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 that way.
We also don’t sail on the 4th of July. It’s part of the litany of days-boating-sucks: Memorial Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. I can’t wait to get to a country where these are meaningless and we can be taken by surprise by the occasions for which folks rush to the water.
The seriousness of this solemn celebration was leavened by the presence of Glenda Rider. And actually, the entirety of the seriousness and all our solemnity was due to the maskless partiers clumped tightly around the dinghy dock shooting off the big combo fireworks with nary a fire extinguisher in sight. Dancing, trading beers…enjoying a pre-COVID-19 fantasy that just does not apply. It was a display of contempt for rationality and group wellness.
But Glenda? Well worth running that gauntlet.
We left as soon as we could, even though the weather forecast wasn’t certain there wouldn’t be…
I mean, it’s summer in the Chesapeake! Afternoon storms are a thing!
And then with the fifth be-dee-deep-deep, be-dee-deep-deep, be-dee-deep-deep announcement that the weather service had an important message, the storm cell tossing 60 mile an hour winds and quarter-sized hail at Frog Mortar Creek…then Baltimore…then Annapolis…we arrived in Herring Bay and countless small boaters and kayakers and SUPers providing reports of boats flipped upside down and people in the water suddenly became a part of the nervous past because…
…the storm blew itself out right before it reached us. We anchored safely and swam (because wasn’t that the whole point and wasn’t it lovely to cool off?), had a bit of a rough evening, but were safe. We were safe and in love and all was well.