Tuesday, June 27, 2023

day twelve - join the parade

A peaceful night and a beautiful morning.  Sail off anchor 7:20.  Light steady breeze, cool with blue skies.

Five tacks to leave Tilghman Creek, the first three in the wind shadow of the trees and then two more with good wind to slip out through the narrow channel.

St. Michaels is nearby but I not quite ready to tie up there yet.  7:45 on the Miles River, making 4.5 in the northeast wind.  8:45 Deepwater Point.  So I'm not ready to tie up in St. Michaels but how about lunch there maybe.  9:00 light wind approaching St. Mikes, sailing through the fleet anchored outside on the river.  

Sail into Fogg Cove, round up and drop the main and the jib.  Docked 10:00.  Walking towards downtown I notice a crowd and realize it is Memorial Day.  So walk a couple extra blocks to enjoy the parade.

Get to Foxy's Harborside Grill just as they are opening.  Glad I did.  Within 15 minutes the place is packed.  

A burger and fries from a waiter who keeps calling me "My Man."  The burger is good enough that I don't mind too much.

Cast off from the docks 12:20, out on the river full sails 12:35.  Think about heading to the Wye River.  Look north up the river and see it crowded with sailboats out for the holiday weekend.  Instead turn south where my only company is is the 1926 built Selina II with her 1,000 square feet of canvas.  We sail along side for awhile and exchange greetings.

I glance at my SPOT on the centerboard trunk.  All this dry cool north wind and almost no rain, the tracking device is caked in salt.

After I while I turn back north to Leeds Creek.  A handful of tacks up the creek, looking at different anchorages.  Anchor down in a little cove 3:00.



Monday, June 26, 2023

day eleven - perfect

Cast off from the dock at Knapp Narrows 7:00 on a beautiful morning.  Motor out of the marina a turn west on the Narrows.  Full sail outside the channel markers 7:15.  Light but steady north wind, 2.8.

Just off Poplar Island 7:55, quiet there as all the barges and cranes from rebuilding the island are gone now.  

9:55 get a surprise air show as the Blue Angels circle above as they wait to do a flyover at the Naval Academy graduation across the Bay.

11:30 on Eastern Bay.  12:30 no wind, under power to the boat ramp at Claiborne.  Need to empty the head and get rid of some trash.

Tie up at the old ferry docks, clean up the boat and take a little walk.  Cast off 1:35.

The wind returns at 2:00, this time out of the northwest, making 4.2 to Tilghman Point.

Round the Point at 2:25, very choppy where Eastern Bay meets the Miles River.  2:45 sight the entrance markers for Tilghman Creek.  Anchor down in the creek 3:20.

A beautiful afternoon surrounded by trees, birds and calm water.  A man walks down to a nearby dock and asks about SPARTINA.  He tells me if I need anything just tie up at the dock and knock on his door.  I relax and read and enjoy the afternoon.

 22.09 NM

Saturday, June 24, 2023

day ten - wind and waves

I sleep later than usual.  No reason to get up early, winds are forecast to gust to 20 just after dawn.  That's my limit for sailing into the wind on the open bay.  Sail off anchor at 8:25, cool and dark, very low overcast.  Mizzen and jib, making 3.6.  Two reefs tied in the main which is still furled to the boom.  Making 3.6.  

On the Little Choptank at 8:45, 3.0.  Just after 9:00 raise the double reefed main.  Gusty, grey and lots of waves.  9:45 passing green marker "1" as we leave the Little Choptank and sail out onto Chesapeake Bay.  Doesn't feel like we are moving, just pounding into the waves.  Check the gps to see we are doing 4.0.  

10:20 less wind.  10:30 shake out the second reef, 3.7.  Have a hard time coming about with reduced sail and waves on the bow so instead I jibe just before 11:00.  Skies starting to clear and wind dropping off Trippe Bay. 

11:45 shake out the first reef, full sail.  Tack at noon, 4.3.  12:35 tack toward the Choptank River and slip onto the river just above Cook Point..  

1:55 Tilghman Island is due west of us, 4.5. Tack at 2:00.  Wind building with afternoon gusts.  Waves are smaller on the river.  2:35 tack near Black Walnut Point.  Get a good run to the north and at 3:10 tack toward the Knapp Narrows channel markers.  Reach the markers at 3:45, main and jib down, under power in the channel.

Approaching the lift bridge I throttle back and call the bridge tender on channel 13.  Almost immediately I can hear the bells clanging as the bridge readies to lift.  I throttle up the out board, it sputters and dies.  I pull the starter cord a few times.  I look back to the bridge.  It is open.  There must be no bridge traffic or I have the world's most patient bridge tender as he waits while I make a few more pulls and get the outboard going.  

4:30 tied up at Knapp Narrows Inn and Marina, $176 for a room and the slip, a good price I think.  Dinner is across the bridge at Characters Bridge Restaurant, a couple Blue Moons and a soft-shell crab.  A good reward for a hard day of sailing.

I check on SPARTINA on the way back to my room.  She rests peacefully in her slip.


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

day nine - tacking, tacking, tacking

Sail of anchor 6:25. Calm, cool night.  More wind than I expected in the morning.  I leave in the double reef in the main from yesterday.  Three deadrises working trotlines on the Honga River.

