The 2008 Sailing Season

Saturday November 28th, 2008


The daughter, Jessie and the granddaughter, Claire and the son-in-law Frank
spend a quiet moment sitting on the end of the dock.

In what turned out to be a bleak afternoon, with more clouds that predicted and temps in the mid 40° range we decided not to drag the kids out on the boat. Instead we had the fun of introducing the granddaughter, Claire (just over 2 years old) to hot chocolate!  She was surprised to learn that the boat had a stove like mommy's kitchen (only in the mind of a 2 year old) and equally surprised to see a table!  So we fired up the stove, the heat was nice, and warmed milk for coco.  She was so proud of herself as she sat next to granddad sipping her mug of coco all by herself!  When papa disappeared she let me know she wanted more, so not wanting to discourage her in any way I made another small pot.  With that down and the evening coming on we decided to shoot our holiday card!  Holiday cards have long been a tradition for the family but mostly I do more general themes than pictures of the wife and I mugging for the camera.  But this year was different.  The boat is really a family thing so when we had all the family aboard we strung some lights and hung a wreath in place of the life ring and all donned Santa hats (well, almost all, Claire would have no part of the hat thing),

Happy Holidays
from the crew of Aeolus II

May you have fair winds and following seas in the coming new year!

Thursday November 27th, 2008
Thanksgiving

 For me this isn't a sailing day ... but here in the USA it is Thanksgiving Day.  A traditional day of family and feasting.  The daughter, Jessie, and her husband, Frank, and my 2 wonderful granddaughters are flying in (we pick them up at BWI airport in a few hours).  So, while this isn't a sailing day it is a wonderful day here.  My 2 year old granddaughter, Claire wants to ride on Aeolus and when mommy said we would go see Aeolus she insisted, "NO! Ride on Aeolus!"  She knows the key to her Granddad's heart for sure!  So, weather permitting we will head down to the boat for a nice visit and perhaps even a "ride" however short that might be.  So, my family is certainly one thing I am thankful for this year!  Assuming we go, there will be pictures for sure!  This sounds like a perfect time to fire up the stove for some hot choclate!

Sunday November 9th, 2008
Winds 8-12 knots ESE, Temps mid 50s

Sometimes sailing is not just about jumping on your boat and heading out for an afternoon sail.  Today was one of those days.  My good friend and slip landlord races his Melges 24, Totally Irresponsible. He most often races in the Pirates Cove Race Club in Galesville.  Their racing season starts in April and lasts through November.  3/4ths of the year they are a Wednesday Night Beer Cab club, but when the days run short they switch from Wednesday Evenings to Sunday afternoons.  My friend with the boat would rather sail than be the race committee so he twists my arm to work the race so he can race.  That was my duty this Sunday.  So, arm twisting flows down hill.  I coerced my brother and nephew into coming with me, so our little band has done this chore most years and almost always in the Frostbite series.  I suppose we prefer the Frostbite as there is less to do, with fewer boats and half the starts. 

So, we arrived at about 12:15 and ran around learning the combination to the lock on the committee box and then figuring a race course.  We sent them course Q, a 6.4 nm course from the start in Galesville out to east in the river and then a reaching leg down the Rhodes River and then back out to West River and to finish.   This course had more reaching legs than upwind legs and we figured the Melges did better in reaching legs than it did in beating or running legs and we might as well give what little advantage we could to our friend. Of course of the 22 boats reporting in about 15 or more complained that we picked the wrong course (my friend included) and they warned that we would be up on the committee stand for hours waiting for all the boats to finish (just before the start the wind at the start was light).  But we went with our decision and stuck with the planned course.  And as the committee watch (actually a small electronic timer) read 12:54:50 we promptly turned on "Ollie" the automated starting sequence box that beeps and lets the committee know when to raise and lower flags and blasts an air horn at the appropriate times for the racers to know when the race starts.  Ollie, did its job well and we only had to make sure no one was over the line early and to raise the appropriate flag at the right time.  We did our job and both fleets, Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker were off at 1300 and 1305 respectively.  My brother was offered a ride on a friend's power boat to go shoot some images of the racers, so he and my nephew abandoned me and were off for a while. I stayed behind so in the off case that there was a problem with then power boat I could still finish the race and record the times as the 22 boats finished.

