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The current plan is to leave around 6:30 tonight. The forecast has us running or broad reaching in 15-20, temps in the low 80s, getting into the mid 60s tonight. We plan to sail back tomorrow.
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 KT. WAVES
2 TO 4 FT. ISOLATED SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 KT. WAVES 1 TO
NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES 1 FT OR LESS.
2008-01-04 - Bay Retriever's Winter '08 Home
The view out Bay Retriever's aft cabin
2007-12-17 Winter cruise to the C&D Canal
There's an old saying, "Gentleman don't sail to weather." Weather has two meanings in sailing depending on context; in this case, it means 'into the wind.' Sailing to weather is also known as "sailing upwind," or, more accurately, "beating upwind," because it is a beating.
Well, it's tolerable when it's 70F and you're just out for a few hours. Yesterday we had a high of 36F. The forecast was for a nice reach, but nooo the wind was more northerly (and stronger too), and so we were beating into 25 knots for most of the first 6 hours.
We got underway at 0640, and after setting the main and getting the boat set, my dad went 'offwatch' to stay warm and get some rest. Twenty minutes later I could see him looking around for a bucket, so I gave him the 5 gallon one while the Autohelm drove, and consigned myself to staying on deck for the next 10 hours.
With our course, there was no place to tuck in and hide until we reached the halfway point, Pooole's Island. Poole's Island is off limits due to unexploded ordinance, and there's shallow sand all around, but our course would put us in the lee of the island, giving safety from the 4-6' waves and 20-30 knot breezes. Our ETA to Poole's Island was about noon..
0800 My left toes are getting a little sore from the cold. Maybe wearing summer sailing shoes full of ventilation holes was a mistake, but I don't want to leave the helm to put on boots.
0930 My toes really hurt. Only 3 hours till I can go below and find my thicker socks and put my boots on. I'm getting doused by waves every few minutes.
1100 I stuck a few of those glove/boot warmers in my shoe. They SUCK. Thank God for good foul weather gear, and the Autohelm. Driving in this slop - waves 4-6' coming from the starboard bow means lots slamming, and holding a cold steel wheel to drive would mean looking forward more, which would mean the waves crashing over the bow would be hitting me in the face instead of the back of my foul weather gear.
1130 I can't feel my left toes any more, but I can tell they still move when I tell them to. One hour to go.
1230 Finally in the lee of Poole's Island. Wind is now reading 14 knots, and the waves are a lot smaller. I leave the Autohelm to drive, and go below to make hot chocolate. Though I can still see my breath in the cabin, it's out of the wind and actually quite comfortable. I poke my head up every few minutes to check for traffic.
1245 I finally put on another pair of socks and my seaboots.
1330 We're still motorsailing, but the breeze has dropped off some, and we've turned away from it. By 'dropped off,' I mean only occasional gusts to 25; it's still sustained 20 knots though. I set the #3 headsail anyway. Moving around carefully, since I'm the only one on deck and the water is 38F, it takes me half an hour to get the sail set, but we're finally drawing along nicely on a beam reach. I kill the engine, and our speed increases to 7 knots.
For the next 3 hours, we sailed at 6.5-8.3 knots; it was awesome. I let the Autohelm take over if I had to go below for water, or to check the course, or adjust sails, but otherwise steered myself for the last 3 hours. And by then with all the activity of setting the headsail my feet weren't cold any more. Around 2:30 I shook the reef out of the main, and we sailed under full canvas all the way to the marina.
Overall it was a good trip. I'm sorry my dad was so miserable, but at least he wasn't uncomfortable enough to say yes when I asked if he wanted me to put in somewhere.
So the boat is in her winter home. Whether I keep this job or not she'll stay there, protected from the winter storms, safely at the nice floating docks they have. But for now, I have a 79 mile drive in to work, then an 8 mile drive to my floating home.
2007-12-16 Forecast for C&D Cruise
Departure date/time: 17 Dec 07, 0500
Departure location: Eastport, MD
Route length: 50.3 nm, generally heading NNE, then ENE.
Destination port: Chesapeake City, MD
ETA: 1700, No later than 1900
Anticipated stopover port: None. Bowley's Quarters marina is the only sheltered port not 3 hours out of the way (it's about two), and is approx. halfway.
GALE WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY MORNING
NW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 KT...DECREASING TO
15 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WAVES 3 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 TO
3 FT IN THE AFTERNOON.
W WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES 1 FT.
Summary: it's gonna be cold and WINDY. The only good thing is the wind won't be on the nose, so we won't have to tack. We should have a close reach up the Bay, which is usually good, but in 25 knots...it's going to be 'exciting' and 'cold.'
Bay Retriever's first voyage under my command was a 40 mile delivery from Deale, MD to Baltimore, MD. It was one year to the day after I'd lost the rig on my first boat, so we motored the whole way. The following May, my dad and I did the St. Michael's race, leaving from Baltimore at midnight on a rainy Friday evening, sailing slowly right in to the start, then continuing on to St. Mike's. Total distance was about 45 miles from Baltimore.
This will be the longest single voyage on my boat. Compared to the Bermuda race, this is nothing, but then the Bermuda race takes place in the Sargasso sea with 85F water and hot summer sun. The Bay is currently about 36F.
Suffice it to say I'll be bundled up for this one :).
2007 Parade of Lights
Bay Retriever entered the Eastport Yacht Club's 2007 Parade of Lights with a festive crew
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