A slow drift down Queenstown creek with the sails tinted yellow by the rising sun. A cold night - 52 degrees - with wind ripping through the trees. Making 2 kts on the creek, slipping out on the Chester River just before 8:00.
A stiff north wind on the river, making 5.3 with double reefed main, mizzen and jib. At 8:30 pass Piney Cove and lose the protection of the land. Making 5.5 and very very rough, the same waves as yesterday, though now we sail into them instead of across.
Waves come in groups of three, the first lifting the bow, the second pointing the bow up higher and giving us a little leap off the wave. The bow then turns down and buries into the third wave, coming up quickly as the spray showers the deck. Wearing foul weather gear and my rubber boots, we press on. I catch a set of square sails coming down river, the SULTANA flying by with the wind on her stern.
We make a straight line towards Grays Inn Creek, suddenly calm and quiet in the wide entrance at 9:20. I realize it is the weekend as boats are out trolling for striper or running trot lines for crabs. Wonderful sailing up the western branch of the creek, then back down to sail upwind - a series of short tacks on the narrow water - on Herringtown Creek.
Still cool and brisk I keep my foul weather gear on. Blue skies and sunshine. A woman watches from a screened in porch as we sail by.
Leaving the creek at 11:30 I shake out the second reef, then round up again to shake out the first. The wind on the river has dropped, the white caps are gone. Full sail. In the middle of the Chester River there are seagulls diving on the water over a school of feeding stripers. I make a few casts but no luck. Then try trolling and get one hit but lose the fish.
Langford Creek entrance at 1:00. Last year I explored the eastern branch, this time I explore the western branch. Tuna, crackers and cheese for lunch. I strip off the foul weather gear and enjoy the warmth of the sun. The western branch is beautiful, wide with coves and creeks along the way. A deadrise runs back and forth on trotlines. A few homes along the shore but I find the creek to be lined with marshes and undeveloped shoreline. Much larger than I had expected, many excellent and private anchorages, I make a note to come back here again.
Anchor down 4:15 on the eastern fork of the creek near Hawbush Point. An excellent beef Hot Pot for dinner.
Running total 215.5 NM