Out on the course the wind freshened and the boats heeled over  and sped toward their respective marks.  Once they had some wind the complaints all disappeared.  The results were as follows:

  Results from 11/09/2008      
Place Spinnaker   Place Non Spinnaker
1 Totally Irresponsible   1 Sage
2 Wildfire   2 Elvis
3 Singularity   3 Ka'io
4 Der Baron   4 Cheap Sunglasses
5 Bump in the Night   5 Kvack
6 Relentless   6 Crackerjack
7 Smokey   7 Enspirit
8 Teaser II   8 Vivace
9 Escapade      
10 Going Green      
11 Psyche      
12 Yankee Clipper      
13 Panache      


For Official results and information on racing next season go to Pirates Cove Racing


Left Photo, Totally Irresponsible (at right of fleet), and the rest of the Spinnaker fleet. 
That's me (right photo), the lonely committee person, waiting for the fleet and my help to return.

Photos by Mike McCary

   

Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Winds NW light <10kts, temps about 70°

Mary was busy getting grades done for school today so I decided to take an afternoon sailing by myself.  I spent the am getting some actual work done and then a trip to make a bank deposit and then off for sailing.  I stopped in Edgewater for gas, $2.29 per gallon.  And then a quick stop for a sandwich at Bayside Beef & Bull.  Arriving at the boat about 2 pm.  Chatted with Joe, my slip landlord who was waiting for another friend to go fishing.  They pulled out and I was ready to get underway only to find one of my turning blocks for the Genny was broken.  I made a quick trip to West Marine in Deal and purchased a new pair (I made a spare of the old one).  Then it was out of the slip and out of the river. It was so late I decided to motor out to the Red #4 and hoist sails.  I then ran wing & wing for almost an hour at about 3 ˝ knots to almost the Red #2 and decided it was getting late so I turned and started tacking back.  The sail back was worth the drive down.  Nice 8-10 knot breeze, just enough to move the boat at 5+ knots and give me a workout.  I passed another Catalina 27, MS. Kitty, out for a late season sail.  We exchanged pleasant waves and a few words about the weather.  They were sailing under Genoa alone.  And she did real well on most points of sail except close hauled.  We tacked back and forth and waited as long as possible to make the last tack into the channel leading from the Red #4 to the Green #5 so I could do this in a single tack.  My luck held, just as I thought about tacking I was lifted and sailed past the other boat pinching to make the mark.  I sailed down past The Cove and popped into the wind and lowered the main and rolled in the Genoa.  The engine started and it was off to the slip.  This certainly wasn't the longest sail of the season, but it was one of the sweetest sails with warm sun on your face and gentle breeze I felt I was cheating the calendar to be sailing and enjoying life so well in November!  Lets hope there is more to come this season.  Next week I "get" to be the race committee for my landlord's race club, Pirates Cove Race Club.  It is a thankless job but I don't mind being out on the water watching sailboats. 

The picture to the left is not mine, but instead it is from MODIS (NASA Modis Web).  If you look close to the center, you will see the boat, well, not at this resolution...  That site says, "Autumn colors the foliage around the Chesapeake Bay in this image, captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on October 30, 2008. The formerly green leaves have all turned to brown and orange. The Chesapeake Bay runs between the mainland parts of Virginia and Maryland (west) and the Delmarva Peninsula (east). The Delmarva Pensinsula contains parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, thus its name.

The Chesapeake Bay is considered the largest estuary - more than 150 rivers and streams empty into it, and the Atlantic Ocean is accessible at its southern end. From the Atlantic to the Susquehanna River, the Bay stretches 200 miles, though at its widest point, it is only 30 miles wide. One of the most famous rivers that empties into the Chesapeake Bay is the Potomac River, which flows along the border of the US capital, Washington, DC. "

 

Monday, October 13th, 2008
Annapolis, MD

The US Sailboat Show (last day)

