Wednesday, November 16, 2016

day eight - perfect

Crystal clear overnight, calm and cool.  Up at 6:30 to a dew covered deck.  There is the choreography of changing clothes within the dry bivy, deflating the sleeping pad and pillow and rolling up the bivy to use the dry bunk flat - the only dry surface on Spartina, protected from the dew by the bivy itself - to pack all the gear away, then tossing the flotation pads aft for a dry place to sit while at the tiller.  Yes, sailing a small boat can be a wet affair, but why start the day in wet pants and shirt when you don't need to.  

The sun not yet up, we sail off anchor with a light wind.  Out on the river there is more of a breeze, making 2.9 kts with low hanging clouds to the NE.  The clouds follow us downriver and soon we are surrounded by fog.  With the fog comes a chill and I slip on my foul weather jacket.  V's of geese fly across the river, sometimes seen, sometimes just heard.

The farther downriver, the thicker the fog.  Roosters crowing and just over 3 kts at Indian Point.  We are on the wide part of the river and I navigate by gps.  The deadrise "Jersey Girl" passes by, the waterman culling his catch from his trot lines.  The sun begins to break through the fog at Turkey Neck Point.  Warmth.

More sun and more wind, now on the beam having rounded Change Point.  Making 4.6 and then over 5 up the Choptank toward the Tred Avon.  We track close to land on the calm water and sailing doesn't get much better.

Breezy and choppy crossing the wide mouth of Broad Creek, then calmer in the lee again from Deep Neck Point to Holland Point.  We pass Benoni Point just after 11:00, I look north up the Tred Avon towards Oxford to see the white hull, blue sail covers and Canadian flag of Kantala.  The water reflects the blue sky. Kantala gleams in the sun.  I smile.

Four tacks into the wind and we cut past the bow of Kantala, I round up to come alongside where Sheila waits to take the line but I've come in too fast and round up once more for a gentle approach.   Sheila grabs the line and I climb on board.  Soon Michael, Sheila and I are down below comparing our plans.  They are headed to a well-protected dock in Easton, I'm a day from Cambridge.  All is good.  Sheila makes some wonderful chicken salad sandwiches and we sit and talk about St. Michaels where they - big boat people - had a great time at the small boat festival.  After lunch Michael makes some phone calls checking on the weather, then I help them bring down their jib from the roller furling, though I suspect they could have, after sailing together for a few decades, brought it down more efficiently without me.  Oh well.  And then it is time to say goodbye again. 

Casting off from Kantala we are in the lee of Oxford and I raise full sail downwind towards Bachelor Point.  Reaching the point Spartina is fully exposed to the wind on the stern and a gust catches mizzen and main and we quickly round up to drop the main altogether.  No need for that in all this wind.  Mizzen and jib we make 5 kts up the Choptank.   

Past Chlora Point I round up and set a double reef main and start tacking into the gusty afternoon breeze.  It's choppy so I tack in close to the shore, turning towards Martin Point with wind on the beam in calmer water.  Just before 4:00 we sail past the concrete and metal channel markers into LaTrappe Creek, the water smooth and the wind blocked by the trees.

We round the sand spit into the first protected cove, then slip past the wooded point into a second pool of water, dropping anchor with a couple farmhouses across the water to the stern, trees to the bow, port and starboard.  Sheep wander in a small pasture behind one of the farmhouses.  A light rain passes over while cooking dinner, then evening comes.


MaryLou said...

Ah, LaTrappe. Lovely.

Steve said...

Yes, has to be one of the nicest anchorages on the bay. steve