The Turnaround

The sail from Holaga Snood off Kent Point to Solomons Island took, well, all day. We were heading downwind and couldn’t quite make straight for it because Cetacea doesn’t have a great big genoa that can be pushed out opposite the mainsail like Nomad did. We made do. Again, the trip took longer than the auto-routing function on the navigation app said it should, but that app gives straight-line estimates based on speeds you tell it you can maintain. Slow at times, and taken in long tacks first southwest then southeast then southwest again, we made our way to the Patuxent River’s mouth. Broad-reaching up the river didn’t last long and we were soon holding our collective breath, waiting to find out whether our usual anchorage was littered with summer sailors. And, I mean, the answer was yes, I guess. But not so littered that we couldn’t find a space. A guy from the nearest boat watched our anchoring process with what I (Dena) thought was undue care until I realized he wasn’t about to opine on our technique. Turns out, he was studying up more than waiting for the gotcha. And his friend started the next day like this: Lest anyone be confused, I (James) was quick to find out that, yes…he does play Scotland the Brave. I (Dena) was upset by the prospect of a hot spell coming because…the sea nettles! They were everywhere! Big and small, making the waters look like egg-drop soup. I did some research and found that NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center has a whole section for predicting the probability of encounters with sea nettles. The map looks like this: Do you see what I saw? It would be days…DAYS…before we’d be able to swim again in peace and comfort. Naw, hon. We don’t play[…]

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Pointing to Holaga Snood

Harness Creek was kind and gentle on everything but the dinghy. When we felt the bottom of the dink, it was furry and tenacious like a lime-green shag carpet, cir. 1974! Time to weigh-up and move on. We sailed down the South River to Galesville to get eyes on a cool little marina Dena applied to run a while back and of course bite into some local seaside vittles. We only stayed the night, it was awesome. Very shallow, lightly trafficked. If you don’t need anything ashore, the little bay off Hartge Yacht Harbor is cool. The next day we decided to take the favorable winds across the Bay to the Eastern Shore, up the Miles River to the little town of St Michaels. The sailing was spectacular on all points of sail and the new solar system performed like we built it to: silent and strong. We spent two hours more than the best estimate getting up the river because, well, we could. Why rush when you can sail? It was the kind of beating that never was much fun on Nomad, but which Cetacea takes to happily. Upon our approach to the deep water anchorage just outside of the town mooring field, we made the shocking discovery that our #1 Jib, the “Yankee”, was stuck. It wouldn’t roll in more than a little. When I (James) went to pull the sail down, I discovered that it wasn’t just suck in the open position…it was stuck in the up position as well. Not only an annoyance but extremely dangerous. Just imagine sailing in the ocean and the winds suddenly kicked up like they are prone to do, then you discover the sail is stuck open and full with no way to get it down! That’s kind of like heading[…]

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