Happy Veteran’s Day

November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran’s Day to my favorite vet and to all who served, past and present.

Advertisements

My Gift #2

October 22, 2011

OK, the sail was wonderful (see the last post), but tied was this past week spent in Key West, Florida.

This was our second trip to Key West. As we did on our first trip, we flew into Ft. Lauderdale, rented a car and headed straight to Fish House restaurant in Key Largo. The fish is almost-right-off-the-boat fresh and the service is wonderful. Unfortunately, they do like their air conditioning. We also stop there for lunch on the return trip to the airport.

It rained most of the week. We arrived on Monday and drove down in the rain. Wednesday morning around 3:30 AM the area experienced a rollicking good storm. Rolling thunder that shook the house, lightning that lasted long enough for me to start scaring myself thinking about that William Shatner Twilight Zone episode when he’s on the airplane. This went on for several hours. John slept through the show and even now doesn’t believe that it happened. It stopped raining Wednesday afternoon. The rain didn’t stop us from having a good time, it only made it more of a challenge to get around flooded streets down which a few people kayaked.

Tuesday we began the day (a late start because of jet lag) with lunch at Havana 1, a wonderful Cuban restaurant located at mile marker one. We then toured the decommissioned USCGC Ingham. While on deck we watched yet another storm approach from over the ocean. There is a certain smell in these decommissioned Coast Guard boats that we tour that brings back good memories for John of his time as an electrician’s mate on USCGC Alert. As we walked below deck John educated me (once again. Maybe by the time we tour our fourth decommissioned cutter I’ll remember the difference between a “quick acting water tight door” and a “water tight door,” Honey, I promise) on all the fire response equipment, electrical systems, engine room apparatus, and protocol. John remembers his time in the service like it was yesterday. To me the ships smell like rusting metal and rotting wood but as an auxiliarist I appreciate the history of the ships and the men and women who served on them and I am glad that John has only good memories of his time on board.

We sheltered from the rain at Blue Heaven and chatted with some tourists from North Dakota and California before walking to near-empty Mallory Square and settling in at El Meson de Pepe for a few hours to watch the storm over the ocean and talk to more folks also seeking refuge from the rain, one of whom included the amazing “Dr. Juice,” a fun local personality who makes his living as a street performer.

Wednesday we headed to NOAA’s Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center and learned about the ecosystem in the Keys. The Dry Tortugas will definitely be on our list of sites to see during our next visit. Next door to the discovery center we found Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and spent some time walking around the fort and on the adjacent beach.

Thursday we once again began the day with crepes, this time at La Creperie. Next we visited the Little White House and took a guided tour. President Truman loved Key West and governed the country from this house at what was a sort of pre-Camp David. Because the sun was finally shining we headed to Bahia Honda State Park for a few hours of beach time. There are plenty of free beaches, but this one had some history behind it that included Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad.

That evening John was brave enough to try $6/dozen raw oysters. He loves oysters but the usual price is $12 (or more)/dozen. We were suspect because they were so inexpensive, but he loved them (and lived to tell). I, on the other hand, discovered that nothing beats a Chesapeake Bay crab cake. We ate dinner on the restaurant balcony overlooking the marina and watched a glorious sunset on our last evening. The setting for our last evening in Key West almost (but not quite) made us forget the phone call that morning from the marina telling us that Halcyon’s transmission is toast and our best and least expensive option is to do a total repower.

My Gift

October 16, 2011

It’s a nice coincidence that the annual US Yacht Show in Annapolis occurs on or near my birthday each year. This year, for the first time, we sailed to the show. The plan was to sail to Eastport, stay in a slip at Watergate Village marina, eat lunch, go to the sail show for a few hours, throw back a couple of Painkillers at Pussers and then meet some new friends later for drinks and munchies.

C Dock at Watergate Village

C Dock at Watergate Village

Looking towards Watergate Village

Looking towards Watergate Village

As usual, the best-laid sailing plans are often thwarted.

The sail from Rock Hall to the mouth of the Severn River usually takes four hours. That Saturday was a beautiful day – for motoring. Mist clung to Eastern Neck NWR as we sailed south out of Rock Hall. As the morning advanced the sky turned a brilliant blue. The leaves on the shore were just beginning to change into their Fall colors. There was absolutely no wind. No wind is unusual for Fall on the Bay but since we racked up more sailing days than usual in July, perhaps things were balancing out.

