September 26, 2022
Last Thursday we made the bumpy cruise across the Chesapeake to Bodkin Creek where we docked at Pleasure Cove Marina in Pasadena, a bedroom community between Baltimore and Annapolis. Meeting our son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Holly, and grandson Wes worked like clockwork. Scott brought lovely pastries, and we celebrated Holly’s birthday. Trying to keep a semblance of a two-and-a-half year old’s schedule was the challenge of the week end, and bedtime and nap-time required heroic parental efforts. We are grateful that Scott and Holly were willing to take the challenge, because our time together was truly a delight.
The weather, having turned chilly and windy, did not cooperate for our Friday cruise, and we stayed put. Having Scott and Holly’s car, however, allowed us to scope out beautiful Downs Park, a 20-minute drive to the coast, with a playground which was a perfect place to land for the morning. I prepared an all-in-one-dish pasta dinner, which we enjoyed on the fly bridge, where we had wind protection and plenty of buttons, ropes, nooks and crannies for Wes to explore.
On Saturday, we cruised east across the Bay again, past Rock Hall and up the Chester River to historic and charming Chestertown. Founded in 1706, Chestertown became one of the English colony of Maryland’s six Royal Ports of Entry. The shipping boom that followed this designation made the town at the head of the Chester River wealthy. In the mid-eighteenth century, Chestertown was Maryland’s second-leading port, following only Annapolis. With 6500 residents today, it is also home to Washington College, with an undergraduate student enrollment of 1100 and a Lifelong Learning community of 400. After cruising for 5 hours, Wes needed to expend some energy, and once he was acclimated at the nearby playground, Holly and I ducked away for some shop-browsing. On Main Street, we found a children’s arts festival in full swing, with vendors, booths for kids to create their own works of art, and a big Bounce House. The 5 of us met up again for an early dinner at The Kitchen at the Imperial, and as we were escorted through dining rooms filled with tables dressed in white table cloths and votive candles, we adults looked at each other, wide-eyed. Thankfully, we were seated in our own little porch, and Wes happily passed the time with the plate of bread and his new truck sticker book. It was a successful dinner out, and Wes was a delightful dinner companion. That evening as Steve made the necessary engine check, Wes followed him down into the belly of the boat. “I’m impressed!” he stated, matter-of-factly.
Sunday morning felt chilly, but Wes had been waiting patiently for a ride in our new dinghy—and understandably, as it afforded closer access to the water and was more “hands on” for a tot. The four of them enjoyed a couple of spins around the head of the Chester River, Wes taking the helm and taking full advantage of the power of the throttle. Wes was very tickled when Scott turned into a wave and soaked Holly who sat in the bow. They returned in good spirits, and back aboard Red Pearl, we returned to the west side of the Bay and bid farewell to this sweet family.
Steve and I both were ready for a long, hard sleep that night!