Wednesday, November 6, 2019

day nine - unexpected company

I wake after a calm night, tuck away the sleeping gear and begin to take off the boom tent.  Unhooking the bungee at the aft port corner of the tent I am surprised to look out and see a yawl anchored nearby.  It's ANNIE, a Drascome longboat cruiser.  I knew that Curt was somewhere on the Chester River, I did not know he was right next door.

I raise sail and just the hint of a morning breeze carries us over as Curt put out fenders so we could raft up.  I'm invited on board for breakfast, Curt fixing oatmeal on his camp stove while I bring my own steak (buffalo bar) and eggs (chocolate and sea salt Rx bar).  It's a pleasant and relaxing morning, I see Curt maybe a handful of times each year so we have some catching up to do.  

We talk about the days sail with a favorable forecast of wind and tide to carry us to Chestertown.  Curt talks about doing some explore along the way, I talk about looking for some fish.  We each wondered how the two yawls would sail, I'm thinking Annie will be the faster of the two and Curt saying maybe not.

We cast off 8:30, ANNIE following SPARTINA'S tack down Langford Creek to the Chester River.  As we get out on the open river our plans - Curt's for exploring and mine for fishing - go out the door.  The sailing is too good.

A steady wind of the starboard quarter, we find the two yawls performs very similarly.  We sail side by side, sometimes ANNIE nudging ahead, sometimes SPARTINA taking the lead.  We sail close enough to each other the we carry on a relaxed conversation.  

Curt slides to the north side of the river for a while as I cling to the southern shore.  He dips in to look at a classic old buyboat tied to a dock, I head over to look at a couple silos that look like they have been converted to a home.  

Easy, relaxed sailing, probably the best trip I've made up the Chester.

Passing Nichols Point 10:00, 5.4, 11:00 5kts up river.  Jibe 11:15 Melton Point, jibe again 11:15 Northwest Point, ANNIE always not too far away.

At 11:40 I dip into explore Southeast Creek, meeting up with ANNIE again as I turn back to the Chester.  

Another jibe at Ralph's Wharf, tide and wind carrying us along.  

We round up and drop sails at Chestertown, motoring into the new floating docks.  The dock master comes down to have us move to smaller docks - why I don't know, the season is virtually over and there are very few "large" boats at the larger docks.  But that's what he wants so back out and around the corner, backing into a smaller slip which is a little tricky with the tide and wind but the dock hand helps out.  Tied up at 1:00.

Curt and I explore Chestertown, one of my favorite Eastern Shore towns with old brick buildings, cobblestone streets and trees showing fall colors.  Sandwiches for lunch at Play It Again Sam a couple blocks from the waterfront.  A little more exploring than then we each straighten up our boats.  Crabcakes at 98 Cannon for right on the waterfront.  Curt heads off to ANNIE, I grab a beer and watch a football game on the patio with some Philadelphia Eagle fans before climbing under SPARTINA'S boom tent for the night.

Running total 231.8 NM

No comments: