Whew! We’ve been on a bit of a mini Mid-Atlantic tour lately, hitting up Delaware and New Jersey the past two weekends, and finally wrapping up our travels on the eastern shore of MD in beautiful, St. Michaels. Last time we were here, we ran a 5K, but this time we were looking forward to relaxing and exploring the town with friends of ours. We took the boat, which was great because she’s been sitting here tied to the dock for nearly the entire summer and probably had a bit of fur on her hulls for sitting still for so long. Boats are meant to be used, and we’ve been treating ours like a floating condo-maran for way too long. Time to get back out there and dust off our skills sails! It won’t be long before we head to the Bahamas and the more we get out on the water, the better prepared we’ll be. This weekend in St. Michaels was the perfect trip to get us back in the game.
On the trip over we were able to get both sails up heading down the Bay, something we haven’t done in a while since we use just the genoa and/or have the engines going about 95% of the time. What can I say – we’re lazy. Or maybe we’re just power boaters at heart. We were averaging five knots, and made it to St. Mikes in about five hours, which we considered to be pretty good time. Unfortunately our autopilot, which we’ve affectionately named “Simon” after the captain we hired to bring us back from buying the boat in NC, was not working, so we had to hand steer. For Five Hours. Which sorta sucked. Simon just became top priority when we overhaul our systems before we leave.
Cruising is definitely not for people who can’t handle down time, especially hours and hours of it. Luckily we had our friends Garrett & Jill aboard to keep us company. We arrived around 5pm, set anchor, and went about preparing a small feast that would rival any Thanksgiving dinner. It was insane. And delicious. Dinners just taste so much better after a long day on the water.
The next day we headed in town to do some shopping and to check out the St Michaels Winery, which we had never been to before. I’m not going to lie – I was surprised at how good some of the wines were, especially the Long Splice, which is a blended Chardonnay, as well as a nautical term for weaving two ropes together. Look at us, huh? Just learning things wherever we go!
While we were wandering around shopping, we came across the Lyon Distilling Company, which was in the same area we hung out in after completing our first 5K in the St. Michaels Running Festival this past May. While we’re not big rum drinkers, this place has such a cool vibe to it. We loved their logo and wanted to see if they had any T-shirts in yet. They didn’t, but we into a great conversation with one of the owners, Jamie, and ended up taking a tour of the distillery. Turns out the rum goes from raw materials to bottled in 7-10 days. And they sell out every single week because they only do small batch runs. Time to get a bigger barrel!
We got to talking about how rum is made and she told us that the amount of agitation and temperature fluctuations that the rum is exposed to while aging in the barrels will change the profile (taste). Um, Hello! I can’t think of any other place with more constant agitation and temperature variations than the hull of a boat! We told her our story and said we’d be happy to take a small barrel onboard with us during our trip and bring it back to see how it tastes. Can you imagine? Us as rumrunners? Like modern day pirates! We’d love to take a little bit of Maryland with us when we go!
The town itself s small, but super cute. There were lots of small farm-to-table restaurants, local shops and historic B&B’s all within about a five block stretch. I really love how they are all about supporting the local community there – you won’t find any mass chains or big businesses there, which is almost unheard of most other places. We settled on a lunner (late lunch / early dinner) at Ava’s Pizzeria for some meatball sliders that were to.die.for. We ate so much, you had to practically roll us all out of there. The weather was beautiful, the company was great, and we didn’t drag anchor in the middle of the night like we did last time we sailed there. Wins all around!