It was a social media chat room about Chesapeake Bay photography that introduced me to Darlene and Tom, and we hit it off immediately. While discussing our many shared interests, Darlene and I eventually moved from public posts to private text messages, where we shared our stories. She told me they had sold their home and were awaiting construction of Jewel Box, their Legacy 42 Sedan, where they'd join the ranks of liveaboards. We looked forward to spending a day together on Jewel Box when she was finally in the water.
The following season, on a hot, sunny afternoon, Darlene texted: "We're in Annapolis. Can we pick you up tomorrow? Bring a friend!" We were excited.
The next day Darlene and Tom picked us up at a local nautical watering hole. We climbed aboard and got acquainted in the saloon like old friends. Darlene and I made our way up to Jewel Box's flybridge, and amid snacks, selfies, and laughter, we shared face-to-face the lively conversations that previously existed only as characters on a screen.
Around us, the Chesapeake shimmered and rippled in a painter's palette of blue, silver, and white. For me, the day delivered two gifts: a connection that cemented wonderful bonds of friendship that has only grown stronger through the years and a perfect day on the water. That, to me, is the powerful beauty to be found aboard a boat.