Speaking of the heater.... Just ended up with 6 days off in a row and decided to hop down the river and visit the Chesapeake a bit. Stagg flew out Friday and we departed Saturday morning from Dahlgren heading down the Potomac in cold blustery weather but with fairly ideal sailing conditions making very good time down to the mouth of the Potomac at the Chesapeake that night. We anchored snugged up in a nice little creek and sort of took a lazy day the next day checking out the local sites and fixing a few minor things on the boat.
The following day, we again took advantage of some fairly favorable winds to scoot across the bay again in the mostly cold rain to go to Smith Island where we again got the old Monte Python cheese shop skit trying to get crabs at the only restaurant that was open on the island at the time. (They did have good crab cakes)
From there, taking advantage of the NW winds that were scheduled to foil our attempts to get up the Potomac in a timely fashion later, we sailed down to Reedville which was a pleasant stop as well. The sun finally came out and everything!
After that, it was pretty much all Yanmar all the time hammering our way up wind, up river, up up up to get back to Dahlgren. Great trip overall but would have been even better if we just had another 22 days or so to do it in.
A few pics:
Rolling down the Potomac with Otto at the helm. Wind and rain meant that it was jacket time but not quite cold enough yet to require the bibs.
Playing frogger across the shipping channel towards Smith Island. Not too bad with AIS on the plotter, pretty easy to keep track of everyone and adjust as needed. Still a little eerie with the visibility being fairly poor.
Only one we had to adjust slightly for was this guy, the LNG Tanker Sakura Maru who passed about 2.2NM behind us after we adjusted course and sped up a bit.
Navy target ship American Mariner. Pretty confident that this one is not going to run us down...
Forced air heat was an absolute game changer. It allowed us to easily and completely dry every single thing out every night. I had figured warm was going to be nice but I cannot stress enough how great that thing was at drying the insides of the boat as well as us out. I will never have a boat without one of those in it again.
Flew the asymmetrical on the way back across from Smith Island to Reedville. The conditions were pretty good, about 2-3 foot seas and steady winds of about 10 kts. Naturally as soon as we got it up, the wind piped up a bit more and before too long we were screaming along at fairly unheard of speeds for East Wind but we were clearly over canvassed as she was handling like a bag of angry cats so we doused it and switched back to the main and partially furled genoa still managing to hit a new boat speed record of 7.1 kts.
Nevermind a chicken in every pot... Every single aid to navigation and I mean EVERY ONE had an resident Osprey couple with nest. Made me feel bad for the poor Ospreys that showed up late to the game and had to settle for the bell bouys....