July Cruise – Final Night and Return Home

I would like to say that our final evening afloat was without incident, but that would not be true. What happened has underscored again our need for much more substantial ground tackle.

The weather and conditions had been fantastic all day and through the evening. I woke up about 0330, probably because I had sensed the wind pick up. Now blowing 15 mph with gusts up to 20, I got up and looked around. All’s well. I sat down to read, and an hour later I noticed the boat’s motion was different. Ruth was awake by this point too. I looked through the companionway again, and we were hard against the leeward shoreline, still bobbing, but definitely touching ground. Rats!

We tumbled into the cockpit, started the engine, and I led the anchor rode over to the coachroof-mounted port halyard winch and started cranking. We moved! I kept cranking until the bow was pointing back towards open water. Ruth put the boat in gear and we eased forward as I collected the rode and picked up the anchor. Whew!

Really, I’ve had enough of this. I guess the more you anchor out, the greater your chances are of dragging, but we’ve dragged more often in the last two years than ever before in our entire cruising lives. This has got to change, so before we cruise again, I will have substantially bigger, heavier, more effective ground tackle, and twice the chain length I currently use.

13 pound danforth-style anchor: not big enough for a 27 foot boat displacing 9200 pounds.

13 pound danforth-style anchor: not big enough for a 27 foot boat displacing 9200 pounds.

A late start to the day ensued as we recovered from our early rising. We got ourselves ready to sail in a leisurely fashion and finally picked up the anchor and motored south on Harris Creek. I snapped a few photos of a couple Eastern Shore bungalows. Here’s a nice little place for primative living while on vacation to the very rural Eastern Shore.

Primitive but livable, I suppose.

Rustic but livable, I suppose.

Back through the Narrows, we began across the bay, but not before encountering this:

I guess this is a dredge? Gotta love the ground tackle.

I guess this is a dredge? Gotta love the ground tackle.

With SE winds at 6-10 we had a gentle, beautiful sail across the bay at 2.5-4 knots. During the afternoon calm, we slowed to under 1 knot for half an hour or so, then the wind gradually increased, and we sailed on up to the green marker at Rockhold Creek. We tied up in our slip by 1600 after 8 days afloat, 94 nautical miles traveled, and 1 resupply stop.

Cay of Sea under sail. Photo taken in June by Jim Brewer.

Cay of Sea under sail. Photo taken in June by Jim Brewer.

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