Saturday, May 30, 2020

day six - a most fortunate wind shift

Up and about with sleeping gear and tent stowed a little bit before Curt, I motor over to the free dock on the Washington waterfront.  Soon Curt has ANNIE  tied up behind me.  

We walk a couple blocks to Rachel K's Bakery.  I grab a cinnamon roll and a glass of iced tea, Curt grabs his breakfast and we head back to the waterfront.  The visitor's center is closed but it has a great porch with comfortable rocking chairs where we relax and enjoy the light breakfast before the winds fill in.

Curt casts off first.  I'm a few minutes behind, leaving the dock under power at 8:45.  

Past the trestle I round up and raise the sails, making 3.8 in a fresh breeze and then 4.8 clearing the tree line on shore.  At 9:00 doing 4.1 with wind just aft of beam.  With ANNIE up ahead we reach Broad Creek Point a little after 10:00, 3.4 kts and dropping to 2.2 as I sit in the shade of the mainsail. Light winds by 10:30.

It's a beautiful weekend day and as morning goes on the power boats waken, SPARTINA knocked around by the wakes of the boats heading downriver.  Making 2.8 in light wind at 11:30, soon no wind and under power.  I look back upriver, five boats headed our way, all bringing steep wakes with them.  Ragged Point at noon and it's getting hot. My sunglasses fog in the heat and humidity.  

Enter Durham Creek at 1:15 just as a surprising N breeze fills in.  All sails up and time to explore the Creek.  It's a downwind run on the creek and ahead ANNIE disappears behind trees on a little point.  

I turn back toward the mouth of the creek, a series of pleasant tacks from shore to shore, exchanging greetings with a couple of power boats (not throwing wakes) and a group of teens out waterskiing.  Gentle sailing on calm waters.

Stalled for a couple minutes in the wind shadow of trees at the mouth of Durham Creek, we slip back out on to the Pamlico River just after 4:00.  The wind has picked up and swung from the north to the east, east of course being the way I want to go.

We make a series of tacks, the first off of Bayside on the north shore of the river at 4:30, then to the southern shore for another tack at 4:55.  It is choppy with a fun, bouncy ride and I wonder if the tide is running against the wind.  Looking to the west I strain my eyes until I can pick out ANNIE'S dark sails against the dark green tree line.  Having left the creek about 30 minutes after us, Curt is sailing parallel tracks.

Tack off of Gum Point at 5:10, then back to the south side, reaching the shore at 5:45.  Looking at the charts I expect at least three more tacks to reach north creek and I wonder if I'll be getting in about dark.  But as SPARTINA plows through the chop I noticed we are pointing more and more to the north east.  The wind has swung from east to southeast.  Perfect!  It's a long steady sail across the river at about 5 knots, our speed coming and going as we sail into the waves being pushed upriver.  

Just after 7:00 we cut inside the entrance marker into North Creek, the wind still strong but the water suddenly calm.  Anchor down on East Fork at 7:25.  About 20 minutes later ANNIE drops anchor just to the south of us.

35.59 NM for the day

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Loving these blogs - thank you.

John (would-be pathfinder builder UK)