We awoke the morning after the storm to a glorious world around us! A hidden, unnamed cove off the Wye East River, greeted us and was just beckoning for us to explore. So we climbed in our trusty dinghy and rowed toward the makeshift dock of wooden planks.
The wind blew over the surface of the water, scattering ripples toward the shoreline as Damian rowed the dinghy with the current. I was kindly reminded at how necessary it is that I practice tying my bowline knot so that I could have been more helpful in the tying up process of our dinghy to the makeshift dock. Bowline knot mastery coming up! (Stay tuned…I may even post a short video of my practice sessions.)
Damian and I felt like the pirates of the Chesapeake who had located an ideal cove to anchor in, wait out squalls (like we had the night before), and prepare either for raiding unsuspecting settlements along the Eastern Shore or for the long journey out to sea with a destination in the Caribbean. Perhaps in the late 1600s or early 1700s, a pirate sloop had found the very cove our little Gem&I was anchored in now.
The weather was perfect, gentle breeze, blue sky, and lots of sunshine washing the cove with its warmth. Damian eagerly showed me the wheat field that he had discovered on his wanderings the evening before. The wheat field reminded Damian of the scene in Dances with Wolves, and he was inspired to recreate a live impression of it for me. The wheat field itself extended for many acres, and our guess was that the large white house visible from the river further up owned the property for farming.
We followed the grass-line trail around a piece of the wheat field, relishing the shade of the trees that grew along the bank. Interested in the rough-and-ready wooden hut on stilts that stood a few feet into the water, we walked around to get a better look. Clearly, this contraption was a duck blind of some sort.
“What is a duck blind?” you might ask. Well, unlike the assumptions my “compatriot” had supposed, it is NOT a safe house for ducks to take shelter in or to lay their eggs, and it is NOT a duck hatchery that provides ducks a protected nesting area near the water. A duck blind is quite the opposite! It is a camouflaged hut for duck hunters! A duck blind is meant to blend in with the surrounding setting, so hunters can sit and wait for ducks to fly or swim by undetected. So yeah, a duck blind is BAD for ducks–but good for hunters of ducks. And there are a myriad of them along the banks of the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. This was just one of them.
After rounding the shaded bend, we peered out through the trees overlooking the cove to watch our Gem&I in all her humble glory bobbing up and down on her anchor line. This time, all alone, the only boat around (unlike Dividing Creek the day before).