Sails up at 6:30, clear skies and a light north wind. Making 2.8 out on the Miles River as the sun comes up. A starboard tack towards Parsons Island as a flock of terns dips close to the water.
I turn on the radio for an early morning football game between Baltimore and Jacksonville. The wind is not strong but it is steady and I enjoy the comfortable morning. Prospect Bay by 10:00 tacking to Kent Narrows. At Hand Point under power to the Narrows hoping to make the 11:30 bridge lift.
We reach the bridge and find ourselves third in line for the lift. With a strong ebb tide I keep the outboard a little above idle to hold steady in the rushing water. Four or five boats, big power boats, line up behind Spartina. The bridge begins to lift and I power up behind the big boat in front of me. I've got plenty of power to work against the current but as the boat ahead goes through the opening I see the the wide buttresses on either side of the opening are funneling the rushing tide. A wild current rushes around the power boat. I'm next in line so throttle up and move forward. Realizing how strong the current is I begin to wonder if I can make it. For a second I consider a hard turn to port and letting the other boats go by but instead head in to the opening. Spartina comes to a standstill in the current and a large boat comes up from behind giving me no way go but into the current. I open the throttle as wide as it will go. Spartina holds for a few seconds, then begins to inch forward. Halfway through the opening I realize we should be able to make it, I focus on keeping the hull pointed straight into the current. We make more ground and past the buttresses the current slacks and I fall off to the side in calmer water. The big boat aft of Spartina cranks up her power and runs on by. Nerves a little bit jangled I motor over to Harris Crab House, tie up to take a break. A nice lunch of fried flounder and we cast off before 1:00.
Full sail on the Chester River, tacking across the choppy water. Get a whistle and a wave from a big offshore boat passing by. Making 4.6 in the afternoon breeze. The wind has swung to the northwest and I realize I got a line for a single tack to Rock Hall. Off Eastern Neck making 3.6 on a port tack, really fine sailing. A Giants vs. Eagles football game keeps me company on the radio. Out of the Chester River the water is much calmer and the tide is working in our favor.
About 3:30 I pick out the green marker for the Rock Hall entrance channel. I text friends Mary Lou and Fred, they'll meet me when I'm in. It is nearly 5:00 as we pass the breakwater, I follow the channel markers to the east and then the north, tying up at the town wharf ahead of a Canadian boat that has just come in. My friends arrive and we head to the Harbor Shack for a light dinner and glasses of iced tea.
The channel in the harbor at Rock Hall has always struck me as odd. They form a path around the center of the harbor which is marked as being very shallow on the charts. But there are a handful of old work skiffs tied to piling out in the center. I realize the channels go around the center of the harbor which is set aside for small boats, small boats like Spartina.
After dinner I clean up Spartina and cast off, taking my place in the harbor with the old Chesapeake Bay skiffs. How nice.