Last night’s full moon had me thinking of the beautiful evenings we have had while anchored in a secluded anchorage on the Eastern Shore. And the times when we have been sailing and watched the sun go down in the west and the beautiful full moon rise in the east.
On one of our extended trips this past summer, we pulled into a marina at Knapps Narrows to re-provision the boat. As we were getting started again the next morning, I looked across the creek to one of the warehouses where watermen sell their crabs. A young man was working, stacking the crab baskets and lids, helping to tie up the boats as they came alongside, and loading baskets. I was intrigued by the strong sunlight and shadow shapes. By the time I went below decks to get my camera and returned, the young man had finished and gone inside. However, I took a couple of pictures of the building, docks, baskets, and other boats in the area and put them together in this watercolor.
The cooler weather of autumn has all of the crabs scrambling along the deep channels of the Chesapeake Bay, headed toward the mouth of the bay where they will burrow into the sand to wait out the winter. So, here I am, painting from photos and memories.
One summer morning when we had overnighted on the boat, we were awakened by the enthusiastic cries of crabbers following their chicken-neck line. There was an exclamation of either glee or woe with every crab that came up, glee when it was big enough to keep, and woe when they had to throw it back. But the loudest cries were for the big crabs when “Jumbo!” resounded across the otherwise quiet morning waters. It became apparent from their accents that two of the crabbers were visitors from eastern Europe, and we enjoyed their delight as we watched them over our morning coffee.
Last year we spent a night at one of our favorite anchorages, Dun Cove, on the Maryland Eastern Shore. We had actually moored in one of the creeks off of the cove since the weather report was predicting some overnight storms (which didn’t actually materialize until the next morning). I drew a picture in my sailing journal and painted this using that sketch as my reference:
Before I put this in a floating frame (glass on both sides of the paper) I decided to paint on the other side, too. Here is what the creek looked like a couple of hours later:
Every year we do a shakedown cruise before going off on an extended trip. It is a chance to make sure all the systems work and that we have everything on board that was taken off when the boat was put away for the winter. For example, the past two years we discovered on the shakedown cruise that our bed pillows were still on the guest bed at home, disguised as a permanent fixture. Other times we have forgotten such necessary items as matches for lighting the stove and a can opener. And no one wants to discover in the middle of the Bay that the plumbing doesn’t work right!
Whenever I go out on our sailboat, Cay of Sea, I take along a sketchbook and my pens and pencils. I try to find something different to draw, something special about each voyage out on the Chesapeake Bay. It is now the end of June, and we put the boat back in the water some time in April, so I have some catching up to do.
Another glimpse of our cruising days for you. Each time we go out I am concerned that I won’t find something different to sketch in my journal but my concerns haven’t been realized yet!
If you’d like a different perspective, here’s my husband’s post about this trip.
We do check the weather before we go sailing. Because it is summertime, the report often includes a possibility of thunderstorms: smaller, unpredictable storms brought on by the heat and moisture, “pop-up storms”. Such was the weather prediction before we went on this overnight cruise.
I hope that you are enjoying reading about our travels as much as I am enjoying making this book!