few years we plan a cruising weekend to attend the International Sailboat Show
in Annapolis. In 2016, the show coincided with Hurricane Matthew, which provided
a very rough return to Rock Hall. This year the weather was mild: Hurricane
Michael held off until the following week.
Mia McCroskey with her crew on Gambol and Bob Rainey with his crew on
Honu left Rock Hall in a light breeze on Friday morning. The northerly held
in the low to mid teens all day, and both boats enjoyed a long sail across and
down the bay. Arriving around 2:00, Honuís crew decided to sail some more
while Gambolís were chilly and headed in. When Honu arrived a
little over an hour later the entire crew wore huge grins: the new, lightweight
Beneteau had hit over eight knots reaching across the Bay.
Both crews made use of Mears Marinaís big barbecues,
pavilion, and fire pit that evening thanks to Bruce Gollobís fire starting
skills. By the time Saturday morning arrived, almost everyone had decided to go
to the boat show to visit fancy new boats and shop for essential sailing gear.
Some called for the water taxi and enjoyed a brief cruise around from Back Creek
to Annapolis. Others took the mile walk into town.
those who visited the show also toured Annapolis and lunched at local
restaurants. A few took a tour of the Naval Academy campus. Mia made a day of
the show with the excuse of researching for a novel to cover for buying several
pairs of shoes.
Everyone reconvened at the barbecue that evening for more grilled steaks and
shrimp and a lot of grilled vegetables. Other marina guests mingled with the
crews, and a few of our group went to visit a beautiful trawler whose owner was
quite proud of his new boat. Later a young man came by offering cupcakes
leftover from a marina party in one of the other pavilions.
Sunday morning everyone met for Mearsís free breakfast and $7.00 omelet bar. We
were impressed with the late season social scene at Mears: there were many
locals enjoying a pleasant Sunday morning along with us.
Alas, the breeze was a steady seven or eight knots from the
south. Honu definitely wasnít going to achieve another eight knots. Both
boats motored out of Back Creek and into the Bay, then motored onward toward
Crossing under the Bay Bridge Honuís crew deployed their mainsail, but
aboard Gambol they decided to use the jib. It did add a little boat
speed, which was helpful since the engine RMPs were not to exceed 1600. A few
hours later as they approached Can 3 south of Rock Hall, Gambolís crew
discovered that they could not roll the jib back up. The furling line had an
override on the drum.
Lying on the bow Mia alternately pulled it out and rolled it in, working the
offending loop of line through small access holes on the drum guard. Patience
saved the day when she finally was able to pull the problem loop off the drum
and roll up the sail. Disaster averted, Gambol proceeded to the fuel
dock, milling about briefly while Honu finished up. In the still light
air, docking back at Haven was a breeze, and by mid afternoon both crews were
loading up their cars for the drive home.