Saturday, February 6, 2010

Last day: The final frontier...

OK, so I'll admit. It's freezing in Baltimore and I'm taking two months off to live at my parents' home where there's central heat. So it's been tough to motivate myself to write in my blog about living aboard when I'm not, in fact, living aboard.

Anyway, I'm at a sailing convention stuck on hold with the airline, so let's talk about my last day.

Yep, you heard that right. Last day. But, you say, there were supposed to be four days! You've talked about only two!

Well, dear friends, I mentioned the increasingly scary forecast. That forecast started to foretell a possible blizzard the morning of the third day. Blizzard? No thank you. So I made an executive decision. We'd do the last two days in just one marathon day.

We woke up that morning and discovered small, dinner plate-sized sheets of ice floating next to the boat. Bad sign. I'm not ashamed to admit I said a little prayer before we started the engine that day. Thankfully it started and we puttered over to the fuel dock to drop Peter off, pick up Andrew and wait for the attendant. We fueled up and the nice fuel dock man found a way for us to get some water (there's not much in the shop at the fuel dock in Solomons).

Then we were on our way. Having learned our lesson from Cobb Island, and being a little freaked out about the coming blizzard, we turned on the GPS and I obsessively listened to the weather radio every time I was off. Between Andrew and I we did some pretty fancy-pants navigation to cut miles off our trip (Andrew races a lot, so he knew some nice tricks from his Annapolis to Solomons racing experience).

Once we got close to Baltimore though, past the Bay Bridge, the trip was cake. No one removes navigation markers in Baltimore harbor for cold weather (stupid Cobb Island). It was dark, but we had it covered. This was easily the part of the trip I knew the best and was most comfortable with.

At any rate, we made in to Oak Harbor marina in Pasadena -- right by White Rocks -- two hours before the snow started to fall.

I was so eager to get off the boat, I just left everything aboard. Tossed off my boots and foulies, put on a baseball cap and sneakers and Dad and I took Sam and Andrew to Little Havana's for a cheeseburger since we had to drop Andrew with his car at the sailing center. I have to say though, I was starving and wanted a Coke really badly, but I felt awful at dinner. All shivery and achy.

I spent about 45 minutes in the hot shower when I got home and slept until about 12 hours straight and felt right as rain the next day. We ended up being snowed in, so I took a couple nice naps the next day too. It was the perfect time to come home, really -- nowhere to go.

We'd left two huge light bulbs on in the engine compartment and left instructions for the marina to winterize, so as far as I was concerned, I was good to go.

Getting the stuff (extra food, all my clothes, bedding, etc.) off the boat to wash and put away was another story. It took a couple weeks to get rid of the snow, get time to go down (I was beset by a multitude of serious car problems).

But it's all off now and I can't wait to move the boat to Baltimore to live in March.

Next up? Some thoughts from the National Sailing Programs Symposium -- aka, how I am now obsessed with Stand Up Paddling.

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