Many, if not most, of us that sail and live significant parts of our lives on the water aren’t nearly as young as we think or feel. Reality bites, harder, each passing year despite our mental age. That should be more than enough motivation to encourage us to be training the next generation. Besides, spending time with grandkids, passing on the skills, and sharing with them our joy of sailing is just plain fun! So it is that I had another great weekend with Tyler – now 12 and fast becoming competent crew. It is always amazing to see how quickly kids learn, and how confident they become with new skills and experience.
With near perfect weather, we sailed out of Back Creek (Annapolis) quartering down wind and across the Bay to St Michaels. It was great to enjoy the day and time on the water, but also the ideal time to give Tyler opportunities to practice skills that will become increasingly important as he is given more responsibility for driving and navigating the boat. There were two goals: one, for him to be able to safely manage the boat and return to port in the case of an emergency; the other, to instill the sense of joy and wonder that comes with following the wind to new destinations in our water world. No better place than here in the Bay.
On this trip, he began his own sailing log. After preparing and provisioning Valinor for a three day cruise and reviewing the weather forecast, we left the slip on Back Creek at 0915. A short motor out of the creek, with a stop for fuel and pump out, sails up and trimmed put us on a broad reach heading down the Bay.
We were looking forward to rafting with another Annapolis Sailing Club boat, ‘Pneumatos 2’, with a family of three similar aged kids. They got a later start out of South River, and we had anchor down just next to the Chesapeake Maritime Museum before they arrived. That gave time for Tyler to take the dink and explore the small cove – as well as fish.
Kudos to the kind fisherman/crabber that gave Tyler a helping hand. After some unsuccessful fishing, I saw a fisherman across the way and suggested Tyler row over to ask what he was using for bait. Off he went and came back after a lengthy conversation, with some donated soft shell crab – a very kind gesture from a stranger to a kid!
Pneumatos 2 arrived, rafted up and the kids began to get acquainted – took maybe 5 mins?
Here’s a view of the anchorage from atop the Light house….Pneumatos 2 (front right) with Valinor mostly hidden behind…
After a quiet night, we headed for the Rhode River.
What a difference a few hours can make on the Bay. We made an early morning departure and found mostly light wind on the nose or none – managed only some motor sailing. Our friends headed out later and had a nice, brisk sail across the Bay. Meanwhile, Tyler got his first lesson in operating the outboard…… a fast learner.
And… the tubes I got for a planned river float turned out to be useful on a hot day…
It was another pleasant evening with good company, and dinner on the grill. The forecast was a bit problematic, and a quick look at radar about 4am had me up putting the sail cover on and closing hatches. A light shower passed through early morning, then cleared. We said goodbye to our friends and sailed down the Rhode River in good wind – then headed north to home when winds died as we rounded Thomas Point – such is sailing on the Bay in the summer!
In another week it’s back again across the Bay. This time past St Michaels to Shaw Bay with more ASC sailors!
Almost forgot the log canoes.…we got a close up look at the St Michaels museum and then as one was towed past our raft, and again as we sailed out the river the next morning. Still hoping to get a ride before the racing season is over!