It was a great three days on the water. Sunday morning after the post-wedding breakfast in Williamsburg, I drove to the boat in Annapolis and headed out to find the Catalina Club folks at their destination in Shaw Bay a bit north of St Michaels. It was a pleasant sail/motor down Bay and I caught up with them just in time for dinner – adding my boat to the four-boat raft. The day was hot and very little wind, but as the sun went down it became comfortable to sleep in the cockpit. A wake disturbed the raft in the early hours or I’d have missed a spectacular view of the starry night sky! Morning came soon enough, and I watched the work boats head out.
Sunrise at Shaw Bay
Crabber heading out
A plan was made to break the raft at 0930 and head north, through Kent Narrows draw bridge, then on up the Chester River taking the branch up the Corsica in hopes of finding a jelly fish- free area. No brag, but my smallish 30ft managed to keep pace with the other 40ft boats
Resolve just astern
– although I found the view more often of their sterns…..
CCYC fleet heading for Knapp’s Narrows
We found a pleasant setting to raft for as swim and dinner. The weather forecast was calling for possible thunder storms and rain over night and on Tuesday. Caution suggested we break the raft before dark and anchor separately. That worked well for me since I needed to leave the group and head back to Annapolis for a Wednesday appointment. After a great meal and fun conversation, we drifted apart and anchored for the night.
Brunelle at anchor
As it turned out, no rain during the night, and I slept again on deck till early morning. The day’s forecast remained ‘wet’ with thunderstorms spaced through the day. I picked an early window, hauled anchor and headed down river against a south wind. After rounding the bend, the run up the river, downwind to Love Point was a great motor sail making 6-7kts. Turning down Bay at the Point was another story………
As I headed down toward the Bay bridge, several miles off, the seas grew quickly to 2-4ft with consistent 18-24kt wind just off the port bow. It was a great ride! Dodged the bigger waves and made 3.5 to 6kts depending on small changes in the wind and waves. I still carried a reefed head sail for stability, and when I was not head to the wind, got a good lift. Approaching the Bay bridge and crossing over to Annapolis was a challenge. By then I had life vest on and tether at hand. The boat bucked and dived into oncoming waves, but kept about a 5kt pace. Sorry, no pictures as I was pretty busy………
The sea calmed and wind died down a bit as we got in the lee of the land, and it was an uneventful coast into the slip in Back Creek – even had a friend on shore to lend a hand with the lines. Just as I finished adjusting the dock lines, the rain started. As I write this, it is a steady, heavy rain. But I’m in the slip with boat secured, good music on and a glass of Williamsburg Winery’s finest in hand! All in all, a great trip!
And there’s more to come — a day as sailing intstructor for a corporate group and then a cruise north to Baltimore for the OpSail event with the Tall Ships – later posts!