funny how adversity affects one's senses--how the loveliness of an
anchorage is often proportional to the trouble one has getting there.
That would explain whyCBMfounders Dick and Dixie Goertemiller--whose story of storytelling we
tell in this issue--included Brooks Creek, an unremarkable branch of
the Little Choptank River, in their short list of memorable Bay
a quiet and lovely spot to be sure, though no lovelier or quieter than
any other in that part of the Eastern Shore. But Dick and Dixie had
gone there under duress, and not by druthers but forced by
circumstance: drenching rain and fading daylight. They ran aground just
inside the creek's tricky entrance, and Dick had to strip to his
skivvies, jump in and literally muscle the boat off the sand, in the
pouring rain, with nettles stinging. . . . So, when the nasty bits were
over, Brooks Creek seemed all the more cozy and perfect. "Sautéed
zucchini, fresh tomatoes and tuna salad never tasted so good." Dick
writes, recalling the incomparable bliss of at last being tucked in
belowdecks, all dry and well fed.
thing is, this is not one of the stories you'll read in our feature
this month on the Goertemillers' memorable hidey-holes ["Cruises Down
Memory Lane," page 33]. Itshouldhave been one of them, but a certain editor--who shall not be named
here, though his photograph is somewhere on this page--didn't quite
make it to Brooks Creek last fall for the requisite modern-day visit.
And that was the whole premise of the feature. For the feature that
follows Marty LeGrand's lovely profile [see "Perfect Partnership," page
30] of the "First Couple of Bay cruising," we had asked Dick and Dixie
to pull a few random gems from their vast trove of cruising memories,
and then we sent one of our trusty writers (staff included) to the site
of each said memory for a modern-day look-see.
we nearly pulled it off. Everyone did their part--Dick and Dixie,
editors Jody Schroath and Ann Levelle, plus Jane Meneely and Diana
Prentice. . . . Everyone, that is, except ol' Sayles, ol' Cap'n
Ne'er-Do-Well. Indeed, I missed by a whole river; I wound up on Balls
Creek off the Choptank not Brooks Creek, off the Little Choptank. Don't
get me wrong; I know where Brooks Creek is--I can read a bloody chart,
thank you. But on the appointed day I just didn't have enough daylight,
or a fast enough boat, to get there. Yes, Ishouldhave left earlier in the morning (what are you, my mother?), but I
didn't, and I didn't have a fall-back day to . . . well, to fall back
on. And the next thing I knew, it was winter.
tried to sell Jody and Ann on the idea that my experience had in fact
been an "interesting parallel" of Dick and Dixie's--that impending
darkness had forced me to choose the closest available creek, which,
after a quite stressful single-handed anchor-drop in the near darkness,
I found to be quite lovely. They weren't buying it though. The whole
boss thing goes only so far with them, because, democratic fellow that
I am, I've encouraged them to challenge and debate me on such things.
That was a big mistake.
So that's my story, or lack thereof, and I'm sticking to it.