Wednesday Evening Sail

The breeze was blowing nicely with temps in the low 80s.  Who could resist an evening sail?  We cast off the lines at 1630 and motored toward the bay – about .8 nautical miles down the creek to the breakwater.

Marinas lining Rockhold Creek

Once in open water, I raised the sails (after shaking out a reef from the previous sail).  It’s been nearly 10 days since we’ve been on the water, so it was very nice to get the boat under way and moving away from the marina.  You would think that living 75 yards from my boat, I wouldn’t have to go 10 day without sailing.  Most of the time I don’t go that long.  However, I’m only semi-retired.  I work for a business owned by my wife, and there are things to do.  So I prioritize my time so that Ruth gets what’s needed first.  After that I feel free to sail.

Early on, there was a fair amount of traffic – mostly power boats – that zoomed around stirring up the water (but not too badly).  I’m always amazed at the variety of watercraft on the bay, and the choices other people make regarding the kind of boating they want to do.

Go fast… Definitely not my choice.  However, I did own a ski boat when my boys were teenagers. At that age, they really liked that approach to boating.

The big motor yacht has some appeal until you have to buy fuel.  But, going slowly (trawler speeds) isn’t so pricey fuel-wise, and I think I could enjoy that too.

We sailed along moderately for 15 – 20 minutes until the wind died.  It was that time of day when the afternoon breeze shifts to the evening breeze.  Until the shift is complete, there is no reliable wind anywhere.  Our sails looked like this:

And this:

We waited, shifting sails from port to starboard and back.  Finally the evening breeze filled and we moved across Herring Bay at a satisfying pace.  As we drew near the southern end of Herring Bay we began to see sailboats coming out for the Wednesday night race.

Coming out for the race

About 20 boats assembled at the wide edge of Herring Bay, preparing for the starting line maneuvers. Boats laden with crew, larger racing boats being pushed by outboard motors, family cruisers – all sorts of sailboats.

Racing fleet gathering at the edge of Herring Bay

Most of this crew was sitting for the ride out to the race area

All these folks were standing for the ride

Finally, with dark clouds gathering on one edge of our vision, we decided to play it safe and head for port.  We made a course due north, hard on the wind, then tacked SW back toward the southern shore of Herring Bay.  Another tack due north brought us in range to strike sails and motor into the creek up to our marina.  I stowed sails and replaced sail covers while Ruth steered.  By the time we were tied up, I almost had the boat ready to put away.  Closed the seacocks, stowed the cushions below, secured the rolled headsail with a piece of line, changed shoes, replaced the drop boards, and I was stepping onto the pier at 1900.


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