Just as John and I approached the Naval anchorage at the mouth of the Severn River the sound of the engine changed and immediately slowed to less than 2 knots. The change was subtle but noticeable enough that we looked at each other at the same time. At first we worried that the prop became fouled. We moved as close as possible to a shallower area to get out of the main stream of boats moving towards Annapolis and to be able to drop anchor if needed. From that point, if nothing had gone wrong, it would have taken us 20 minutes to get to the marina. An hour later we puttered into the slip thankfully under our own power.

We didn’t get to the show. After having lunch at Davis’ Pub John took a few hours to look more closely at the engine and transmission while I tidied the deck. Later that evening we did meet up with some fellow sailors as planned and had a great time.

Sunday was another gorgeous day with no wnd. We left the marina around 10:00 AM and settled in for a long day. We anticipated our arrival time back in Rock Hall to be around 8:00 PM.

As we slowly left Back Creek under a blue, cloudless sky I looked at the other sailboats on the river. Most were new and out for sea trials by people attending the sail show. Most of the boats were either Hunters with their B&R rigs, J boats or catamarans. They all moved faster than Halcyon. They all had mirror-like waxed hulls with no scrapes or docking dings. They all had near-silent engines (that worked) and sails that weren’t yet in need of reconditioning. They all had smiling people on deck who weren’t worried about getting back to the docks.

We left the Severn and turned north towards the Bay Bridge. The light wind was on our nose, not favorable to get us home under sail power alone. Sailboats milled around the center of the Bay waiting for the start of a race with skippers who also probably hoped for more wind from another direction.

We hoped to sail home in order to save the transmission from further damage or additional problems. As it happened, we had to motor the entire trip (except for a brief moment off Love Point when the sails partially filled and brought our speed up to a whopping 3 knots). Fortunately, it wasn’t torturous. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to motor at a speed at which a person on crutches and with one broken arm could have passed us. They say that a skilled sailor can sail in light air so we took the opportunity to improve ourselves. We adjusted things we normally don’t fuss with – jibsheet lead, traveler, outhaul, downhaul, topping lift. Finally I decided that light air is one thing but having no air is impossible no matter how much salt has passed under your keel.

North of the Bay Bridge (and about five hours into the trip) John said to me “If it wasn’t for you, I would not have learned how to sail.” I looked across the cockpit at him wondering if he really meant “If it wasn’t for you, I’d happily be on the couch with a beer watching the football game with my buddies instead of watching every other boat on the Bay pass us not to mention worry about how I’ll get this transmission fixed and oh yeah, wind through the crab pots in the dark.” But no. With a contented smile, John looked out over the transom at the meager wake Halcyon made through the calm water and up at the wispy clouds slowly moving across the sky. Then he looked over at me and smiled. I could not have asked for a better birthday gift.

Sunset in front of Rock Hall

Sunset in front of Rock Hall

We’re Ready, Irene

August 26, 2011

The full force of Hurricane Irene has not yet hit the Chesapeake Bay area but already I see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Fellow sailors.

Irene is our first hurricane as boat owners. We experienced one or two tropical storms but nothing of consequence; nothing that caused us to put Halcyon on the hard before the end of the season. Irene’s path changed overnight so that the intended track is farther west than originally forecast. “Plan for the worst, hope for the best” is all one can do when trying to deal with a moving target such as a hurricane. We take it day by day, listen to the experts and shake in a bit of our own common sense, then we hope that we made the right decisions.

The marina hauled Halcyon Thursday morning. I wrapped extra line around the outside of the mainsail cover and removed the dodger. As the yard staff motored her over to the lift, I was still on board packing up small stuff that I didn’t feel like replacing should she float away to the Azores: sailing gloves, paper charts, GPS puck, various power cords, hand held VHF radios, an unopened bag of Cheetos. I decided that the Blue Coat gin had to fend for itself. Sorry. I put the bottle in the galley sink to give it a fighting chance. There was only enough left for half a cocktail anyway.

After I jumped off the deck and onto the floating dock I stood by as she rolled past me in the travel lift to her temporary spot until after the storm. Barnacles clung to her rudder and belly and stringy muck wept brownish goo onto the gravel below. I must have looked sad because one of the men stood by me as she passed and said “I’d rather my boat was on land than in the slip.” I felt better.

