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Monday, October 06, 2008

Delaware City

Here we are in the metropolis that is Delaware City. It seems that the founders of this rather nice little village had aspirations, or at least good marketing skills, for Delaware City is a small, tidy waterfront main street and a few homes, then the nearby oil refinery which seems to be what people do around here.

I think it's been two days since I reported our trip to Ocean City. Whilst anchored there, we had a nice meal on the boat then lamented the fact that we couldn't watch the vice-presidential debate. This is a major event here although any of you Brits who expect a debate to involve two parties robustly making and defending their arguments would find that America has morphed the concept of 'debate' into a sort of two-at-a-time interview with the minimum of conflict between the participants. None the less, since the election is happening during our stay in this country, I feel obliged to take an interest. So we were delighted to find that we had excellent wifi coverage, good enough to view the whole thing on

Oh dear. I don't know how many of you saw any of this but let me say that I found Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, to be cringeworthy in so many ways. Clearly armed with a list of prepared statements, a permanent cheezy smile and the inability to ever answer the question asked. Really, America needs to let their good interviewers grill their politicians directly. John Humphries (BBC Today Programme presenter) would eat Palin for breakfast.

Joe Biden, the Democrat candidate, was statesmanlike and assured, but he didn't exactly have to try very hard. I'd been fairly impressed by John MaCain and Barak Obama in the previous debate, but could hardly watch Palin. So it was with some amazement, or maybe dismay that having watched what was, to me, a one-sided contest with an embarrassment of a republican candidate, the pundits were saying it was fairly even! Perhaps much of America really will be taken in by the 'I'm just a regular Mom ready to change Washington politics for ever' line. Maybe intelligent, thoughtful, diplomatic and experienced candidates are just too boring for this country. Much better to have a go-ahead, action centered type like, oh, let me think - George Bush. Sounds good, huh.

Enough politics; if I haven't lost my readers already then let me tell you about the sailing.

Friday saw us leave Ocean City for a fairly short thirty-five miles to Cape May. The weather decided to stretch it out for us by blowing from exactly where we wanted to go - a 'noserly' as we call it. But the sun was shining, the water was fairly flat so we sailed, beating to windward. In our boat that's a pretty tedious task but is was fun on this day. By four o'clock we had to give up and motor the last eight miles but we settled into a pretty sunset at Cape May Harbor and cooked up a good steak.

The following day was a long trip - sixty two miles around the cape and up to Delaware City. The tide runs strongly in the Delaware Bay and you have to go with it or you'll never get there before dark. That meant leaving Cape May at about six in the morning, so we got up in the dark, had a coffee, followed the lit buoys out of the harbor and set sail as the sun crept over the horizon. It was beautiful, and as we rounded Cape May itself, the wind came in from the perfect angle and we sailed for the next four hours. Conditions couldn't have been better. Slowly the wind died away and we had to turn the engine on for the second half of the day, but with a strong tide under us and fine weather, it didn't matter, we loved the trip.

After a brief exploration of Delaware City docks, we decided there wasn't enough depth there when the tide goes out, so we came out and anchored in Delaware Bay itself. Deitmar treated me to dinner at the local restaurant where the food was average, the service friendly but incompetent and we still had a really good time. I dropped Dietmar at the docks at seven am this morning so he could get back home and then Gesa and the family arrived with Mike and Pam at about two pm. Even though they have only been away a few days I've missed them and it's funny how Issie and Max suddenly seem more grown up. I think a short break allows us to see the progress of the past months in perspective instead of the blurred and jaded vision we get when we are so close for so long.

Tomorrow we rise early and go though the twelve mile long Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, a big ditch that links these two great estuaries. For there, it's a few days of gentle cruising to Annapolis, where we hope to visit the boat show and meet up with various friends, then my parents arrive from the UK to cruise in the Chesapeake Bay. It's all go!

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Blogger Julia said...

re:Palin. Amen! I am in total agreement!

Glad to hear you are travelling well.


3:11 pm  

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