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Every 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.

Most of 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 Rock Hall.

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.



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