Tad gives St. Michaels three stars, I only give it 2. And, since I’m doing the writing….
I found St. Micheals to be a touristy town with trinket souvenir stores, fast-food restaurants, and too many people! There were more marinas than anywhere else we'd been on the Chesapeake, but it was Labor Day weekend and we didn't reserve in advance, so we decided to try our first night at anchor and take the dinghy into town. That in itself was an adventure, but I'll save our dingy drama story for another post!
We docked in a dinghy slip outside the little museum and walked into town. There were a few historic houses, shops and restaurants, but really nothing unique that would make me want to go back. We did eat at a very good Italian Restaurant named Limoncello which featured all sorts of lemon delectables.
The impression from this stop in our journey had less to do with the port, but what happened outside of port...
As I mentioned, we had to anchor for the night. Apparently, so did many others as the harbor was very full (at least 50 boats) and it was difficult to find placement that provided enough swing. We went out quite a bit and dropped anchor but with the sandy bottom, we shifted quite a bit and when we returned from town our location felt closer to the sail boat on our starboard side. Tad was worried we were drifting, so we re-positioned and pulled up some chain to assure we were not lax. For for the most part, we seemed anchored, but doubt still bore at our feeling of security.
Apparently, I was able to allow Tad to carry the weight of worry as he woke me around 1:15 am with a concerned tone. “Baby, we need to move the boat. Now.” Knowing he isn't an alarmist, I quickly pulled on shorts and t-shirt and went up to the cockpit for instruction.
A storm had moved in and peering through sheets of rain, I could tell we were swinging like a pendulum on the water.
In the pitch-black night, I pulled on my life jacket and made my way in the wind and rain to the bow. Using a flashlight to indicate the angle of the anchor chain, Tad adjusted the boat so I could bring the anchor to surface. I pulled in five to ten feet of chain when the winch started a whining noise and came to a full-stop. I let it back out and hit the retract button again. A few links came toward me and then again, the whirl of a stalled winch. Our anchor was stuck on something.
Tad put the boat in neutral and came forward to join me in the thunder and lightening. We tried multiple times to unhook the anchor, but we were unsuccessful. Shouting over the thunder and lightening, he yelled, "we're stuck on something.... bad." I looked at him and said, "Well, we might be stuck, but at least we're anchored. Let's get some sleep!" He agreed and we decided to attempt to unhook it in the daylight.
As I laid in bed, I couldn’t help but remember the Bible story of the fisherman at sea who feared the storm. The inability to pull our anchor to surface, was to me, God’s way of saying, “I have you. You can rest in me.” I felt covered in His care, and I knew with all certainty that when we pulled up the anchor in the morning, it would reel to surface without any issue. Tad, laughed at my optimism of anchoring, but not my faith.
The next morning we sat on the deck with hot coffee in hand looking out at the beautiful blue sky, and Tad shared that we should try to dislodge the anchor sooner than later as we may need to call in a diver. I was still certain that there would be no issue, so I didn't rush. We slowly finished our coffee and moved into our positions; he at the helm and I on the bow.
He moved the boat to align the chain and told me to try to pull it up. Leaning over the taffrail while placing my big toe on the anchor button, I watched the chair pull up with the ease of a feather.
I love those moments when God reminds us that He is in control, He is protecting us, and we need to rest in Him.
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”