31 October 2021: A Brief Pit Stop
31 October 2021
Rock Hall, MD, USA
Annapolis, MD, USA
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
12 knots but from dead ahead
Balmy for this time of year
Dry, thank goodness!
Rock Hall was a place even more special than I had been promised. It helped that I had a local tour guide, Karen – my crew member from New Jersey, to show me all of her favorite things about her little town!
Karen picked me up at the marina near my anchorage the first morning after the big rain storm. There was definitely a lot of places flooded, not just street corners. The entire chandlery was closed as it was on the harbor front. But many things were still business as usual.
We grabbed a coffee and amazing breakfast sandwich from her favorite cafe and I got a few fresh vegetables from the local market. She drove me around telling me all about the little quirks of the town. My favorite one, is that the residents always wave to one another. And it was true, they never failed to wave as they drove past whether car-to-car or car-to-pedestrian. It was a town with a very ‘Gilmore Girls’ kind of vibe, and I totally dug it.
She helped me run errands, both to the West Marine store and the hardware store. And then took me to her house so that I could have a hot shower and do some laundry while we visited!
When she dropped me off back at the marina later that day, she left me with a bag of clean laundry and a loaner bicycle so I could explore town a little bit more the next day! She also left me a locked to leave it there for her to pickup when I was done as they were headed out of town. It was a much nicer goodbye than the rushed goodbye in the dark from Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey.
Given Rock Hall is a very flat town and my anchorage was quite far from anything, this bicycle was a very welcome addition to my visit. I took the bike to explore a bit and loaded up the back with groceries for my ride home. With the rush to leave Connecticut after buying SV Tala, the provisioning was not as excellent as it could have been. So any opportunity to buy some of the heavier things, when I did not have to carry them all on my back, was very welcomed!
I managed to squeeze one more dinner in with friend Tom, oh buoy was I neglecting my to do list in this quaint little town. And then it was off south again for Halloween and a special appointment in Annapolis.
The sail to Annapolis was so supremely uneventful I will not even bore you with the details. Though from the heavy rains, there was a steady eye on the water the whole time for a debris. Good thing too, as there was a a 6-foot or 8-foot log floating in the water in the channel leading out of Rock Hall.
I radioed to the boat behind me to let them know. It was a good reminder on how to radio a boat that does not have AIS, as this one did not. “Sailing boat leaving Rock Hall, Sailing boat leaving Rock Hall” did not always rouse the right vessel. In this case, it did. And that captain confirmed that I was trying to reach the vessel approaching Green Marker #3. I made a mental note that references like markers nearby are a great way to indicate who you are trying to reach. I had nightmares about trying to contact container ships with me on the radio going “Big ship, big ship, big ship” and getting no response (lucky they are almost always on AIS).
Then I messaged Tom who was pulling up anchor as we speak and headed the same way as me, and made sure to include my new reference that I was just south of Green Marker #3.
Aside from that and a fair bit of recreational traffic, it was a Sunday so likely why commercial traffic was not as significant as I had been warned, and I was well on my way to Annapolis.
As I approached Annapolis, it was very clear that this was a sailing town. I mean, I knew that – given the Annapolis Boat Show is so well known. However, to see the number of little Sunday regattas and weekender boats out for a sail reminded me a lot of Rhode Island and East Greenwich where I loved hanging out at the yacht club and helping on race nights.
I was feeling bold, so the anchorage that I chose was a small patch in the middle of a marina. Only big enough for a few boats, at least it felt that way to me. I am told at the Boat Show this spot is packed. I had to drop my anchor twice, the first time I felt back on it and not only was I worried I was a little too close to my neighbor but when I went to back down on it. I dragged – hard, and fast. Clearly not a good set. Second time was the charm, though I drove around in circles for ages being very choosy as I did not want to end up too close again.
The moment my anchor was down and properly secured, it was all hands on deck (just my two, I guess) to clean up the boat as I was having a visitor.
My friend Ellen, the one on the boat in Baltimore that I had missed (and now passed, as they still had not left Baltimore due to the storm) had seen a call out looking for female sailors and had emailed the contact about me. A local, Annapolis photographer was creating an art exhibit chronicling the various types of women on the water in the port of Annapolis. She wanted a variety of types from fishing captains, charter captains, racers and more. One of the common types she wanted to ensure to capture was transient sailors, which Annapolis saw a lot of. And her only criteria was that it be a vessel where the female was the captain of the boat. I seemed to fit this perfectly and I had only planned to be in Annapolis for one afternoon before leaving early the next morning, but it happened to work with her schedule.
I picked her up at the dinghy dock and she brought me a little local Maryland experience: a delicious piece of Smith Island cake. Then we got down to business, a photoshoot for her art exhibit. Just want you want before having your photo taken, a large piece of chocolate cake to get in your teeth and on your clothes. Lucky for us, I managed to avoid both.
While she took photos of me and SV Tala from every angle you could imagine, she quizzed me about the trip and my sailing. You could tell she was a professional, and I had looked up her photography website beforehand and had seen some of her work.
She was a sailor herself and I loved hearing her vision of what she wanted for the exhibit. Definitely a more creative mind that my own. After she exhausted the good light and many creative options for poses and angles on the boat, we dinghied back to shore. It was Halloween after all so she wanted to ensure to be home in time to hand out candy.
If you want to see the finished product the photo above is the one she selected for the gallery and here is her brief paragraph about me on her website. And if you want to see other women she is chronicling this is a link to her whole gallery.
Now it was time for dinner, planning and bed. I was off early the next morning to Solomons in Maryland. Thanks to the storms and floods, Ellen and Arjuna were delayed leaving Baltimore and so we were going to both head south and meet up at the first anchorage along the way!
“Love is like water. We can fall in it. We can drown in it. And we can’t live without it.