Sunday, June 12, 2016

Swan Creek

Sunday, June 12, 2016
When we left York River Yacht Haven, we had a plan. We had carefully plotted our destinations and travels for several days with alternates based on weather and other eventualities. So far, we have not actually stopped at any of those predetermined places, dates or times. That’s what plans are for. Mere suggestions to frame the story that unfolds in reality.

Junie posted, on Facebook, some very pretty pictures of
sailboats as we made our way past Annapolis.
This is what it looks like to the guy driving the boat.
And only about 10% of the boats are reporting
on AIS. There are a lot of boats on Saturday
in Annapolis.
Tonight (for the second night) we are on a mooring ball in Swan Creek in Rock Hall, Maryland. We were supposed to be in Harness Creek, near Annapolis. But the sailing was good, we had gotten a very early start from Solomons, and the wind was expected to take a serious, damn near violent, turn to the northwest. We decided to stretch our day to travel beyond the Bay Bridge and duck in here to wait for the wind to back off a bit. The forecast, for a change, was very accurate.

Swan Creek Marina has many mooring balls but, by the time we got here at 5:30 pm on Saturday, the only one with deep enough water for us was all the way at the back corner of the mooring field. I missed the approach on the first pass (a little out of practice, I guess) but we picked it up easily on the second try. We called the marina and left a message to let them know we had arrived and would be by in the morning to pay up.

Rock Hall is very welcoming to boaters. There is a tram/shuttle (dog friendly!) that will pick you up right at the marina, or other locations throughout the town, and deliver you to a broad range of destinations for a modest donation. In our case, laundry, grocery, lunch and back again. Cruiser’s dream.

End of the day at Swan Creek

We have barely been gone a week but, already, we are falling into a pace and patterns that are very familiar. Tilly is adjusting beautifully. She has a youth, grace and athleticism that no one else on the boat possesses. She is able to leap into the dinghy, fly up onto docks at low tide and maneuver in tight places beyond all expectations. She seldom barks, never whines and often snuggles. What more could we ask for? All of us end up tired at sunset, feel better than we have for months and improve daily. It is great to be underway again.

An interesting exercise in perspective.
A 14 foot sailboat with the proportions of a
much larger sailing vessel.

Let’s talk logistics. We would like to be north of Long Island Sound before July 4th to avoid the craziness that is unleashed after northern sailors are cooped up for the winter and left to fester. That means that we need to be moving north pretty quickly. Tomorrow, we intend to move up to the west entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal to anchor in preparation for transit to the Delaware Bay. Then, down the Delaware Bay to Cape Henlopen to anchor and wait for a decent opportunity to move north to the Sandy Hook / Atlantic Highlands area. This will be our first offshore, overnight passage in some time and Tilly’s first ever. We hope to do a marina stop there to take care of final preparations to move further north through New York and on toward Maine.

It is hard to predict long travels in slow boats so we don’t really know when this all unfolds. We review the weather every day, adjust plans, pick destinations and then change them. You can’t be late when you have no schedule and you can’t be lost when you don’t care where you go.

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