It took me more than an hour to get the boat ready. We’ve been day-sailing since May, and haven’t overnighted since we came back from Deltaville, so I needed to organize the boat, fill water tanks, check over the engine fluid levels, then put food, clothes, books, and cameras on board.
We cast off yesterday about 1515, headed across the bay, through Knapps Narrows, then north to Dun Cove. The conditions were breezy and fairly warm, winds south at 15-20. I started with a reef in the main and full headsail, then later rolled the headsail about 1/3. Still over-powered in the gusts, we buried the rail a time or two. I probably should have pulled the second reef into the main – that would have allowed us to sail flat and comfortable with no loss of speed, but I guess it was easier sit in the cockpit and struggle with the helm.
There was no traffic in the Narrows and we got a lift from the bridge immediately. We were anchored in Dun Cove by 1830 with just three other widely spaced boats. Another sailboat arrived after dark, and we watched the crew go through the anchoring routine as lightning provided strobe-effect lighting.
We had been watching a lightning storm pass over Kent Island 10-15 miles north of us. We couldn’t hear the thunder, it was so far removed. Amazing how far away it’s visible, though. We were not spared however, as rain, wind, hail, and lightning visited Dun Cove. About 2245 the rain swept down from the SE and pounded the deck. Then we began to hear the click of ice particles hitting the deck above, and lightning flashed about. Prior to the storm’s arrival, we were anchored facing south. When the squall arrived, we clocked around 180 degrees. Our trusty Danforth followed us right around and simply dug in deeper.
In most conditions in the Chesapeake, our Danforth does an incredible job of holding the boat to the ground. I wasn’t really worried that the anchor would drag, even though I periodically checked our position last night. I had set the anchor well and trusted it to keep us in place.
I discovered that you don’t really know if your deck hardware needs rebedding until you are down below in a driving rain. I found a few leaks from above that I didn’t know about – added to the project list.
Saturday was cooler (almost chilly), sunny and brilliant. Perfect for a long morning drinking coffee at anchor.