With my busy weekend schedule, Monday was the only day I could manage to head over to the boat show.  I had agreed to meet with a  fellow Catalina 27 owner  I had only met via email (Catalina 27 Talk email group through the International Catalina 27/270 Owners Association).  Dave, of Celtic Pride from Middle River MD, was supposed to meet me at 11 am at the Catalina display, he arrived  promptly at 11 with 2 of his sons in tow.   We looked at several large Catalina boats for nearly an hour.  We started with the Catalina 309 which to a couple Cat 27 owners seemed like a logical step up.  I thought it was very nice  with a large cockpit and a spacious cabin.  We then skipped over to the Catalina 320 and I was surprised how this boat seemed smaller than the 309 while it was actually larger, I think this is due to the layout in the cockpit and in the cabin.  It seemed to me to be a poor layout both topsides and below.  Then we looked at the Catalina 42mkII 3-Cabin Pullman .  WOW!  This boat was significantly larger and much more spacious.  The deck was nice and large.  But the cabin was the best.  This model had 3 interior cabins; 2 aft, one on each side of the companionway in a separate closed off stateroom. There was a separate head  there too.  Then there was a galley and dining area.  Forward where one usually finds a V birth was the owners stateroom.  It had a "Pullman" birth to port and forward was a separate head and more forward still was a separate shower.  Very nice indeed, but for roughly $225K if should be nice.  Maybe when I win the lottery I could afford this boat and then be able to head to the islands.

After surveying the Catalina Fleet, Dave and his 2 well behaved teenagers and I went to Pusser's for a pretty good crab cake sandwich.  After lunch the Dave and I split up.  I browsed the tents and upped my subscription to Sailing and Cruising World magazines. The show is a good place to get good rates for magazine subscriptions.  I also browsed looking for a nice gift for the grandkids and found a nice infant's bib and a toddler's hat.  I went by the Hinckley booth and obtained an appointment for 2:45 (just 2 hours later).

I dropped back by the Catalina Desk and bought a cap and bib for my granddaughters.   You have to keep the crew happy! See Below.

I arrived at the Hinckley booth on time for my scheduled tour.  Of course I would have to remove even my boat shoes before boarding. The deck was amazing.  So much space I could walk around the shrouds with ease.  The opening hatches were recessed so their top was flush with the teak deck, a nice touch to keep from banging one's toes in the dark.  The cockpit (see image below) was way more than spacious.  Yet everything was within easy reach.  All the winches were electric of course.  When I ducked below I was shocked to see the cabin sole, it was hand varnished!  It looked more like it had cover glass, no winder I had to remove my shoes!  I was surprised to see that the "rooms" were small. Of course they were plenty big enough, but for example, when you were in the galley you were not within easy sight of the main salon.  The staterooms were beautiful.  This was a stunning boat, even if it was a used boat (2002 model).  This was a 70' Southwester.  I had to wonder what the annual upkeep would be on such a yacht.  I even wondered where one would keep such a boat, she drew over 6' with the board up, no problem for most of the Bay, but with the board down she draws over 16'!  And where would one slip a 70' boat and what would the Annapolis slip fee be for a 70' beauty like this.  This boat would require winning the lottery to buy and continue winning year after year just to afford the slip and maintenance fees. But she is a beauty,  her name is Misconduct.

The day ended as I found the Garhauer Marine booth.  I explained my problem with the traveler and I was able to obtain the additional blocks needed to complete the job at a substantial savings. It was worth the time.  I loaded on the shuttle bus for the long ride back to the car.  It was a long but informative afternoon and I got to meet a fellow Catalina 27 sailor!


Above is photo is the Hinckley 70!    This particular boat was used and selling for a mere 3.2 million dollars!  It is a beautiful boat for sure.

Enough dreaming for one year... back to sailing the boat I have.

 

 

Friday October 10th, 2008
NE VERY light Wind <3kts

A VERY special day has come.  The old saying about the happiest days of boat ownership is when you buy and when you sell.  But for me it came today!  My daughter, Jessie, and her husband, Frank, brought their daughters, Claire (2 years old) and Natalie (2  months old) down for Claire's birthday weekend.  The weather prediction was rain all day on Friday, but our luck held, it was warm and sunny!  I forked over for the new PFD for Claire (she needed the 30lbs -50 lbs version) and after arriving at BWI on an flight from Boston we had a nice lunch of pizza at the Ledo Pizza in Edgewater and then it was on for a brief sail.  We pulled out of the slip about 4:30pm and motored out to the river.  We set sails and ghosted along for maybe 15 minutes before turning on the engine.  But it was successful not in sailing terms; but because the 2 year old actually had a good time! What more could a grandfather ask, your granddaughter loves the water and going out on granddad's boat, I am a happy sailor! After our short sail the crew went for soft ice cream while I buttoned up the boat.  Then it was off to Bob Evans Seafood to pick up a couple dozen live crabs for dinner.  Claire loved watching granddad fight to get them from the bag to the pot.  Claire had never tasted crabs and after a short coaxing she tried them and LOVED crab.  Granddad could not keep up with her demands.  She tried biting the inner section half but soon learned it is better to wait to have the meat picked for you...  She sure won a special place in my heart, well ok, she greatly enlarged that special place!


