We got off the pier again last week for an overnight on the Rhode River. Making the 12.5 miles mostly under sail, we managed to get there in three hours on an incredibly smooth broad reach. Wind was from the west at 10-12, which meant there was no chop, as we were sailing under the lee of the western shore. 4.5-5.5 knots in smooth water was so completely surreal after all the chop and long fetch we’ve experienced this season. We drank it in, enjoying every minute.
We got off to an uncharacteristically early start (for us) – we were underway by noon, so arrived at our anchorage well before dinner. The warm weather and sticky sun screen made the prospect of a swim irresistible. So far, no nettles in this part of the bay. We cooled off in the water, nearly swamping our dinghy as we horsed around, pulling ourselves up and pushing off unexpectedly.
I set up our wind chute on the fore hatch after swimming, and it funneled a hurricane through the boat, keeping us cool for the afternoon and through dinner time. Wouldn’t you know, by bed time the wind had failed. I couldn’t lay still, even with the fans blowing. An excursion on deck with a settee cushion promised a cooler sleeping situation until the mosquitos found me. Back below decks, I splashed water on myself and just lay down on the settee with a fan blowing. Finally fell asleep for a while, until wakened by a strobe light around 0100. Well, not a strobe, but certainly a strobe effect. There was a huge thunderstorm approaching from the west. I’ve never seen that much lightning in the sky at once. Fortunately, most of it was cloud-to-cloud. We scrambled to take down the wind chute and bimini, not knowing how strong the wind would be. We had a few minutes of heavy rain, shifting gusty breezes (we swung all round the compass as the line squalls blew through) and thankfully, much cooler air. The breeze following the storm was gentle, but steady and cool. We slept ’til 0800 next morning.
We drank two pots of coffee, sailed the dinghy, drew in a sketchbook and relaxed while enjoying another incredibly beautiful day of moderate temps, blue skies, perfect breeze. Up anchor again about noon, we set off towards Deale, as typical, one of the last boats to leave the anchorage. Bearing south after an hour of motoring allowed us to raise sail for a great run back to Herring Bay. The trip seemed to go so fast.
The storm we experienced in Rhode River hit Deale pretty hard. We had tree limbs down, a tree across the road, and one leaning onto our house from the neighbor’s yard.