Monday, October 29, 2018

day three - rain, rain, rain

Rain.  A cold steady rain.  All night long.  It ends at 7:00 as I break down the boom tent.  I check the forecast to see overcast all day, rain starting again late afternoon.  Low grey clouds with a NE wind.  Sails up 7:30.  Hand Point at 7:55.  And rain begins to fall (the weather must not have listened to the forecast).  I can see the Kent Narrows bridge up ahead and go under power to try and make the 8:30 lift.  I get there with, I think, just minutes to spare but the bridge tenders tells me I will have to wait, the old corroded watch on SPARTINA must be running fast.  

There's an ebb tide but it is not running fast, we power through easily.  SPARTINA is the only boat to go through.  It is cold, rainy and dark, I feel lonely.  We motor north and reach the Chester River by 8:50, sails up and making 4.5 kts in the rain.

Off Wickes Beach by 9:20, 4 kts and weather radio is sounding worse and worse.  Rain all day, all night, and again tomorrow, high winds coming through beginning the early morning hours.

Just after 10:00 I can make out the water town at Rock Hall, 4.5 kts in rain and chop.  I get a text from Mary Lou.  She and Fred saw my tracks going north out of Kent Narrows.  They are on their way north too, in their powerboat cruiser, the weather chasing them to their Rock Hall home.  Rock Hall is a nice place.  With the forecast maybe a time for a weather day.  I text back that I'm heading into Rock Hall, we make plans to meet for dinner.  

Approaching Rock Hall I see I have come in too high, I should have started tacking in earlier.  I begin a series of tacks into the harbor, dodging a series of cruising boats - both sail and power - coming home early because of the weather.  I was under sail and had right of way but tacked to keep clear of the boats heading for both Rock Hall and Swan Creek.  

The closer we get to Rock Hall the heavier the rain.  At 11:00 I see a green marker that tells me I'm farther away from the channel entrance than I thought.  Distance can be deceiving in bad weather. 

With four hours of rain the water is building up on the bunk flat up forward on SPARTNA.  The wind is good and I have a good course to I don't want to round up.  I tie the tiller in place and the boat holds a steady course while I go forward to use the bilge pump.  In fact I'm pleased at how well she holds her course.  One more tack at Hummingbird Point and we turn back towards the channel entrance.  Tied up Rock Hall Landing Marina at 1:00, checked in at the Mariner's Motel soon after.  Yes, a weather day sounds good.


Bruce Bateau said...

Rain and cockpit tents. Good to shed the stuff, but what about condensation? Does yours get pretty drippy inside? Mine sure does.


Steve said...

No, Bruce, it does't. I've got pretty good air flow coming from the forward end and I think the makes a big difference. And the aft end is completely open so air does't get trapped. steve