San Domingo Creek – St. Michael’s Back Door.

Leaving Saw Mill Cove around 1100, we sailed gently on the Choptank for an hour until the wind died, then we made our way into the Tred Avon for a stop at the Scottish Highland Creamery. Such great ice cream! Oxford itself is a very small town with its main commercial concerns being yachting, boat repair, and commercial fishing.

Cay of Sea anchored in Oxford harbor.

Cay of Sea anchored in Oxford harbor.

Leaving Oxford we sailed for several hours until the wind failed to serve us effectively. Then under power we made our way up San Domingo Creek. It turns out that we were in the wrong branch of the creek, even though we’ve been here before. This is the shallow branch, but I confidently motored on, believing us to be in the right place. I also confidently motored hard aground on a falling tide.

No tricks I knew could free us after an hour of hard labor. We tried to heel the boat by hanging off the boom and powering forward or back.  We tried kedging astern, and kedging the bow from 90 degrees to starboard. We got the bow to move 10 feet or so, but nor nearly enough to free us.

I finally called TowBoatUS for the first time in my boating life, and was very thankful that I had again paid for the annual free unlimited towing service. So a $700 service call cost me nothing beyond my $135 annual membership.

The tow boat captain got us free after an hour, part of which he spent breaking out our very deeply set anchors used in the kedging operation.

We were 10 minutes from our real destination. Upon arrival I cleaned up the mess from the grounding (mud everywhere), Ruth cooked dinner, and we collapsed in bed after showers.

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