Just a perfect springtime sail

Hitting the ground running meant feeling almost as if the last five months didn’t exist, almost… Of course, the fact that every bite I take doesn’t feel like an ice-pick to the eye socket does proclaim (with bugles) that our eastern hemisphere adventures were indeed a raging success. It’s good to be right about that kind of thing. Although my new teeth are most definitely not painful in any way, they are, how do I put this…not real, meaning completely different in every way, and very weird. So, at this stage of my oral recovery I have to say; if you’re suffering from an infection triggering a genetic, bone-dissolving oral disorder I recommend you move to India for a few months, get all your teeth removed and replace them with some (drilled-n-torqued-in) porcelain implants… It’ll do ya good! (wink) I (James) went back to work, found my niche and fell upon my burden as if a single second hadn’t even passed, three days later, we pulled up the hook and went sailing! …My favorite kind, reaching with the sails full in a fair current with absolutely nowhere to go. We tacked a few times just to keep our chops wet then headed back in to try out the anchorage around the back-side of Watergate Pointe. We stayed there overnight but the spring cleaning project is calling us both so back to Dock-B we went.

Read more

A Great Circle

We sailed a great circle over the last week. Not in the traditional sense of navigating along the shortest path, but in the equinoctial Chesapeake sailor’s way. And we looked good doing it. The wind direction and intensity, the direction and speed of the tidal currents, and the long list of neat places to visit combined to allow us a circular path around the upper Chesapeake. In winter, the winds come largely from the north and, in summer, from the south. In the shoulder seasons, though, the wind cycles through the compass as weather patterns form and pass over. This gorgeous anchorage (unofficial, like most of the places we drop the hook) rewarded us well for an unexpectedly hard day. The whole point of the spring circle is to have easy weather for the whole trip, wind on or abaft the beam, and helpful currents that don’t turn choppy running against the wind. On this occasion, we jumped the gun by leaving Annapolis before the tide had well turned. We slogged a little – like walking through a few inches of water, though, nothing drastic – and motorsailed in the morning’s light wind. As we came up next to the Magothy River, a loud clunk preceded the onset of a heavy vibration. A rattling, beating vibration that got everything on the boat moving, even at the top of the mast, where the 3′ VHF whip antenna taught an impromptu lesson on sine waves. We figured out pretty quickly that it was drive-train, not engine, and sailed up the Magothy to a spot I (Dena) decided would be safe and convenient for both anchoring and receiving help. We’re getting pretty good at receiving help, something that surprises and pleases me. We’ve been so independent for so long and it’s nice to[…]

Read more