Claire, far left; Natalie second from left both try on their new PFDs and while they were a bit snug they soon forgot about them and enjoyed the day.  The 3rd image is Pupa (Frank) holding Claire as we sail on... and Natalie and Captain Granddad enjoy the sights.

 

 

Sunday October 5th, 2008
N wind Light <5knots


The FIRST image of AEOLUS II Under sail!

 

A beautiful October day on the Bay, sunny and light breeze and warm temps.  After a slow start on the day, Mary and I went to scout a location for the granddaughter's 2nd birthday party next weekend.  We settled on Black Hill Regional park in Boyds, MD.  And weather permitting we will go sailing on Friday afternoon after their flight arrives, and if the weather isn't good we will attempt again on Sunday early before the flight out. 

 

We set out of the slip about 3 pm and noticed that our good friend and slip landlord was out on his new powerboat.  We called him on the cell to see where he was and learned he was sitting in Pirates Cove having lunch after his Frostbite race with PCRC, he came in second.  Soon he met us out in West River.  After a few images of us I handed him my camera and for the first time since March 11, 2007 we have a few images of the boat under sail!  See above.  Thanks Joe!  Below is his  new fishing boat.  It must be a good boat, he caught a 24" Rockfish on Friday!  That fish is well earned, he has been stalking it since spring. 

The "Admiral" enjoying the light air and warm temps above.

Joe zoomed off to the horizon after a few minutes and we sailed on for another few hours.  As the wind died about 5:30pm we headed in under power.  A beautiful afternoon.

Saturday September 27th, 2008
Rain and high tides


The "Fat Females" from Bob Evans Seafood in Churchton, MD


The Nor'easter that roared through the East Coast is still showing its effects this weekend with periods of heavy rain and very high tides.  So, we decided that sailing wasn't in the cards this weekend.  My mom was coming back from a visit with her new Great Granddaughter and now nearly 2 year old Great Granddaughter (she had a grand time) and it was my chore to pick her up at the airport (BWI).  I figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone and go check on the boat AND pick up some late season crabs after BWI.  So that is just what we did.  Below you can see, in a rather crudely stitched cell phone panorama, she is just fine.  So then it was off to get some local crabs, you gotta support the local watermen in their efforts!  I bought a bushel of "Fat Females" and they were certainly just that!  And they were a bargain at just $49 per bushel (see picture above)

 
Aeolus II (left) rides high in her slip due to the Nor'easter this weekend.

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Wind 12-15 knots N, Temp near 80°

After a weekend of almost no wind (3 knots), we went Sailing on Monday

Mary and I went sailing this afternoon. It was beautiful, almost no boats and relatively calm seas and nice wind.  We did some work around the house and some business work and then it was off to The Bay for a late afternoon of sailing.  We motored out to the outer Galesville Red #4 and hoisted sails.  We opted to reef the main but in hindsight we should have gone for full main.  But it is better safe than sorry. The weather was grand on this the first afternoon of Fall.  Once we were out in The Bay we raced along at 5+ knots. We turned back about 3 pm and were back in the slip by 4:15PM.

In my continuing effort to share my West River, here, at right, is the view of Galesville from the water.  The "gas dock is in the far right and Pirates Cove Marina and Restaurant are to the left.  The restaurant is wonderful.  If you are in the area (car or boat) stop by and enjoy their famous crab cakes. We do all the time. I wish they paid me for this recommendation but alas, I only get to enjoy the food as a patron.  Give them a shout on Chanel 16 for dock reservations.  The Cove sponsors the PCRC (Pirates Cove Race Club) sailing races each Wednesday evening at 6 pm spring, summer and fall and noon opn Sundays for frostbite.  There is lots of good competition in several PHRF classes.  Did I say I don't race, I used to race in the fleet, I was the club scorer for several years, but now prefer to slow sail and take time to smell the Bay.

And one more point; these images are made with my new cell phone.  It is Verizon's Samsung FlipShot™ in Red.  A 3 mp digital camera along with all the other traditional cell phone features we all know and expect.  This means I can actually make fairly decent images with a cell phone and not have to take one of my "real" cameras along (Nikon D300 currently).

