Here we are April 2017 — a year after we finished our ICW trip. As I went through my Word documents, I found my last ‘blog’ that I never published. Sweet thoughts and memories; smiles continually of what we did. We especially are thinking of our trip because friends, John and Tom are on their way back home; Pat and Michelle are ‘somewhere down south’; and Stuart and Sondra are beginning their life aboard their catamaran in the BVI’s. We love you all, and wish you safe travels and fair winds.
This year we are planning some “Bay” trips; one with the sailing club, led by Erick and Maggie Chiang to the Rappahanoeck River and another, who knows where. Our two granddaughters are in sailing school this year with Bernie and Eve Doyle’s grandsons (should be interesting!), so we are sure they will want to go sailing quite a bit. Preparing Outward this spring brought back great memories of our ICW trip and we are looking forward to our Early Bird Sail to St. Michaels with long time friends Bitsy and Curt Schroeder — thus far we have about ten boats coming. Missing our friends John and Kyrah von Senden that moved south — but happy for them being with their family.
Happy Summer to all — and if you are on the water, enjoy!
So, here are our last thoughts from April 2016.
At Home and Thoughts – after two months being home — April 2016
We are actually “home” – our non-boat home. How does it feel after being away since October (except for the six weeks during the Christmas holidays) and then three months straight until now – April???
As I sit and write our thoughts, while listening to my favorite singer, James Taylor, and sitting in my favorite chair – life is good and we are so blessed by having the opportunity to actually accomplish a trip that we weren’t sure we would accomplish – yet we did.
Arriving at Solomons after Crissfield (April 2016), we felt we were close to home; and as we motored into West River – we were ‘home!’ Pulling into our slip was so easy compared to what we had been doing the past few months!
Ok – toughest part was walking into our house. Emotions were all over the place. The yard looked huge and grass was grown. Walking into the house was the most shocking – there was so much room – space, nothing crowded, everything seemed to be in order more so than on Outward. We were both overwhelmed with what we had. Made us realize how simple and happy we were on Outward. And you don’t need much to live and be happy. Wow — talk about emotions!
The first three days were difficult. Both of us would wake up and not know where we were, ‘and think oh my gosh, where are we going next?” Only to wake and realize we are not on the boat. We don’t have to get anywhere. We are Home.
So – do we miss that life? Sort of – but not really. We have so many cruises planned with our club – some weekend, some longer. And what is fun with the club cruises is the other cruisers you are with.
But – there are things —
- What we do miss are the new places, lovely and peaceful anchorages and great folks/boaters you get to meet. The ICW is awesome and everyone should experience the beauty of traveling through it.
- Learning your boat. We thought we knew Outward. But we feel she taught us more than we thought we knew. The Captain learned how well she responded to power when turning or maneuvering. The first mate became quite good at handling and tying ropes; knowing almost exactLy where bumpers had to be placed depending on the slip we had.
- Navigating – whether it was the ICW or offshore. It is a learning experience and we found that patience and understanding was the savior in navigating throughout these areas. What does that mean, you ask?
- Courtesy – have to admit the majority of boaters are very courteous. Rarely did we meet boaters that over-powered us. Different from the Bay!
- Ship to ship exchanges – the use of the VHF radio on the ‘right channel’ always provided important information between all navigators. You were always aware of any hazards you might encounter, upcoming barges or other large ships coming your way. Quite honestly, we wish our roads were as safe to travel!
As I try and complete this last blog, I realize it is a month since we are ‘home’ and can’t believe how busy life is in our ‘land based home’. Listening to ‘Sting’ and his meaningful lyrics, I know how complete our life is. We are so fortunate to have life fulfilled with love of our family, experience a unique trip on Outward southward for five months and enjoying some of the most beautiful places you can only see from the water. As ‘Sting’ sings in one of his songs ‘when the rain falls — we are so fragile’ – and yes, we are – yet on Outward during the last three months, we felt in charge of ourselves – as fragile as we were at times.
Outward led us through some tough seas coming home. Her bow was way too often feeling the breaking waves; however her stern shared much of the southern stormy seas as she ‘surfed’ those often 4 to 6 foot waves.
We were glad to be home and after our Early Bird Cruise to St Michaels (under awful weather), we had hoped to make more cruises – but between weather and family commitments, we never did. Outward was pulled the week of June 20th for a much needed cleaning and painting (she was full, full of barnacles and grime – the worst we have ever seen on her.)
Although we have had a few day sails, it just isn’t enough – and once we return from our Outer Banks vacation with family we will plan a two week Bay cruise – perhaps north this year for a change. But it is clear that after spending so much time on Outward we miss her and yearn to return to her warm comfort and feel her sail gingerly through the Bay waters. As I write this, it brings a smile and fills my heart with sweet happiness.
Outward allowed us to enjoy a great adventure; and while doing so, we always felt safe with her. We look forward to new adventures on board her!