As soon as forecasters predicted that Isabel would have a major impact on the east coast, John and I spent some time deciding whether to have Halcyon hauled or keep her in the slip and add lines and fenders. We waited until a few days before the storm was expected to finalize a Plan A and Plan B, but we did not wait until then to come up with a plan. We take a chance on damage with either decision but we did have to wait to see how the storm would track to implement one or the other. Too many people wait until a day or two before a major storm to start figuring out their options and then waste precious time that should be used to prepare their boat. Often it is too late. In the case of a major storm, with a large number of boats to haul out, marinas may not have time to get to someone who waits until the last minute. Our marina mailed a request to slip holders months ago and asked for instructions. Haul out was done in the order the instructions were received in their office.

But, for all those who asked for advice seeking reassurance what I saw was a gratifying amount of help generously offered by more experienced sailors. It started Monday in the Sailnet chat room and forums and emails amongst my sail club members. First we began monitoring the weather and the discussions were truly enlightening. By late Tuesday the favored weather sites had been identified and narrowed down to two or three. Those three sites remained open on my browser for the rest of the week. Then the discussions turned to hauling out, adding extra lines and keeping the boats in the slip, or taking the boats to a hurricane hole. Pros and cons of each choice were thrown out for debate. Many variables influenced individual decisions including: Location in relation to the storm, type and condition of docks, type of boat, experience of the boat owner.

By Wednesday things started to ramp up. Hurricane parties were planned amongst dock neighbors who helped each other remove sails and canvas and even boats in preparation for hauling out or moving to an anchorage. Help was offered to strangers and new friendships began to grow. We checked on each other via email, the chat room and in person.

Now, for those of us who planned ahead, we wait. We did all we can do and there is nothing left but to keep our fingers crossed, take care of our family and homes or maintain lines through the night and hope that our boats survive to sail another day. Whatever happens, a few more gold pieces were added to our pot.

We Are Not Alone. Really.

July 30, 2011

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer contained an article with a statement by the director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey offering an explanation of why a park official likened a man getting stung by a ray to being bitten by a dog. The gist of the article was that many people forget (or maybe never thought about it) that humans are not the only species in the ocean (or bay or river). Once you enter the water you share that environment with sharks, dolphins, oysters, rays, plant life and whatever else calls water home. I have to say: REALLY??!! I mean, not that we’re not the only species in the water but that there are people who need reminding.

Whenever a power boat zooms by our sailboat, usually leaving a wake that forces maneuvering to prevent damage to our boat, (after the cursing is over) we wonder if they really appreciate the water around them at that speed. Or is the water the same to them as a highway under a car. Did they see the cow-nosed rays gliding and chasing each other next to our boat? Did they notice the young bald eagle riding the wind current above the entrance to Rock Hall harbor? Certainly they can’t hear the splash of a fish that surfaces to snap at whatever intrigues it. I was once mesmerized for about an hour by schools of tiny fish in my marina. I remember watching my niece stretched out on the dock, head hanging over the side and captivated by the sea nettles as they floated by.

Nature settles me, whether I’m watching the rays in the bay or at night listening to the bull frogs in our pond. OK. I admit that I’m ready to pull the wings off of every cicada in the trees around our house that won’t shut up. Still. It amazes me that people can be so self-involved as to not appreciate and respect other species. They live here too. Really.

A Quick Fix, Often Overlooked

July 28, 2011

John smelled something bad. Just a little something but enough to make him change into his work shorts. He bought these shorts for a couple of dollars on a trip to Vietnam and they seem to be indestructible. He puts them on to get down to series maintenance work like Superman stepping into the phone booth. Once the shorts come on he completely focuses on the job at hand.

Since buying Halcyon our concern has been with the engine and its problems. It seems to be running well these days (knock on wood). On this day John decided to pay some attention to the port side, which houses the holding tank. Good thing he did because he discovered a small leak where the sanitation hose (through which the pump out nozzle sucks the sewage) meets the tank.

While John readied his tools I went to the marina office to tell them our problem and to see if they had spares in stock if we needed to replace the hose. Doug, the office manager, assured me that it was a common sanitation hose and they had them in stock. He stopped me before I left his office and said that an often overlooked maintenance item is the holding tank vent hose and since we were in there anyway, we should look at it. The pump out hose sometimes forces waste up into the vent hose or critters get into it and build nests, he said. Both will eventually block the hose and create pressure build up within the tank, causing things to explode and go really, really bad. FanTAStic.

