Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mill Creek (off of the Great Wicomico River)

[Kyle]Having done everything there is to do on Tangier, except perhaps take up an apprenticeship as a waterman, we left early when the tide was still pushing us away from the dock. We had a quick downwind sail almost due west across to the other side of the bay to Mill Creek.

The Chesapeake has a multiple Mill Creeks. This particular one is off the Great Wicomico. Like Tippity Wichity, this Mill Creek is one of our favorite spots in the whole of the Chesapeake. In fact, it is the place we have anchored the most when we were out of weekend sailing range from our long-time home of Norfolk, VA. It’s quiet and peaceful and protected from all sides. There are usually Bald Eagles to see as well as Ospreys, Herons and Cranes. There’s also the occasional rotund fisherman on a too-small boat. The trees are also just starting to change here, giving the place a nice splash of color. As an extra bonus, we got to see a pod of half a dozen dolphins on the way in.

Camera shy Dolphins greet us on arrival at Mill Creek

We spent most of our time sitting in the cockpit enjoying the scenery, talking and generally feeling lucky to have the particular life that we live.

When we got here, I decided we had enough time for me to give the still hot engines a better looking over than usual. They’re fine, but being contorted into those positions in a hot engine compartment for that period of time is pretty much the opposite of fun so, you know, it goes both ways.

As we were winding down for the day, I was taking a mental stock of the surrounding boats when I noted a Gemini just around the corner; I hadn’t seen them arrive. They were too far away and at the wrong angle for us to read the boat name, so Maryanne tried using the VHF radio to call them on channel 16. We were later told that we made contact just as they were about to shut off the radio after anchoring. It turned out to be Tim and Jill aboard LINK a 2001 Gemini 105Mc, and they accepted our invite to join us for snacks and drinks aboard Begonia.

Although we had never met them before they knew about us and admitted to having a copy of Maryanne’s Gemini check list, and of course we knew of Jill and her great work editing the Gemini Gems magazine.

The Gemini LINK, and her owners Tim and Jill aboard Begonia

It was the first day of their six-month snow-bird cruise down to Florida and back and they arrived with a wonderful gift of fresh vegetables plucked from their own garden that very morning. It was also Tim’s birthday! We talked about Geminis and sailing, along with each other’s plans and shared Gemini friends (coincidentally with ex Gemini owners Bill and Laurie, who we knew, from Portsmouth, VA calling to wish Tim a happy birthday while we were all aboard Begonia).

As night fell, the bugs started swarming in the cockpit. We all had early departures planned for the next day, so we took it as a hint that it was time for us to all get inside our respective boats.

We didn’t discover until too late that a winery has opened a little further up the river, and even has a dock for visitors…. Next time.

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