Friday, September 16, 2011

The Chesapeake Slalom.

After a 4-day business trip I decded I needed a 3-day fall sailing trip, this one solo. It's only day one.


I'm anchored in a small cove off La Trippe Creek, near Oxford, Md. A few cruisers have shown up to share my spot--or I'm sharing theirs, it hardly matters--and they all seem expereinced and curtious, anchoring in a surprisingly accurate 200-foot grid, no one crowding, without fuss.

The Bay is just brown. Flooding, you know. My place of business went under 6 feet of water and 2 feet of mud. Actually, it was good timing for a business trip, just not good timing for a sailing trip.

The wind forecast underestimated the energy of the passing front. Instead of 5-10 knots I saw sustained 20 knots and some good wave action for a few hours, but I was mostly headed down wind, so that simply translates into speed. All good... generally. The challenge was the semi-floating trees, huge things arainged into bands, where ever the flood water cross a ledge and an upwelling current traps or constentrates the flotsom, the aftermath of flooding in Pennsylvania. A sort of slalom played at 10 knots through muddy water with too much canvas up. Reefing would have made sense, but reefing while single handing and doing the slalom in 3-4 to 4-foot waves at 10 knots is just a bit troublesome, and I put it off until eventually I had to head upwind and dance all over the deck. I think I missed everything that mattered--no dents and no big thuds. I'm honestly a little surprised.

However, once up the Choptank River the water cleared, and up this particular creek it's as clear as ever--better--and warm enough for wading on a very nice beach.

After fixing a few things (autopilot busted a belt and the bow light stopped working during our last trip) I took the tender further up the creek and spent an hour, laying in the bottom of the boat, letting the wind blow me back to where I started and wondering if I would fall asleep.

Yeah, I'm OK.

PS. Love the Manson Supreme. Love the air card.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for disclosing the location of your deserted cove. We anchor in Dunn Cove often, but often don't like the company. Occasionally there is entertainment in the form of watching inept anchoring, but the fun's over when we get concerned about their proximity and the wind direction through the night. We also get a little creeped out thinking about the how well the mansions can see US.

    Hope we don't see you in the cove off of Harris Creek! Thanks again.