Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'Something 'bout a boat . . .

Five years ago we made a pact, to live our dream instead if dreaming our life. To that end, we retired, divested ourselves of our house and all that makes a home. No longer in need of professional wardrobes, we burned our socks and donated the rest of our clothes, moved aboard Promise, and set sail for Jimmy Buffet adventures. 

During the next few years we sailed in storm and splendor, and met many fine people in very port and anchorage. We rarely missed the comforts of home, but always missed our family. We committed ourselves to finding the perfect place to live that would give us closer visits with our sons and grandchildren, but perfect meant it couldn't be too hot or cold, needed to be near water, and it had to be a viable town. Luck brought us to Lewes, Delaware, and it is there we built a home and reconnected with family and friends over the last year. Cape Henlopen protects us from severe weather swings (OK, not so much this winter) and the beaches feel familiar, like our Jersey Shore memories. The last twelve months have been wonderful, except, we missed the boat. 
There's something 'bout a boat, gives a man hope (Jimmy Buffet.) Promise spent six months on the hard. By the time we launched in mid-summer, winds were stagnant as they are in July and August and the temperature on the Bay soared, and given the choice of having the kids and their kids or friends to Lewes and going to the boat, family and friends always won out. We could feel our days numbered in their busy lives so we took advantage. of every each day we had with people we love. 
And so Promise waited, and the wait was worth it. Rick sailed the Maryland Governors Cup Race on August 1 & 2, from Annapolis to St. Mary's up the Potomac. The overnight race was a once in a lifetime adventure for Rick and four friends who battled strong winds and six foot waves. They flew through the storm and finished around 5:30 AM. Satisfied they had finished, tired and wet from the adventure, the crew sailed on to Solomon's for rest. It was mid-afternoon when they learned that Promise had won her class and won with corrected time! Check that one off the bucket list- captain and crew should be very proud, indeed. 
But now it is time to do some serious cruising, short sails and a big race behind us. We have buttoned up the house, hitched a rental ride to Rock Hall and loaded the boat with supplies for a trip south. The day was full of checklists, filling tanks, stowing gear and getting the dingy on board. We depart in the morning for Oxford, Maryland, a forty mile run down the Chesapeake Bay. A North, then East wind and crisp September weather will make for a pleasant sail. This time around, we have mixed feeling as we are detaching from a new life in Lewes and our family and friends . . . but there's something about a boat. 

Rick at the helm at the start of the race

The Pride of Baltimore at the Annapolis start