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Pals cruised local creek as Sandy moved east

 This eagle was one of the treats for visitors cruising Westmoreland County's Nomini Creek last weekend.
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Date published: 11/4/2012

THE APPROACH of a monster hurricane like Sandy looks one way on the Weather Channel but entirely different out on an open expanse of water.

We joined some friends at their place on Nomini Creek in Westmoreland County last weekend. There were 18 of us in all--not including our nine dogs.

These are always fun times. This was to be Halloween at the Creek--with plenty of treats including a bounty of oysters and a movie (Steven Spielberg's "War Horse").

With the presidential election just around the corner, I had some concerns that we'd get into politics and ruin an otherwise good time. But everyone seemed to understand that and my concern proved baseless.

The Weather Channel provided a constant background of doom and gloom. Even when nobody was watching, it was almost always on. I'd watch it for 10 minutes and then get another fix an hour or two later.

Now and then I'd take out ye olde iPhone and see what the weather and radar apps were forecasting.

It was all a variation on a foreboding theme. And this time, at least, it turns out they were not just hyping the storm to keep you glued to the tube.

At least it provided a change of topic from the presidential election, which has come to seem more like a permanent condition than something that comes along every four years.

All of a sudden, Bob Wallace provided the break our group really needed--a nice long boat ride. Bob brought his 24-foot Carolina Skiff to the dock and invited all who wanted a ride.

Half a dozen of us set out down the creek toward the Potomac River, several winding miles of creek away.

There were plenty of boats, but only a handful shared the water with us. Nearly all the others were hoisted up out of the water.

We did see one large, beautiful cruising sailboat at anchor in the creek. It flew a British maritime flag and the two folks aboard waved as we passed. They had wisely chosen a sheltered anchorage and planned to ride out Sandy.

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