One of our favorite places as kids was the sandbar. Our tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, as I've told you before, is Mill Creek. It's just off of Whitehall Bay, which is the last “indentation” on the west side, before the Bay Bridge. We live almost at the end of the creek, and just after one of its big bends. This bend has a sandbar which extends MUCH further than anyone would suspect.
During my childhood, watching big sailboats with fixed keels get stuck there was quite the entertainment. We'd be lounging on the dock as described in my last post (well, not quite, because at that age I didn't have a glass of chardonnay in my hand) and see boats making their way up creek, looking for an overnight anchor. “Do you think he'll change course?” “I think he hits the sandbar, but barely, and gets away with it.” “No way! He's going to get stuck and then we'll have to go drag him off as usual.” “It's not MY turn.” Casual bets were made.
When they got stuck, we'd have mercy on them. There was usually a power boat at the Briarpatch, at first the one belonging to my grandparents, later the one we owned for one short summer (this was when DataBoy was in high school, he's more the fast engine versus sailing) and even later, Aunt Risky's boat. We'd head across the creek, explain about the sandbar, drag them off, and send them on their way. (It was much to our delight that later The Swede found an article in a sailing magazine, chronicling this very phenomenon. “Locals enjoy watching boats get stuck. But if you make it past the sandbar, you'll have a great place to anchor for the weekend.”) However, it's probably that article which also prompted the eventual placement of the marker (warning others of the sandbar) which ended that fun.
But there were still good times to be had at the sandbar. It was great swimming! Around our dock, you always swim with shoes. During my childhood, we had a pair of “Briarpatch sneakers” and our “other” pair. The designated shoes were usually last year's outgrown ones, but we made do. Better squished toes, than stepping on a barnacle encrusted rock, a holly leaf, or an actual crab, ready to pinch you. But at the sandbar, you could ditch the shoes full of the accumulated yuck that was scraping your skin, and let your emancipated feet dance in the sand. Soft sand. Sand that squished beneath your toes. We kids were allowed to take the rowboat, or the canoe out there BY OURSELVES to swim. It was grand.
Now it's my own boys and their generation of cousins who take the kayaks out there to glory in the sand. But if you're cousins and there's some sort of disagreement...then maybe the one of you who rode the taco out there behind the kayak might just take that kayak, leaving its previous customer stranded to swim home, dragging that taco back. Not an easy feat. All because of some sort of boy-conflict reason. But since neither party wished to press charges, we let the matter drop. After all, vacations are too short to be spent arguing, there are crabs that need catching, and plenty of water for all.