Thursday, October 24, 2019

day four - keep on goin'

Sail of anchor 7:20 just as the sunlight reaches over the cliffs and paints the trees across the creek.  A lazy 1 knot downwind past the the larger sailboats in the anchorage.  Light southeast wind, this layer of clouds.

On the Bay just after 8:00, hoping to sail north and explore the Bohemia River.  Eggs (chocolate mint Rx bar), steak (buffalo bar) and banana for breakfast, 3.5 with the wind over the starboard quarter.  Soon making 4.5 but sailing downwind in the calm water it doesn't feel like it.  Off Sassafras River I look up the Bay and use the range lights to stay east of the shipping channel.  Skies clearing to the west at 9:20.  Clouds gone by 10 and the sun feels good.  

Wind on the stern and tide running in our favor, 3.6.  Wind drops, 2.3, no complaints as we are making better time up the Bay than expected/imagined.  Beneath Turkey Point Lighthouse a wave across the channel from a Bristol Channel Cruiser as we enter the Elk River.  Motorsailing at 10:30, wind back and sailing by 11:00.  

Off the Bohemia before noon and why not keep going?  We slide past Piney Cove to the east, Herring Creek to the west, leaving the Elk River as we branch off to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.  Wind directly behind us, wing and wing up the canal.  No commercial traffic in sight, easy sailing.

Just past the bridge is the basin at Chesapeake City to the south.  I think about turning in there, a public dock and a couple nice lunch spots on the water.  But I've been there before.  Instead I round up and drop the sails, motoring over to the north side of the canal tie up at Shaefer's Canal House for one of the finest crab cakes I have had in a long time.  A nice breeze on the shaded patio and I enjoy the cold iced tea.

Cast off 2:30 for a short motor to Herring Cove.  I follow the creek back off the cove and drop anchor in a few feet of water.  Straighten up the boat, read a bit and then relax for a nice afternoon nap.  

I wake well-rested but I also wake to realize I have made a mistake.  The tide has dropped significantly and SPARTINA is mired in a thick bed of eel grass.  Doing some quick math I realize it could be low tide again tomorrow morning.  It is tough to get a boat through the sinewy mass of subaquatic vegetation.  Instead of fighting it tomorrow morning I raise the anchor and slowly, very slowly, motor through the submerged jungle.  Twice stopping to pull the cotter pin and remove/clean the outboard prop, I finally slide free of the grass.  Not the way I wanted to spend the afternoon, but by sunset I was anchored off of Courthouse Point.  

A light supper and time to set up the sleeping gear.

Running total 108.8 NM

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