A Long Stretch of Good…5/26/22 – 6/4/22

Sometimes the rivers and waterways unfold in front of you like ribbons of water. Somedays, the wind is behind you, cheering you on your way. Somehow the sky and earth merge into one blessed highway to carry you from where ever you are to the place you’re meant to be. Fair winds and following seas makes for good traveling and good spirits. Dear Readers, It has been a very long stretch of all the good.

The Chesapeake Bay is big and wide. Nature puts things in perspective, by the way.

We began our ascent up the Chesapeake Bay on a sunny morning with a south wind urging and pushing us on our way. We moved everyday from Virginia and through Maryland. Night one, we anchored in Little Fleet Bay on the bay’s western shore. Night two we anchored at Solomon’s Island in Mill Creek. Night three, we tied up in the Back Creek in Annapolis at the Annapolis Landings Marina. And, on the fourth night of this long stretch, we tied up in Chesapeake City at the Chesapeake Inn and Marina.

The last leg of the Maryland journey was fueled by a fresh tank of diesel and a big heart fill-up while we were in Annapolis. David’s sister, Kathie, came to fill us up with the an enormous and delicious meal at The Boatyard Bar and Grill. Enough food for a week and a huge portion of love. For dessert, our hearts were filled by a visit from my bestie, our Dear Wendy. We sat on Irene’s top deck until dark, talking and filling, sharing and filling, feeling the wind, refilling, rediscovering, and letting some of the hard stories go with the wind. That’s it Dear Readers. Let the wind take the hard stories and carry them away. Love is the purest fuel. I mean this quite literally. The future is made by the thoughts that we have now. So please, forgive all the bad for the good. Release your grip on the words that hurt you and the people that born them. This is our practice on this side of the veil. Forgive. Move on. Visualize it. We are starlight. Take care of your light. Don’t let anyone blow it out. The world needs our light right now. We got a long way to go; forward, not back.

Sunlight burning through the fog.

From Maryland, the US waterways take you down the Chesapeake Delaware Canal and out to the mighty Delaware River and into the vast Delaware Bay. These are little oceans and the Long Stretch of Good brought the wind at our backs so we could meet the tides and the strong current with an equal dose of Mother Nature’s strength. As we neared Cape May, NJ, we did meet some wave action that pounded us around a bit. That’s New Jersey for you. Tougher than most. Nine and a half hours later we entered the Cape May Canal only to find the anchorages filled with other travelers waiting for calmer water on the North Atlantic. We were so fortunate to reach an angel at Utche’s Marina, just as they were about to close, she gave us directions to one last slip just as fog “thick as pea soup” set in. She waited there for us a half an hour after her time to go home. She waited with a dock hand named, Earl. An angel and a an Earl; divine and royal beings. Exhaustion and gratitude can only begin to describe the feelings coursing around us then. Then you know what the angel on Earth did? She handed me a bottle of home-made wine in a clear glass bottle and a key to the bath house tied to a big wooden light house. “Make yourself at home.” You see how that works? Magic.

Just after sunrise we headed out to the channel to wait with six other boats before we went out the inlet and into the Atlantic. We chatted on the radio with fishermen who were out there already. They said it was “gnarly” with big rollers coming over their bows and told us to wait. We all idled in the channel for about an hour and then jumped out. The rollers were big but the wind was with us all the way to Atlantic City. Atlantic City, who knew it could be a site for sore eyes? The casinos were flashing their big lights and the wind calmed down as soon as we were inside the jetties. Amen.

This is New Jersey. Grit, grind, and hope. Work it. That’s how they welcome you there.

On land, David and I both had a case of sea legs. Sea legs negate the idea that you can walk anywhere well. It’s the equivalent of bedspins except you’re standing up. We showered and Ubered it to a restaurant only to find it had closed BUT their was a barbershop there now and David needed a haircut and apparently, the universe agreed. Ubered it from there to Kelsey’s for some of her southern style cooking. And I kid you not, I had grits. Yup. When you’re in New Jersey and your grit level is dwindling your refill on the cheesy grits and you’re good to go. A little better for the wear.

We rose at sunrise and left at slack tide to hopefully ride the rising tide all the way to Point Pleasant Beach at the Manasquan Inlet. Only a five hour ride up the New Jersey shore. We made it there through some pretty profound fog, a lot of messaging with the boats around us to share conditions, and a lot of turn taking at the wheel. Most days we can set a course on the auto pilot and tweak our course over time however; certain conditions mean you surf the waves and for that, you hand steer. You also hope you have a partner as cool as Jesus so he can take the wheel when you throw your hands up (or whatever ;-).

Made it to Captain Bill’s Landing: ”Fuel, Bait, Ice, Supplies” and the worst fuckin’ dock ever. Four foot tide change on old pelican poles. No power or water. One last stop to test what you’re made of. Thanks, Captain Bill. Always wondered what it would feel like to walk the plank.

Oh, New Jersey, by the way, thank you for raising so many beautiful friends, their wonderful children and loving families. They endure. They’re ingenious, crafty and curious. Thank you for being home to so many brilliant artists, writers and musicians. The Garden State, where they grow ’em strong and brilliant.


9 thoughts on “A Long Stretch of Good…5/26/22 – 6/4/22

  1. kathyyost01

    Dearest Barbara! Thank you for your latest entry❤️  It made me laugh it made me cry.  It had me appreciating the wonders of nature that surgeon us!  It made me miss you even more. Your soul and spirituality have guided you on the journey and they always bubble to the top♥️  Captain Bill just doesn’t care🙄.  The angel with the wine and bathhouse key is a truly caring and compassionate women.  Bless her. May your good fortune continue and get you home to gather more love and strength from your families. Stay well, stay safe stay the course. All my love, Kathy ❤️❤️

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    1. BB

      I always love hearing from you. I know you are always appreciating our story and loving us, wherever you are. Hope we see you soon. Still praying for the house to be ready ASAP xoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. perkks

    It sounds like you enjoyed this stretch of your journey. How nice to have time with Kathie and Wendy. I would think you must get lonely for good conversation and the closeness of friends and family during some of those long stretches. Wish we could have connected with you on our trip North but with a 41′ camper and a dog, it wasn’t ideal.
    I love Cape May, when I lived in PA it was one of my favorite places to visit.. The old Victorian houses were beautiful.
    I am hoping you are planning on some time on Lake Champlain. The rest of us want to see you too. I promise you good food and wine!!!!
    Love you Barbara (and David). Stay safe.

  3. betheship Post author

    There is the NJ ICW but it is very shallow! Lots of no wake zones too. We’d have to go at least an hour after rising and stop near high tide but very few anchorages. 😘 @sailbeauty.Wordpress.com

  4. Wendy Hobbins McGrath

    I do so dearly love your blog! This post moved me, made me laugh, and very much refilled my heart. I’m savoring the images and the words, and holding the love, magic, courage, spirit, and YOU in my heart. Love you both so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


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