Sunday September 14th, 2008
Wind 10-12 knots SE

Finally, back to sailing!

Ok, after being out of town for the new granddaughter and then one brief sail and then TS Hanna the prep and rebuild today finally was a great, relaxing sail.  Sunday was a beautiful day, but unfortunately Mary and I had a dinner engagement with some long time friends.  So I had to be home early.  And Mary had tons of school work so she opted to stay home and grade papers.

It was hot, mid 90s, but decent wind.  So, I sailed single handed.  I noticed something.  The West River #1A marker has changed.  Last time I was out I noticed it was a can buoy instead of the old familiar flashing green.  But, today when I was out I noticed the old marker was in place again but with a bright new coat of paint (photo left)!  It was good to see an old friend.  I should point out this marker seems to be the most difficult marker in my home sailing grounds for me to spot.  I know where it is and I swear I can look straight at it and not see it from any distance out (1/2 mile).

And today I saw another boat in front of me that was sailing erratically.  I wondered what was up.  As I approached I was going to pass her on the windward side until I noticed a crew member fishing.  So, I changed my mind and decided to pass well to leeward.  As I pulled up the guy standing in the stern had a fish on line.  I watched as he reeled it in (photo right), no it wasn't anything special but it was more fish than all the power boats I saw.

My sail was short but the wind was from the perfect direction.  As I left the slip I put up sails and ran downwind out of West River.  At the turn toward the Bay it became a reach out.  When I turned back it was a close reach back and then a long track into Galesville and a couple short tacks to round the last Red.  As I was coming in, I took a picture of my side of the river (photo below).  My slip is just around the point to the right.

Sunday September 7th, 2008
Winds 4-8 knots SSW

The storm passed. And the best part was there was NO damage!  Did you hear that insurance company?  Friday was a busy day.  I picked up some new 25' dock lines and went to the boat.  First I removed all the sails, then I positioned the boat in the best possible position.  I used the new dock lines and put out fenders.  I helped some others with their boats and by the end of the day I was exhausted but felt good about the boat.  The storm was predicted to have a 1-3 foot surge.  And I suppose that was about right.  I heard the water was up to the dock planking.  The boat rode fine and all was well.  When I arrived on Sunday, the 7th just after 1 pm the water was as low as I have ever seen it.  The boat was barely floating; but there was no damage and no water inside.  I spent the next several hours retrieving the anchor rode that I ran to a near by piling to keep it sprung off the bulkhead at all cost. replacing the sails and going back to the normal dock lines. I ran the engine and got everything ready for the next opportunity to sail again. And if you ignore the fact that I labored hard for the 2 days (Friday the 5th and Sunday the 7th) that would have been beautiful sailing days it was a good boat weekend.  More sailing soon!

 

Thursday September 4th, 2008

 

Not good times! We wait.  And we prepare.  Tropical Storm Hanna is scheduled to arrive Saturday.  So, I am off to prep the boat tomorrow.  Double lines, Bimini off and sails off.  Secure everything.  Hanna's path is scheduled to cross The Chesapeake Bay from about Mobjack Bay to just East of Tangier Island.  Tomorrow will be a busy day and Saturday will be a day filled with apprehension. 

I forgot to mention my friends Jan & Larry who live at Sunshine Beach NC.  I hope they are safe. 

I should remember this is just a Tropical Storm, not a Hurricane.  Of course if you want to watch the "progress" of Hanna (or other storms) you can log on the NOAA Hurricane Center's website.

 

Monday September 1, 2008 Labor Day
NE Winds 7-13 knots, temps in mid 80s.
A story of Dumb but Lucky!

Labor Day in the US is the traditional end of summer.  But, sailing season continues for another 2 months most years.  Today on the Chesapeake Bay was a glorious day.  The temps were in the mid to upper 80s and the wind was 7-11 knots.  We left early and made a day of it.  And, what a glorious day it was.  We sailed for hours tacking out to the Bay and once there the wind left.  Instead of the 10-13 knots we had been beating into, we were left to run downwind with 4-7 knots.  But, no complaints from us.  I took some pictures of hoe the boat looks at dock and another of a Catalina 25 as she sailed behind us.  As we tacked out we approached the Shadyside  (south) side of West River and bumped the soft mud.  It was a shock, but quickly putting the helm down and releasing the Genoa and sheeting it in on the port side and sheeting in the main, we heeled over a bit and slipped off as easily was we went aground.  We were lucky, but this is a common occurrence here in the Chesapeake Bay with its soft mud bottom, running aground is no big deal here as it is in so many other sailing locations.

