Tuesday Daysail

Making good on a Father’s Day commitment, Ruth and I took her dad and step-mom sailing today, with a lunch stop at a restaurant in Chesapeake Beach.

Not knowing how the weather would turn out, we took a bit of a gamble on conditions.  However, a cold front blew through yesterday and we awoke to temps in the low 60s, low humidity, and gusty conditions.  Perfect conditions for a vigorous sail with a numerous crew to handle tiller, sheets, etc.

Here we are at the start. Note the crystal clear sky and bright sun.

Temps at 1000 when we started out were in the low 70s, but on the water it always feels cooler.  I wore jeans and brought a sweatshirt.  Ruth’s step-mom felt just a bit chilly all day.  The reason I keep talking about this is because I’m a Florida native.  In Florida, temps like this in late June are simply impossible, and I always feel like I’m getting away with something scandalous when we get a summer day like this here in Maryland.

The day was amazingly clear, and boat traffic almost zero, being a Tuesday.

I just unrolled the headsail, as it was pretty breezy.  With wives on board, I didn’t want to dip the rail and make people uncomfortable, although we could have easily stood up to reefed main and partial headsail without discomfort (perhaps the truth here is that I was lazy!)

Two hours of off-the-wind sailing brought us to the marker off Chesapeake Beach and we headed in for lunch.  The channel proved to be shallow – at the end of a dredge cycle, is what the marina guy told me, so we were seeing 4.5 to 5.5-foot depths as we motored through the markers.  After lunch, on the way back out to the bay the tide was a foot lower and we actually touched bottom once.

This was our destination for lunch. You can barely make out the markers on the left. Not very scenic from the water.

Lunch was fantastic.  We all had variants of seafood offerings.  Afterward, we climbed back down into the boat (farther now than we had climbed up upon arrival), and headed back out to the bay.  The wind had strengthened a bit since the morning, and with just the headsail out we couldn’t effectively make much progress to weather.  So after achieving enough distance off shore, to weather Holland Point, we turned back to the north and crashed/bashed our way under power for the next hour and a quarter, arriving back at our marina by 1600.

Having taken a lot of spray over the  bow, and sometimes into the cockpit, I gave the boat a good fresh-water rinse before putting her away.

Cleaning up and washing down.

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8 comments
  1. It looks like you had quite a nice day. Here in Florida not so good. Rain, rain and more rain. Question what is that hose coming out of your mast and into the deck?

    • Thanks for the visit, Mike. It was an incredible day. I heard from several Watkins owners in the Tampa Bay area that the rain and storm surge have been pretty bad. One of them said they had 12 inches in 12 hours.

      The white hose is a conduit for mast wiring. This is an idea I stole from another boat owner. The fitting on the mast is actually a stanchion base, and I used a standard nylon through-hull to go through the deck. The wires are connected to a terminal block above the head door, which then complete their run to the radio and switch panel(s).

  2. Great photos! This & your last post of your last two days of sailing were indeed a sailor’s dream….or any boater’s dream! We wanted to enjoy the gorgeous weather & missed getting out on the water in our boat, and now the temps are soaring back to the high 90’s-low 100’s. This weekend is going to be a scorcher! Too yucky/sticky for me! LOL

    • Yes, we have to wait for the hot weather to break before we venture out again. There is very little fun to be had by sweating and roasting, with no breeze. And now, swimming in the bay is not really an option with the nettles present, so there is no relief in that direction either – rats! Just when it would be the most fun to swim.

      • mcrosa said:

        You ought to make a project and sail down to Biscayne Bay and anchor off of Elliot Key or Key Biscayne. Delightful clear warm waters.

      • That sounds like a great idea, Mike. We hope to do that in the next year or two. We have a couple of items of personal business to wrap up before we can take off for 6 months at a time, but we are definitely keeping that as a goal. This goal is coupled with the desire to down-size our life style, reduce our expenses, and make continuous travel more of a full time occupation. By boat and other means – we have space-available air travel privileges as retired military, and we think we can manage to go for fairly long periods on a low-to-reasonably-low budget by bouncing between the boat and other travel. We would also love to try sailing south in the winter, north (New England) in the summers.

      • mcrosa said:

        What I liked best about the waters in the Keys is that you are still in the USA but sailing through waters that are everybit as good as in the Bahamas. John Pennekamp, Bahia Honda, Key Largo and the cowpens there are a hundred if not more anchorages where with a shallow draft Watkins you can go that others cannot. I think you would love it.

      • Being from Florida, I’ve heard about those places all my life. My dad and I fished the keys a fair amount – but I’ve never been in the places you mentioned. Would love to go…

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