Thanksgiving Day dawns bright and sunny in St. Mary’s City, GA, but the wind is howling through the harbor at a steady 20 knots with gusts to 25. Temperatures will reach the mid to upper 60s today, but the strong northeast wind makes it feel much cooler.
Pat is busy baking pumpkin raisin walnut muffins for the big Thanksgiving feast in town. The aromas in the galley this morning are tantalizing. My contribution is sampling these tasty morsels for quality control. Just as I suspected, the muffins are delicious.
The anchorage is in chaos this morning. With three knots of tidal current flowing southwest and an opposing 25 knots of wind, the orderly alignment of boats in the harbor is interrupted. Anchored boats are pointing in all directions, sometimes swinging 360 degrees around their anchors. Some are riding to current while others are riding to wind. Several boats have dragged anchor and are dangerously close to colliding with other anchored boats. Some of these boats have weighed anchor and are circling further out in the harbor in search of a less congested location to drop the hook. Among our many other blessings, we give thanks today for the fact that our anchor is holding.
At half past noon, we deliver our freshly baked muffins to the buffet table at the local hotel, then join the queue forming on the sidewalk for the 1 PM serving of Thanksgiving dinner. Today, the process of serving the meal is highly organized and civilized. In addition to turkey and dressing, the buffet table includes every imaginable side dish and dessert. We congregate with the other cruisers and linger after the meal to discuss favorite winter destinations.
Afterwards, we stroll the streets of this small town to burn at least some of calories consumed during our Thanksgiving meal. At every intersection, local residents greet us and welcome us to their town. It is difficult to imagine a more hospitable setting for a gathering of unrelated guests.
When we return to Cutter Loose, the wind has calmed to a whisper and the calamity of this morning has given way to a settled evening at anchor. This is a Thanksgiving that will not soon be forgotten.