Cast off from Pate Boat Yard at 9:30, clear blue skies and unseasonably cool with a solid west wind rustling through the trees. Before heading down the narrow canal to Jones Bay I tell Shawn that I had hope to make Broad Creek today. "With this wind you'll be there in no time," he says.
We round up on Jones Bay at 9:45 raise sails and head downwind at 4.0 mh. Some gusts come down the bay and our speed varies from 3.5 to 5.0, sometimes wing and wind and sometimes not. It's cool and comfortable and the sails give me shade from the morning sun.
At 10:20 we are off the green marsh grasses of Maiden Point, Boar Point a thin line on the horizon to the southeast. We are making incredible time with the west wind and I think about trying to make Adams Creek.
Making Boar Point and turning south the stiff wind is now on the beam. I round up to tuck in a reef on Sound Bay and as I put the reef hook in the grommet on the mainsail I am aware of something moving near my right shoulder. I glance back to see a seagull hovering just a couple of feet away. I raise my arm and the seagull flies off. Turning back to reef I feel the bird coming back. I shoo him away a second time. Back to reefing and the bird makes a third visit - attracted by what I don't know. Instead of shooing him away I reach for my camera and the bird suddenly becomes camera shy. I get the first reef in and the gps stills shows a speed of 7.2 mh. I round up again and tuck in the second reef.
Crossing the mouth of the Bay River we pass by a shrimper and a few cruising boats headed up the ICW. Maw Point before noon, small white sandy beaches mixed in with the marsh shoreline ahead. Calmer water past the point and we make 5.5 mh. Soon we are off Swan Island, the gusts dropping and I shake out the second reef. Hardly a cloud in the sky.
The wind falters, swings east and then back west. Full sail looking for a steady breeze. We find choppy water crossing Lighthouse Shoal, Spartina rolling in the waves. Won't make Adams Creek tonight. Past the shoals we turn west into Broad Creek and then catch light breezes up into Green Creek.
I spend the afternoon napping, cleaning up the boat and doing some organizing. An osprey hovers over the water, seems to change its mind, flies to the other side of the creek, hovers and dives, coming up with a small fish. I watch large cownose rays swim beneath Spartina. Later in the afternoon I see water churning behind the boat. Puppy drum feeding? I pay out the anchor line to get within casting distance. From there I can see it is not puppy drum, but a huge school of small cownose raise stirring up the bottom in search of food.
Beef stroganoff, with a little olive oil and cajun sunshine added, for dinner. Excellent.
Later in the evening the wind swings to the south and I can feel the swells rolling up the creek. We raise anchor and motor back to a tiny protected cove for the night.
7.2 mh max speed
4.3 mh moving average