By: Jody Argo Schroath
It had been that kind of cruise. You know that kind, when the wind and waves meet you head on every morning—sometimes with a gentle shove and sometimes like a couple of schoolyard bullies, rudely pushing and shoving until all you can do is whimper. Well, it had been precisely like that last September, when Rick the Husband, Skipper the Dog and I spent a week working our way down the Eastern Shore, then another week cruising north from Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach. The wind had met us headlong at every turn. So on September 19, when we stuck our nose out of Indian Creek, off Fleets Bay, after a night at Chesapeake Boat Basin, we were stunned to find the wind blowing our way. It wasn’t much more than a zephyr, barely rippling the surface as it whispered across Fleet’s Bay from the south. Rick and I looked at each other in wonderment and quickly set about raising the sails. Skipper left his foul wind retreat under the cockpit table and stretched himself out luxuriously on the starboard cockpit cushion. Almost cautiously, we turned to head north-northeast toward Smith Point Light. The sails slowly filled, and we moved forward, It wasn’t riotous, but it was enough. Enough to be sailing at last. A few minutes later, as we came out from the lee of Windmill Point, the wind filled in, blowing six or seven knots now, and soon we were clipping along at a modest pace, the water burbling merrily as it slapped the bow. Rick and I were silent, afraid to break the spell and our turn of luck, each of us sure that any minute the wind would clock around to the north and each of us hoping that it would hold at least until we reached Point Lookout on the north shore of the Potomac. That would be all right, we told ourselves privately. We practically held our breath until we came within shouting distance of rusty red Smith Point Light.
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