A couple notes: first the last time we sailed way back in July, the engine would not start when it was time to come in.  We worried and stewed over the problem.  But family matters kept me away from the boat to check would could have caused this problem.  So a quick trip to the boat yesterday (8/31) to see what was the problem and if it could be coaxed into starting.  Back in early August I awoke in the middle of the night and had been dreaming about the problem with the engine.  I dreamed that the problem was the kill switch had come unclipped.  My outboard has in the cockpit controls much like an inboard would have.  So yesterday, when I went to see if I could fix the problem, the first thing I wanted to check was the kill switch.  Sure enough sitting under the engine control block was the kill switch.  Hey, label me dumb but lucky!

Lastly, I wanted to express my hope that all of our friends who sail on the Gulf Coast are spared another devastating hurricane experience.  From local (DC) news accounts, it looks like maybe, this will not be as bad as Katrina just 3 years ago.

Tuesday August 19th, 2008

This is another non sailing day, but I thought I would update you with the family news.  On Saturday, August 9th, Natalie Sutton (webpage) was born.  She is doing well and he wife and I are finally home.  It has been another big day for me and the crew.  Sister Claire is coping well with the competition with mommy time.

Friday August 8th, 2008 (08/08/08)
This was my date in the family baby pool.

Sudbury, West of Boston MA

We have been in Boston area for a week now waiting patiently on THE baby to arrive for my daughter and son-in-law.  But NO Baby yet...  We have had a wonderful time with my granddaughter, Claire. We have gone to the park most days and watched her as she plays in the sand box and rides down the sliding board and on the swing set.  It is great fun.  We will be here for another week and hopefully the new baby will arrive soon or we will have to come back later.  Another friend is due in Rockport this weekend and I may sneak away for an afternoon this week to visit with him and actually see some boats.  So, my non sailing vacation has been fun.  It is so good to be with my granddaughter and watch her.

Saturday, July 26th, 2008
Winds South 12-18 kts

Its been 10 days since we sailed last, too long.  So, After planning on sailing on Friday the 25th and realized there was light winds we opted to go today instead.  We left home by 7:15am and stopped for breakfast at Pirates Cove Inn in Galesville.  After a quick meal we were out on the water by 9:30 am.  We had a glorious sail  out of West River and out into The Bay.  It was exhilarating.  We sailed several times around and somewhere around noon we decided to head in.  But the roller furler had a tangle, so  after heading into calmer waters I went up on deck and untangled the rig.  Then we discovered that out old faithful Honda 9.9 4 Stroke refused to start.  She turned over nicely but no spark.  My landlord/slip mate was out on his 26' power boat so I called to see where he was... and he was in and almost home driving the Washington Beltway.  So, I briefly considered calling TowboatUS (I have never used their services!) but figured there was plenty of time later for that drastic measure so we sailed in.  The narrow channel into Galesville was the only tricky part since the wind was dead on the nose which forced us to tack many short tacks but we made it.  We headed up to the far end of the anchorage, beyond out normal sail douching area, headed up into the wind and lowered the main into the lazyjacks.  That worked like a charm!  I rolled out a small bit of jib and we turned and sailed into the slip.  Nothing fancy and the wind was perfect for that today.  We buttoned up the boat and headed home.  But that's not the end of the story... our daughter is about to give birth to our 2nd granddaughter and of course she called as we were tacking up the narrow channel.  She told us she was having contractions!  We explained that we were a tad bit busy to chat and would call later... after docking the boat we called: No Answer!  We called again and again.  We started making the lists of last minute things we needed to do in the early am to leave.  But then tonight she called back and told us it was a false alarm.  Of course I will let you know when it happens, after all we like to mention our crew here and she WILL be crew.  We are tired and I need to look at the engine, but that can wait until another day (I am hopping maybe a clogged fuel line or maybe a spark plug is all it needs).
Another Catalina 27 sails across the Bay with us.

