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post #10 of Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Labor Day Weekend

So we planned not to have a plan and play the weekend by ear. Our club was heading north on Saturday and further north on Sunday. If the forecasts were correct that would be upwind both ways. I've had enough upwind for the time being so we decided to do our own thing and headed from Rockhold Creek down around Black Walnut Point Saturday AM. We had a nice sail down to Sharps Island light throwing in 3 or 4 jibes from long bar point to turn into the Choptank. We did get rained on a bit which was the first clue the weather guessers had missed the mark. After entering the Choptank the wind pretty much died so we motored on up the Choptank to the Tred Avon, were we saw Donnybrook (not sure if this is a new Donnybrook, or the old one has been repaired) tied up at the yacht club. We decided to head up to Plaindealing creek to anchor with the thought we might dinghy over to Oxford, or alternately move over to anchor off the strand on Sunday then dinghy over.

Well I'd read that folks had had problems getting a Delta to set in Plaindealing and that was exactly our experience. We tried 3 times in 2 different locations to get the anchor to hook up away from the other boats, then ran aground trying to find a 3rd location. Fortunately, I'd already completed about 50% of a 180 turn to port and away from shore and with a goose of reverse, the propwalk pulled us off. Finally I gave up trying to be polite and went and anchored at a likely looking spot, fairly close to another boat (by my shaped in the southern bay estimation) but not unreasonably so using mid bay standards. Here the anchor bit the first time and stayed put with a good dose of reverse. Still I let out a good deal of scope and used a mushroom anchor kedge for good measure. I only did this because of our problems getting the anchor to set not because the forecast called for severe weather because it didn't. At least it didn't until about 7PM when we started to hear thunder in the distance and a quick check of NOAA on the smartphone alerted us to a line of severe thunderstorms from Baltimore to Annapolis moving our way. Great. I was rained on when it wasn't supposed to, its hot a hell and now severe storms are sliding my way. The first band missed us to the north and east and I thought we were done, but a couple of hours later it was apparent another storm this time further south was going to slide across us. Between 11PM and 2PM we were rocked by 2 strong cells with lots of nearby lightning. I had my wife stay clear of the keel stepped mast and I stood in the companionway watching how we swung as well as how the boats around us were fairing. Fortunately, the anchor held and no lighting strikes but is was a hot and uncomfortable night with the boat closed up due to the downpours.

Sunday's revised forecast called for more rain and TS by 11AM, and we'd had enough of the heat, so after breakast we motored home across a bay that was about as still as I'd ever seen it. It truly was a motor boaters wet dream Sunday AM, but there didn't seem to be a lot of boats out considering it was a holiday weekend. We got back in the slip around 12:30 and were showered and on the way home by 1:30. Moting past was as close to Oxford as we got so its still a place we've yet to visit. Not really our most enjoyable trip, and we were certainly glad we didn't have any guests to suffer through this one with us.

I tease my wife about here always wishing for different weather than we have but at this point I'm ready for some cooler weather.

s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36

Last edited by PalmettoSailor; 09-03-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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