Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts from Solomons Island

Our intentions: as we left Annapolis on Tuesday October 20 was to head to Oxford, Maryland. Many of our fellow boaters opted for St. Michaels which is a shorter sail and a much more tourist friendly destination. Oxford however constitutes the juxtaposition of two powerful forces in the sailing world: (1) it is the site of one of Hinckley Boatyard facilities and (2) Oxford is the home of Cutts and Case where Edmund Case hand builds wooden boats to custom design.

Hinkley produces some great boats in the $1 million plus range but they are plastic production line boats, sort of high priced pret a porter. Cutts' vessels are couture. Not that I am never going to own a vessel from either production facility.

Edmund Cutts would, we were assured by good friends we met for 3 hours in Chesapeake City, on a good day take you around his shop, and talk about boats and his thoughts on the changes plastic has made to boat building and boating. We hoped for a good day.

However: the weather was gorgeous, the water was flat and the radio kept promising worse and worse conditions for Wednesday and Thursday - 10 to 20 knot winds with gusts to 30 and waves to 4 feet. The Chesapeake develops those hateful little short frequency waves we get on the Great Lakes.

So: we dithered for 20 miles down the Chesapeake about whether we should just run further south while we could and try for Solomon Island. As we approached 500 metres of the turning point we agreed to run away.

Here we sit in Solomons Island, on a $30 mooring ball while the winds are hitting a steady 25 and the cold front has not begun to bite yet.

The Benner Family motto rarely lets us down: RUN AWAY.

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