Chesapeake Bay & Annapolis
The formula worked again! Our three days proved supremely satisfying by providing: great sailing + learning opportunities + good friends + a raft-up in a perfect spot + a varied and remarkable selection of food + (of course) potent potables. In addition to the usual beverages, pina coladas were provided compliments of Steve Krakauer + battery operated blender.
Friday, June 23rd - Everyone arrived at Haven Harbor Marina in Rock Hall, MD by 5 pm. New members Jane Bernheim and Deb Munther brought back menus from the Osprey Point Inn and suggested it for dinner. After some discussion, it was agreed and both crews made reservations. The colonial inn atmosphere was welcoming, as was the owner who stopped by our table. Most comments after dinner were favorable. Rain was forecast for late evening, but held off in until about 3 AM. By 7 AM Saturday morning the rain had stopped and walking up for a morning shower was much more pleasant than anticipated.
Saturday, June 24th - Winds were gusting over 30 mph Saturday as Pegasus, skippered by Bob Rainey, headed out to the bay about 10 AM after a good breakfast, boat check, trips for ice and forgotten items (toothbrush!). EOS (from Greek mythology, not End of Season) skippered by Steve Krakauer left the dock about 20 minutes before and was only a spot on the horizon as we rounded the final green can.
Deferring to the wind gods' plans for an exceedingly windy day, EOS set just a reefed jenny for the broad reach towards the Annapolis bridge. With the strong northwesterly winds that came in after the rainstorm, this also meant a beam sea. With the swells averaging six feet, this made for a less than comfortable ride, despite the steady five to six knot boat speed. As the day wore on, the seas calmed considerably, but so did the winds. Around mid-afternoon, when it was time to tack towards the mouth of the Magothy, the winds had shifted more westerly. EOS fought it's way upwind to the entrance markers, but then had to convert to auxiliary power for the rest of the way.
On Pegasus we were heeling and sailing over 6 knots when Bob noticed the distorted shape of the main sheet shackle at the traveler side. The shackle pin had unthreaded and was one hard wave away from popping off. The boom was quickly secured with a line to take pressure off the shackle. After some spare twine was located below, Bob and Henry set to work. The replacement completed, the line holding the boom was removed and the re-worked connection held throughout the rest of the weekend. The worst part of the entire thing was the search below for a spare shackle. The conditions were rather rough so the search was brief.
Pegasus was first to the chosen raft-up location that afternoon in the Magothy Narrows. In the shelter of Gibson Island this is a favorite spot for a few of our skippers, as well as both powerboat and sail cruisers. Soon EOS arrived and moved into position for a raftup. Lines were secured, fenders placed and while some opened a cold beverage others donned bathing suits for a quick dip before starting to prepare the appetizer party. The evening proceeded easily with everyone moving over to EOS's stern as it made the perfect party boat! Steve served his famous pina coladas and everyone enjoyed the food, the conversations and the beautiful sunset.
Sunday, June 25 - After a leisurely breakfast on deck, lines were released and both boats made their way out to the bay...looking for some wind. The forecast was for light winds, and that proved to be true. Both boats turned on engines and made for Annapolis. Approaching Annapolis harbor on a Sunday in late June, we were shocked to see hardly any boats. Perhaps it was the light wind, but taking a cue from Steve, we also headed straight into Annapolis Harbor for an easy inspection of the downtown area before heading to our reserved spots at Port Annapolis Marina off of Back Creek. At the marina, folks split up into interest groups. Most of the crew from EOS headed immediately into town via marina van and the crew from Pegasus chose the pool to cool off. Temperatures were in the high 80's making the pool a busy place... but the sound of children laughing and playing is music. As well, there was real music as there was a seniors group preparing to perform with their steel drums. While this was not on anybody's playlist, it fit nicely with the mood. The crew of Pegasus managed to leave the pool in order to shower and dress for dinner before catching a water taxi into town at 5:50 pm. As the water taxi arrived, two EOS's crew stepped ashore having had enough walking around town and agreed pool time was in order. All crews were back onboard by 10 pm and the marina was surprisingly quiet, while the shore power supplied the very welcome AC!
Monday, June 26th - We planned to have a leisurely start to the day and the weather cooperated. Both boats enjoyed breakfast on deck and some last strolls through the marina grounds. On the bay, winds were 10 to 15 knots and we enjoyed some great sailing before heading directly to Haven Harbor. With all hands helping, boat clean-up moved quickly. There were more than a few hugs in the parking lot and several of us stopped at Durding's for ice cream before turning homeward. Thanks to all the participants for making this trip memorable and especially to our skippers, Bob and Steve, who manage to keep calm and sail on, no matter the challenge.
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