Labor Day Weekend
8/30 Friday (51 - our 51st day playing on the water this year) 87/66, WSW 5-10, 1350.2 - Last week we made plans to sail out this morning with the Hances Point Yacht Club boats on their Labor Day Cruise, but earlier this week Dobbs’ wonderful 97 year-old Great Aunt Barbara passed away and her funeral was this morning. Last night, after work, we loaded our things aboard Grace and stayed at Bay Boat Works so we’d be ready to sail as soon as we got back from Lancaster.
We cleared the fairway at 5pm and set sail just west of the mooring field. Beating, by 6:30pm we were passing red #6 of the Northeast River.
The tide was against us so working to windward was slow going and continued into the wee hours.
The only ship traffic was a tug and barge out of Havre de Grace and a long tow northbound off the Sassafras. We anchored in Still Pond at 2:30am. It was a beautiful evening and Grace sailed steady and sure.
8/31 Saturday (52) Corsica River, 85/65, NNE 15, 1351 - Hoping to return to a regular eating and sleeping schedule, and also not wanting to keep the pets waiting for their needs, we got up at 7am. Dobbs prepped for off-loading Coquille while I made coffee and fed Murphy and Maxwell. Then, while I made breakfast, he rowed Murphy to shore. Amazingly, after only 4-1/2 hours of sleep, we felt refreshed enough to head back out in pursuit of the HPYC gang. Dobbs texted Rick to learn that they’d spent the evening in Swan Creek and were sailing for the Corsica River today. The breeze was fresh and cool, perfect for downwind sailing. Grace rolled along at 6-7 knots on a broad reach.
We sailed over to the mouth of the Patapsco since I’d read that the NS Savannah was going to be dead-towed north to Philadelphia sometime between 9am this morning and September 3. She failed to appear - our guess is that the northerly breeze was making conditions unappealing for such an ambitious tow. We jibed and broad-reached for Love Point and then into the Chester River. There were lots of boats out sailing, which was very pleasing to see. When the Chester River turned north, we beat as far as Piney Point and then the wind faded away. We motored the couple remaining miles and joined the HPYC fleet at anchor in the Corsica River. We anchored west of Ship Point, off the beach.
I rowed Murphy to shore and then Dobbs and I swam and bathed. The water here is brackish and tan-hued with decent clarity - we could see down 3-4’. We’re the closest boat in, which is great for rowing to shore, but it seems like we’re just inside of a wave break that makes it a little roll-y when boats pass in the channel. Next time, more west would be better. I made Sicilian Eggplant Pasta for dinner. While I cooked, Dobbs rowed over to say “hello” to our friends.
9/1 Sunday (53) Worton Creek, 86/66, E5-10>NW5-10>10-12, 1352.4 -
Our HPYC friends have stamina - Sugaree was upping anchor at 8am to go to Lankford Bay Marina for a pump-out; Irish Dream and Mandy Lynn followed at 8:30am; and then other boats every 15 minutes or so after. Dobbs and I got underway around 9am, I think. The breeze was perfect for sailing out of the Corsica River and down the Chester. Our friend Gavin, up from St. Croix, texted to say that he was sailing out of Rock Hall and suggested a rendezvous at Love Point. Believe it or not, old Grace was faster than every other boat sailing in the same direction and one-by-one we put them behind us.
We met up with Gavin aboard Luna Sea at green #9. He gave us a bellowing conch horn salute and we exchanged hailed greetings and sailed side-by-side until the upwind leg.
Then Luna Sea pulled away as we knew she would, simply climbing north despite the ebbing tide. Shallow-draft, full-keeled Grace did her best, but there were times that we couldn’t overcome the current and had to motor out to get clear of Swan Point. Off Rock Hall, the wind switched to come out of the northwest. Mandy Lynn and Sugaree caught up with us and then moved ahead. Just north of Tolchester, the wind flipped again and blew from the east - this time with gusto. As soon as Grace could come off the wind, we were able to sail back up through the fleet and go barreling on to Worton Creek. Gavin had arrived about 45 minutes ahead of us and anchored inshore of red #2. With an east and south breeze, the spot seemed appealing, so we anchored nearby. It was around 5:30pm. We ate a snack, fed the pets, launched the dinghy, and Dobbs rowed Murphy to shore while I washed the dishes. Then Dobbs rowed us over to Luna Sea to pay Gavin a visit. He showed us the ins-and-outs of his Beneteau 373 and talked about how he’d come to own her, and the process of building the new rig to replace the broken mast. He even made us a delicious comforting dinner - grilled cheese and lentil soup. We stayed until 9:15pm and then said our good-nights and rowed home. It was good to be with Gavin again.
9/2 Monday, Labor Day (54) Bay Boat Works, 86/66, S10-15 - Despite being anchored in an area more exposed than we’re used to, both Dobbs and I felt confident about our ground tackle and set, and slept restfully. We awoke at 7am to find Luna Sea had already departed. Soaking up the quiet morning, we went about coffee drinking, pet care, and dinghy stowage at our own pace.
I turned on the radio and heard that Brazen Article and Irish Dream were already sailing at 8am - too early for us. We cleared out around 9:30am. As we reached out of Worton Creek, we saw Hobo sailing north.
Good Gifts, a late arrival to the Belly Button Beach anchorage yesterday, was still at anchor and getting quite the workout in the south wind. Hobo ran like a galleon straight up the Bay. We elected to reach-and-reach instead, simply for the breeze and added exertion.
We never caught them, but we held our position and maybe gained a little, rounding Hances Point less than 15 minutes after them (once a racer, always a racer…). It was HOT at the dock. We packed up as quickly as we could and headed for home, where air-conditioning awaited.