That is my favorite sight in the rear view mirror of the jeep - Spartina. I finally got to see it yesterday morning driving down the highway to the boat ramp. It seems like it had been a long time since I had sailed. Between getting daughters off to college, work and the hurricane it has been a very busy few weeks.
Not only was I going sailing, I was going sailing with a good forecast. Sunny, temperatures in the 80's and steady wind out of the southwest.
Rigging Spartina was a treat as I could look across the eastern branch of the Elizabeth River and watch the history liberty ship John W. Brown being lowered gently into the water on a drydock. I had been noticing the ship over the last few weeks, she must have been in the yard for routine maintenance. I had seen the ship once or twice before, both here and in her homeport of Baltimore. One of the things I enjoy sailing on the Elizabeth River, a very industrial river, is seeing ships such as this.
The breeze lived up to the forecast, anywhere from eight to twelve miles an hour out of the SW. A bit smoky as first as we are still getting the smoke plume from the remnants of the Dismal Swamp fire (after flooding much of the coast don't you think Hurricane Irene would have put it out??), then the wind shifted slightly and the air cleared.
I broke out the SPOT and my gps for the first time since sailing into Chestertown on day nine of our Spring cruise. With the next cruise just a couple of weeks away I wanted to test them out. I quickly found that the batteries in the gps nearly dead. I replaced those, and I'll replace the batteries in the SPOT too before the cruise.
I wanted to use the SPOT just to make sure I remembered how. The tracking feature is not exactly intuitive and I had to think a while before remembering that the trick was to push and hold down the "ok" button for at least five seconds. Soon the lights were blinking and I knew that the tracking was working correctly.
Above is my SPOT track for yesterday's sail. Down the Elizabeth River on Town Point Reach, rounding the coal yards, tacking back to the south and then a couple of hours of sailing back and forth across the junction of the eastern and southern branches of the river. A very nice six hours on the water.
I realized yesterday that I have a very short time until the next cruise. Just about three weeks until I cast off out of Crisfield, Md. Between now and then I've got a five day road trip down south for work. Time is getting tight. More on the preparations later.