Story – August 2010
Oxford is a twee town. According to Donna from the arts and crafts shop,
when she came here 16 years ago she didn’t reckon much on it. It was a
working town (big village really) of watermen and I imagine the houses were
a bit dilapidated. Since then the weekenders have bought up much of the
property and have refurbished and extended many of the clapboard houses.
Like many places within city reach in the UK, this is a weekend and holiday
place apparently. It is very quiet mid week and in winter. See the pictures
of the lovely houses.
Crab men or watermen do still operate around these creeks (see pic) and
flake out long lines over a large expanse of water, then retrace their route
picking up the line again and, hopefully, lots of crabs on them. We should
have invited them to harvest the bottom of our boat on which many crabs
cling to pick the barnacles of f our bottom. I couldn’t think what the
noise was at first as I lay in bed.
My favourite place however, was St Michael’s. It is actually in the Miles
River but we motored very carefully to its back door in the San Domingo
creek. What is lovely about this place is that it is a town (again a big
village really) with a main street full of shops as well as a supermarket
and a pub! We had a lovely time in the Carpenter Street Saloon – a proper
pub with friendly locals. They checked (light heartedly) first that we were
not there to buy land, after which we were told we could stay. Wednesday
and Thursday is open mic nights and although we didn’t go back for the
Thursday gig we will make sure to put it on the itinerary for next time. We
happened to be there on Firemen’s Day when all the local stations of Talbot
County paraded their wagons down the street. (see pic)
We left to get to Annapolis before the weekend mania. A storm which
thankfully for us was mainly over the west coast accompanied by a tornado
warning, swept over us for about an hour. We arrived in Annapolis and
parked (wrongly as it turned out) on the visitors’ dock of the Annapolis
Yacht Club. We were meant to dock at the club but were politely but firmly
invited to move to one of their other berths the following morning. Only
$2.20 per foot so not too bad for this very central place although almost
under the bascule bridge over Spa Creek.
Annapolis is lovely – a bigger version of Lymington I would say. It is the
state capital of Maryland so has grand legislature buildings. Annapolis
also has friend Pip whom we know as he regularly visits the UK. He has a
typical town house near to Main Street. For supermarkets you have to drive
out to Eastport – OK if you have a car, it is not that far, but not walking
distance from the centre.
But the supermarket is just a mile walk from Bert Jabin’s Yard. We are now
here at Back Creek to lift the boat out tomorrow for repairs and cleaning
and rig check and new running rig (ropes). Kalandia deserves a bit of
tender loving care as she has looked after us very well on this voyage. We
know she is in very good hands under the overall care of Garth from
Annapolis Yacht Sales and Services who will co-ordinate the various jobs. If
you use his
services don’t be surprised to hear a South African accent and be offered
tea when you visit. The Yard is so very well run and within it there are a
number of independently run businesses who are experts in anything you need
done to your boat.
Today is lift out day. Did I just say barnacles? Add oysters and the
beginnings of a coral bed. See pics of what the boat's bottom looked like.
Kalandia will remain here while we return to the UK to
finalise our house sale and purchase. It has all happened so very fast. I
did not expect to have people fighting over our house in London so our move
to the New Forest may be sooner than we thought. The Southampton Boat Show
will also require much of our time as Mobmat has a stand there. Do come and
visit on stand D054 in the Windward Hall between 9 - 18 September..