Thursday, November 30, 2023

day sixteen - easy sailing

Sail off anchor 7:25, a deliberate drift across glassy calm water.  Wearing the drysuit against the chill.

A slight breeze fill, 1.4.  Flocks of geese fly overhead, an eagle flys along the trees on shore.  The sun crests the treelike, sails bathed in morning light.  A pleasant series of tacks out of Swan Creek.  Out of the creek 8:10, 2.9 sailing our way west to Swan Point.  8:40 off Swan Point, 1.3 on the choppy Chesapeake Bay.

9:00 making half a knot.  Motorsail at idle speed.  Sun breaks through the overcast, feels good.  Wind at 9:45, sailing at 1.8.  Overcast again.  

10:45 just off Tolchester Beach where the shipping channel curves east and comes up very close to the beach.  A little more wind and making 2.6.  11:30 sunny and warm, take off the drysuit, put out the little solar panel to charge the bluetooth speaker.  

12:30 making a pleasant 1.8 just east of the shipping channel.  1:00 turn towards Worton Creek.  Soon decided to head to Fairlee Creek just to the south of Worton.  2:30 rounding Shell Point.

2:55 gentle sail in the afternoon breeze through the narrow entrance of Fairlee Creek.

Sail south on the creek and it feels like a great afternoon daysail as I tack along the marinas.   Turn back north, anchor down near the moorings at 4:00.

16.24 NM


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

day fifteen - a new creek

Run into Kristen at the museum, take a moment to thank her for her hospitality.  See a few sailing friends packing up, say goodbye to them.  It was a great festival.  Cast off 8:45.  Cold morning with a steady west wind.  Just leaving Fogg Cove for the Miles River see Steve W on his Core Sound 20 Mk 3 coming in from Leeds Creek.  We exchange greetings and I notice he has reefed tucked into his sails.

9:30 at Deepwater Point.  Away from the protection of the shore I can feel the wind.  Round up to tuck in a reef.  9:50 choppy water and more wind, round up to tuck in a second reef.

Making 4.9 with wind on the beam, the west wind perfect for sailing north.

10:45 Parsons Island to the west.  11:15 actor outside the channel at the top of Prospect Bay, too late to make the 11:30 opening at the Kent Narrow Bridge.  Clean up the boat, tuck away the dock lines.  Cool with a light overcast.

11:45 in position and put in a request for a noon lift.  A large power boat comes up behind me, I signal for them to go through first.  There are a couple of boats on the north side of the bridge.  The tide is running south to north so we have got the right of way.  Pass through just after noon.

Less wind now, raise a single reefed main at 12:15 on the Chester River.  12:30 shake out the second reef, full sail.

1:30 overcast clears, the bright sunshine warms the day.  Making 5.3 with wind on the beam.  Too far to make Worton Creek, decide to try Swan Creek just west of Rock Hall.  I've sailed by it dozens of time, just never went in there.

2:25 make the entrance to Swan Creek.  A couple marinas to starboard, plenty of room to anchor near a couple of catamarans on the north branch of the creek.

Anchor down 3:00.

 24.55 NM

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

days eleven through fourteen - the small craft festival

The Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, what can I say.  A few days to rest, relax, recharge.  See old friends and meet some new ones.  Good food, beautiful boats and some great sailing.  An absolute highlight was sailing with friends Chris and Brynley on their Menger Catboat TIGGY, and having them sail with me on SPARTINA.


Monday, November 27, 2023

day ten - into St. Michaels

Glassy calm morning, barely a hint of a breeze.  7:30 anchor up and full sail, the slowest of drifts down the creek.

(Worth turning up the volume.)

Rounding the point out onto Tilghman Creek it is so quiet I can hear the baitfish snapping at the surface.

At 7:50 feel little more breeze that carries us out to the Miles River.  8:05 slip out of the shadow out the trees into the morning light.

