Half way up the Chesapeake Bay and today marks the longest day of the year. Summer Solstice. Katie and I have been living in a summer-like season for a while. This day represents nothing to me besides the fact that us Grandmas will struggle to stay awake for the evenings late sunset. Flipping back in time through my journal to exactly one year ago, I was writing about the bittersweet day we decided to turn around in the Exumas and head back to the states. Ironic because just moments ago we were discussing turning around right now, to head back to the Bahamas. My thoughts a year ago happen to be identical to today’s. Conflicted. There is a wild something pulling us back to Michigan. The completion of America’s Great Loop keeps us moving. It doesn’t have to be the end, just a mission completed. The Chesapeake Bay is marking our northerly progress. Distance between us and home now feels closer than the distance between us and the Bahamas. It’s silly that 365 days prior I was completely torn between wanting to go on forever and wanting to go home. You’d think I’d have it figured out by now. I don’t. Actually there are a lot of things I thought I’d have figured out by now. The weather in the Chesapeake Bay is equally as confused as us gals. Like our moods, constantly changing and unpredictable – it evolves every half hour. Hot, cold, chilly, sweaty, wind, no wind, gusty, glassy surface, choppy, little waves, big waves, clouds, no clouds, sunny, rainy, pouring, etc. It finally feels like we are on the East Coast that I had imagined. Open water, dreary skies and ever-changing weather. Hanging out in my yellow bibs, anticipating the next rain cloud since they come out of nowhere. Within moments a blue sky turns black, and a calm surface becomes aggravated. My bibs are my mothers from the 80’s. I look like a fisherman, not a sailor. Yesterday we ran aground in a narrow channel exiting our anchorage. It was foolish for us to leave when we did. We knew the day before we had entered the channel at high tide, with only a foot under us. In the morning, when we hoisted up the anchor you could tell that the ground was nothing but soft mush. With that knowledge, we figured pretending to be invincible meant we could exit the shallow channel at low tide, driving over/through the mush. Not so much. We gently ran Louise onto the ground, and waited nearly three hours. The local fisherman were perturbed by Louise’s placement in the center of a tiny channel. The Osprey in the nest a boat length away, also made it apparent we were overstaying our welcome. Finally the rising tide spoke, “Okay girls, you can go now.” The East coast’s dense population of family and friends has us zig zagging the Chesapeake. These towns endlessly surprise me with their charm. Annapolis, which neither of us knew a thing about, quickly hurdled to the top of the ongoing “places to potentially live” list. I think I love the East coast. Who knew? I mean, this side of America is pretty cool. Everyone should travel the Great Loop. I will most likely ship my children off to do this whether they want to or not. This circle holds many lessons I don’t think could be learned any other way. We want to give an enormous shout out to everyone who took us in and spent time with us as we traveled through the Chesapeake. Haley & John Demyanovich, Bill & Bonnie Sweeney, Martha & Jake Mitchell, Jim & Elizabeth Gamble, Aunt Midge & Uncle Mike, and Merissa Cope. You guys are amazing, thank you for everything.