After the bustle of city life in D.C., it was nice to be out on the water and moving again, heading down the Potomac on our way to New York.
The anticipation of spending a week in NYC made it a little tricky to shake off the “are we there yet” mentality and just enjoy the journey, but we were able to slow the pace down a bit–anchoring early most days, kayaking when possible, and playing games around the table.
Our eventual need for food, water, and clean underwear forced us ashore at Solomons Island, Maryland, a charming little town whose sea of masts bear witness to the Chesapeake’s claim of being a sailor’s paradise.
At Solomons Island (aka, Solomons) we “splurged” by getting a slip at a marina for a couple days. Now at first glance this may not seem like a big deal, but for us it meant easy access to laundry, an unlimited water supply (you’d be surprised how quickly our tanks run dry), unlimited electricity (charged devices and video games!), wifi, long and hot showers, and groceries and boat supplies just a short bike ride away. The lap of luxury after days at anchor!
Not to mention the fact that being at a marina makes it so much easier for Mary Jane and I to escape the kids for a couple of hours, even if our “hot date” was just a bike ride to pick up boat parts. I really know how to romance a girl, right?
The downside of a marina? Money. Cruising with four boys and two dogs means cruising on a budget, and cruising on a budget means that being able to buy food and fuel always trumps the convenience of being at a slip.
Upon reflection, it’s easy to see how much different our lives have become…
For the first month or so this lifestyle felt a bit like a perpetual vacation, just a lot more work. Every day was an exciting new adventure. But, like all new things, the novelty soon wore off and the ups and downs of the cruising life became our new normal.
There are moments when the clogged toilet, overheating engine, and cold, damp weather make you shake your head and think, “Why did we choose this again?!?”
And then you have an evening when you are sitting in the cockpit with the family laughing and eating barbecued something, the boat lying snugly at anchor in an idyllic cove while the sun sets majestically into the water, and you look at each other and say, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?” and, “How can we keep doing this forever?”
This is cruising.