Position: N38 53.170 W076 31.675
Location: Rhode River, Maryland, USA
We were a bit worried about a visit from Mark's mum this month, about how would she manage on the boat,. After all, she's 84 and not as spry as she used to be. But we had a great 5 day visit - she was a real trooper, on and off the boat; up and down the companionway; learned how to use the head (toilet), etc, etc.
Unfortunately the first 3 days were pouring rain but then it cleared up and we managed to take her out for a cruise. We wanted to give her a small sample of our day to day life aboard Rachel and I think she got a good taste. We sailed all day playing slalom between debris that was covering the Chesapeake. After lots of rain a big dam on the Susquehanna River had opened all of it's flood gates and all kinds of trash was floating down into the Chesapeake. There was trash everywhere! We had to have a person on the bow pointing to avoid 'the big stuff'. It was a bit like being back in the San Blas negotiating the reefs, but with much browner water!
Amongst the usual whole trees, stumps and brush, we also saw things like hot water heaters, big plastic drums, propane tanks, water heaters, car tires, tractor tires, and loads of other junk. Picking our way through debris fields hundreds of yards wide made for a challenging trip but Rachel's crew was up to the task.
Determined to have a good day we slowly sailed south to the Magothy River and anchored out for the night along with our friends Mike & Roberta on Celilo. Mum got to enjoy happy hour on board, the gentle rocking of Rachel at night and the camaraderie of cruisers, among other things. We all had a great time together.
With all of our family visits complete (except one - we're still hoping to get together with our granddaughter Tigerlily along the way) and it starting to get cooler during the day and colder at night, we decided it was time to start heading south again. Marina life is OK but it's not why we choose to live aboard Rachel.
So after a frantic week of preparation getting Rachel ready to be seaworthy again, we cast off the dock lines and made 'The Great Escape', a big 30 mile trip to visit with friends at the Seven Seas Cruising Association get together on the Rhode River south of Annapolis. A big weight was lifted from us, we had our home back and our freedom. Now we just have to sift through all the last minute stuff we tossed aboard before we left, stow what we're keeping, and sell or give away the rest.
Staying ahead of the cold (we hope),
Mark & Julie