It was no April's Fools Day on April 1st, yesterday, for CALIX. It was moving day! The day long anticipated when CALIX would no longer be captive to tides and not enough water to get out of the channel in order to go sailing. The Kent Narrows North channel has been the subject of ire for many sail-boaters and probably for a few motor-boaters who've assisted those hapless sailors when they've gotten stuck. It did not surprise me that the Friday before the big move a sailboat was actually aground in the channel with TowBoatUS on way. How random was it that I just happened to be crossing the Kent Narrows bridge at the exact moment to see that? If nothing else, it confirmed that the move was well informed and long overdue.
Brad and I had done as much research as was necessary to determine CALIX's new home. It was pretty clear though as the options while plenty, came down to docking the boat where we knew if there was ever an issue, the marina would be there to help. Suffice to say, that kind of assistance and an Annapolis locale comes at a cost, twice what I was paying in the Narrows. Yikes!! It was easy to make the decision though, either sit on the boat on the bottom when it was windy and pay less, thus having a boat for no reason which makes owning a boat essentially an expensive second home, or move CALIX where she could serve her purpose and go sailing at any opportunity which makes the aforementioned costs of ownership all worth while.
In order to find a suitable delivery crew, I sent out an Evite and posted it on Facebook. I told everyone where to be, when to be there, to pack a small bag for weather changes and of course bring what they would like to eat or drink. As the host, I would provide of course Modelos and Dark n Stormys, as well as a couple of appetizers, a fun trip across the Bay and good camaraderie The logistics had to be worked out. First, the tides! Luckily the week before the move was higher than average tides and I hoped the conditions would last through Sunday. The high tide was scheduled for after 1:00PM and I figured if all was right with the world, that CALIX would be ready to leave the dock at 11:30AM without issue. Secondly, I needed to get everyone to the boat and then back to their cars. Solution! Brad set up a shuttle van and we directed everyone to park at the destination marina in the morning, shuttle over and once we arrived, everyone could hop in their car and head home. Perfect.
The morning brought the usual last second cancellations due to less than perfect conditions, no sun, no wind, sorta cold. But it worked out OK because 15 people would have been a bit crowded and 10 ended up being cozy and fun. Everyone arrived to CALIX ready to go with drinks and food and a smile on their face. My parents even showed up to take some pictures, which I'll post if Mom ever gets around to downloading them! It was a bittersweet departure from the marina that I'd known as home for just about 4 years, but it was time for change. The crew cast off the lines and we motored out to the infamous channel. One of my guests was curious to know the best water in the channel as he would be delivering his sailboat only weeks later. Since I'd spent a bit of time doing reconnaissance with the Zodiac depth sounder, we passed through the channel without problems and noted that the shoaling was as least as bad as the past summer but that it was passable with good tide. I was glad to be through and leave behind the stress and nerves of running aground in the channel. I did once, and although I managed to get the boat off the bottom and continue on my way, that was more than enough and add to that a motor boat passing by noting that the tide was going out. Ugh, thanks for the tip, duh.
Out into the Chester River we motored and observed that it appeared to be clearing on the western shore. Could it be that we were going to have a sunny day? In hopes of an auspicious beginning to the sailing season, we all toasted to our good friends and fortune. It was about at that moment when we rounded the tip of Kent Island, Love Point, that the sun did come out and a slight breeze came up. No one hesitated to roll the sails out. We were sailing!
The rest of our trip across the Bay was filled with lively talk of random topics but mostly it seemed that everyone just loved being on the water and was happy to be a part of a good day. I salute my fantastic crew! The wind was enough to make our trip a little faster than simply motoring, so we enjoyed a little extra time on the water and then headed to Jabin's. I had promised Brad that we'd have time and take care of which line to tie to which piling while we made the crossing. Needless to say, it all happened about 20 minutes before we docked. Of course.
The docking went without much fanfare except that I didn't get the boat in the slip the very first try. Turns out it's a little tricky with a small creek across the bigger creek funneling breeze across the slip making the approach and turn a matter of well planned timing. New digs, new skills. So after we docked, most of the crew headed off, but a few stayed for a celebratory cocktail and to enjoy a perfectly beautiful late afternoon. Given that the weather pattern had been rain every weekend for many weekends prior, it was kismet to have sun and breeze! The big move was over. CALIX was in her new home and the moving day successfully over!