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Summer Boating on the Chesapeake Bay

Friday, June 3, 2011

Spectacular Summer Start

May 27-30, 2011 
Memorial Day Weekend

About mid-week the weather started looking better & better and we started getting super excited about the first trip out for the season.  We had 6-8 boats that were planning to come and it’s always a mad dash to see who can raft with who because we usually get too large for the inside cove at St. Michael’s.  Turned out we (Cap’t Buddy, me & Lexi-dog) couldn’t get out until Saturday morning (five of the others left Friday).  The “All In” followed us out, and it was a beautiful cruise, mostly sunny, 80’s  - a perfect start to the 2011 season.  We got a spot inside the cove, where we tied up along side four other boats that were already there.  There was another raft up across from us that were part of our group too (the big boys), so we were 9 boats in total.  It’s going to be a good weekend!

We got settled, said our big seasonal hello’s with lots of hugging & kissing, had a drink and set out for Big Al’s Seafood for crabs, clams, shrimp, salads (no claw meat crab cake though).  Our large group took over every outside table and had to sit in shifts and the weekend was officially started!  Big Al’s not only serves great food, but it’s a tradition in our group for Memorial Day weekend.  We made it back in time for a cocktail or two and some conversation before heading out for the infamous sunset dinghy cruise.  We all got a little wet with the 1 foot waves in the harbor, but that didn’t stop Bobby from heading on out to the open sea!  His poor crew was soaked when he finally realized we weren’t following and he came to tie up with us.  That night was to be our big night in town with dinner at Ava’s (pizza & wine – what could be better?), but unfortunately our group was so large that they couldn’t take us all together, so half us split off and agreed to meet at Characters for dancing after dinner.  I was part of the group that tried the new place in town – Marco’s (Italian/Asian).  Interesting combination, but the food and service were impressive (my Thai Salmon was excellent), and they had live music inside.  They recently built a large deck outside which was perfect for the early summer evening.  As planned, we all met up later for dancing, but were sadly disappointed at both Characters & Carpenters for their choice of musical talent on the Saturday of Memorial Day.  No live music at Characters and the band at Carpenters wasn’t our taste so we decided to throw our own party back at the boats…

Sunday morning brought lots of sunshine and the perfect opportunity for the girls to take their power walk.  We discovered walking trails that we hadn’t seen on previous visits to St. Michaels.  The looked brand new, are dog friendly and point out the local watershed & wet lands information.  The girls did a little window shopping along Main St. (the winery didn’t open until noon), while I waited with my poor dog resting in the shade under a tree after the 2-mile walk.  (She’s a little out of shape after a long winter). 

We spent the day going to the beach across the Eastern Bay in Leeds Creek.  We’ve been doing this for years and it has always been a large, deserted beach we have all to ourself.  This year there was quite a bit of erosion, but we managed to fit our large crew on the beach with enough room to set up some games.  One good thing – our trip this year didn’t coincide with horseshoe crab mating season, so the beach was free of the doubled up prehistoric looking creatures!  Also, the water temperature was quite mild considering its still May.  Some even went swimming.  The ride back was adventurous – taking some waves over the bough, but at least Lexi didn’t break her tail this year.  No damage and the water was warm.

The winds kicked up a little more around the time of sunset, so we rebelled against David’s sunset dinghy tradition and held a deck party on the Grateful Escape.  Think of 20 people singing & dancing on top of a boat in the quaint St. Michael’s harbor.  Those poor patrons at the Inn at Perry Cabin!  At least we toned it down after dark.  We all cooked out that night and you can’t imagine how creative our group can get with a grill.  They serve up some dishes that the restaurants would be proud to have on their menu.  Rack of lamb with rosemary and olive oil, bar-b-que ribs, pork chops, steaks, you name & we can fix it.  All the trimmings too.

Monday, Monday… woke up to some high temps today.  There will be no walking, that’s for sure.  Buddy and I went in to town for some last minute shopping and breakfast at Carpenters (great Eggs Benedict).  I picked up a nice gift at Mind, Body & Spirit and an adorable 2nd birthday present at Chesapeake Outfitters before heading back to start the leaving process.  It’s always a drill – put everything away, get the dinghy up (although the Hurley davit is awesome!).  We like to do what Buddy calls “swiss cheese” it – a little a time.  We were ready to pull out around noon and off we went.  We had planned to stop at the Bridges for lunch, but it’s so hot we’re going to head straight back and sit by pool at the marina. 

What a FANTASTIC weekend.  It’s going to take a few days to recover from this one! 

Until next week...

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