"When I think of all the fools I've been it's a wonder that I've sailed this many miles." -Guy Clark

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

day three - calm before the storm

Slept in until 7:00.  Rain overnight, sometimes light and sometimes a steady drizzle.  The boom tent worked very well, kept the boat dry and I slept comfortably in the sleeping bag and bivy.  I see two deadrises working trot lines on the creek as I tuck away the sleeping gear and tent.  As we sail off anchor at 7:30 one of the boats, Double Trouble, turns to put out a trot line across my anchorage.  The second boat, Buzz Buster, runs up alongside to take a look at Spartina.  I ask the waterman if I had been in their way.  "Not at all," he says.  "Never seen one like that," he smiles, pointing, towards Spartina.  He told me to be safe, I wished him a good day, and the waterman went back to work.

The Chester River is very quiet.  Low overcast, glassy water and a light breeze.  We make slow tacks with uncertain progress across the wide river towards Gray's Inn Creek.  I check in with friends Fred and MaryLou and we talk about getting together near their Rock Hall home.  Light rain, light wind.  Light rain moves on, light wind stays.  I check the weather forecast to hear storms forecast for tomorrow.  I have a decision to make.  Continue on across the river, spend the night there and come back through the Narrows in stormy conditions.  Or turn back now, get some lunch at the Narrows and find shelter off of Eastern Bay for the night.  I turn back to the Narrows.   

I motor sail back to the narrows, tie up to top of the gas can, then tie up across the water for lunch, the mizzen boom jutting beneath the bow of a large motor cruiser.  I am pleased to see that Harris Crab House has kept their price for a crab cake sandwich under $10, most waterfront spots want $15 to $18 these days.  The crab cake sandwich arrives, a tiny crab cake on an open biscuit.  So that's how they do it.  Good lunch so I can't complain.  

We make the 2:00 opening through the Kent Narrows Bridge, a gentlemanly bridge tender wishing me well.  Blue skies work their way through the clouds, not much wind to speak of but I raise full sail anyway.  A handful of head boats full of fishermen head back to the docks leaving rolling wakes on the calm water.  I wonder how many stripers are in the coolers.  We leave Parsons Island to port still under power.  A light wind crops up and finally we are under sail across Crab Alley Bay with Turkey Point in sight.  I sit in the shade of the mainsail - it is turning into a hot day - and try not to rock the boat as we ghost along at under 2 kts.   It is quiet save for the sounds of Spartina's hull and ospreys crying in the distance. 

I hear the drag on the trolling rod go off and reel in a just barely legal striper, one that is quickly returned to the water.  Gentle sailing at 1 kt.  The wind falters off Turkey Point then fills in again once around the point and on Cox Creek.

We sail north on Cox Creek for a little over a mile then branch off to the northwest on Warehouse Creek.  Just a few homes on the creek, mostly lined by marshes and trees.  The creek ends with three separate pools of calm water, each surrounded by tall trees.  I choose the cove to port, just trees and marsh and a small barn in sight, dropping the anchor in about four feet of water.

Dinner and reading, then checking the forecast to hear that storms are on the way for the next few days.  I relax and enjoy a beautiful evening.

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