My last three cruises have been affected by tropical storms of one sort or another. As of now the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia are hanging over the mid-Atlantic, making for what could only be miserable sailing. Fortunately I'm not casting off until this weekend when the weather should be clearing. Should be clearing, famous last words. Check out those temperatures next week, the low 70s. Wouldn't that be nice.
I've been asked about my packing list. Much of that list is in my head, but for a basis I always used the old, probably out-of-date by now, required equipment list for the Watertribe Challenge. In my opinion it is a pretty good starting place for packing a boat.
Great day of sailing yesterday, the last day sail before the fall cruise. The seasons are definitely changing. The water at the ramp, that I have to walk out into to launch the boat, was distinctly cooler than a few weeks ago. The river itself was full of baitfish, which drew in the dolphins and dive-bombing pelicans.
Today was the start of packing. I organized some of the gear, did a SPOT test, finished sorting the food, dug out the hypothermia kit. I'll start with log and note books.
Food will be pretty much the same as the last few sails. Freeze dried meals for dinner (cooked with Webb's tip of a little extra water and a little extra cooking time in the pouch, and Curt's idea of "dressing" the meals with some olive oil), canned tuna salad and cups of fruit for lunch, breakfast bar and a cup of fruit for breakfast.
Today was just a start, I'll put a little time each evening this week. And probably ought to change the outboard oil too.
A very cool video about small boats. It some nice video work from Barry and Eddie, plus several members of the Chesapeake Float make an appearance. Looking forward to seeing some of those guys in a couple weeks at St. Michaels.
A steady breeze, clear skies. Town Point Park filled with families waiting to enjoy this year's Opera in the Park. We make a couple of passes down the waterfront with wind on the beam. Children wave, a teen shouts "I love that boat," smiles, thumbs up from men, a woman applauds. I wave back, and hide behind my dark sunglasses.
I did some touch up on the deck paint this afternoon. Not enough of a touch up to hide the workboat finish, more just putting a coat or two of paint on the dings and worn areas. Didn't even use a ounce out of the quart can, will save it for spring and repaint the entire deck.
Also bagged individual portions of the dried fruit - mangos, papaya, pineapple and strawberries. Next menu item to pick up will be some pumpkin seeds and cashews. Plenty of freeze dried meals on hand, breakfast bars and cups of fruit too. Got a few weeks yet but it is nice to get organized.
I walked into West Marine this morning thinking I would be spending $25 on a can of varnish. $50+ later I walked out with the varnish ($30 for a pint) plus a short piece of line for the boom tent and some replacement bungee cord to hold the boom tent and duffel full of freeze-dried meals up agains the inside of the hull up forward.
I've been thinking about the sailing plan which will be a little different because the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival in St. Michaels comes right in the middle of the cruise. Usually I'm sailing up or down the Bay, this time I'll do a lot of exploring on the small rivers, creeks and coves. I'l put in at Cambridge and probably sail no farther north than Rock Hall, no farther south than the Little Choptank. Just look at the miles and miles of shoreline between Rock Hall and the Little Choptank.
At the north end there is Rock Hall (home to friends Fred and MaryLou). I might go into Rock Hall or nearby Swan Creek, or maybe up the Chester River to the Corsica River. I guess it all depends on wind.
I'll probably revisit one of my favorite and best anchorages, Warehouse Creek just off Cox Creek, or maybe explore Crab Alley right next door.
After the weekend festival in St. Michaels I'll most likely head south to the Choptank and Little Choptank. I've put red X's on past anchorages no the Little Choptank, looks like there is a lot more to explore. Plus I've had some excellent luck fishing in the Little Choptank.
Anyway, with thunder rumbling outside, the remnants of Tropical Depression Eight offshore and a forecast of Tropical Storm Hermine being nearby over the weekend, I'm hoping for good weather late September and early October. I can dream, can't I??