The snooze alarms sound at 5 a.m., deadrises, the classic work boats of Chesapeake Bay, cranking up their diesel engines at JM Clayton Seafood Company just down Cambridge Creek from where I'm tied to the seawall. Still dark, I roll over and drift back to sleep. More deadrises are on the move from further up the creek, these accompanied by the clanging of the lift bridge as they pass through. I pay no mind to the sounds of the bay, I'm well rested from having driven up to Cambridge, rigged/packed the boat and launched the day before. Soon the wake alarm sounds, the chirps, whistles and croaks of birds along the creek. They tell me sunrise is coming soon.
I stow the sleeping gear, bring down the boom tent and remove the sail covers. Walking a few blocks I arrive at Black Water Bakery just as they hang the "open" sign on the door at 7 a.m. A blueberry muffin and glass of iced tea to start the trip.
Motoring down the creek at 7:15 I turn to port down the Choptank River. Rounding the light at Hambrooks Bar at 7:40 a light breeze arrives. Full sail and making 1.6. Off Chlora Point at 8:40, still light wind. Behind the trees to the north I can see the masts of sailboats anchored in LaTrappe Creek. Making 2.0 at 9:00, blues skies and not a single cloud, wind on the port beam. Light winds mid-morning, then no wind. Off the Tred Avon River at 10:40 bring down the main and the jib.
Just after 11:00 the wind fills in, full sail and making 4.0 then 4.6 with wind on the beam. At noon the sails come down to pass through Knapps Narrows, we make the 12:15 lift, slow drifting to the bridge as the tender tells me he has to clear the traffic on the road.
At 12:30 out of the narrows, surprisingly windy and rough on Chesapeake Bay. With just mizzen and jib making 4.1 with wind on the stern.
The water on the Choptank had been a nice shade of blue, the rough water on the bay is green and brown and the sun sparkles.
At 1:00 jibe so the wind is over the starboard quarter for a smoother ride down the waves. Jibe again at 1:45, 4.2. Another jibe at 2:05, then one more at 2:40 head for Cox Creek on the east side of Kent Island. In the creek at 3:00, 5.4 under the two small sails as we slide down the waves rolling up the creek.
Turn to port at 4:00 to enter Warehouse Creek, calmer water and a bald eagle flies low out of the trees as we approach the anchorage, a calm pool of water surrounded by trees. Anchor down at 4:30.
Beef Stroganoff, a traditional first night's dinner, is on the menu.