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

Monday, October 23, 2017

day four - Still Pond

I raise the anchor from the glassy harbor, work skiffs tied to post either side of Spartina.  We slip past the stone jetties at 1 knot, church bells ring in the distance and the voices of crabbers working their pots reach across the water.  The centerboard bumps the shoal off Swan Creek as I cut the corner too tighter.  An incoming tide helps carry us up the bay on a pretty morning.

The sun just coming over the horizon casts a shadow on the mainsail and I have fun trying to make a portrait of a lone sailor.  I open the foil pouch with white wheat bread from my Army MRE (meals, ready to eat) Menu 18, sweet and filling it makes for an enjoyable snack to go with my cup of fruit.  Making 1.9 knots.

We fall away from shore to find more wind, making 2.4 knots by 8:30, sailing NNE tracking a line of crab pots.  The wind falls then comes back again.

The ship channel, which generally runs a mile or more off the the eastern shore of the bay, curves into the beach near Tolchester where I see the Jacqueline C coming our way midmorning.  The ship turns back out onto the bay and we sail by at a little over 3 knots.  

Off of Fairlee Creek we begin a series of tacks up the shore in light winds.  With schools of menhaden on the surface I put out a trolling line and catch a striper not much larger than the lure itself.  Early afternoon making 4.0 knots near Worton Creek, a classic old Chesapeake Buy boat passes heading north up the bay.

About 2:00 there is slightly more wind but can also feel the tide beginning to ebb.  Tacking into the Plum Point, the last point before turning into Still Pond, I tack out away from shore and can feel Spartina losing ground to the tide.  I sail in closer to the beach where there is less tide running.  Approaching the point where a tree sits with an eagles nest, the eagle takes flight.  I tack back out, the eagle returns to the nest and, even with shorter tacks I still don't make any headway.  Tack back into the shore, the same point with the same tree and the eagle takes flight again.  Out away from shore I turn back in for one more attempt, come in to the tree with the point and for the third time the eagle takes flight.  Frustrated I start the outboard, letting the eagle have let the eagle have some peace.

Less tide and more wind at Rocky Point, we sail past the markers and into the narrow entrance to Still Pond, a beautiful anchorage with a coast guard station to the west, a few homes hidden in the trees on the southern shore, and tree-lined shore to the north.  

There is no wind and it is a hot afternoon.  I slip over the side for a relaxing swim.  I want to feel fresh and clean, I'll sail with fresh shirt and pants tomorrow.


Unknown said...

That north shore in Still Pond opposite the CG station is where I learned to sail, canoe, row and swim. Our boy scout troop leader was friends with the owner of that large farm and that is were we went for summer camp for 2 weeks at the end of June. Fond memories of that place. The coasties used to have a float plane that would send all of us in boats scattering when they wanted to take off or land.

Steve said...

That is a great anchorage, Kevin. So glad the north shore remains pristine. Even on the south shore the houses are hidden in the trees. No float planes but there was an deadrise that came in with a bunch of kids from a tour on the water. A nice place and I envy your memories of the place. steve