At first light, I got out of my hammock tent, which has been very comfortable so far, and again found Katie floating near where I left her high and dry, restrained from the outgoing tide by the line attached from her bow to a tree branch. I decided to pass on a cereal breakfast, and had another Cliff bar and I got everything packed up, and then input into all of the storage compartments in the kayak, with everything in its proper place. This packing up process was getting more efficient over these first several days. By 8 AM, we were on our way. I stopped at the marina to dump the tiny amount of trash, and fill up some water bottles, and took the ebb tide out to the north to exit Fairlee Creek. Another spectacular day, and this time, there would be no emergencies to mar the experience. Just a good day all around. This part of the Bay is where the shipping lane comes very close to the shore on the eastern side, and there are warnings about the large wakes that can occur with commercial ship traffic, but there were no issues this day. I stopped at Tolchester marina for a rest, and called Grace to let her know that everything was fine. In another hour, I found myself coming around Hodges Bar, when I saw before me a great sight – the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the distance. How neat to see that all of these miles actually add up to something. I turned left to head east into Rock Hall, determined to find some hot food, which has eluded me since Sunday (at least hot food prepared by someone else!). I found a residence with a small beach in the back of their yard, with small kayaks in the back of their garage. Their house looked very friendly, and I felt comfortable leaving everything there. I took my wallet, chart, I Phone and charger and went to find a suitable restaurant. Bad news, no restaurant within a mile and a half. A man came out of the marina office and offered to let me take one of the bicycles that marina guests use, as long as I bring it back. I assured him I would. He directed me to a good place known for their burgers. I peddled the distance thinking about how that beer and the burger would taste. There was nothing else on my mind during the ride, other than how wonderful the day was turning out to be, sunny, bright with a mild breeze to keep me cool. I cannot recall ever eating a better bacon (with red onion) cheeseburger!
When I returned the bike and went to the private residence to pack up, the owner came out looking very confused as to why I was there. After I explained, she was fine, and waved me off as I proceeded out of the harbor. I paddled down a fairly boring stretch called Easter Neck, and turned east before Easter Neck Island. I needed to cross the Chester River, and with the increasing wind coming out of the west, decided to cross that river further up. This would add miles to the trip, but be safer. I then crossed the mile and a half distance over to Butler Cove, and my back was telling me that we were done. So, I found a small stand of trees near a beach, and decided to camp there for the night. The trees were surrounded by high grass next to a large farm field of corn, and I followed a deer trail into the trees, and found exactly what I was looking for. Again I passed on cooking anything that night – too tired and it was late. After a good bowl of cereal, I secured the kayak and headed to bed. While eating, I noticed a bi-plane constantly buzzing the field – just like the movie North by Northwest. As the light faded under another spectacular sunset, I retired to my tent, to another good night, interrupted only by the cough I had developed from the cold that started on Monday. But all in all, a very good day, one that I rated a 4. We did 19.6 miles (all mile references are in standard miles), and we had a great burger. I fell asleep knowing that the next night, I would be spending with my sweetheart.