St Michaels, MD

Sept 18th: We raised anchor from the Comegy’s Bight anchorage on the Chester River at 7:00 am and made our way south to the town of St. Michaels.  Crossing under the Bay Bridge one more time, we passed navy training boats from Annapolis.  It was a cloudy, choppy sea kind of day on the Bay, which made the steel gray of the boats blend in with the surroundings.

Kathleen at the helm
Navy training vessels (we think) out of Annapolis
Approaching the Bay Bridge from the north
Passing freighters anchored south of the Bay Bridge that are waiting for passage to Baltimore

The wind and current ran with us and against us on this trip as we wove our way into the Higgin’s Yacht Yard marina at St. Michaels. This is a fun, beautiful touristy town, with a lot of history. We docked stern in, with a stiff wind blowing, which is always a little “unplanned aerobic exercise” for both of us, but the dock hand was wonderful, and to our very happy surprise, we were in a slip next to some folks we had known back in Vero Beach at our marina. Dale and Karen have a lovely boat (Karen Marie, a Viking Sportfisher), as Dale is big into sport fishing. After catching up with them, we quickly cleaned up and got ready for Kerry, who was coming to visit again!

Granuaile at the dock in Higgins Yacht Yard Marina
St Michaels harbor

We had a lovely time here. Lots of shops and restaurants and friendly people. Kerry drove us around to see different spots, and we walked to a local farmer’s market where we got some great veggies, jam and kombucha. Kerry took us to the penultimate breakfast spot, Carpenter Street Saloon, which was conveniently located at the end of the street from our marina – best corned beef hash EVER. He even drove us out to Lowes Wharf to “meet” his true love…

Breakfast at Carpenter Street Salon in St Michaels
Proper social distancing practices were in place while visiting with Kerry’s girlfriend at Lowes Wharf Marina Inn
Tasting the local brews at Eastern Shore Brewing, St Michaels

We got to see a home of one of his friends (Tristan and Melanie) who have a vacation place on the beautiful Tred Avon river. We noted on our charts where their house is located as we planned to anchor on the Tred Avon in a couple weeks. We toured around, stopping for a wonderful lunch along the way (on reading this back, it seems that all we do is eat, tour, and eat – not entirely true, but close…). Kerry left us Sunday morning after breakfast, and we puttered around until the afternoon, when we took a walk around the town, picking up a pamphlet for a walking tour towards the end of our stroll. We both like (well, probably Kathleen a bit more than Neil) to go through old cemeteries. It is fascinating to read the headstones from so long ago, how old people were when they died (amazing life span for some folks into their 90’s and some only months back in the 1700’s-1800’s), and any information on them (there is often an information pamphlet available with historical references to some of the grounds inhabitants). On St. Michaels as in many of the smaller towns we have visited, the cemeteries are right on the church grounds.

After walking a few miles to just explore the town, we headed back to our boat, intermittently reading about a historical structure or home here and there. Walking back to our slip, we stopped suddenly when we noticed a great heron standing directly in front of us on the dock. These birds stand AT LEAST three feet tall, and although they have the most raspy honk of any bird, they are beautiful and majestic. We waited for him (her?) to finish wandering the dock, watching her slow, low flight away.

Heron walking the docks at Higgins marina

After we had settled in for the evening, and the sun had set, we heard a large splash and a woman call for help. Neil ran out to help – one of our dock neighbors had misjudged the distance from his boat to the dock and had fallen into the water. Normally this is not a big thing, but it was dark and the boats were moving with the waves. Fortunately, he had extricated himself from the drink no worse for wear, except maybe for his pride.

As we were getting ready to leave the next day, Dale came by with a gift – crab line gear, complete with chicken necks for bait and seasoning for our (hopeful) soon-to-be bounty. It was really nice of him, but he waved off our thanks, saying he couldn’t believe we hadn’t been crabbing yet and he felt called to remedy that. They left before we did, so we saw them off, looking forward to seeing them again in Vero in December.

Neil worked on another boat repair “opportunity” as he discovered a minor fuel leak at the generator’s fuel injection pump. His technical guru contact at Northern Lights advised that the gaskets were failing and the pump should be replaced but not urgent.
Added to the top of the list of items to address when we visit marina in Solomons, MD in early Oct.

Generator fuel injection pump. Red dyed diesel fuel visible in lower right – not good

We timed our departure for about noon based on weather and tides. There was more to be seen at St. Michaels – but we knew we had plans to be back in a week or so, anchoring on the back side of the town on the San Domingo Creek. So, once ready, we cast off and worked our way out of the harbor for a short trip across to an anchorage on the Wye East River.

Kathleen putting away the lines after leaving St Michaels

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