Saturday, May 12, 2012

day two - dark, then light

I wake at 6 a.m., no rain is falling but water is puddled along the forward edge of the thwart near my head.  I reached out with the sponge and sop it up, squeezing the sponge over the side without leaving my sleeping bag.  The corner of the bag is damp, most likely from water dripping down through leak in the boom tent.  And I can feel dampness along the edge of my sleeping mat inside the bivy.

It is cold, dark and windy.  The wind had swung, as forecast, to the NE.  The clouds are thick, dark and very low.  I wish I had shoes, the deck is cold.

I motor out of the creek and reach open water at 6:35.  Under sail a few minutes later, the wind fails.  I motor out of Back Cove and start to cross Kedges Straits under power.  The wind returns halfway in the middle of the strait and I sail up Tangier Sound with my sleeping gear spread out on the foredeck, trying to dry the bivy and sleeping bag. I've layered on a couple of shirts, a light-weight jacket and my foul weather gear.  The darkness makes it feel colder.

Weather radio says I am dealing with two fronts.  One that arrived overnight and is dissipating, another one arriving mid-day.  The wind seems to be shifting as I tack north between South Marsh Island and Deal Island.  Sun reaches down through the clouds at 8:30 to make me feel a little better.

About a half dozen fishing boats are trolling the fishing area marked as Chain Hole just west of Deal Island.  I put out a lure and troll for a while, then bring the lure back in.  I can easily troll in the rough chop, but decide that I do not want to have to stand on the cold damp deck and reel in a fish as the boat pitches about.  Spartina sails comfortably at a little over 3 knots, no spray coming over the side onto my drying sleeping bag and bivy.

Skies lighten throughout the morning.  Late morning the wind swings to the W, maybe the second front arriving.  I sail NW at 3 knots to the east of Bloodsworth Island.  The wind seems, for the first time today, consistent.

Then wind fails, only to quickly fill back in.  Blue skies come with the breeze.  It is warm enough to take off the foul weather gear, but I'm enjoying being a little too warm and I leave the extra layer on.

Early afternoon it gets almost hot and I strip off the foul weather jacket and my lightweight jacket as I cross Hooper Strait into Fishing Bay.  I consider anchoring at Goose Creek a few miles up Fishing Bay, decide it is too early in the afternoon and turn back to Hooper Strait.  The water is calm and surprisingly clear, the warm sun feels good.

I duck back out into Hooper Strait and turn NW paralleling the eastern shoreline of the Honga River at 4.4 knots.  We are in the lee of Lower Hooper Island and the water is calm and protected.  I sail holding the tiller with my knee and enjoy the afternoon.

Looking at the map I see Crab Point Bay offers protection from the E, S and W.  I pick out what I think is Crab Point in the distance, but my gps tells me it is much closer.  Soon a small stand of trees marks the point.  I round it under a failing breeze and enter the cove.  My cb touches bottom as I cut too close to the point, I raise the board and continue on.

The water is clear enough I can see the grasses growing on the bottom.  It is quiet an peaceful in the cove.  Anchor down just before 5:00. 


distance traveled       31.6 nm
moving time             10 hours 7 minutes
moving ave                2.8 knots

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