All the signs are here. There’s color in the trees – besides green. Large flocks of birds are wheeling with intent to move. Skeins of geese are lining south. Skies are beginning to take on that slate grey, and mornings are not as warm despite the sun whose angle is lessening. And, cruisers are gathering here in the Chesapeake to stage their annual trek southward. Local anchorages are filling up with home port names from as far away as Canada. The annual Seven Seas Cruising Association GAM is just behind, and the Annapolis Boat Show just ahead. For those preparing to head south in search of warmer climes it is a busy and exciting time. For those who are not, it’s time to prepare boats for the coming cold. Having tasted that southbound experience, it’s a sad time to watch others leave.
Since the great time at friends’ wedding (last post). Valinor competed in the Hospice Cup regatta. A very light wind day. Lots of boats in several classes – our Hospice class had nearly fifty. It was a great start and the first couple legs went well then the winds died and the tide changed which brought an opposing current. OK, so we didn’t finish in the time limit……..but we still had a good time, and for a great cause.
The next week was the SSCA GAM at Camp Letts on the Rhode River. The plan was to sail down early (to get a good anchoring spot, and enjoy the water time). The weather know what we intend to do, and takes great glee, I’m sure, in messing with our plans. Those two early days saw 20-30kts of wind and 3-4ft short chop on the Bay – even worse in the southern Bay. Fortunately all settled down by the Friday start of the GAM, and it was a nice sail for the 12nm or so down from my Eastport slip.
Evening in the anchorage was worth the trip in itself…..
The GAM saw record attendance with over 200 cruisers and about 4 dozen boats. Lots of good information was shared and the seminars were great. It was fun to visit with folks you may only see once a year here, but follow their blogs to share their travels and experiences around the world.
It is often great entertainment to watch fellow boaters in anchorages as they maneuver in and out. So it was that I watched three boats find the shoal in front of the Letts boat house – helped pull one off. Also hailed a large power boat that he had a line overboard – just as he came to a stop with the anchor rode wrapped on his prop….lent a hand there too to untangle.
It was a beautiful day and all outcomes were successful. Next morning, it was my turn to head out. Again, weather forced a change of plans. I intended to spend the week sailing wherever the wind pushed me — what wind? The Bay went calm, and the forecast was for that to last most of the week.
I made a motor run to north of the Bay bridge to a cove off the Magothy River where I found a quiet anchorage with only a couple other boats. After settling in, a light rain found us but left a beautiful rainbow as it cleared.
Next morning I made an early departure for home slip and began working on the boat ‘to do’ list in preparation for a club cruise in just a few days. More on that annual chili cruise next time……..