Sunday, October 18, 2009

on to Dividing Creek

With two fish on ice we headed southeast and entered the Miles River. To the south I could see a group of sails rounding the point from St. Michaels, the overnight fleet from the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.

Bruce and I turned east and then north as we entered the Wye River, a beautiful meandering River that surrounds Wye Island. We took the eastern branch and followed it to Dividing Creek, the anchorage for the overnight fleet. When we entered the creek, which was both long and wide, we were surprised to see four larger boats (three sail and one motor yacht) anchored there already. We later heard it was one of the more popular anchorages on that part of the bay.

We followed the creek all the way to the back and anchored where we could see a small clearing on the shore. We figured that must be where the camping would take place. (Turned out we were right.) Once we were settled in I got the fish out, that is the rockfish (also known as striped bass or striper) below, the blue fish and cleaned them. The fillets were zip-lock bagged and tucked away in our remaining ice.

About an hour later we looked down the creek and saw a series of small sailboats coming in to view. A total of eight boats, some single-handed, some with a few people on board, tacked in a light breeze up to our anchorage. Some of the boats were old classics, some were recently built. Some wood, some fiberglass. Some professionally built, others home made. They were all great boats. They looked great as they came up the creek.

I don't know the designs of all the boats in the fleet, but in the photo below you can see a Core Sound 17, at left, a Sea Pearl 21, center, and a John Welsford Navigator, second from the right.

In the Navigator, called Slip Jig, was Kevin B, a sailor and boat builder I had exchanged emails with over the last year or so. This was my first chance to meet him in person, also my first chance to see a Navigator on the water.

Kevin tied alongside Spartina, Bruce, Kevin and I spent an hour sitting in the warm sun, drinking a cold beer (thanks Kevin) and talking about boats and trips on the water. It was a treat. I was thrilled to hop into Slip Jig for a few minutes and get a feel of that classic design. Though I eventually built the Pathfinder, it was the Navigator that first caught my eye. What a great boat, and in this case, a very well built one.

Later on Pete Lesher, the curator of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum came by with supplies for the overnighters and stopped to say hello. He's a very nice guy that runs a great museum. (If you are ever on the eastern shore be sure to stop by in St. Michaels and check that place out - give yourself a few hours and even then you won't see it all.)

Later we motored over to shore, tied alongside the other boats and carried our food and stove up to the clearing for dinner. I guess the other sailors thought we were kidding when we said we had caught some fish. A few were surprised, to say the least, as they saw Bruce cooking up surf (our fresh fish filets) and turf (cubes of sirloin that had been frozen in our cooler since the start of the trip) with sauteed garlic, onion and sweet peppers and a side of mashed potatoes for dinner. Bruce took it seriously enough that he had me splashing white wine on the griddle in the final minutes of cooking - the steam from the wine, he said, softened the garlic and onion just right. It was a great meal and there was plenty to share with others. And the others were generous with their meals too. The wine, sitting around the campfire, tasted extra good that night. (I don't know what those guys thought about the boat or our cruise, but I think they were impressed by the chef.)

We carried our gear back down to the boat. I had to use the paddle to push Spartina off the mud bottom as the tide had gone out. We anchored out for a great evening. We could hear laughter and singing coming from the sailors on shore.

Just one more day to go for the Crab House 150.

Distance - 25.03 nm
Max Speed - 6.5 knts
Ave Speed - 3.4 kts
Moving Time - 7 hours 26 minutes

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I enjoyed reading your log and finding you had traveled through several of the same places.
I started 17 Sept. You missed the biggest house. On the Wye there was a place around 200-300 feet long with a 100 ft. long wind out the back. It was big enough to be a retirement home, but showed all the trappings of a private residence. I thought I had some nice pictures, but really enjoyed yours. Great job. I plan on returning in the spring for more, and after reading about Bruce's culinary skills in Dividing Creek, would like to get first dibs on booking him for my spring cruise. Knorr does a nice job with their packaged meals, but a month of them is more than enough. Loved your boat.