Thursday, October 22, 2015

day seven - Plaindealing Creek

Up at 6:30, cool clear night.  Sailing off anchor before 7:00, downwind at 3.3 knots.  One of the adult eagles is on the tall dead pine tree on the point, the fledgling nearby on a shorter tree.  The second adult flies out of the thicket of live pines, hovers over the creek and dives down to the water.

We round the point into the Little Choptank, sailing towards Hills Point with wind on the beam, the gps going from 3 kts to 4, then 5.5.  The water is choppy at the point, we skirt the shallows and sail through the fields of crab pot markers, deadrises working their pots nearby.  Big waves out in the deeper water and we tack back into Trippe Bay and calmer water.  We make a few more tacks north along the bay as eagles feed near the shoreline.  

We round Cook Point before 10:00, entering a very rough Choptank River.  We tack into the NE wind, seeing schools of menhaden feeding on the surface and charter boats trolling back and forth in search of stripers.  The water boils in places, stripers chasing bait from below brings in the seagulls to feed on the surface.  I think about sailing towards the fish to make a cast or two but the charter captains with paying customers are already on their way.  

Wind falls off late morning tacking towards the Tred Avon River.  Sunny and warm and I'm looking forward to a nice lunch.  Three clam boats work near the point, dirty and rust covered.  Just off Benoni Point the wind fills in and brings along strong gusts.  I've got full sail up and think about taking in a reef, but I can see the entrance to Oxford and keep sailing, rounding up as the gusts hit.  They become stronger and stronger but I can see them coming on the surface of the water and they are not a problem.  

Sails down at 1:30 and we motor into Town Creek, wind rustling across the water.  I tie up at Schooner's with the wind on the beam, a little hectic getting the lines on with Spartina being pushed away from the dock but we get it done.  At the outdoors bar I sit in the shade and order a burger and a couple of glasses of iced tea.  Two guys give me grief about the sailboat, ask where the rest of my crew is, tell me I ought to have a power.  They drink those tiny cans of beer, two or three in a row, and if they are going to drink that much I wonder why they don't just order a 12 oz. can.

I walk to the Oxford Market and get a couple of bottles of tea.  Back at Schooners the waitress lets me refill my water bottles at the bar.  Then it's time to cast off.  Full sail on the Tred Avon at 3:30, exploring creeks and the shoreline in search of a protected anchorage.  Hidden from the wind by tall pines we ghost up Plaindealing Creek and drop anchor in a small cove.

I fill out my log but can't remember where we began the day.  I flip through my notebook to find it was Brooks Creek off the Little Choptank.  That seems like a long time ago.  I write down 32 nm at the end of the entry.  An eagle flies overhead in the evening light.


Baydog said...

Steve, I don't always comment, but I almost always read your entries. Love how you write; hope one day I get back in the game. My Dad would have lived for your posts!

Baydog said...

And Menhaden is a glamorous name for Moss Bunker! The Jersey Shore's crabbing industry would be nowhere without them. My cousins and I grew up buying frozen moss bunker for our crab traps, and killies for the eel traps...

Steve said...

Thanks, Dave, I appreciate that. Will miss having a beer for your Dad at Sultana this year. steve