Saturday, June 27, 2020

day five - a dog named Bimini

Awake at 5:20, sail off anchor at 5:55 and I am pleased with stowing the sleeping gear and boom tent, tying everything in place, raising sails and anchor in 35 minutes.  Light overcast with a S wind.  It looks to be high tide so I should have the current with me sailing down the Choptank River.

At 6:25 crossing the Choptank, 4.0 kts, toward LeCompte Bay.  Into the bay at 6:40.  The sun breaks through the clouds.  In search of future anchorages I head toward LeCompte Creek, the charts showing a depth of seven feet at the entrance and then four back up in the creek.  It feels like old Chesapeake Bay with old farms, houses and barns.  Redevelopment hasn't seem to reach the creek and it strikes me as a good anchorage protected from just about any winds.

A light breeze leaving the creek but the wind fills in near Castle Haven Point, 4.1 with more wind and sun.  We round the point with wind swinging to SW, 4.5 approaching the shallow flats near Chapel Creek, no anchorage there.  Tuning downwind to open towards the open Choptank wind is on the port quarter and making 5 to 5.5 rolling in the waves.

By 10:00 lighter wind making about 3.0 off Holland Point headed to Broad Creek.  10:30 a little more wind and we slip by a favorite anchorage at Steve's Creek, jibing at 11:00 off the mouth of Leadenham Creek.  

Passing eroded Hambleton Island at 11:25 I turn to port into San Domingo Creek with a following wind.  Easy sailing up the creek, relaxed and peaceful.  

Just after noon turn back down the creek, tacking into the wind and dodging a series of deadrises working trotlines.  The waterman on STALKER smiles and shouts "looking good!" as I sail by.  

Back on Broad Creek it is a series of 10 minute tacks out and back along the shore, the skies blue and the water a bright blue green.  Then one longer tack to round Nelson Point at 2:45.

The plan is to sail west to Change Point then turn downwind to find an anchorage off of Harris Creek, maybe Dun Cove or one of the other little creeks farther north.  But rounding the point with building wind I can see that sailing close-hauled would take me right to the entrance channel for Knapp Narrows.  And I start thinking about the Marker Five restaurants and a cold glass of iced tea.  So the Narrows it is.

Sails down at 2:45 and under power in the Narrows, the bridge tender says "comin' right now" in response to my request for a bridge lift.  The bridge opens and I'm surprised to see a sailboat on the other side coming my way.  But the tide is with me and I've got the right of way, passing through first.  Joe the dock master helps me to a three-point tie up at 3:00.  I straighten up the boat and set up the boom tent because of some small storms in the area.

The barmaid at Marker Five recognizes me from past visits.  I must have looked thirsty as she brings me a glass of iced tea and the pitcher too.  I fill out my log and enjoy the tea in the shade on the waterfront.  My timing is perfect, it is the restaurant's very first open day since the pandemic began.  When I'm done I get a bill for a couple bucks, leave the barmaid a $10 dollar bill, say thank you, I'll be back for dinner.

Afternoon is for charging batteries and catching up on emails.  Back at the Marker Five for dinner, shrimp avocado toasts with arugula as an appetizer and an excellent burger as the main course with a house salad, washed down with a couple of cold beers.  All the while a friendly dog hangs out nearby.  I hear the boatyard workers talking about the dog, how he seems so at home in the yard.  They tell me he is a rescue dog from one of the hurricanes that hit the Bahamas.  His name is Bimini.  

30.63 NM

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