The second I open the door I know we are headed south. There is a symphony of halyards banging against aluminum masts in a stiff north wind.
Cast off from the dock 7:50 and a gust pushes SPARTINA up against a piling in the marina. I push off and gun the outboard. Out of Knapp's Narrows channel, mizzen and jib up at 8:00. 5 kts and then 6.7 in a gust.
Off Black Walnut Point, the southern end of Tilghman Island at 8:40, low clouds to the east and blue skies above. Another strong gust at almost 7 knots, very rough in the mouth of the Choptank River entrance with waves coming on the port quarter.
Hills Point at 9:45, 7.5 down the face of a wave. At 10:00 a little calmer, a little warmer as a deadrise rumbles by. Soon much calmer, 4.2 to 6.2 kts as swells roll on by. Passing the remnants of James Island at 10:30, by 11:00 in the lee of Taylor's Island, 3.5. 11:30 raise the main with a single reef, 3.9. Wing and wing with a gust we make 5.6 and then back down to 3.9. Easy sailing now on calm water, wind on the stern.
12:30 pass the fishing weir north of Barren Island, 5 kts, blue skies to the north and getting cooler under an overcast sky. A white pelican perches on the weir's nets, an unusual bird for this area and might have been carried here with the remnants of Hurricane Sally.
Wind drops and making 1.9 at 1:45, shake out the reef and do 3.9 as the wind returns. I motor sail through the bridge at Hoopers Island at 2:30, then under sail with a northeast wind, 4.6. Then a lull at Smoke Point, 2.7. Just after 3:00 a gust hits and heels SPARTINA, taking a little water over the side. Round up and sponge it out.
Lighter wind and making 2.3 at Windmill Point. 4:15. anchor down in Pauls Cove, tucked in the basin surrounded by a farm.
35.43 NM for the day. A very peaceful evening in the cove. Chili Mac with Beef and a cup of peaches for dinner.