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post #287 of Old 07-11-2019
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Re: 2019 Sailing Season on the Chesapeake

I'm back home, although there were times when I thought I wasn't going to make it home ever again.

Monday started out beautifully, sailed 40 miles on just the jib sail down to Worton Creek where I anchored up and spent the night. Although it was very hot and humid, I have a Honda 2001i portable generator on the boat, which allows me to run the AC/heat pump and the generator is very quiet, comparatively speaking,

After a quick breakfast the following morning, I motored out of the creek, put up the sails and pointed the bow south, though there was not a lot of wind to work with so it took most of the day just to travel 29 miles to my next destination, a small creek just north of Annapolis, Maryland where a friend of mine works during the summer months. Most of the evening was spent drinking Honey Bourbon, talking about old times and how much fun we had on the trip the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas back in 2012. Since then, he and his wife have divorced, he has a girlfriend that is half his age, but not sure how this is going to work out.

I fired up the engine and motored out of Mill Creek at 6:30 a.m. and listened to the marine weather forecast, which called for winds from the southwest at just 5 to 10 mph. Unfortunately, the marine weather forecast is about as reliable as predicting anything else in life - it's a crap shoot at best. I managed to sail about 30 miles farther south, tacking most of the way, and about noon the wind began to pick up. "Great, I thought, at least I should have some wind to sail on today." Well, those 5 to 10 mph winds increased to 25 to 30 with some higher gusts.

Well, it wouldn't been so bad if I had someone along with me to help manage the sails, but as usual, I was sailing single handed. The wave heights gradually increased to 4 to 5 feet, spray was constantly coming over the bow, and the pressure on the sails and helm was considerable. Then, just as I was coming around to change my tack angle, a rogue wave of about 8 to 10 feet hit me broadside, threw me out of the helm seat, sent the boom flying to the opposite side of the boat, and for a few minutes, I thought I had broken my arm. (Turns out to just a bad sprain of my right elbow. My left elbow, somehow, go a pretty nasty gash in it, though I didn't realize this until I saw blood on the cockpit deck.

I covered my wounds with sterile gauze, turned the boat around and headed for home, which was 142 miles away. It was a lot easier ride with following seas, and while underway, I called my friends to let them know I'm not going to see them. They understood, said maybe I should just drive down, which only takes a couple hours at most,go out to a local seafood restaurant, then I could be back home that night, sleeping in my own bed. Makes perfectly good sense to this old fart.

I was behind the helm on the return trip for nearly 17 hours, arrived at the marina at 3 a.m., hooked up the AC power, fired up the AC, took some pain pills and quickly fell asleep at the dock. I woke up at 8 when my wife called, worrying why I didn't answer the phone - I turned it off so I could sleep,

This morning, I made a conscientious decision that this was the end of my sailing days. I'll be 79 in October, if I make it that far, and I have come to the realization that I no longer can do the things I did back in 2012 when I was in much better physical condition. Too damned many body parts are just plain shot to Hell!

The boat is up for sale again, Carol is happy about that, and to be perfectly honest, I guess I am as well.

I'll post some vids and photos later this evening when I retrieve my phone from the car.

Sorry about the rant, but I thought this short story would be amusing to some of the forum members.

All the best,

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