After having the boat torn apart and put back together for various projects and changes to systems, we schedule an annual overnighter to really check it all out. Just one night, because if we forget something fairly essential to our comfort (like pillows – 2 years in a row) or safety (this year I need to update fire extinguishers), then it’s only overnight, and we’re not committed to something that is unlivable for several days or more.
As I mentioned above, this year fire extinguishers was noted, but we remembered the pillows! We discovered that it is also important to sew lifting loops on the new headsail bag, so that we can lift it off the deck with a halyard while managing ground tackle and mooring lines. Speaking of ground tackle, we discovered that a chain lock on the sprit will make stowing the anchor quicker and more secure than the carabiner I am currently using (attached to the toe rail). I also failed to get all the dishes washed before we cast off, so the first order of business before dinner last night was scrubbing up enough dishes and cookware to prepare and eat dinner.
Aside from those small items, we had a really pleasant time, with beautiful weather – calm wind conditions, but beautiful.
This time of year is striper season. Striped bass school in the bay (not sure if they are coming into the bay or going out) this time year, and the sport fishermen are out in force. There were at least 75 fishing boats within our view as we tried to cross the shipping channel. They are all going slower than we are (!) and pulling plane boards port and starboard. These three-tiered boards are towed in such a way as to allow the fishermen to set more lines without tangling them, and move them away from center-stern orientation as well. A boat trawling with plane boards can set 10-12 lines. It’s nerve-wracking to navigate a whole cluster of striper fishing boats. The boats don’t really keep to any semblance of traffic pattern – they’re all going every which-way – and with the long (and numerous) lines off the stern, each boat can make a footprint at least 100 feet long and 30-40 feet wide. So we alter course often and make the best guess as to which way is best to cross their paths.
A course of 103 degrees took us from Herring Bay to Knapps Narrows, the gateway into the eastern bay. We passed through the Narrows and turned left (north) in Harris Creek, stopping for the night in Dun Cove. We dodged a big barge and dredge on our way up Harris Creek. We were the fourth boat in the cove that evening. Eventually, there were 6 sailboats in the cove, all widely spaced in this large anchorage. This is a fairly popular place to overnight.
Anchor set, and Ruth made dinner. I cleaned while she relaxed. Then showers and bed time. I’ve noted this before, but time on the water is exhausting. We couldn’t keep our eyes open. I rose once at 0430 and checked our position. We had swung all around the anchor in the light evening breezes. Typical for us at anchor, I rose first and started coffee. Then we began our long morning of reading and drinking coffee. Commitments in town for the afternoon had us cleaned and stowed for travel by 1015. Back through the Narrows, through the fishing boat gauntlet, and in our slip by 1308.
30.8 nautical miles round trip, all of it under power. Transit time one way – just under three hours.