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Ocean Cruising Club

When you cross an Ocean and meet fellow "yachties" who are prepared to risk their reputation and support your application, you can apply to join the Ocean Cruising Club. It was in Deltaville that I popped over to say hello to the boat anchored next to me that they said…are you Pauline! How on earth…….

Apparently we were been tracked and the OCC Regional Commodore had been in touch with fellow OCC members;

Nicky and Reg and asked that they say hello and welcome their newest member (me). They were seasoned cruisers with a beautiful Rustler 42, both ex RAF pilots with some fascinating stories and great company and they opened the flood gates to great OCC friendships. The picture here is a OCC dinner where we learnt the skill of tackling a Chesapeake crab - yummy.

Within a few days we were receiving our OCC burgee from the Regional Commodore of the OCC and enjoying some wonderful hospitality sitting off the end of Lydias and Bills own pontoon following a dip in their swimming pool and the obligatory Mt Gay Rum.

It was all going swimmingly until my phone decided to take a swim off the end of the pontoon!. The iphone 7 is not waterproof but the Scuba gear yet again came in handy to retrieve credit cards and give it a fighting chance of survival. Once the phone emerged from 24 hours in the rice it did actually switch on, but once plugged into charge it fired and died.- I now have great justification for buying a Google pixel phone!.

As we ventured north we began to realize what a wonderful friendly, fun and helpful the organisation the OCC is. We had a great night with Sue and John in the Solomons – even went to church the next day. Then three beautiful nights with Westboook and Cindy Murphy at their lovely home and pontoon near Annapolis.

A couple of days before while anchoring out near Oxford and then Cambridge ( very far removed from the English university towns), Maggie mentioned she was worrying about a spot that was morphing on her head. I had a look and it did look rather large. Our first port of call was Clipper telemed, (who we subscribe to which give us on call 24 hour medical advice. Their diagnoses was – nothing sinister and no rush to sort. To put our minds at rest we got a friend of Magggies to try and find us an appointment in Annapolis with a dermatologist. The incredible thing was that Westbrook and Cindy, (whos pontoon we were parked on), were due to pick glasses up the same day from the very same building and the same floor as the dermatologist – such a coin incidence. Nice ending to this story – Clipper telmed were spot on, nothing sinister and the dermatologist “sesil the spot” and all was good.

After a few days catching up on the normal maintenance – stripping winches, re sealing the front shower tray and getting rid of the horrible yellowing on the hull, we set forth for our first OCC cruise.

This was such a highlight of the Chesapeake and it certainly required some stamina!. In the company of 12 other boats, we raced, we socialised (a lot ), and just acquired many many more like minded friends.

It started with – drinks under an old lighthouse in St Michales – a beautiful location in the middle of a fascinating old boat yard which had just won the contact to build a replica vessel form mid 1600s.

Then onto Annapolis where we absorbed the tremendous pride surrounding the Officers Naval acadamy and stood in the place where George Washington resigned his commission.

After a very strong windward bash up the Chesapeake, and of course a good race,- where we acquitted ourselves very well , Saoras thriving in the 30+kt beat), we arrived in the heart of Baltimore, surrounded by skyscrapers. We then had a fabulous day out at the Aquarium and finished with a true American experience, - baseball, hot dogs and beer!. Then it was time to write the blog ---