Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Solomons Island

First, a few more pictures of sailing down from the Chester River and the two CR42s rafted up in Harness Creek. It has been fun to compare and contrast the two boats up close. Thierry had ‘Curlew’ built after owning many boats including a Cabo Rico 38 immediately before. So, he had some very specific design requirements, ideas and preferences. The folks that originally had ‘SeaClearly’ built were, probably, natured more like us. They included the generator, AC, a big arch for solar and wind power, an electric winch and a Code 0 light air sail on a third roller-furler. All of those things except the Code 0 were on our wish-list when we went boat shopping. As we looked at the pictures of the two boats side by side, sometimes the similarities stand out. Other times the differences seem glaring and obvious – well, at least to Cabo Rico owners.

SeaClearly sailing down the Chester River
headed across the Bay to Harness Creek
Curlew dodging a ship near Annapolis
 - actually, it was anchored.
Both boats left Harness Creek and headed south for Solomon’s Island at a reasonable morning hour on Monday. It is about 45 miles. Kind of a medium traveling day. As usual, there were many boats of every kind out moving around on the Bay. The wind was predicted, very accurately, to be light and coming directly from the south. We expected to motor all day. Never great - but much easier to take since we had a nice sailing day the afternoon before coming down from Rock Hall. And, we need to start making our way back south.

‘Curlew’ and ‘SeaClearly’ paced each other about 300 yards apart for several miles. Then, the independent-minded crews had different ideas on the best path to Solomon’s. ‘Curlew’ started fading to the east while we hugged the western shore for the view of the upcoming Calvert Cliffs. It was a very pleasant day of eating lunch in the cockpit and watching the scenery. The wind picked up some but was still right on our nose. We guessed that Thierry, who by now was out of sight, was probably planning, at some point, to turn and reach back across the Bay.

We were entertained by the jets from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station as we made the turn to Solomons. This was our first time coming into the harbor and we were not quite sure what to expect. We were taken aback by the number of sailboats. We motored slowly around just looking and then looking for a spot to anchor. There is no shortage of places to anchor. It is always just a bit confusing on your first arrival. We finally picked a spot and dropped the hook. But, somehow, when we settled back on the chain, we were uncomfortably close to the marina docks behind us. How does that happen? We thought we had dropped where we intended but didn't end up where we expected. I sat in the cockpit watching the situation for a while and pouting. Junie, eventually, slapped me in the head (figuratively, of course) and reminded me of our lessons over the last couple of years. ‘If you don’t feel good about where you anchored, pick it up and do it again’. So we did. It was pretty graceless, fraught with mis-steps and watched by many. But we did get moved, set and felt much better about leaving ‘SeaClearly’ anchored when we left to meet Thierry for dinner at the Dry Dock Restaurant.

Today, the story is – HOT! We took the dinghy for a ride this morning to look around. By 10:30, it was hot. By the time we tied up at the dinghy dock to walk the mile-each-way to the Food Lion for some groceries, it was scorching. But, we made it, got back to the boat and cooled off. Then we spent the really hot part of the day at the Calvert Marine Museum soaking up knowledge and the AC. Very cool place for both.
We got back to ‘SeaClearly’ and needed to charge the batteries a little. Or, we justified running the generator by saying that. And, as long as the generator is running, it is best to run it under load. Perhaps we could run the AC? Alright!

So, here we sit in the cool and comfort while it is sweltering outside at 6:30 in the evening. Our plan is to be up and out early in the morning. With the forecast calling for even hotter, we want to make progress before it gets too bad. After that, I guess we make progress while it is really bad. Either way, we expect to be just south of Deltaville tomorrow evening. We have had a great time with our Cabo Rico buddies but we bid Thierry good-bye and the rendezvous wraps up with ‘SeaClearly’ heading south and ‘Curlew’ heading back north. As one of the folks, Tom, said ‘Friends were made, lies were told and wine was spilled, what more could you ask for…’


  1. Boy, don't they look pretty together!

    1. Absolutely gorgeous! Hope you had a nice sail north. Probably just like our sail south - very nice.