The friends arrived from Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to Janes Island State Park in Crisfield, Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake. The boats included my B & B Core Sound 20 Mark III, Skeena, two Joel White-designed Marsh Cats, a Handy Cat, a Crawford Melonseed, a Wellsford Navigator, a Rhodes 19, and an O’Day Mariner. The sailors included some retirees, some like me who wished they were retired, and my daughter, who I was happy to have with me for one last adventure before she headed off to law school.
The May gathering was an annual tradition that brought friends from all over to sail together for a few days. Over the years, the gatherings had been on the Chesapeake in St. Michaels, the Piankatank River, the Sassafras River, and here at Janes Island State Park. Other gatherings had taken place in the Thousand Islands in New York, Lake Champlain, and various places along the coast of Maine.
We used Janes Island State Park this year as a base camp, and each day began a different adventure, with the highlight a sail to Smith Island to walk around town and procure the famous Smith Island layer cake. Later, rafted together while tucked in the shallows of Smith Island, we cooked a variety of food, talked about life, and a lot of fun was had. Many among this group are musicians, and the songs rang out late. The next morning a fresh breeze had us reaching back to our base at Janes Island. When the wind piped up later in the week, some of us sailed north to the Manokin River and overnighted in the shallows of Wolftrap Creek. Back home in New York, the boat was tucked away to wait for the next adventure while I jumped on life’s treadmill, dreaming of the next adventure.