|Fogg Cove, St. Michaels|
|On the Strand, Oxford|
We anchored in a small bight off the channel in Town Creek at Oxford. There was one other boat, a pretty Hinckley yawl, already in there, so we couldn't anchor exactly where we wanted to. We were closer to some private docks and the shallow part of the bay than we liked, and the anchorage has the reputation of having a slippery bottom, but our new Manson Supreme anchor bit into the mud. Let's see, we're in 8 feet of water, and it's five feet from our bow to the water line. That's 13 feet total, and the right amount of chain to let out is five times that, or 65 feet. As the boat drifts back, I let out the chain. The depth alarm sounds, telling us than we're in less than our optimum eight feet. Depth sounder shows a little over seven. We check the tide, and it seems that we should be OK if Bel Canto swings to the end of her chain. Angie puts the engine in reverse and revs to 2000 rpm. The anchor holds. We're set.
As we were getting squared away and settled, a young couple rowed out to the yawl, waving as they went by. They boarded the yawl, and in a few moments, hauled in their anchor and left the anchorage. Now we had the decision of pulling up our anchor and improving our position or staying put. Out of inertia or laziness or whatever you want to call it, we decided that we were solid where we were. Even though there was a slight drizzle now and then, we decided that it was a good time to visit the village.
|Lawn Decoration, Oxford|
Oxford has pretty much closed down for the season. We went to a couple of boatyards, looking for lamp oil (our oil lamp does an amazing job of warming up our cabin a bit on these chilly mornings), bought a couple of spare fuel filters, checked at the small grocery store for lamp oil and bought a bag of our favorite Pepperidge Farm chocolate fudge cookies, and later in the day went back for a delicious meal at the Robert Morris Tavern, the only eating place in town that hasn't shut down for the season.
When we returned to Bel Canto, we found that a small cabin cruiser had joined us in the anchorage. She was anchored down wind of us, in the shallower water of the bay. She seemed to be a safe distance away, so we climbed into our snug little quarter berth for the night.
Lessons learned: Have everything we might need in a nighttime emergency in a handy spot where we know where it is. This includes gloves for handling the anchor chain, pliers to open the sometimes balky shackle that holds the bridle to the chain, the handheld compass for checking the boat's position against objects on shore--and easy-to-don warm clothes!
Angie: I'm sitting in the quarter berth with a winter jacket and a hot water bottle getting warm after last night's excitement. I kept the hot water bottle and Jim from our last boat, Escapade. I also kept the 33 lb. Bruce anchor which I bought for myself. This time around, I insisted on buying a new one, either a Rocna or a Manson, although just about everybody tried to talk me out of it, and I'm glad that I did. I don't think this is how most people imagine our lives, but this is just another aspect of boat life. Where are those white sandy beaches, palm trees, and rum drinks?