One last note, on the way home we stopped for a late (3:30pm) lunch at the Edgewater Green Turtle.  While we waited for our waitress I could not help but over hear the discussion at our neighbor's table.  Two very happy couples sat and discussed sailboats and what they were getting... I interrupted and asked if they just bought a boat and indeed they had. They were from New Brunswick Canada and just purchased an Irwin 34!  It was glorious to see happy faces.  I only hope they take a small amount of time to experience some of The Chesapeake Bay's 4,000+ miles of shoreline and wonderful sights.  I suggested they come down next fall for a week of glorious sailing and even take in the US Sailboat show  in Annapolis in October.  It was uplifting to see people who love sailing move up in boats.  But hey they are under some disillusion that sailing in Maine is better than our beloved Chesapeake Bay.  I hope they enjoy their Mystery!


A fun afternoon flying along at 6.5 knots!

 

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
Winds light <5kts

After a week visiting relatives in Mississippi and catching up on work and spending a long weekend shooting a Hall of Fame Golf Tournament and festivities, this was our first chance to get out on the boat.  And the future doesn't look much better.  Jessie is due with our 2nd granddaughter any time now so it will be off to Boston for those happy times.  So, Mary and I decided we should take the time to get out even though the winds were light.  We went down in the afternoon and sailed until almost 8pm. We were able to tack out of the river and all the way out to Green #1 but when coming back it seemed to be a race between the sun and wind which would die first.  After passing the red #2 we took down the sails and motored in past the racing catamarans as we approached the green #3.  We left the dock as the sun was setting. Left, Mary seemed just a bit off.  At the right, he Osprey didn't appreciate our passing her perch on the West River, Red #2.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 21st, 2008
Winds <10Kts

Just a quick get away morning.  We left early and stopped for breakfast at the diner in Parole and then off to the boat by 8am.  We sailed until it got too hot, around 2pm.  I wish it could have been more wind but, it's summer so we take what we get and be thankful.

Sunday, June 15th, 2008
Father's Day
Wind Light and Variable

With Mary going to Maine for an extended weekend with Jessie. I invited my brothers and families and my mom down to the boat for a cookout complete with crabs.  The kids broke out the inflatable dingy and raced all over the river. I went and picked up crabs from Bob Evans.  With a crab shortage and state imposed limits crabs were more expensive than ever before, $155 for a bushel of mixed #1 & #2. We had shrimp and Filet Mignon and pasta salad and fresh fruit  salad.  it was very hot in the sun, so we hid in the shade most of the afternoon.  Everyone had a great time.

 

 

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Wind 0-5K East, 85°

My long time and dear friend Paul and his wife, Arna wanted to go sailing so after the area's heat wave finally broke (4 straight days of 95+) we went out for a late afternoon sail.  We left the dock at about 5:15pm and sailed until 8:30.  We had a grand time in spite of the very light air.  After docking it out for a late night dinner at The Green Turtle.  Paul is an airline pilot who spent the afternoon watching the planes on approach to BWI.  Arna was more relaxed being the creative partner, she works as a writer...

 

 

 


Totally Irresponsible, Melges 24 #90, as we tow her from the dock out to the
starting area for the Wednesday night series,
The 2 photos above and above right by Paul.

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Winds SW 12-15 kts gusting to 20+ kts in gusts

After a late start, Mary and I went out for a nice afternoon sail.  We sailed all over West River and down past Camp Letts on Rhodes River.  We choose to stay close because we kept hearing about the nasty storms in the area.  We lucked out, we had some gusts but only about 10 drops of rain.  We heard of bad storms just North and just South of WR.  It was a nice afternoon out finally! There is still some more work to do on the boat, maybe next week...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

So, so much to do and so little time.  I decided to replace both batteries.  It turns out they were both 4 years old, so after $200 and a few hours I had power back.  Then I moved on to the bilge pump switch.  I had opted for one with no moving parts. Did I say I hate working on my hands and knees?  Replacing a bilge switch means working below your knees.  But after some nasty words it all came together and now works well. 

