We have a tradition in my family where the guys head off for a long weekend of sailing in mid-November, without wives and kids. Sometimes friends come along with their own boats. We've been doing this for seven or eight years running now. It's typically cold and wet with some sun sprinkled in now and again. Our wives and kids usually don't complain about being left behind!
This year we had four boats total. We "raced" from the Chesapeake western shore over to Wye Island, where we rafted for a night before making a short hop/race down to St. Michaels. From St. Michaels, we sailed back across to Annapolis, and then back to our homeport on the West River.
Here's a bunch of photos from our most recent trip:
The pair of Beneteau 285s got out ahead of us as we began the Bay crossing:
We got even further behind when we had to head up and go astern this tug, while the Beneteaus scootched ahead of it:
As it turned out, the tug actually helped us. There was a strong tide set up the bay that forced the Beneteaus down onto Bloody Point light and the adjacent shoal. They had to beat their way out of there while we, with the WEATHER GUAGE, managed to sneak ahead:
As soon as we were able to crack off a bit, we popped the chute and did a horizon job on them with my brother Mike trimming most of the way up the Eastern Bay:
Time for some lunch. Au Revoir, Beneteaus!
We rafted that night in a creek along Wye Island - beautiful country! Here you see my octogenarian Dad out for a dinghy cruise:
The next day we raced to St. Michael's -- only about 7 or 8 miles away. It was a drifter and we got clobbered by my brother-in-law's 285. It didn't help that my Naval Academy Varsity Sailing Team alumni brother jumped ship and raced with my B-I-L.
St. Michael's was it's usual pleasantness. We were berthed at the Maritime Museum, right next to a lovely restored boat called Elf
, which claims to be the oldest racing yacht still sailing. I think it's from the 1880s:
And here is another friend's little Folkboat 26, anchored out in the lagoon at St. Michael's:
The next day, we had a cold hard beat to Annapolis, about 28 miles or so. As we approached Thomas Point, the Beneteaus and the Folkboat peeled off and headed back to West River, but we had sailed together for much of the passage.
The little Folkboat, reefed down and moving along smartly:
B-I-L's 285 pressing hard to weather:
Us slogging along:
Yours truly takes the helm during the thrash to windward:
Annapolis is always a fun place to visit. But it is strange to be there with so few boats on the public moorings. Still, as we approached, we saw a few nice boats in the harbor. Here's one Hinckley ketch that I particularly liked:
As we approached closer to Annapolis, we discovered we weren't the only ones visiting that night:
We found the last slip at Ego Alley, tied up and then went over to have a closer look at the Pride of Baltimore II
and the smaller schooner, When and If
Some details of the Pride II
We poked around the Naval Academy a bit, then hunkered down in a pub to warm up. Next morning we went to an early breakfast at Chick and Ruth's. In honor of Veterans Day, my brother Mike and I -- being mere slimey 'wogs -- treated brother Steve and my Dad -- both shellback veterans.
Still early, we got underway, to discover Pelican floating at a mooring. Pelican is SailNet member Labatt's Passport 40 -- he had just arrived from Connecticut, quite a sail!:
I was sorry not to have bumped into Labatt/Chris on shore -- I wouldn't be surprised if we had crossed paths at some point -- but neither of us knew what the other looked like.
It was a crisp morning with a fair breeze, so we skipped the mainsail and popped the chute, right there in the harbor next to Pelican. We held it almost the entire way back to West River, pushing into the high 6's along the way. It was a fun sail and another great sailing weekend on the Bay!