Join Date: Jul 2009
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The Maiden Voyage
After a month of being on the hard in Cambridge working every minute I could spare on Exodus our new 78 C27, we finally splashed Thursday and prepared for our trip home to Bivalve. Here's the completed work list:
- acid washed hull to remove 2 years of scum
- fixed a previously botched gel coat repair(close match but not perfect)
- repaired some glass delamination on keel
- repaired several small blisters on bottom
- prepped and painted bottom with 2 coats Interlux 66 ablative
- prepped and painted boot stripe
- attached new motor mount and new Yamaha 8hp outboard w/electric start
- cleaned all thru hauls
- fixed vhf
- new cushions
After a whirlwind morning on Friday of packing, getting dogs to the kennel, dropping a car off at home port etc, we finally got to the marina, stowed everything and took off for 3 days on the water. Unfortunately our well layed plans were soon to change! The channel out of the marina had silted in over the winter and our 4'2" draft was too much. So 2 minutes out and we were stuck in channel and had to wait almost 4 hours for the tide to raise us off. While we took a good bit of razzing from the marina staff and anyone else on hand it was a beautiful day to sit, read and crack a cold one. Finally at 3:30 we took off. Making Taylor's Island wasn't an option anymore so we headed for Oxford for the night. We pulled into Schooner's on Town Creek where Exodus was when we bought her and found our old slip to be empty. After a hearty greeting by Bill Breau the owner, we tied her up and had a great dinner. As the sun set low in the sky we headed back out to the mooring field and threw a hook out for the night.
We awoke to a stunning sunrise and moonset at 6 am, made some coffee and headed out by 6:45, our goal was to make up for lost time and make Hoopersville by sunset, almost 60 miles!! A bold undertaking for a shakedown cruise but we didn't want to be sailing today with the weather forecast. We turned into the Tred Avon under motor, Alison, my wife at the helm and me down below cooking some bacon and eggs, maintaining 5-6 knots was no challenge at all for the new outboard, she hummed along at one third throttle. As we turned into the Choptank we were greeted with a combination of current, swells, and really bad boat chop. We didn't know there was a rock fish tourney and everyone with a powerboat was gunning for the waters off of Little Choptank where fish were biting. After a half hour of being tossed about it was too much for my wife and she came down with her first bout of sea sickness in over 30 years. Of course, the merriment the night before, 2 cups of strong coffee and a greasy breakfast didn't help either. After about 2 hours we were out of it, had good wind and hoisted the main. Wifey fully recovered.
We made course for the nuke plant at Calvert Cliffs when the wind laid down so we hoisted the big 155. It's a bit oversized for the boat but perfect for a 5-10 kt head wind. After about 2 hours things picked up to a solid 12-15 kt so I put up the 110. Exodus performed beautifully maintaining a steady 5-6 kt. By 2PM were perpendicular to the mouth of the headwaters of the Honga and although we had good wind it was coming due south/southeast which meant we would have to tack the rest of the way. Not enough time for that so we reluctantly took down the sails and motored to the tip of Lower Hooper Island which we reached in a few hours. We were tired of motoring and had a great beam reach so we hoisted sail for the rest of the way to Hoopersville. We reached the dock at Rippon's Harbor at 6 PM on the nose.
I had made prior arrangements with Rippon's Seafood earlier in the week for a slip and transportation to Old Salties restaurant up the road a piece. So after a quick cleanup and a change of clothes, Jose who lives at the marina gave us the keys to the company van and we headed to dinner. Now folks, I've had good seafood before. I've had great seafood before. But nothing like what we experienced at Old Salties. It was OFF THE HOOK DELICIOUS!! The crab cake was perfect, soft crabs devine, crab imperial made me cry, and the stuffed flounder....well you get the picture. Exhausted, we drove back to the boat and fell into a deep restful sleep.
Up at dawn again we were greeted with grey skies and a light rain so I put up the Pennsylvania bimini(blue tarp from Lowes). We had a cup of coffee, checked the radar on my iphone which showed some small showers here and there, made breakfast and waited for the rain to stop. Things cleared up by 8 so we headed out for Hooper Strait. Once out of the narrow Honga we hoisted sail under a hazy sky. We decided to test our navigation and shoot Hooper Strait under sail. Everything was clearly marked and we made it through with no problem. Winds switched between 10-15 and light and variable. We couldn't get into our slip in Bivalve until after 2 PM due to a big triathalon so we had a lazy sail on up through the mouth of the Nanticoke. Once we were in sight of the marina we dropped anchor, fixed some lunch and waited for the event to be over. We motored in at 3 PM and were greeted by our good friends Jeff and Aletha Clark who had responded to my previous text and brought a 12 pack of ice cold beer. We spent the next few hours recapping the trip with them on Exodus. Jeff and Aletha have sailed with us on our Catalina 22, Genesis, for years and are her new owners. A perfect end to a glorious trip.
- My wife is a damn good sailor, trust her intuition. She's also pretty gutsy, she's the one who convinced me to try for Hoopersville in one day.
- Please and thank you go a long way
- iPhones rock, the Navionics chartplotter app worked flawlessly
- Good charts make a big difference
- People are still generally pretty good
- I don't want to work, I want to sail