I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of person, so once it was obvious that Pegu Club’s damage wasn’t as bad as we had feared it was time to make the most of our layover in Delaware City. Frankly, I had never even heard of Delaware City before I started researching our trip, but by the end of our visit we both agreed that it would be a nice place for an annual stop.
With a population of approximately 1,700, Delaware City was the eastern terminus for the original Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) canal before its expansion and relocation in 1927. It has a nice paved path that runs along the canal between Delaware City and Chesapeake City, a large historic district, a small bodega, and a few shops and restaurants. Perhaps its greatest asset, however, are its friendly residents.
The warm and welcoming nature of the people we met made it clear that we are farther south than when we began our adventure. Everywhere we walked people said hello, and small business owners treated you like they had known you forever. For example, walking through the door of a local bank behind a gentleman just in front of us, the teller (who was sitting at a regular desk, not behind a high counter) greeted him by name. When I asked for quarters she asked me if I was going to play bingo, and we started chatting about where I might find a tournament.
In another case we had breakfast one morning at the The Sweetest Rose Cupcake Company and a woman came in to pick up an order of cupcakes. By the time she had left we knew that her son was having his 13th birthday that day, his party was that night at a local game place, and he and his friends were obsessed with the video game Fortnite so she was getting Fortnite-decorated cupcakes for him. Another gentleman was in the cafe having coffee, and when the cupcakes came out we all gathered to admire them. It just seemed like the natural thing to do.
Afterwards we had a nice conversation with the 32-year old store owner, and when she found out we were going to the New Castle Farmers Market that day she told us to make sure we had the cream-stuffed glazed donuts from the Amish section of the market. She had to decorate 1,000 cupcakes for an event the next day, so she was planning to stop by the market at 2:00 p.m. to buy 3 of the donuts and an order of ribs, and she said if she saw us there she would give us a ride back. That pretty much sums up Delaware City. We were completely charmed.
In addition to wandering around town and eating in a few local restaurants, Jeff and I took the bus to the aforementioned New Castle Farmers Market which was conveniently located by a Staples, Home Depot, and West Marine. The Farmers Market, open Friday – Sunday, has a flea market outside and seventy shops inside, including a large Pennsylvania Dutch section which had those amazing cream-stuffed glazed donuts (yes, we had one and resisted buying several more). You can get everything there from cowboy boots to a haircut. We had a great time wandering around, noshing on food items here and there and browsing through the shops. We would definitely go again, if for no other reason than to have another one of those donuts!
While we were exploring Delaware City, Pegu Club was getting repaired at the Delaware City Marina by Charlie. We spent two nights sleeping in their camper and after the first night I said to Jeff that I missed Pegu Club. There wasn’t anything wrong with the camper. It’s just that we had spent every night on Pegu Club since July 27th and she has become our home. I missed sleeping in the cozy v-berth and feeling her bobbing on the water.
Quickly enough, however, Pegu was getting lowered back in the water and we were back on board taking advantage of unlimited fresh water and electricity to give her a thorough interior cleaning. We also washed every speck of clothing – including our foulies – which had been salt-encrusted from our overnight passage to Cape May. It felt SO GOOD to get everything cleaned up, including ourselves!
By the time we pulled away from the dock we agreed that we had definitely enjoyed our few days of down time. Jeff had mentioned on our way back from the Farmers Market that this is how he envisioned cruising. Traveling a bit, exploring a bit, then traveling a bit more. I agreed that our stay had been very refreshing, and we decided that we needed to slow down and smell the roses. Granted, weather considerations will unavoidably dictate our schedule on occasion, but absent that there’s no need to rush.
Before our unexpected stop we had figured we’d blow through the Chesapeake and explore it on the way back in the spring so we could at least be in North Carolina before we go back to Connecticut for a few days. Now we’re going to just poke along and we’ll park Pegu Club wherever we happen to be. Colder temperatures will undoubtedly speed us up a bit at some point, but for now we’re going to get out of delivery mode and switch to cruising mode.
Next stop, Chesapeake City.