I wake to the sound of a diesel engine. The engine sounds very close. Then a splash. I peek out the back of the boom tent to see the deadrise CAPPN CARTER motoring away. The splash was the waterman dropping the anchor to his trotline in the water. This surprises me. I've anchored in LaTrappe Creek many times over the years and had never seen a waterman in the creek.
Sail off anchor 7:40 wearing the drysuit and two reefs tucked into the main. The forecast calls for strong northeast winds. Two tacks to round the sand spit and get on the main creek. I follow another deadrise that is working a trotline that runs right down the channel leading to the Choptank River, a downwind sail that carries me right between the markers. On the Choptank 7:55 with a line of cormorants flying by. Making 4.2 on the open river.
Castle Haven Point at 8:15 and make a slight turn downwind, partially raising the centerboard as we round the point. 8:45 rolling in waves coming across the wide river, 4.5. 9:45 Cook Point, 5.0 and we jibe in a light mist. Doing 3.7 with wind over the port quarter, three deadrises clamming to port.
10:45 the gps shows 5.4 sliding down the face of a wave. Jibe out to round Hills Point. Still overcast but skies a little lighter. 10:40 Hills Point. 11:40, having cross the mouth of the Little Choptank River, nearing Oyster Cove. Pass the cove and turn south-southeast and find calmer water around the corner. 12:30 shake out second reef. 12:45 shake out the first reef. Full sail, making 3.3.
Barren Island to the south, barely visible in the steady mist. 1:00 making 5.2. 1:30 wind and rain, round up to tuck in both reefs. 2:30 off Barren Island, sailing with a tug and barge to starboard. A handful of barges is anchored a half mile off the Barren Island, filled with rip rap that should shore up the low-slung island.
3:00 south of Barren Island, bring the double reefed main down, sailing under mizzen and jib toward the bridge at 4.7. It's a rough passage over the shallows off the Hooper Island. Through the bridge and anchor down at Parks Neck 4:25.
Check the weather to see that northeast winds will be our companion for the next few days. I have to think about how far south I want to go on Tangier Sound.