Thursday, November 19, 2020

day twenty-four - downwind to Cambridge


A breezy, cool and comfortable night tucked back in the cove.  Forecast is for a lot of wind.  I tie in both sets of reef points then tie the mainsail tightly to the boom.  Not sure if I'll be needing it today.  6:55 sail off anchor, mizzen and jib making 2.8 leaving the cove.  


Chocolate hazelnut Rx bar, buffalo bar and mixed fruit for breakfast as we sail down Warehouse Creek, 4.3.  At 7:10 enter Cox Creek just as the sun comes over the trees.  The sun feels good.  Two crabbers working trot lines.  7:30 leaving Cox Creek, entering Eastern Bay and I can see Poplar Island in the distance.  Outside the channel markers round up to raise the double-reefed main.  Soon shake out the first reef.  Jot down speeds of 4.3, 5.1 and then 5.9 going down the face of a wave.


At 8:30 Bloody Point due west, 4.6 to 5.1 with wind on the starboard quarter, easy sailing.  Bright sun, not a cloud in the sky.  Out of the lee of Kent Island at 8:55, making over 6 kts on rough water.  Approaching Poplar Island Narrows at 9:15, 6.5 down the face of a wave.  Wind building and too much sail up.  9:25, bring down the mizzen, fighting the wind to get it down.  Still too much sail.  Off Lowe's Wharf round up to bring down the main.  Raise the mizzen but with wind on the beam one of the battens on the mizzen catches in the lazy jacks.  Two deadrises working the clam beds nearby.  They are too busy to look but would have seen an awkward sailboat with jib and half-raised mizzen hung on the jacks.  I sail downwind to pick up enough speed round up into the waves, slack the mizzen halyard and pull it up quickly and I've got the full mizzen up.  


At 9:50 sailing at 4.8, hit 7.7 in a puff, then 7.3 sliding down a wave.  There's a lot of surfing down waves as we pass by the entrance markers to Knapp's Narrows.  GPS shows 8.1 on a steep wave.  At 10:15 Blackwalnut Point to the southeast.  Round the point at 10:50, clear shallow water near the point and birds diving on baitfish.  Looking down I can see the shadows of stripers chasing the smaller fish.  


Wind on the beam heading up the Choptank River.  Hot and the sun, so welcome this morning, beats down on the little boat.  1:00 passing Castle Haven Point, 3.5.  Howell Point at 1:50, gusty and making 4.5.  


Hambrooks Bar Light at 2:30, 3.8 as we turn towards the Cambridge municipal marina.  Sails down 2:45 and it is a battle to maneuver in the strong wind in the marina.  Sort of a hard landing on a floating pier, talk with the dock master and he has me move to the farthest corner, a nerve wracking motor through high-end boats.  No damage done and docked 3:40.  

33.45 NM for the day.


Hot afternoon, wind finally dropping off early evening.  A short walk to Snapper's for dinner.


A good trip, good to be back in Cambridge.  400.24 NM total, 460.70 statute miles.



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