The Cambridge Creek alarm clock goes off at 4 a.m. as bells ring on the nearby lift bridge for watermen heading out for the day. SPARTINA rocks gently as the deadrises pass by. I roll over and go back to sleep.
Up at 5:30 to a pretty morning. I tuck away the sleeping gear, bring down the boom tent. At 7:00 I walk the few blocks to the Black Water Bakery for a blueberry muffin and a glass of iced team. A nice way to start the day.
Former colleague and long-time friend Vicki arrives at the waterfront at 9:30. She had moved to the Eastern Shore a few years ago to help run an organic flower farm and she has visited me somewhere on the waterfront for every Bay cruise since then. We had always talked about getting her out for a sail but either her work schedule or the weather got in the way. But today is perfect. We cast off with a single reef in the main and tack back and forth along the Cambridge waterfront. It's a treat to catch up with her. The sail goes to quickly and I drop her off at 11:45.
Vicki runs down to the marina to catch of photograph of SPARTINA making a last tack before heading down river. As I turn northwest I can see her in the distance waving goodby.
I leave Cambridge with the reef still tucked in place, making 3.6 with Hambrooks Bar light off the port bow. Shake out the reef and make 4.8 under full sail. 12:20 around the shoal. 12:45 begin a series of tacks to round the shawl at Howell Point.
Wind falls off, 1.2 in a light breeze. Then more wind. 1:00 tack out into the river, 1:30 tack back in. 1:40 making 5.9 as the wind shifts and fills in, rounding the point.
2:20 off Island Creek, 5.0 and see clouds building across Chesapeake Bay. Light overcast moving in. Wind just forward of beam. 2:45 off the Tred Avon light, Oxford to starboard. Passing the marsh grass of Benoni Point at 3:00.
3:20 fall off the wind into the narrow channel to Irish Creek. Jibe into the creek at 3:45, sailing to the southeast part of the creek looking for an anchorage. Turn back to the northwest corner of the creek where it narrows, anchor down 4:05. A light rain begins falling on the boom tent.
14 NM for the day