Fall off a bit at the bridge between Middle and Upper Hoopers Islands to let a deadrises towing a skiff pass through ahead of me.  Through the bridge easily at 7:10.  

Making 5.2 wind forward of beam on Chesapeake Bay.  Sail our way through the barges and tugs building up the rip rap on Barren Island.  Off the north end of the island at 8:15.  Lighter wind and making 2.2.  

Round up to shake out both reefs, full sail making 4.2.  Then a little more wind and 4.5 and we begin a series of tacks from the Eastern Shore out to the shipping channel and back.  Roughly 30 minute tacks carries us from shore just to the edge of the channel, perfect.  

At the edge of the channel rounding up at the red buoy at 9:15 making 5.3 on a pretty morning.  Soon less wind and doing3.9.  Tacks at 9:45 and 11:10.  At 11:35 navionics app shows pointed north while the gps track shows us sliding west.  The tide is carrying us a bit.  

Shortening the tacks as we approach Oyster Point we come about at 11:45, 12:15, 12:30, 12:45 and 1:00.  Closer to the point and more tacks at 1:35, 1:50 and 2:20.  Wind swings to the north and light, 3.3.    At 3:00 tack to the point and at 4:00 turn into the Little Choptank.  Lighter wind and slow but steady sailing  to the northeast across the river.

5:00 entering Brooks Creek, anchor down off Carson Neck at 5:25.

38.36 NM

day eight - north on Tangier Sound

Sail off anchor 6:25, pretty morning with good northeast wind, a single reef tucked in the main.  

Pass in sight Crisfield on the Little Annemessex River, round Island Point and slip out on Tangier Sound at 7:05.  Cool morning, slip on foul weather bibs and a sweater.  Doing 3.4 against the chop out of the northeast.

At 7:25 making 4.4 to the north, more wind and bigger chop.  7:35 at green "9", sailing into the waves but doing ok.  

8:30 round up to tie in second reef, Deal Island to the northeast, making 4.5.  Kedges Straits to port.   Seems calmer at 8:30.  South Marsh Island to port at 9:00.

Steady sailing to north-northwest at 10:10.  Bloodsworth Island to port and very rough.  10:45 angle northwest across Hooper Strait, 4.3.  11:20 on the Honga River.  Calmer water on the river and making 5.3.  Drop the main at Crab Point to look for an anchorage.  Can't find one with this wind.

Slip back out on to the Honga and continue north.  Anchor down 1:30 off of Parks Neck south of Wroten Island.  Tall stand of trees gives us good protection.  Set up the boom.  Clean up SPARTINA and relax in the afternoon.

28.84 NM

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

day seven - the sail repair

Sail off anchor 6:25 with a bright pink sun.  Full sail and a steady north wind, 3.5.  One crabber working his pots, a tug pushing a barge up Tangier Sound to the east.

Off Port Isobel 7:25, tack away from the island.  See the Tangier Onancock ferry coming out of the channel.  8:00 making 4.0 headed north to Smith Island.

8:40 making 4.3 on a long single tack east of the little islands and shoals that lead from Tangier to Smith Island.  There are three villages there at Smith Island.  I'm heading to Tylerton, the southernmost and the home of the Drum Point Market.

10:05 come about Peach Orchard Point to sail into Fishing Creek and the narrow channel that leads into Tylerton.  

One more tack and in the channel, main and jib down and under power at 11:25.

Noon motoring along the town dock I ask a man working on the dock if I can tie up at the far end.  He nods his head.  

Just around the corner is the Drum Point Market.  I am surprised and pleased to find it open.  There's a man sitting in the chair inside, maybe a retired waterman.  And a woman behind the counter.  I order a crab cake and chips for lunch.  

The crab cake it excellent.  Smith Island, for me, has always been home to the best crab cakes on the Bay.  A text from the oldest daughter reminds me to get a Smith Island seven layer cake.  Cost for the lunch with cold tea and the cake, $25.00 and happy to pay it.

Cast off 12:50 and begin motoring up the channel that cuts through the island and leads to the Big Thorofare.  After a few my outboard sputters to a stop.  This gives me reason to pause.  I have had trouble starting the outboard in the past, I have never had it quit on me once running.  Hmmm.  A few pulls and it starts up again.

1:10 turn to starboard and enter the Big Thorofare that leads to Tangier Sound.  Full sail at red marker "8", making 4.0 across Tangier Sound with excellent north wind.  2:30 light wind, 1.8.  2:40 no wind and under power, the tall modern turbine has stopped turning.  3:10 the wind swings around and fills in out of the east. 

3:45 enter Jenkins Creek south of Crisfield.  I explore a little creek but decide it is too shallow for an anchorage.  Back out around the point I set the anchor south of Hammock Point.  As I bring down the jib I notice there is a tear in the seam of the leech.  I patch it with some sail tape as best I can.  I text friend Kristen in St. Michaels and ask her to pick up some more repair tape for me.  Just one roll? she asks (a subtle hint that I should get two, one for repairs and one for later).  Two will be fine, thank you.

Plenty of north wind forecast for tomorrow.  My repair job will get a good test.  Dinner, then I dig out my seven layer cake.  A nice way to end the day.

 30.34 NM