 

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 Memorial Day weekend

Winds light and varriable

The highlight of this only day of sailing out of 3 was the daughter, Jessie was down for her cousin's Graduation from Engineering school at the University of Maryland. The graduation was Thursday night and Friday at noon.  But the party was Saturday.  Jess flew in on Saturday morning and flew out on Sunday afternoon. That only left a few precious hours sailing Sunday.  But as we all know, a few is much better than none.  It was the first time in a long while that the three of us (Dad/Mom/Daughter) went sailing alone, I miss those times.  After a while of sitting in the cockpit she just had to go up on the foredeck and stretch out and relax a while... Then it was off to BWI and home to Hubby and demanding daughter.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

After the fishing trip we have had lousy weather for almost 2 weeks whenever I was free, so no sailing.  Then a week ago we had a Nor'easter roar through with 6-8"  of rain in 2 days, so no sailing.  So, today was the first day available to go to the boat, but the winds were 20 kts gusting to 30.  Too high for sailing so I went down to check.  On first sight all seemed normal.  But when I boarded the boat the cockpit had several inches of water due to clogged drains.  So I cleared the drains and opened the main hatch to find 6" of water on the cabin sole!  The batteries were both dead and the bilge pump would not pump the water.  I took my shoes and rolled up the pants and dug out the manual bilge pump.  After pumping 10 buckets (5 gal buckets) it was dry.  This weekend is memorial Day weekend, but the nephew is graduating from UMD and it will be a command performance to attend. Jess is coming in Saturday morning and goes out Sunday afternoon.  Sailing seems to be taking a backseat.

 

Friday, May 2, 2008

After some work around the house it was off to the boat for the final touches of spring cleaning... well, to be truthful it was finishing touches on round 1 of spring cleaning.  I scrubbed the cockpit and surrounding area to the mast.  She looks pretty nice all clean and white.  I readied the fishing gear, and most work is done on the boat for the pending Sunday fishing trip...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Another day of getting "stuff" together for the fishing trip.  I had purchased a new inflatable dingy for the boat on Saturday but when I picked it up today I learned that I had inadvertently switched it for the smaller model.  So back to West Marine to get a size up.  The new boat is the SB-275 and is 9' long and accepts up to a 8hp engine.  I hope it is small enough for me to lug about on the big boat and yet big enough for the wife and I to pop on and get off the anchored big boat.  Time will tell.  After getting the boat I went to the DNR in MD to register the boat only to learn that the store personnel did not fill in the forms, so back to the closest WM and there (Forest Drive store) they not only filled in the forms but they also registered the boat and I got stickers as well.  Then it was off to the boat for some cleaning and to drop off the new inflatable.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008
60s, wind 15 NW

After a late start on getting to working on the boat I started today.  The family has a guy's fishing trip planned for Sunday and I need to get the boat ready.  One destressing point, I am missing a piece to the traveler, so installation will have to wait.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
70°, wind 18 WSW.

Another warm spring day, but too much wind to sail.  So, I decided to make a visit to the boat.  So, after Mary finished up her morning at school, my mom and Mary and I went down to the boat.  I am pleased to find everything in fine shape.  I have loads of work to do on the boat to be really ready, but that will wait for some time this spring. 

After the hour checking the boat, running the engine, checking for leaks, etc and adjusting the lines, it was time for dinner, so, we went to Pirates Cove.  We had the early bird specials (scallops, oysters and shrimp, one for each of us). And we had a pleasant drive home.  One small note, we picked up a used mini-van, a 2000 Ford Windstar.  I got it to haul the daughter's still growing family (number 2 due in August).  So when I am at the age of thinking about retirement and there are just 2 drivers in the family we bought a mini van. Go figure.  But at least it will make hauling stuff to and from the boat easier.


Sailing January 7th, West River, MD
Monday January 7th, 2008
65° Wind 12 ESE

The 2008 Sailing season has started!


YES!, that's right, January 7th and I was sailing!  The prediction was for mid 60s.  The temps on land passed that but on the water it was a bit cooler, the recorded temp at Thomas Point was 57° and the wind was steady at 10 knots.  I slipped away from the dock at 11:30am and motored out in an almost calm West River in Galesville.  With sails up I found a breeze as I passed the entrance to Shady Side's Parish Creek.  It was wonderful to be out on The Bay cheating old man winter.  I searched the horizon for other intrepid sailors and off in the distance I saw 2 boats between Annapolis and the Bay Bridge.  I saw another South of Bloody Point.  There was one boat sailing out of West River and I saw him as I turned for home.  One last sailboat was motoring out of the river with sail cover on as I sailed in at almost 6 knots!.  I saw 3 work boats and 2 power boats (one was being towed by BoatUS TowBoat), and other than those I was alone on my beloved Bay.   With so few boats on The Bay I wondered if I was one of the very few sailors out enjoying the weather break this far North.  I suppose I will never know...