By the time I returned to the boat, John, Troubleshooter Extraordinaire, had already removed the vent hose from the holding tank and had figured out that it might be the problem. He traced the hose to where it exited the boat: under a stanchion. The stanchion had a small-diameter hole that let out the air.

With me keeping an eye on the hole, John forced water through the hose from below. At first only a trickle of water came through. Eventually a little more water with more pressure behind it shot through until finally what looked like grass clogged up the hole. We removed the debris and forced more water through until it was clear and water exited the hole in the stanchion with considerable pressure.

Doug was correct. The clogged vent allowed pressure to build up in the tank each time someone used the head. The weak spot was where the pump out hose met the tank and it began to balloon at the hose clamp just enough to leak. Eventually it would have completely come undone from the tank and we would have had a bigger problem.

Clearing the vent also took care of another problem. A few weeks ago we noticed that the handle on the head was no longer drawing in raw water when we pumped the waste out of the bowl. Also, the head sink drained extremely slowly. By chance, I noticed that pumping the handle drew the water out of the sink and into the bowl. It wasn’t using raw water. These were both on our list of things to look at but after John cleared the vent the head returned to normal and the sink drained as it should.

Superman prevented a sh*# storm.

Don’t Look a Gift Wind In the Mouth

July 27, 2011

Some days need to be savored as they will never come around again for a long, long time. With an unexpected week off, we headed to the boat. We put our stuff on board and settled in just as a rollicking good thunderstorm passed overhead. There was just enough atmospheric whatchamacallit to enable the ancient (well, circa 1980s) radio/CD player installed by the previous owner to tune to the Phillies game on a Philadelphia AM station. We listened to our team win in between the static. The storm ended by dinner time and left behind a fantastic sunset and a good sleeping wind.

The approximately 10-knot wind lasted into the morning. With cloudless skies, low humidity, and layers of sun screen we left Gratitude for Hart-Miller Island. We have yet to sail north out of Rock Hall and I thought that the popular island would be a good day sail. That and the Active Captain review of the anchorage behind the island said that there was a “beef boat” that catered to the boats in the anchorage. I was curious.

At the end of Swan Point Bar we raised the sails and pointed our bow westward. As the sails filled the boat jumped forward and took off. The north wind put us on a beam reach and Halcyon responded like the sleek racing boat she ain’t ever going to be. Wind on the Chesapeake at the end of July: A rarity to be exploited. Being a Tuesday, there were few boats on the Bay and other than two crab boats we passed on our way down the bar, most of them were sailboats. With no power boat wakes to turn into, thus losing headway, we headed towards the mainland at a good 6 knots.

The day was perfect. We were at the end of a record 8-day heat wave and just three days before our little weather station at home recorded 109.7 degrees. But on this day there was not a cloud in the sky, not even a single jet trail, and the almost 90 degrees was made more than bearable with the wind. Did I mention the day was windy? In JULY? Before we knew it we were in the middle of the Bay nearing the mouth of the Magothy River.

We went into irons just long enough to eat lunch then we raised the iron genny, searched for those all too important ripples on the water and headed towards the wind. By now it was even a little bit stronger; probably around 15 knots. We tried tacking towards Hart-Miller Island and realized that with the north/northwest wind we would never get there in time to return to Rock Hall before dark. So we sailed back and forth across the Bay, our Bay, because we could and because we had nowhere else to be. We fiddled with the sails, we adjusted our course ever so slightly to tease out just a little more speed, we fiddled with the sails some more. We imagined what it would be like to maintain that course and just keep sailing. Of course, the land mass that was the rest of the country would have to move out of our way, but we dreamed anyway.

By mid-afternoon the wind began to shift until finally it was from the south. Once again we tried sailing to the island, this time wing on wing. A first for us. I don’t like this maneuver as the potential is great for an accidental gybe and it really isn’t faster than being on a broad reach. John, however, has wanted to try it for a while and with no other boats in the vicinity we went for it. The wind at our back didn’t help much so we turned around and headed for home, again on a beam reach. We sailed until just past the entrance to Rock Hall harbor when we had to lower the sails in preparation for docking. That was the first time we had enough wind to sail back to Rock Hall. Usually the wind dies just as we’re passing Love Point and we end up motoring the last hour.

