Cruising to Rain

We cast off Monday afternoon not sure if we would go to Rhode River or Dunn Cove.  It depends on wind direction – Rhode River is to the NE, so wind with any northern or eastern component won’t work.  Dunn Cove (via Knapps Narrows) is slightly south of east (heading of about 100 degrees from Herring Bay, our home waters) so winds from the south or east obviously aren’t friendly for that destination.  However, with the choice of either, we can usually sail to one or the other no matter which direction the wind blows.  Wind direction on the creek where our slip is located isn’t a reliable indicator of wind direction on the bay, so we always have to get onto the open bay before we can shape our course.  Since the wind was SE on Monday, we chose to go NE to Rhode River, and avoid the close reach across the bay.

Herring Bay, Rhode River, Knapps Narrows, and Dunn Cove noted in blue

Herring Bay, Rhode River, Knapps Narrows, and Dunn Cove noted in blue

We had a great sail.  4.5 – 5.5 knots for a couple of hours, until we had to head westerly to fetch the river.  Weather was overcast, but moderate.  Sea state lumpy, but fair with the winds.  The very commodious anchorage up Rhode River had about a dozen boats scattered throughout.  We chose the least populated area and set the hook just as the sun went down.

Following a cloudy afternoon, we had a bit of clearing and a dramatic sunset

Following a cloudy afternoon, we had a bit of clearing and a dramatic sunset

Dinner and clean up, then reading until we couldn’t keep our eyes open – we were in bed by 2200.

Next morning dawned cloudy, but dry.  I awoke to the sound of a crabber’s engine, he and his boat working a crab line not too close to us, but sound carries across the water.  By the time Ruth was stirring, I had drunk an entire pot of coffee while sitting in the cockpit.  As Ruth crept out of bed I was making the second.  The crabber continued to work his line until 1100.

Anchorage under overcast morning skies

Anchorage under overcast morning skies

Dipping crabs

Dipping crabs

As we were discussing our next night’s anchorage, the rain began to fall.  We decided not to move until the rain let up.  Two hours later it was still raining steadily, with no prospect of abating.  After consulting the weather prophets, we realized we would have rain for the rest of the day.  Rather than move to another part of the bay through the rain, we settled in and spent a quiet day and night at anchor.  Before the rain set in, Ruth had sketched one of our neighbors.

7" x 5" watercolor on paper

7″ x 5″ watercolor on paper

I read a murder mystery.  I noted a leak or two the I hadn’t seen before.  Spending a day on your boat in the rain is a great way to find these things, so I have a bit of work to do, rebedding and such.

Next morning we were again roused from sleep by the sounds of crabbers.  At 0545.  Hmmm. . .   This has been our consistent experience with crabbers.  Not with all of them, but many of them.  They treat your boat like it’s an obstacle, or permanent fixture – not inhabited, of course.  Just a structure to work around, like a duck blind or channel marker.  I don’t think they connect the fact of people appearing in the cockpit with how much noise the crabbers make, or how close they work to the anchored cruising vessel.  They happily wave to us when they see us.  I’m not usually feeling too happy in this situation, and I almost always refrain from waving.  In fact, I think “grumpy and sleepy” more appropriately describe how I feel when this happens.  I have to exert considerable self-control to keep from expressing my grumpy feelings.  The mitigating factor in the presence of thoughtless crabbers is the knowledge that most of them are clueless to the fact that they’ve been rude and thoughtless.  Having been rude and thoughtless any number of times throughout my life, I can forgive others for the same offense.  But I still feel grumpy, and I’m not going to wave to them.  Not until I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee, anyway.  After that, I usually cheer up!

These folks were having a great time dipping crabs

These folks were having a great time dipping crabs

Another long morning at anchor, and just a bit chilly – much hot coffee needed to keep the chill off. We picked up our anchor and headed toward the bay, donning our coats within minutes of moving through the cool air.  I grew up in Florida, and though I’ve lived in many places since then that have a more moderate climate, it is still such a novelty for me to be cold on a morning in mid-June.  I love it!

The Natural Resources Police were patrolling this morning checking crab catches, as they were the day we arrived.  It’s a good idea to scrupulously follow the fishing and crabbing regulations while in Maryland waters.

DNR police boat

DNR police boat

We again had following winds and seas for the trip back to Herring bay, this time nearly directly downwind – my least favorite point of sail.  I poled out the headsail opposite the main and added a preventer to keep the main from jibing, and we rolled toward homeport.

Wing and wing

Wing and wing

Arriving at our slip at 1300, we tied up and cleaned up.  We had things to do on terra firma through the afternoon and evening, but savored our time cruising – even in rainy weather.

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