Tuesday, October 27, 2015

day eight - seeking shelter

Awake at 6:45 after a calm night.  In the darkness a small boat runs a trotline up the creek.  Trees protect us from the wind, but still a couple gusts shoot down the water.  Weather radio reports gale warnings offshore.  Sail off anchor under mizzen and jib, raising the double reefed main as the creek opens up.  Cool at sunrise, a light overcast.  On the Tred Avon at 7:45, I round up again to get a better set on the main.

Just over two knots down the Tred Avon as buy boats, one colored powder blue, head up the river.  Benoni Point and the Choptank River before 9:00, three clammers working just outside the point.

On a beam reach we make over 4 knots, an eagle flying along the treeline.  Eagles now a constant presence.  We shake out a reef and turn towards Irish Creek for some exploring.  A fledgling eagle in a tree on the point, no parents to be seen.  Further up the creek, in the second stand of tall pines, two adult eagles share a branch.  Gusts are picking up.  Four deadrises work trot lines on the creek, three of them meeting together for a few minutes out on the open water.  I get a friendly wave from one of the captains.  More gusts and I tuck in the second reef.  Turning down wind we leave the creek at 11:00, adult eagles on the point, fledgling nowhere to be seen.

We troll across the mouth of Broad Creek, two skipjacks and two buy boats heading up the Choptank.  It must be the weekend for the skipjack races.  

Change Point at noon, a picnic table and two white chairs under a tree on the point.  Forecast for tomorrow is wind in the 40's and three to four inches of rain.  We sail up Harris Creek with the idea of finding shelter in Cummings Creek near the little village of Wittman.  I listen to the forecast again, bad tomorrow and probably the next day.  I think of spending a couple of days under the boom tent in heavy rain.  The gusts pick up, clouds darken.  I drop the main, tie it tightly to the boom, push the tiller over and head downwind.  A hotel in Knapp Narrows sounds like a good idea.

Late afternoon.  Spartina is tied up in a slip.  I sit at the outside bar at Marker 5, a new restaurant.  They let me drink iced tea and don't charge me.  I email with friends and family, fill out the log book, writing down 24 nm.

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