End of the season chill…….

Always a sad day when we come to the end of the season.

The weekend turned out pretty nice (given days at about 50F and the night around 40F) with plenty of sunshine.  Saturday winds were nicely behind us at 8-10kts most of the way south to Galesville. Made for a pleasant, and quick ride down at 5.5 – 6kts under head sail alone. We tucked into a smallish slip, hooked up shore power and turned on the cabin heaterJ

The Blue Lips party lived up to its name

As a bonus treat, we got to meet and visit with a sailing friend from Maine on his way south. Roger (just right of ‘Hook’) is a retired naval architect whose credentials include the research vessel Rachel Carsonoperated by the U of MD lab at Solomons. SOS friend Ron (left) and I know Roger from the Sailboatowners forum and appreciated the chance to meet in person..

The guy with the hook was a stranger …….

We got a little lift from the mainsail on the way back home into light NE wind — all in all a great end of the season cruise!

It’s the little things…

 ….. that remind us of coming changes. It’s the momentarychill that blows across the water on an otherwise warm, sunny day. It’s thatfirst slate gray sky. Pumpkins appear in the fields and birds flock withapparent purpose and orientation. Leaves change color first then cover theground on increasingly blustery days. Ever notice how easily we put on weightwhen the days begin to shorten – in apparent preparation for less pleasantweather?  Perhaps we were hibernators inour distant past?

Each hint by itself might go unnoticed, collectively theyare ominous.

 The little note on the calendar or in our log says it’snearing time to ‘winterize’ – what an ugly word. Those of us who can’t be headingsouth say a temporary ‘good bye’ to friends who are. It’s that trip to thestore for antifreeze, arrangements to get sails down and cleaned and stored;finding the cover tarp and emptying the cabin of those supplies and furnishingsthat don’t winter well.

 Finding time on the water becomes more compelling. A senseof urgency takes over. Quick, get to the boat and grab that 10-15kt day beforethe bite of winter and the spray of icy water turns fun into challenge. Blockedon the hard or isolated in an ice-bound harbor with the bubbler running in theslip will soon foreclose that option — for a time.

 Reviewing the season’s log,beginning to plan for the new sail, repairs and upgrades, and a long weekend atthe boat show are also hints of the impending down time, but also offerhope.  Spring is, after all, just aroundthe corner! The off-season gives us the chance to recall why we missed thatmark or made the start line a second too soon. We can imagine exactly how wewill fix that next season. It’s sitting in a warm place with sailing friends lookingforward to more proper weather that is only a few short months away. I for oneprefer to imagine a season of prefect weather, precisely timed starts, excitingfinishes and long passages with great sailing friends. Winter is only a minorpause in the important stuff of life….

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