November something, 2022
Leaving DC, the cruising was cold and windy, and our minds began to turn toward winterizing Red Pearl and leaving her on the hard—and the realization that we have no Thanksgiving or Christmas plans. Nights on the hook were fiercely beautiful and required running the generator all night for heat—except for the night that the generator quit during the night. Steve spent the entire next morning, and then some, changing the impeller and successfully reinstating its function while I tended the helm. There was no coffee that morning.
We had read about the charms of Crisfield, but again found a little crabbing town down on its luck and all but closed up at the end of the season. We enjoyed Waterman’s Grill for dinner on Saturday, but it was closed Sunday due to staffing shortages and was not scheduled to open again until Thursday. We ventured into a little ice cream shop as it was readying to close, and Michele—wearing a bedraggled cat-ears headband over her teal, short-cropped, frizzy curls—recommended the fried shrimp. She discouraged us from drinking the city water, and after watching as we searched for a beverage without caffeine and sugar, she retrieved a 32-oz bottle of water from her car. “You can have this,” she said. “I drink 8 of these a day.” We find kind and generous people everywhere! Crisfield did not warrant a 3-day visit, but the weather that set in required it, and we restlessly bided our time.
Being detained in Crisfield squeezed out plans for another stop at St. Michaels, and so—did I mention it was cold?!— we headed back to Deale, capturing the best weather window for docking without wind and rain. The delight of the week was meeting up with Michael Sommer, my next door neighbor from grad school in Cincinnati, who now lives in Annapolis. It was so good to catch up with him, to enjoy his infectious laughter, and to rediscover many shared interests and ideas.
Herrington Harbor East, the marina where Red Pearl will be for the winter, had no available slips, so we came in a stone’s throw across the way at a smaller marina. On the day we were scheduled to transfer to Herrington Harbor, nothing went smoothly. As we prepared to make the short hop, the port engine display indicated that there was no oil pressure. Steve, not feeling confident to dock with just one engine in windy conditions, called a tow; and while we were grateful for the service, being towed for that tiny, final leg felt enormously anticlimactic. Arriving at the T-head, we discovered that the pump out station was down. No sooner were we were tied up, it became functional again, so Steve jockeyed around to get that accomplished. Maneuvering such “back and forths” is complicated on even an optimally functioning boat—but black water is something one do NOT want to ignore!… It seemed like packing up should be easy, but combing through the entire boat and removing items we haven’t found useful Just. Took. Time. Ah, my amazing Skipper—such a minimalist he is!
We enjoyed a week-end visit with Scott, Holly and Wes on our way home and now are settling into life in our “dirt home.” A new “to the boat” pile has been started in the basement. Our fingers are crossed, hoping for a full cruising season next summer of the northern waters, and for crossing our wake near Paducah, KY. But for now, let the wind blow.