Saturday afternoon I was sailing with my oldest son. We were heading out of the Patapsco River from White Rocks Marina, on a close haul starboard tack towards the Craighill North Range Light, an old brick lighthouse in the middle of the Bay that we'd decided to use as our turnaround point.
The wind was nice, about 10k out of the S or SE, and we're moving nicely in the groove when I notice a larger (30'-plus) sailboat about a quarter-mile off our starboard side, also on a starboard tack, but with the wind a bit free so that they will intersect our course, crossing from right to left, somewhere ahead. I noticed that he was forereaching on us, and that he would cross our path comfortably far ahead of us.
That is, until he performed the Bay version of the swoop'n'squat: just as he intersected our course, about 100 yards or so ahead, he started fussing with his boom, standing up in his cockpit and doing something with it, so that his speed dropped drastically and we began overtaking him rather quickly.
I watched him... and watched... and watched... and finally fell off the wind and went around him on his port side, giving him a bit of the evil eye as we passed. As soon as we went by and got back on course he finished his boom adjustments and carried on his original course.
And I said rhetorically to my son, "With the entire Bay to choose from, why did he decide to fuss with his rigging DIRECTLY in front of us?" It certainly wasn't an emergency -- I really think that once he was ahead of us we were "out of sight, out of mind," and he just forgot we were there.
I made perhaps the most appropriate comment of the day just a few moments before, when I told my son that the Fourth of July weekend was the biggest boating drunkfest of the year, and to keep a sharp eye out for everything.