One of the highlights of our recent trip to the Chesapeake Bay
was the two hour wine tasting cruise we took on Selina II
with Captain Iris. Selina II is a beautifully maintained vintage “catboat” almost 42 feet long. Built in 1926, Captain Iris is the granddaughter of her original owners. She is a sailor and a captain through and through, a woman who shoots from the hip, tells it to you straight and knows her wines. We discovered a new favorite chardonnay thanks to Captain Iris! Calina
chardonnay from Chile is perfect for summer.
We thought we’d ask the Captain a few questions….
1. What is the one harbor/town you’d like to return to and explore further?
There are so many I have not been to yet. Id rather explore them before I get to repeating places. High on my list of sailing trips is the coast of Turkey, Greece, and Portugal. On land I’d like to go to Nepal, Tibet, & Mongolia. But if I had to do a repeat, I would head back to Puerto Montt in Chile. Beautiful scenery populated by a wonderful mix of people with German & indigenous decent with warm hearts and open smiles. They have a delicacy of a giant barnacle picorocos worth going back for.
2. How many years have you been sailing?
I was solo at about age 8
Captain of Selina II?
Selina II came on my watch in 2001 (july 21)
3. What’s the most decadent sailing trip you’ve ever orchestrated for a client?
We are known for our customer service, and there really isn’t anything we wont do as long as it’s safe (and legal!). The most decadent trip I remember was spur of the moment. It was a party of four, and one of the gals sighed wistfully and said, “wouldn’t it have been nice if we could have had a crab cake lunch aboard?” I responded, “If you mean it, consider it done” and so it was. I called the Crab & Steak House, placed the order, orchestrated having Capt Dave on the Water Taxi bring the lunches out, and watched with glee as they devoured the best crab cake sandwiches, sweet potato fries, and fresh home grown garden tomatoes known to man, all served with wine, what else? A wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. As it happened, I had Chocolate Pirolenes aboard, and offered them for dessert with a sweet Syrah. They were some happy sailors!
We have a ton of engagements & weddings aboard every year, and they all have their own special charm, but the one that sticks out the most for me was a couple who came to renew their vows. They only shared a small part of their story with me, but it was clear there had been a great difficulty in their lives, children perhaps, and they had managed to ‘stay the storm’. The raw emotion, the baring of souls, the obvious pain and love, all culminating to this point: the recognition that they both honored each other as lovely human beings, and then recognized the gift each one was to the other. It was very beautiful, humbling, inspiring.
4. Your top three favorite restaurants or bars in the St. Michael’s area?
Love the St Michael’s Crab & Steak House (best bartender & a good seafood restaurant), Harbour Lights ( for fab fine dining- Chef David wins awards all the time.) and tied for third: Foxy’s (outdoor bar & grill for great crab cakes & margaritas) or Gina’s (tex mex with a HUGE heart).
5. Where to stay on land?
So many good spots, depends on what type of experience you are looking for. If you want upscale then the Inn at Perry Cabin. If you want small and intimate, then The Snuggery. Quiet, in-town, with a pool? Then the Old Brick Inn. Want your own cottage? Two Swan Inn would be your place. And the Harbour Inn, where Selina II is tied up, has wonderful waterfront suites with in room Jacuzzis and the best views in town.
Anything else you want to mention?
St Michael’s has a ton to offer. Definitely stop at the St Michael’s Winery for an afternoon of tasting their collection of 15+ wines. And then two doors down is Adrian’s & Lori’s Eastern Shore Brewery, producing really top quality micro brews (the official beer of Selina II). The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a must if you have the least bit of interest in things nautical, and for the golfer in the family there are 4 courses within 20 minutes of town. We also have 3 world class spas, and great shopping on the main drag (no flip flops and tee shirts here). Bike riding, horse back riding & kayaking are also readily available. And then at night one should take in the Carpenter Street Saloon. Words can’t describe the colorful experience to be had in this venerable watering hole.
Needless to say I love my little small town, its a great place to visit and a great place to live.
Well, we love you, Captain Iris! Thank you for a fantastic sunset, wine tasting cruise on the gorgeous Selina II. We can’t wait to go out again with you on our next visit.
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