We didn’t end up where we planned to be, but we had a great time not getting there.

Aground. Kind of.

July 10, 2011

One of the mantras of boating is that there are two types of people: those who have gone aground and those who won’t admit going aground. John photographed the boat below from our marina and there’s no denying that it was firmly aground. As the tide ebbed, it rested on its port side just west of the entrance to Swan Creek where the charted depth is 2 feet. Only a small boat with a retractable keel could make it through without touching bottom.

Aground

Aground

So far we have only kind of gone aground. When rounding Eastern Neck Island over Memorial Day Weekend I tried to cut an angle off of my plotted course around a buoy. The chart gave the depth as 7 feet so I thought we would be fine with our 5’3” draft. I watched as the depth sounder read 6 feet, then 5 feet, then 4’9” when I felt the bump. More than a bump, really. I’m pretty certain that I felt the keel plow through the soft (fortunately) bottom. I released the sails and allowed the wind to turn the boat around the way we came in.

Catalina 30s were designed with either a fin keel or a wing keel. If we had a wing keel, because of the “wing” extending horizontally at the bottom, we probably would have become more firmly grounded. On the other hand, because wing-keeled boats have reduced draft, we might not have gone aground at all. The trade-off for the ability to “plow” through a soft bottom is that we have to be very careful about our depth and gunkholing is not an option. By seeing 4’9” on our display we were able to confirm that the depth sounder offset on our boat is currently set at six inches – not much of a safety net.

The unfortunate boat in the picture would have to wait for high tide to float off the bar and that wasn’t for another 9 hours. A power boat attempted to pull it off, but was unsuccessful. I suspect that the good Samaritan only succeeded in making things worse since the sailboat listed to port even more than before the attempt.

Aground

Aground. Really.

Our neighbor reminded me not to be too critical as it is easy to blow off course in that location if the winds are from a certain direction. I should not be too critical because someday my “kind of” will change to “did.”

Wye River

July 8, 2011

The majority of our sails will be one-nighters. We will leave Rock Hall on Saturday morning to sail to an anchorage or marina and return on Sunday. When we have the opportunity to add a few days to the weekend, we can comfortably test just how far we can sail in one day. We did just that on the Blue Marsh Sailing Association (BMSA) Spring Cruise in June. Joining us was our Fearless Passenger (AKA my mother).

The club itinerary was to spend Friday night at anchor in the Wye River and Saturday night at St. Michaels Harbour Marina. Our plan was to leave Gratitude Thursday morning and stay overnight in Tilghman Creek in Eastern Bay and catch up with the other boats on Friday. From Tilghman Creek Drum Point would have been only a two or three hour sail. Sunday we would return to Tilghman Creek and then finish the trip to Rock Hall on Monday. We chickened out on traveling through Kent Narrows so the extra days on the front and back end of the weekend were needed to sail around the outside of the island. I read too many stories of getting through the Kent Narrows shoaling “in the right conditions”: When the wind isn’t blowing hard enough to push your boat across the channel, at high tide, when boats aren’t traveling towards you, etc. Local knowledge is a beautiful planning tool. As it turned out, the route around the outside of the island was no picnic either but at least there was no chance to run aground.

Our Thursday departure fell through after we loaded our supplies, ran through my (mental) checklist and when we were ready to depart, discovered that the engine would not turn over. The marina mechanic couldn’t look at it until Friday morning. Our new procedure is to start the engine as soon as we get to the boat just to make sure there are no problems and so that we have that much more time to get our mechanic to look at it. The joys of a 30-year old engine.

Not leaving on Thursday was probably good because of the small craft advisory that was issued. Obbligato, a BMSA boat from Havre de Grace, reported wicked conditions on the sail through the Narrows on Thursday.

We left our marina around 10:30 on Friday with a south wind and 2- to 3-foot seas. We tacked our way down Bay almost to Bloody Point light when it started to rain and a severe thunderstorm alert was broadcast. After donning life jackets, lowering the sails and stowing my mother below, we motored into Eastern Bay. By then it was after lunch but John wanted to try to meet up with club members anchored at Drum Point in the Wye River so we continued past Tilghman Point and the planned Claiborne Inlet anchorage in Tilghman Creek.

