Eastern Sunday, 1995, a cold and windy day on the Chesapeake Bay water. I was sailing a Womanship boat with 7 women, 2 of them sailing instructors, into Annapolis Harbor. The sky was blue and clear, the air was clean and crispy, and the water cold and choppy.
Annapolis is a beautiful port to come into. In the background, the Bay Bridge, with its imposing magnificence, connects the Eastern Shore to civilization. On the starboard, The Naval Academy is at the mouth of the waterway guarding the harbor. On the Port side is where all the fun – restaurants, bars, shops, charters, and most of all, fun and colorful sailors.
The wind was pushing us away from the dock and it was hard to squeeze such a big boat into a rather small slip. As soon as we made it in, we started tying up the boat. Bob was waiting for me at the dock with his crocked smile, the kind of smile that says there is a surprise somewhere.
“How was the sail?” He was always so warm and caring.
“The best – I have not had a shower for 5 days, I slept in the littlest bunk bed with no heat in 30 degree temperature for 5 nights, I had cold air cutting through my layers of clothing all day for 5 days, the snoring and sleep-talking in the cabin kept me awake most of the night, and I am absolutely happy.”
Yes, I was flying in the wind. I was free. I was part of the world. It might have been 5 days, but it went by like a second. For 5 days, we learned how to sail, navigate, communicate, repair engines, pull up man-overboard, dock the boat, anchor the boat, and be a skipper as well as a deckhand. That was my first Chesapeake Bay sailing, and I was hooked.
I have been sailing in the Chesapeake Bay for 19 years since that day. I will take time to go over the places I have been and the people I have met as I move on in my blog.
Of course I always come back to Bay Cottage, my beloved home. This is where everything got started.