Tuesday, September 25
It is a quick shot. The clay is released from the hi, then the low house and comes almost straight at you, as you instinctively blot the bird and yank the trigger. Done right, there is a fine powder in the air. Station 8 is a fun station in skeet. This was midday through my birthday and I decided to go to Talbot Rod and Gun Club and shoot a few rounds of skeet. It is a nice club; close to home; and the members there seem friendly and helpful. I shot pretty well at about 18/25 and my swing, lead and pre-shot concentration came back quickly. The day started with sleeping late, (always nice) and taking out the Whaler to see the 324th running of the ferryboat races on the Tred Avon River off Oxford. It was the Oxford ferry versus two paddle wheel boats from up the Choptaknk, near Suicide Bridge and the crowd was large and lively. When the starting gun when off and the small craft procession followed the racing vessels, it was if a flock of ducklings were trying to stay close to their parents but not swim past them, angering their leaders. No one wanted to get alongside the ferry and riverboats, as it seemed to be their day in the Sun. And it was. As these large 100 foot plus ships turned the corner on a triangular course, it seemed a David and Goliath moment, as the smaller ferry pulled up to the larger sister riverboats. Her gain quickly diminished as the riverboats gained steam and their paddles churned the water with determined aggression. The flotilla was also racing, but more out of desperation, as not to collide with other sail boats, center consoles and larger cabin cruisers. We took the open port side and sped ahead to catch up to the riverboat Dorothy & Megan. We looked to starboard beam, down the finish line to see her cross to a cacophony of air horns and steam whistles. It was great fun on the Tred Avon, and even those not on the three racing felt just as much a part of the festive race. Peeling off the main group of boats, we charted a course out into the Choptank. Heading toward Chlora Point, I slowed to five mph and let out a a nine inch umbrella rig with chartreuse shads. On a zig-zag course , we trolled for twenty minutes. I had a feeling it would be slow, so let my number one pirate captain the boat and i worked on an anchor line. We pulled in our line and meandered back to the dock under a nice breeze, sun overhead. With my number two pirate sleeping on the First Mates lap, I motored past our beach and back to our slip. After getting back from skeet and grilling a spectacular rib eye, I was truly grateful for my birthday, which was actually Tuesday. My family suggested we celebrate on Saturday. There is nothing like a good old fashioned Cast N' Blast!