Calm, peaceful night. I wake to a heavy dew on the boom tent. We drift off anchor in the shade of the trees on shore, the sails catching the light and the wind simultaneously. I want to explore. Looking at the chart I find up at the north end of the eastern branch of Langford Creek a place called Lovely Cove. I decide to see just how lovely it is.
Making a half knot up the creek, then nearly 2 kts at Orchard Point, farms and fishermen along the way.
Not the fastest sailing, but maybe the best kind on a cool fall morning.
Rounding Orchard Point I am rewarded with the sight of the classic 1925 buy boat "East Hampton," her white hull bright in the morning sun. We sail by slowly and I enjoy every minute of it.
Beyond "East Hampton" is Lovely Cove, and it is lovely with a great blue heron perched on a duck blind at the entrance. I can see a few boats tied to docks, then off to the side another, older dock that leads back into a tunnel through the thick trees. A creek well-named.
Wind on the stern carried us up the creek, now it is tacking into the breeze as we turn back south. Making 3 kts and then 4.5 close hauled. The shores are lined by farmhouses, silos and windmills.
Just after 10:00 we cut behind Cacaway Island and I am pleased the centerboard does not touch the bottom in the narrow cut. The mouth of Langford Creek opens to the Chester River to the south and we can feel a building wind. Out on the Chester at 11:00, 4+ kts close hauled.
We begin a series of tacks across the Chester River, the wind strong and, because of the shape of the river, the water pleasantly calm. SPARTINA heels on each tack, putting her rail in the water and holding steady. Wonderful, wonderful sailing down the Chester. On the fifth tack near Piney Cove the wind falls and and then quickly comes back. Another tack to Eastern Neck and then a last tack that carries us straight towards Queenstown Creek.
Making 6 kts approaching the creek entrance, a sand spit to port and a tree-lined bluff to starboard. In the creek just before 2:00, under power with the afternoon wind blocked by a ridge to the south. Tie up at the public dock and make the short walk to Queenstown Pizzeria. I order a small Philly cheesesteak, which I know cut in two will nearly cover a plate leaving only a small place for french fries, and I wonder just how large a large sandwich would be. After the late lunch I grab an extra iced tea to go.
Queenstown Creek is quiet in the afternoon, the deadrise "Double Trouble" working a trotline and a single sailboat anchored near the mouth of Salthouse Cove. Further on up the creek I drop anchor surrounded by trees, clean up SPARTINA and relax.