A few weeks ago I did an over-night trip by myself; nothing new there. I've sailed alone countless times over many years. The requirements and preparations are so simple; a change of clothes, some perishable food (the galley remains stocked with non-perishables), and a weather forecast without gale warnings. I didn't even have a notion of where I was headed--I simply pointed the boat out into the Bay, raised sail, engaged the autopilot, and glanced at the chart to see what might lay in a convenient sailing direction. Since it was blowing firmly from the southeast, because I was leaving after work and only had so much daylight, and because most harbors to the south from Deale are a good ways. I looked north and Harness Creek jumped out at me: I hadn't been there, there was a park wrapping around to east, and it was the right distance. The wind was supposed to revers the next day, making for an easy broad reach both ways. Lazy.
Cats feel so slow broad reaching. We made 8-knots easily and caught and passed a number of 40-foot monohull cruisers. But really speed wasn't the point. Well, perhaps it became so when I spotted a Gemini headed the same way, screacher up and all. I caught him after a bit, but it was poor sailing on his part, going too deep with stalled sails, while I would alternate between wing-and-wing and a healthy broad reach.
Harness Creek is a small creek just south of Annapolis, with houses on one shore and Quiet Waters Park on the other.
|Dingy parking is where you find it--the small cove to the SE works well|
|Mystic Whaler, a 105-foot replica. The gun ports are panted on and she appeared to be steel. A tourist cruise boat, with a greenhorn paid crew, judging by the anchoring circus.|
I was a bit surprised to see that my Delta had dragged some 20 feet. First time, but not unexpected. The cruising guide said the holding was poor, it felt that way when anchoring, and I had set a second anchor (Fortress F16) which felt bomber in the muck. It had blown that night, up to 25-30 knots I guess. Oddly, when it was time to lift the anchors, both were well set, so perhaps I didn't move and it was only the rode straightening and the wind shifting. Quien sabe.
I sprawled out on the trampoline after dinner, stared at the stars, and fell asleep for an hour of more, quite by accident. All was right with the world.
By morning the wind had clocked, as predicted and that sail home was simple. The starboard engine wouldn't come up, but that is the stuff of an earlier post and was no real concern. It was another excuse for a swim.
I don't post stories of day sails and simple overnights. Little discovery, little BFS, little thrill. But time well spent, messing about in boats.