Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer 2013 - It Was Very Good Indeed

We spent last summer, the summer of 2012, in Canada as we were en-route on our Great Loop adventure. Cruising through Canada (and the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, I might add) was an experience that was unparalleled in either of our lives. It was magical. Beautiful landscapes, waterways and towns, all mixed together with the wonderful people of our special sovereign friend to the north made it a time of wonder and happiness. Plus, to make it even better, we spent much of that time with our friends, all cruising through the Trent-Severn, Georgian Bay, the North Channel and Lake Michigan. Wow. It was great.

But we completed our Great Loop and we had to pick new destinations and new horizons to cruise to. What was that going to be like? A big motivation for us was that we wanted to change our modus operandi from a busy boat on a mission to a more laid-back crew looking for nice places to drop a hook or to tie up to a piling and settle back and enjoy the downtime. We wanted to be more recreational. But there was a slight concern. Would this new way of boating going to be boring in comparison to the majesty of last year? Would this more pedestrian lifestyle pale in comparison to the constant onward momentum of looping over the top of the loop? Would the summer of 2013 be as awesome as the summer of 2012?

Well, certainly it was. But it was different.

Let me recap.

Memorial Day, the beginning of summer, saw us in Charleston, South Carolina, and we both fell in love with this town. We got to do a lot of sight-seeing and the charms of this place are numerous and glowing.

Myrtle Beach - We just kind of hung out at Barefoot Marina with our friends Jim and Dale of Sweet Pea. Relaxation molecules (They do exist, you know!) permeated our flesh as we enjoyed the company of these fun people.

Bald Head Island - A special destination for a special event, Lisa's birthday. Laura of The Zone turned us on to it. Why this place is not a regular stop for every crew and boat from every state in America is beyond me, besides the fact it is, you know, on the eastern seaboard and getting there could be a pain for a boat from, let's say, California, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming. It is a must-see. Go there. GO THERE!

The Outer Banks, Ocracoke and Manteo - Ok, admit it. You would like to boat there but you're afraid of the big, bad Pamlico Sound. Well, so were we. But we sucked it up, threw away our calendar and nit-picked the weather forecasts to get us up the sound stopping at Ocracoke and Manteo without breaking a sweat...sort of. It is worth the effort.

Hampton, at Hampton Roads Public Pier - Sometimes ya' gotta dig for those little hidden gems. Great place.

Fort Monroe, Hampton – Ya say ya want a house with a strong security? How about a home in a fort with a mote? They are available at Fort Monroe. Best. Houses. Ever.

A month in Annapolis - Ok, now I'm getting all misty eyed here. We spent a month at Annapolis Landing Marina and it was terrific! Annapolis was already one of our favorite places and getting to spend mid-July to mid-August there was great. Plus we got to hang with our friends Ross and Laura. Son#2 Kevin came and spent a week with us. We went on several day cruises, did the whole tourist stuff and we even went sailing. Kevin now gets to brag that he actually sailed a boat on Chesapeake Bay. Of special note were the early mornings that we would all hang out on the sundeck. How did Kevin like it? Near the time that he went home he told me, "Dad, this is a pretty good way to live." Yes it is, Kevin. Yes it is.

The eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay - Remembering what I said in a recent post, there were definitely some disappointments on the east shore. But the positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot. The anchorage at San Domingo Creek, otherwise known as the back door to St. Michaels is, we think, our favorite anchorage of all, or least in the top three. St. Michaels was very good. Go the the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Onancock was cool. Tangier Island was fun. Special props to Capt. Mark Crockett of the Joyce Marie II.

Spending part of the day with Brooke and Susan in Deltaville.

Yorktown - Labor Day weekend. With a way-cool waterfront and overflowing with history, this great place did not disappoint.

And, actually, we have to say that being part of the flotilla with Sareanna, Good Karma and One September before Memorial Day was a helluva lot fun, too.

Oh, and by the way, the weather was very comfortable and the bugs were seemingly all on duty somewhere other than where we were.

So, according to the unofficial American calendar of seasons, with the advent of Labor Day summer is over. Now we all know that this is only a technicality. We boaters can be in summer conditions all of the time if we want. And we do. September will see us heading south towards warmer climes.

Perpetual summer. What a concept!

It was a great summer. A great summer.

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