Our First Week of Cruising: Solomons and Oxford, MD
We are coming up on a week since we pulled out of the slip in Annapolis for our first stage of adventure and it feels like we’ve been out here for so much longer! Uhm, I meant that in a very good way, not in the “we spent a month on the water one week” kind of way! It feels like longer because it feels strangely comfortable and natural. (If you’ve cruised before and you’re reading this, you can stop snickering now while thinking, “Oh yeah . . . just wait.”) Of course, it’s easier for it to feel comfortable on a day that has been as idyllic as today . . . talk to us after it’s been raining for a full week and maybe we’ll sound a little less pie in the sky; but, for now, this has been a wonderful start. We’ll share a few pictures and thoughts from our visits to Solomons and Oxford this week as well as some observations about life on a boat.
Also, I’m putting this disclaimer out here now: some of our friends and family are boaters . . . some are not. If I throw in an explanation about a sailing/boating term, please don’t be offended, boaters! I know YOU know what it means. But I’m thinking it might be fun for some non-boaters to learn a little something about this along the way, too, so please be understanding!
Last Sunday we headed off to Solomons Island, MD. Although it was a little chilly, the wind was perfect (NW 10- 15 knots gusting to 20+) and we got there without tacking or jibing! (Land people, that’s a very good thing . . . it means less work for the crew. You set the sails once and you don’t have to do too much else to them after that. ) One of my sisters, upon hearing this, reminded me that it also meant that I had to find another way of getting a workout in that day. Sisters are oh-so-helpful!
We had been to Solomon’s once before last fall and enjoyed it. Here is some of our visit in pictures. If you want to see the larger version of a picture, just click on it:
A couple of the ongoing challenges on the boat: 1) finding secure storage for stuff and 2) boat maintenance. A few examples:
Other notes about live aboard strategy: water management and power management. We left Annapolis with two full water tanks . . . it is 5 days later and we still have some water left! You have no idea how good that is for us . . . okay, especially me (MM). Besides, if Frank thinks I use too much water when I wash the dishes, guess what that means???? Yup . . . guess who’s doing the dishes! We have become very creative about the ways to use water efficiently. Could we leave at any time to go to the marina close by to fill up? Yup. But risk losing our perfect spot? No way! We installed solar panels last year which have been tremendous. For the three of you out there (my brother, the electrical engineer, being one) for whom this will be of interest, we broke a record making over 150 amp hours with our panels today! That means we haven’t had to run the generator or the engine to fill our batteries. We have had plenty of power to do what we need including charging our technology. We get very excited about such things. Scary, I know. But there is truly something about being that self sufficient that is pretty cool. Onto the next topic: Wednesday we sailed to Oxford, MD, one of our very favorite places. We’ve come here several times over the last few years . . . and it holds a very special place in our hearts because we anchored up here in June two years ago to get married on the boat. We are anchored in the exact same spot this week. Oxford is a stately little eastern shore town with beautiful homes and gardens. It has some restaurants and facilities, but it is not highly commercial and is a little slower in its pace. It really does feel like stepping back in time about 30 years. Here are some of the sights around Oxford.
Today we felt like true cruisers: We dinghied to town to buy groceries, did our laundry at the coin operated machines at the local marina, and while waiting for the wash, rented two bicycles and cruised town (including a trip to the post office to mail in a defective piece of equipment to Raymarine, but that’s another story).
And we’ll just leave it there for now!