Heading south

We slipped lines from Stansbury Tuesday morning of the 11th. We enjoyed a very smooth run, winds out of the NE and calm water. Great trawler weather! While underway we called friends Bill & Jean, former owners of sister ship Solo/Selene 4307. They were home and were happy to have us drop in on short notice. How we met is a bit of a story…

We first met around 2003 when we were visiting Annapolis on a weekend aboard our 35 Carver. During a dinghy cruise around Annapolis harbor we noticed a beautiful trawler on a mooring and circled the boat, admiring its lines. As we passed the stern, a couple emerged and we apologized for being a nuisance but  we thought their boat was simply beautiful, and that we could only wish that someday we would be able to have one like it- we were dreaming! As it happened, the couple we met were Bill & Jean, at that moment prospective buyers. Our timely visit and effusive compliments, as they tell us, convinced Jean that they had to have that boat! It was just one of those chance meetings, we went on our way and thought nothing more of it beyond wow, what a cool boat! The following year, we took the Carver to Solomons to attend a Trawler Fest. As we cruised around in our dinghy, we came across the same trawler we saw in Annapolis, or at least we thought it was, but it had a different name. We pulled up to the stern and knocked on the side of the boat. A blonde lady came out and looked very quizically at us, gave us a second look, then turned quickly into the cabin and yelled ‘Bill, come quick- it’s the shills! That’s when we formally met Bill & Jean! Jeannie was convinced the owners had sent us out to make that chance meet as a bit of incentive for their prospective buyers, and the story always brings a good chuckle!

After we bought our own Solo, we attended other Trawler Fests in Solomons and kept up our friendship. I picked Bill’s brain when we were buying, and he returned the favor over the years they owned their boat. Our trips south almost always include a stop at Solomons where Bill & Jean live, and we borrow  their now-empty <sniff> condo slip (they miss their boat) when stop for visits on our way south. They tell us it’s nice to look out and see a familiar boat there at least once a year!

Bill currently volunteers at the Calvert Maritime Museum and has been building a version of a Chesapeake crab scrape, a traditional work boat common to the Bay. The museum maintains and builds historic boats, so they have the tools and facility to build all sorts of vessels. Bill’s boat is unusual in that its propulsion is electric. A modern day twist on an historic design! We had our first view of the project in May when we were on our way south last season when it was still upside down. This trip we saw the boat nearly ready for launch sometime in November. We hope to stop in the spring and catch a ride!

We headed out from Solomon’s around noon Wednesday and headed for Ingram Bay, a relatively short run, but we made good time with favorable current.

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