About an hour before sunset we approached the mouth of the Wye. We were lucky to only have been touched with the southern end of the last storm. Another, more severe, storm was heading our way from Alexandria, VA. Hail, damaging wind, cloud-to-ground lightning and rain were predicted. As we headed towards the Wye, we saw darkening clouds off our starboard side and heard rumbles of thunder. Lightning streaked out of the slate-gray clouds. It was not raining at our location but the storm was close enough that I decided that we would anchor in Shaw Bay rather than risk navigating the Wye after dark and with a fast-moving storm at our heels. By the time we passed by green daymark “3” the sun had set and it was getting dark.

Shaw Bay is the first anchorage in the Wye East river and is rather large. Only three other sailboats were at anchor when we arrived. We dropped the hook, released mom from the cabin and prepared dinner. The Memorial Day weekend trip was our first raft up, this was our first time at anchor on our own. Previous overnight trips were to marinas. On that night it was just us and whatever was out there in the water. I’ve watched the TV show River Monsters and there could be something out there in the water. Every splash could very well be something with teeth sharp enough to take off my foot in one gulp.

The storm came close but didn’t affect us. We discovered that if we leave early enough we could probably make 40 nautical miles comfortably in one day depending on the sailing conditions.

That night the winds were calm and a big orange moon rose over the water. Our Fearless Passenger relaxed in the cockpit and said those words all children love to hear from a parent: “Life is good.”

My report on the rest of the trip can be found at the BMSA web site.

Shaw Bay

Dropping the Hook

July 8, 2011

John and I are making up in 2011 for Halcyon’s engine problems that kept us dockside in 2010. So far this season we’ve loved every minute of our trips and every inch of our boat. We have no regrets with either our choice of a Catalina or that she’s a “good old boat.”

This summer we’re discovering the joys and benefits of dropping the hook in a peaceful (or not so peaceful) cove for the night. Our first experience with anchoring was with the Chesapeake Catalina Yacht Club over Memorial Day Weekend. We spent the first night in Grays Inn Creek and then across the Bay in the Magothy River.

The head of Grays Inn Creek is in Rock Hall, MD. Our slip neighbor recently told us that if we had a dinghy we could head up the creek from the anchorage, beach the dinghy and walk to the Java Rock café in the center of Rock Hall for coffee in about ten minutes. Reaching Grays Inn Creek by sail took a little more than four hours as we had to sail south around Eastern Neck Island and then up the Chester River on the other side. If we motored the entire time our track would be u-shaped.

The entrance to the creek is marked by green can “1” on the Chester River. We motored carefully down the center of the channel as the depth often dropped to as low as six inches towards the shoreline. There were quite a few boats in the cove on the other side of Browns Point when we arrived. Our club consisted of four rafts of four boats and a couple boats that anchored alone, almost 20 boats. We found our assigned raft and tied up next to another Catalina 30, introduced ourselves and settled in for the night.

Our group was a bit noisy during the cocktail hour(s) on the party raft. Members zipped between the four rafts and took pets ashore in dinghies. There were two houses on the cove and I wondered if homeowners know what they’re getting into when they choose to buy or build a home on a navigable waterway. During the week the coves are fairly quiet but on the weekends the more popular spots can be the place to be for serious partying.

The next morning we sailed back down the Chester River, across the Chesapeake Bay to the mainland and into the Magothy River. The Purdy Point cove where the club met was located on the north side of Gibson Island, across from a picturesque horse farm complete with cannon on the manicured lawn. This was an extremely popular anchorage and space was at a premium. Marine police patrolled and ensured that boats did not anchor too far into the extremely narrow channel.

Halcyon was the baby boat of that second night’s raft, tied between two newer Catalina 350s. It was nice talking boats with the other members, some of whom started out with the 30 and moved up. Larger, newer boats have their own maintenance headaches and repair costs rise with the boat length. Halcyon may not have in-mast furling or a generator to run air conditioning and an electric head, but she gets us places in relative comfort.

John joined the party raft while I chose to stay on Halcyon with a book, a glass of wine and a bowl of guacamole and watch the sun set on the farm. The farm had a dock from which kids jumped off into the water. Others fished along the banks of the creek below the pasture. They were part of an organized group and had set up tents behind the dock. I thought how nice it was to see teenagers outside enjoying nature and not sitting at home with video games and smart phones and bad moods. I hoped that the weekend provided the kids with fond memories to look back upon when they became adults. I hoped as adults they find their own Halcyon to continue making memories.

Purdy Point

Purdy Point, Magothy River