Not enough wind this morning.  Motorsailing up the Miles.  Round up 9:30 and bring down the sails.

Docked St. Michaels at 10:00.  I'm a few days early for the festival, I want to enjoy the town before the crowd shows up.  I'm not the only one thinking along those lines, several small boats are already at the docks.

There is talk of some folks heading over to Leeds Creek for the evening.  I tell the guys I've been out for over a week so I'll stay right here in town.

Good, as always, to see Kevin in his Welsford Navigator SLIP JIG.

Great friend Kristen texts me and says she'll drop by the docks in the afternoon.  She comes by and we sit in the shade and talk.  Soon she suggests dinner at the yacht club.  How nice.  We order a couple of beers and salads, a nice crab cake on mine.

5.4 NM


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

day nine - meeting on the water

Calm, peaceful and windless morning.  Under power at 7:05.  Watch a waterman hand-tonging for oysters out on Broad Creek.

8:10 off the Knapps Narrows entrance markers round up and bring down the mizzen, it has been set since we left Cambridge nine days ago.  8:20 hail the bridge tender and immediately hear the bells as he beings a bridge lift, we don't even have to slow down.

8:25 on Poplar Island Narrows, glassy calm waters.  9:00 of Lowe's Wharf.

Four deadrises working the clam beds.  A touch of a breeze, raise sail but just not enough wind to move the boat.  Motorsailing.

10:50 turn into the old ferry docks at Claiborne, need to get rid of some trash and empty the head.  11:00 on Eastern Bay, motorsailing.

11:40 off Tilghman Point and see a catboat ahead.  It is Chris, an online friend of a few years, in his Menger Catboat TIGGY.  We come along side of each other and meet in person for the first time.  We don't really have a plan.  Never having sailed on a catboat I suggest we anchor SPARTINA and I go for a sail with him.  And that's what we do.  

We sail out on the Miles River with a gentle breeze, Chris coaching me on catboat sailing.  We talk about our trips, we have followed each other online for a few years.  Chris, his wife and three sons have done some great trips on the 19 foot Menger.  It is good to finely meet him in person and compare notes on places we have both sailed.

After almost two hours he drops me off on SPARTINA then heads up around Tilghman Point to head south to the Choptank.  Chris has not sailed on Chesapeake Bay and wants to do some exploring before the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft festival begins in a few days.

As we say goodbye Chris surprised me with gifts of a Menger Catboat tee-shirt and a bottle of Laphroaig.  Very kind of him.  I wish him a good sail on the Bay.

Afternoon breeze, I raise full sail at 2:30 headed for Tilghman Creek.  3:45 in the creek.  Anchor down in a little cove on the east side of the creek 3:45.

 19.20 NM

Sunday, November 19, 2023

day eight - headed for Steve's Cove

A spectacular morning.   Calm and peaceful.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Light north breeze.

Sail off anchor 7:35, a crabber working a trotline nearby.7:55 jibe at Ragged Island, making 3.6.  8:50 passing green marker "1" an eagle takes flight.  

9:00 tack back towards Hill Point.  10:00 tack back out to the Bay.  Less wind, making just 1.4.

10:45 wind fills in a bit, making 2.3 and very pleasant sailing.  Deadrises out setting crab pots.

10:55 passing Hills Point, 2.7.  11:30 tack to the northeast.  12:15 tack back towards the Choptank River.

The bluest of blue skies.  1:30 tack towards Tilghman Island.  1:50 tack near the red marker at the entrance to the Choptank.  A long steady run to the northeast, making 3.6 with the tiller resting against my knee.

Three tacks carry us across the Choptank River to Broad Creek, then a gentle sail into Steve's Cove.

With all the rough water and spray from the last few days, I notice salt is caking on my SPOT.

Anchor down 4:10 in the cove surrounded by farmland.  Great blue herons walk in the shallows along shore.

I set up the boom tent to get out of the sun, read and relax.

24.36 NM