Independence, Huzzah!

Independence, Huzzah!

We had fantastic plans to spend Independence Day weekend in Yorktown. Yorktown, for you non-history nerds and other strange people, was the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War and the surrender of Cornwallis to George Washington. Are you getting excited with me yet? Celebrating independence at the very site of victory, Huzzah!

We’d sail down Thursday night and grab a mooring ball, which we had reserved several weeks in advance. There would be a parade in the morning, beach time, and walking around the lovely historic town. After grilling kabobs, we would eat dessert and drink wine as we watched fireworks from the aft deck. Fourth of July perfection, right?

Then this guy came along.arthur

The outskirts of the storm that became Hurricane Arthur was supposed to be reaching the lower Bay just about the time we were hoping to leave Thursday night. We had to decide what to do, and since we had the kids with us, we decided to hunker down in the marina until it passed. In retrospect we probably would have been alright if we’d left when we originally planned, but by the time we realized that, it was too late to change our decision.

Our good friends Matt and Sarah and their son Dallas joined us, and we had a relaxed Independence Day at the marina, playing and swimming. Late afternoon we all drove to Yorktown, where we parked in a field with the rest of the crowd, and trudged to the waterfront with our cooler and chairs to wait for fireworks. We thought longingly of our vision of grilling on the deck as we waited in long lines for food and envisioned our relative solitude on the boat as we waited in more long lines to use port-a-potties. Ick.

The company was lovely though, and the kids got to play on the beach and had lots of fun helping to corral the very inquisitive Dallas.

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And there was a nice fireworks show.

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It really was a very nice holiday. It just wasn’t what we had envisioned.That, however, more or less came the next day.

On Saturday, Matt and Sarah headed home, but we sailed/ motor-sailed up to Reedville, a historic town known for its menhaden fishing industry. We had heard they were having fireworks that night. It was a beautiful day and a nice little trip up there.

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We passed the historic smokestack and arrived during their Independence Day parade. We caught glimpses of fire trucks between the houses, and could hear their horns and sirens. After finding a spot to anchor on Cockrell Creek, we took the dinghy into town. It is really a lovely town. Every house was festive, with flags and banners displayed for the Fourth.

We had read in online reviews that there was a nice place to get ice cream. Some kind local folks were more than happy to give us directions there and wish us a pleasant stay. We located the ice cream shop, Chitterchats, and decided to come back after dinner. We rode back to the boat and grilled those kabobs we’d been wishing for the previous night, then returned for ice cream. The line was long, but the ice cream was delicious.

After dark were more fireworks. It was so much more pleasant to watch, knowing my bed was right there below waiting for me when they were over. The town put on a very nice fireworks show, which was followed by some pretty impressive private fireworks from the opposite side of the creek.

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The weekend went so quickly. After sailing back and cleaning and packing Sunday, we had to begin the long drive home. Alan went right to DC as he had to work the next day, so the kids and I made the trip back to PA without him. It’s always a long drive, but this time it was especially painful, due to an earlier accident on the Potomac River Bridge, which added about 2 slow, painful hours to my trip. I will be ever so grateful when our trips to the boat are no longer bookended by that drive.

On homes, anchors, and getting from place to place

On homes, anchors, and getting from place to place

 

We have plans to move to Virginia in the nearish future. We’ve had these plans for a while, and somehow that future seems to never get any nearer. Target dates for getting our house on the market have come and gone. I’ve even applied for jobs in the area we’d like to settle in, thus far to no avail.

Several  people have told me that I’m a very patient woman, presumably because I never became a homicidal maniac during the long wait for a fully functional kitchen in my house.  I like to think that I made the best of it, and didn’t complain too much, but in truth, I know that I did complain and gripe and play the martyr more than I’d like to admit. I try, but patience is still oh so hard. I mean, who can even deal with a slow internet connection anymore?

The truth is I find the wait to move so much harder than waiting for a kitchen, and feeding our family for years without a kitchen sink – nevermind the rest of the kitchen – was pretty darn hard. Because when you know you want to go make roots somewhere else, the place where your house is just doesn’t feel like home. Sometimes our rate of progress feels so slow and I just feel stuck.

We got stuck once, in Green Eyes. We ran aground on our way out of Brenton Bay and got stuck for real. Luckily it was at low tide, but we were really close to a marker on our starboard side and afraid that when the tide rose and freed us, we might drift into it. Alan rode out to the other side in the dinghy with an anchor. He set the anchor then ran that line through a winch so it had plenty of tension on it. There was nothing to do but wait.  I read my book and napped a bit, the kids played. Eventually, the combined forces of the tension from that anchor and the slowly rising tide pulled us free and we were able to continue to our destination. It was actually a nice, relaxed morning after the initial flurry of activity to get that anchor set.

We are setting an anchor now that will help pull us to Virginia, I’m sure. We are keeping our new boat, Tipsy Lady, at Stingray Point Marina in Deltaville, VA. It will be an inconvenience I’m sure to have to drive that far to spend time out on the boat. It will also be a source of tension: a constant pull in that direction. And things will keep falling into place on the other end. We will get the house prepared for sale; the tide will rise at its own pace. When the time is right, we’ll break free of the muck and proceed to our destination. Just maybe that little bit of reassurance will help me do patience a little better in this last leg of the wait. Maybe I’ll learn to relax and enjoy this moment.

Then again, even if I’m not really any more patient, at least we’ll get to spend lots of time down there in the meantime. Perhaps it will placate my impatient nature enough to help me leave off the nagging and snarky comments. I’m sure Alan hopes so.

Here’s Tipsy Lady at her new home at Stingray Point. You can see the Stingray Point lighthouse in the upper left background through the trees.

IMG_0896[1]I have to say that so far we absolutely couldn’t be more pleased with our new marina. We were made to feel so incredibly welcome, and it is just beautiful there – and very sheltered from the wind, which was a very good thing when we came in yesterday. The place is definitely loved and we are excited to be a part of the community there.

I also love the connection to history there. I have a huge history nerd crush on John Smith, and he is the one who named Stingray Point – after he was stung there in an incident that nearly killed him. Only nearly. He was a resilient guy.