After two great days on Cordelia, I totally have a case of the Mondays.
The one upside is that today is kind of a gross day so sailing really isn't the best way to enjoy it. Now a nap on the other hand... This weekend was a different story entirely. As much as I feel like this blog is turning into some kind of homage to great weather, Saturday and Sunday really were perfect days. Still cool enough to not get hot - even when the wind died down - but not too cold that a 15 knot breeze required you to bust out a parka and gloves.
Our friends Dan and Tara picked us up Saturday at our place in D.C. after stopping at The Italian Store for some great sandwiches and Nutella Tarts. If you have never been to The Italian Store
, go. They have everything you would need for an Italian meal from antipasto to the cheese course - including the wine. If you don't feel like cooking, even better. Their pizza - whole or by the slice - is always delicious and their sandwiches are out of this world. We've been craving one since we went to a Nationals game a few weeks back and the guy five seats down snuck one in to torture all of us with the smell the peppers and cold cuts while we were forced to get our daily nitrate intake from hot dogs.
Two other friends met us at the boat and we were casting off the lines by 2:30. After a couple tacks out of the West River we looked like a pretty respectable and somewhat competent crew. We headed up to Thomas Point Light
before cutting out into the Bay. The winds in the Bay picked up from about 8-10 knots to more in the range of 13-15 knots. With six of us in the cockpit, all the winches were within easy reach, so I didn't feel bad asking for a quarter turn here or there to minimize heeling while still keeping speed. When we turned downwind to head back into the West River, the GPS got a reading of 7.5 knots (with a little push from a following wave). For full disclosure, I think the GPS might be a tad generous with the speed, but I'm still saying Cordelia is fast and 7.5 is the speed to beat.
When we got back to the West River we sailed down into South Creek a little ways to check it out before lowering the sails. The jib was incredibly hard to bring in. At first I thought I was really weak and Tara, who was keeping tension on the running rigging, was really strong. When I saw that she had let go of the line I noticed it was jammed in one of the blocks. I couldn't get it loose so had to remove the block to roll in the jib. Back at the dock we freed the line, but the pulley was toast.
Sunday was a more laid back sail. We picked up Emily and headed out to the boat a little past noon - after a stop at West Marine for a new block
At Chalk Point, we met more of our slip mates and our only blog follower - Bob. Bob and Sandy filled Meredith's head with all kinds of awful ideas, like tying a rope to a float in the summer, letting it drift behind the boat and pulling her in when her drink needed to be refreshed. I have a feeling she thought this was the best idea she had heard all day and I have a summer refilling vodka sodas in front of me.
One of the best features about Cordelia is the placement of the winches. The two main self-tailing winches are far enough back that I pretty much handle her single-handed once the sails are up. This allowed Meredith and Emily to claim their real estate on the cockpit benches. Meredith would occasionally say my name in that "What the hell are you doing" tone of voice, just to let me know the gust of wind had increased our heel from 15 to 25 degrees and I hadn't noticed. Other than that, her and Emily read gossip magazines while they sunburned.
There were about a dozen Flying Scots and catamarans racing in the river and seeing them fly their spinnakers has really gotten me motivated to figure out how to use our spinnaker. I tacked through their race apologetically trying to stay out of their way the best I could - which is more than I can say for the 45 foot power boat that cut a few of them off on his way through the channel.
I sailed us into the Bay back near Thomas Point and then turned into the South River. As soon as we came into a minefield of crab pots, the wind promptly died leaving us drifting about 1 knot according to the GPS or 0.3 according to the Raymarine speed display. This is when I decided the GPS might be a little generous and another reason I want to figure how to use the spinnaker.
We cranked the engine and headed home, somewhat bummed the weekend - and sailing - had come to an end for a few days.
The West River really is a special area of the Bay and so far, Cordelia has made enjoying it that much better.