hotel room for the night and the waterfront is still being battered by the waves so I grab the sleeping bag and find a porch at a museum building for the night.

Saturday morning wind and waves beginning to slack and I look out over the Miles River to see Kantala anchored out, Michael and Sheila having enjoyed the protection of the Wye River for an extra day or two.  Still breezy enough for a double-reefed main I sail out to the ketch, arriving just as their world cruising friends Richard and Jessica arrive by inflatable boat.  Later on shore I meet up with Rock Hall friends MaryLou and Fred, Michael and Sheila coming in by dinghy to join us for a fine lunch - fish and chips made with fine local rockfish for me - at the Crab Claw.  

I head off to check on Spartina at the docks but the weather is looking better so I head out for a sail while my lunch companions explore the museum.  Motoring in to one of the piers Navigator sailor Kevin B. hops on board for his first ever Pathfinder sail and the wind has fallen to the point that I've shaken out all the reefs, Kevin at the tiller and me relaxing up forward.  Back on shore I meet Michael and Sheila for a walk into town so they can pick up some food supplies for Kantala.  They head off in the dinghy and I walk to the awards banquet under the big tent (no I didn't win anything but then again I didn't compete).  Great dinner where Emily's friend shows me how to open a bottle of beer using a second bottle of beer and his heel, don't ask me to explain but I don't think anybody was injured by the bottle cap flying off into the crowd.  And the beer was cold.  Pleased to receive an invite for breakfast in the morning, I say goodbye to my friends.  Waterfront finally calmed down and for the first time in three nights I climb on board Spartina, slip into the sleeping bag and I feel like I'm at home.     

No comments: