July 7-8, 2018
Cruising weekend with the girls. We got a later start because of swim practice, but that let me go help the Gatanas’ get their new sailboat on the water, so it worked out well. We got down to the marina around 2 and loaded provisions. It was a cool weekend, but the boat was still hot inside. Definitely need to look into some sun shading for the deck. We went to the pool to cool off and then headed out.
We were initially going straight to the anchorage at the top of the Rhode River, but the wind had let up quite a bit and decided to do a quick sail. It had peaked close to gale force overnight, but was a probably a variable 10 knot breeze by the afternoon.
We made it across the bay to the shipping lane before turning around and making for the mooring. The head of the Rhode was crowded, but we were able to sneak into the usual 6 ft. pond and set the hook. We had a few freeze dried dinners and were treated to an unexpected fireworks show over Mayo.
The solar rope light worked great for lighting the deck, even though they seem a bit fragile.
I was hoping for a good battery test overnight, but unfortunately the fridge was switched off. The lights, radio, and masthead light used approximately 6% of the battery. In the morning, I turned the fridge back on it’s highest setting, and the panels were still able to make between 4 and 7 amps. My guess is that the fridge can be set to 1 overnight when it isn’t being opened to save juice. I know it’ll make ice on level 5, and I think I can run at that level all day on solar, then 3 on the hook until night. The panels fully recharged the house bank before noon. We made breakfast and relaxed for a bit. Then cleaned up and headed for home.
June 13, 2018
Shakedown. And boy did the boat need it. It’s been almost two years since it left the slip. The renovation of the Salisbury house took wayyyy longer than I hoped, but it’s done and hopefully sold, so it’s time to get back to boating. We ran a few errands, picked up new dock lines, Hawaiian shirts, and Wawa subs, and got to the dock around 11. I found the mizzen sheet hanging overboard and spent way to long cleaning the marine life off of that. Engine fired right up and we got underway around the point to Bayfields outside Popham creek. The wind was out of the WSW moving South all day with a small craft advisory on the bay. We hung all the sails, which went well except for the jib. I need to make sure the halyard it all the way up per the riggers suggestion. I also didn’t have the jib sheets? I guess they’re home somewhere. I improvised with an anchor rode, so that’s a good thing to know. I also forgot the boat seats, and have realized I’m probably due to replace all the running rigging. Yay. We set out about 1 and headed out to the bay. The breeze was aft on the port quarter, made it easily out and were able to follow the breeze north passing Thomas Point light. Gorgeous day out there, a lot of bigger boats, but no ship traffic. A nice schooner was out there hauling the mail, got a few good pictures of her.
About halfway to the bridge we came about and headed for home, beating as close as we could to make the river. It took two tacks before we started the iron spinnaker and made for port. Overall a fantastic day and a good shakedown cruise. Fridge ran perfectly, beers were ice cold, and we didn’t lose a single amp with the radio running all day as well. Tucked it in, next cruise should really involve bringing it to Smith’s for haul-out and bottom paint.
September 11-14, 2016
Left Galesville around 11 am Sunday morning with Ryan Maroney as crew. We headed for St. Michael’s with a NNW wind blowing up around 15 kts, and temps around 80 with some clouds. The ride over to the eastern shore was a nice downwind run, we hooked a left around Bloody Point and headed north up the eastern bay.
We had a destination, but no timeline, so as the wind died out we just kept cruising. Rounding Tilghman Point, the winds got very light and the run downwind. We pulled in around 5 and anchored just inside the creek behind the southern point.
After a stroll around town Monday morning, we set out again and headed for Annapolis. Instead of pushing into a mooring, we turned into Lake Ogleton and spent a night on the hook in the flat water.
The next morning we got moving and picked up a mooring ball in the main field off the Naval Academy. After going ashore for lunch, we returned to a hot, rolling boat being caught in reflected waves off of the concrete seawall. The Harbormaster recommended heading up to the St. Mary’s mooring field, and after a brief wait for rush hour to end, we radioed the Spa Creek drawbridge attendant and went through to calmer waters. That mooring field is great. We were a stone’s throw from the bulkhead at St. Mary’s, only about 5 yards further to the closest dinghy dock, and moored on flat water in the shade with a nice 10-15 kt breeze flowing through the cabin.
After one night here we untied and made the 11 am bridge opening, turned east and headed for home. We dragged lines around a few bait balls at the mouth of the Severn, and ended up motoring the rest of the way back to WRYH. Fully tested were the new 50W solar panels, the new 225A house bank, and the Norcold boat fridge. Everything worked great, and we were even able to make ice cubes. Ice cubes made from sunshine…
August 20, 2016
Under the guise of ‘cleaning the boat’, I got Abbey to head down with me to the boat. Meanwhile, back home, Josie was packing up everything we needed for a surprise overnight. I thought it would be a little hot… and I was right. But we did get Ava out for her first boat trip and she seemed to like it.
We didn’t go far, just around the corner to Popham Creek on the West River.
We definitely need some 12V fans. And probably more battery power.
May 14 – 15 (and 16), 2016
This trip was an overnighter to St. Michael’s to meet up with the other Seawind II owners at the Chesapeake gam. Dad and I got started a bit later than planned due to the usual shenanigans… aaaaand forgetting the cooler full of food. So after revisiting home, we shoved off around 11 am on Saturday morning. We motored out of the river and hooked a right towards Bloody Point and the Eastern Bay, with warm weather and the breeze dead on the nose. After curling around the southern tip of Kent Island we put up canvas and had a nice beam reach for the run up the Eastern Bay to the Miles River.
We came around Tilghman Point and close hauled up the mouth of the Miles. We knew there was weather coming, and the wall of clouds on the western horizon was getting taller, so we furled sails and ran the iron spinnaker all the way to St. Michael’s. A quick spin around the creek showed it was a little crowded, so we dropped the hook just outside in the river. Not 10 minutes later, the skies opened with strong gusty winds and rain that lashed around for an hour or so.
It cleared up at 6, and we grabbed the water taxi in to the Crab Claw to meet up for the gam. It was nice to finally match faces to the names I’ve been reading about and talking to for all these years. It was great to see everyone, I’m already looking forward to the next one. We retired back out to the boat and within the hour the westerly winds picked up and howled all night.
Saturday was initially forecast for gusts to 30, but upgraded to 35 by morning. We decided to at least make a go of it, figuring we’d at least try the Eastern Bay.
By the end of the Miles, we started taking confused chop and rollers up to about 3 feet. They really started impacting headway, and nearly brought us a stop once we were out of the river. Gusts were easily topping 35, and occasional 4 foot rollers really knocked us around. We tried flying some sail to get a little more drive on the waves, but even a little postage stamp of sail was straining the rig and flapping pretty badly in the gusts. Eventually a gale warning was issued for the entire bay. We changed plans and tried to power our way to the lee of Kent Island to get out of the seas. GPS had us doing about 1.5 knots average to the west, sometimes COG/SOG went half a knot or so to the north. After a bit more pounding, we got it closer to shore and saw the waves reduced. We were able to make around 5 knots to the south again, and we tucked in to a little cove at Scaffold Creek to dry out and have lunch at the very end, and in the lee of, Kent Island. We had a 6 or 7 nm slog dead into the wind to get back to the West River… or we could just stay in this nice flat anchorage (with whitecaps 50 yards from shore) for another night. We opted to stay since winds were still howling at around 5 pm, so we had a relaxing evening, listening to the wind abate a little more every hour.
By daybreak the water was almost flat in the anchorage, so we pushed the nose out in the bay past Bloody Point.
It was cold, and the wind was still west, but we were able to make one nice long tack across the bay to land just south of Thomas Point.
After coming about, we were on a starboard tack that took us straight down the bay and into the West River. A few puffs in the river put us over to almost 45° on flat water once inside the river, and we were making over 6 knots at times. That same tack was great, and took us to within a stone’s throw of the slip, so we doused sails and pulled into the dock.
January 2, 2016
Dad’s retirement sail, and the first sail of 2016. Forecast called for 10 knots out of the West, and it stayed perfectly steady all day. We headed out the river on a broad/dead run.
Hooked a right past Red #2 and headed towards Poplar Island on a beam reach. Put up all three sails and cruised Southeast down the bay right up to the Poplar Island on perfect wind and almost flat seas. No one else was on the water, maybe two sails and a random motorboat. It actually warmed up as we got out further into the bay, and got comfortable over the warmer water.
Came about at Poplar and close hauled across the bay to cross the shipping lanes quickly. A freighter north of the bridge had called out on the radio that he was headed south and we didn’t want to be in the way. Eased off towards the western shore and headed for the South River, then hooked a left and motored up the West River to home. The 2016 sailing season has begun!
October 9, 2015
Splashed the boat after three months on the hard for blister repair and bottom paint (and maybe a touch of procrastination). Forecast called for small craft advisory but otherwise unseasonably warm weather for early October. Boat was put in no problem, and Dad and I left the dock by around 2. We motored halfway down the Severn River and decided to set sail under the Rt. 450 bridge before we passed the Naval Academy. Put on a full spread of canvas and had shifty wind take us straight out of the river. The wind continued to pick up and we sailed out the bay towards Thomas Point. Just north of the lighthouse the wind died so we started the motor and dropped the genoa. Only a little bit later the wind picked up and started blowing steady 15. With all 3 sails we headed south, dodged a tugboat out near the shipping lanes, and then turned in towards the West River. Great day out on the bay…
July 9, 2015
Sailed the boat from Galesville to Round Bay on the Severn for the biannual bottom painting party. Crew was Dad and I, with help from Abbey and Jack. It was hot and winds were forecast to be light. We tried setting sail in front of the South River, but the sails just slatted around and we went nowhere. Fired up the iron spinnaker again and continued on our way. Just outside of Round Bay we pulled over and let the kids swim for a bit, then went in and got yanked. The bottom looked great considering it’s been almost three years. I did notice some blisters, we’ll have to see how the hull looks once it’s dry.
May 30, 2015
Great wind out on the bay today, NW and steady. Dad and I sailed out of the river and diagonally across the bay. Almost made it to the Bay Bridge before turning and heading straight back in. Great to get back out on the water.
May 22, 2015
No sailing yet, but done de-winterizing finally. Loaded the sails onboard and went out to put them up on the sticks. I didn’t have registration stickers so we couldn’t go sailing (edit: 2 year registration, so I did have stickers. Fail.) But it was a gorgeous day to anchor out and enjoy a little Bayside Bull and a beer.
March 1, 2015
Damn it’s cold.
February 20, 2015
OK, so the tarp solution isn’t the best. Cheaper than anything, kept most snow off, doesn’t like wind. And it looks kinda like a refugee camp…
October 25, 2014
No details on the day, I just have pictures. But it sure looks like it was a nice one…
October 24, 2015
No details on the day again, but looks like the whole crew went. And hey! We’re sailing!
June 20, 2014
No details, but had to document this one. No idea what’s being said in this picture, but I can guarantee it’s 100% bullshit. Perhaps 110%.