Rover Year End Review

By Paula

As we have been adjusting to life back on land, I wanted to share some photos, funny moments and provide a general wrap-up of Rover’s first year of adventures.  Let’s start at the beginning of 2020 with Rover in Fort Lauderdale.  Rich lived abroad and did lots of work in getting our sailing home ready for our future trips.  In January and February of 2020, Brian, Lisa, and I enjoyed several trips to Florida sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and Key Biscayne.  However, like everyone, Covid19 had some other plans for us.  Fearing Rover and Rich may get stuck in Florida, which was very real as marinas were closed and we were hearing bridges would be shut to pleasure traffic, our “extraction” mission started with B, Lisa, and I driving nonstop in the night to Fort Lauderdale in a rental SUV with a cooler filled with food and supplies.  Fearing that diesel would be cut off as well, Rover’s tanks were filled the day before the gas docks closed!  Whew, luck was with us!  We set sail from Florida nonstop back to Annapolis, what better way to start our quarantine than on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean?  The creepiest part was all the dozens of ‘ghost’ cruise ships off the coast of Florida moving around in circles to power their systems, with no passengers aboard.  Maybe foreshadowing of an impending viral pandemic, eh? We safely arrived in the Chesapeake Bay the day the Governor of Maryland shut everything down, after a fast 100-hour passage and sporty conditions off Cape Hatteras, gusting over 40 knots and big 10-12 foot seas.  We made it to AYC, and Rover sat for the next couple months as we weren’t allowed aboard. Team Rover then quarantined at our respective homes.  Once stores were opened and boating was allowed again in the late spring, Rover was prepped for the next part of our adventure, detailed in previous blog entries, and began in June 2020.

We had photos and moments we experienced that didn’t fit in any of the previous storylines.  I will let the pictures do the talking.   I previously posted sunrises/sets, moon shots, whales, mountain and water views.  There were a few things I didn’t mention… from the magnificent colors of the mussels in the waters of Bar Island off Bar Harbor to the Guillemot seabirds with awesome red feet and mouths.   The numerous migrating birds we encountered, particularly, our hitchhiking castaways along the NJ coast and all the fish we didn’t catch…we may need a few fishing lessons, any takers fellow Annapolitans? 

Beautiful Mussels in Maine
If only we were so lucky…

Other observations were streets/signs/gardens/sculptures while visiting many New England towns.  Curious, every town we visited in New England had a Pleasant Street.  Hmm, just sounds like a nice place to live…

Hydrangea the best in New England

What do 4 people on a 54 foot boat do besides work, sail, exercise, sightsee? When at anchor, on a mooring or in a slip, the evenings were time for swimming, reading, watching the stars and other boats, or appreciating the sounds of the water and the nearby towns.  I had quite a library onboard and was able finish 9 books. Sometimes it was binge watching tv shows.  We were fortunate to have access to Netflix, Apple TV, and local stations at times.  Yes, we binged Ozarks (OMG, can’t wait for the next season)!  We also started watching Lost.  Yes, the show from 2004, how can it (and us for that matter) be that old!  Finally, with all the picturesque moments on this trip, we channeled Bob Ross. I cannot lie, we enjoyed watching him paint the pretty little rocks, bushes, happy little trees, and mountains as we prepared dinner!  We did manage a little swimming despite the constant concern for sharks (Great Whites were sighted everywhere this year!!) and the very cold Maine waters, despite it being August! No worries, lots of wine, scotch, cocktails, tea/coffee to go around!

Always someone on Shark Watch
Strength training!

Some other necessities… Rich managed his buzz cut on the transom complements of barber Lisa.  He was also able to keep Rover’s bottom clean by diving, despite possible shark encounters, kudos to him! Brian stood deck watch and referred to Rich’s diving as ‘chumming’.  Brian, chief vanity officer, maintained Rover’s looks with window squeegee in hand at all times.

No Words…
Shiny topsides

Besides maintaining all the usual sailing safety measures, we kept up with all proper guidelines regarding Covid.  Face masks, social distancing, handwashing and sanitizers were practiced everywhere we traveled.  I mentioned no yacht club visits, but, we were thankful we could enjoy all the wonderful New England eats with outside dining!  Who would have thought our souvenirs would have been face masks!  Bar Harbor was the best with their creative way of supplying masks (mailboxes on the street with free masks for anyone!), maybe this was why Maine has such low Covid numbers!  There was also some witty ‘Maine’ humor to make it all a little lighter.

I mentioned we enjoyed many meals onshore, but, we ate onboard the majority of the time.  I did a lot of the cooking and baking onboard.  I slowly became friends with the boat’s oven and convection oven. Some hits and misses, but lessons learned. 

AYC tuna power salad recreated
Lots of fish dishes…
And sweets of course…

There were many funny moments onboard but I don’t want to bore you too much…  Our summer theme song for us was “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles.  Please watch my video as sometimes sailing can be slow and those on watch need to find something to pass the time, and Brian and Rich made the best of this passage…

My final photos are of the mighty Rover.  Yes, all the sites, people, places would not have been possible without our wonderful vessel.  Rover had a few hiccups along the way, but, overall performed beautifully and we couldn’t have asked for any better.  We are very fortunate to have Rover and we look forward to the rest of our voyages.  Lest I forget, Fetch, Rover’s trusty dinghy, sidekick, our car.   Always took us where we needed to go in style and comfort. 


Thankfully with the vaccine, Covid 19 may soon be aft of us, so we can continue our adventure.  As of now, maybe a short New England cruise this summer in preparation for our “sail abroad” this time next year, a Caribbean winter, then over the pond in 2022!  If anything, this year has taught us all to live life now and don’t take anything for granted.  We are grateful for our friends and family and we wish you all a safe and healthy New Year. 

Love, Peace, and Joy!




5 thoughts on “Rover Year End Review

  1. Thanks Rich. Ok to share this with to Sailing Club of Chesapeake members who are headed north next summer? One lives around the corner from you on Old Bay Ridge Road at the very end. Thanks and Happy New Year! Sue

    Sue Mikulski 410-212-0495 Anti-inflammatory Wellness Navigator Wellness on the Water



  2. Really extraordinary blog! Hope you all will consider joining AYC 2021 New England Cruise in the last two weeks of July. We can more than make up for hour lack of yacht club visits with sit down dinners at NYYC Harbor Court and Grest Harbor YC in Nantucket, among other great events. Cruisegram should come out soon for Jan.16 Zoom meeting. Again, extraordinary blog!

    Chuck Hurley
    AYC New England Cruise Leader

  3. Firstly – so glad you & the Rover team had such a fine summer cruise! Next- I have to say – what idiocy that disused cruise ships run what amount to fuel wasting genset circles! What I add is this – it seems that many cruise ships have been scrapped due to the financial balance result that fails in maintaining their care! Brave new world!

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