Tilghman Creek Raftup
11/09/2008

Well, the season is coming to an end, but we managed to get in another weekend trip. We cruised over to Tilghman Creek in Eastern Bay to raft up with Dave. Winds were a bit light so we motored into the Chesapeake keeping my keel up and cutting across the shoal to save some time. Once out in the open bay, we found enough wind to sail about 3.5 knots.

We were able to sail for about an hour until I heard some flapping sound on the head sail. I immediately take a look and see about a 2' tear in my leach! Oh well, not much I could do so I continued to sail. Winds were light so it didn't seem to get worse, that is until we tacked and then the tear caught right on the spreader and then created a 10' tear! Oops, should have thought about that. So, I went forward and took down the genoa.
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I got out the duct tape thinking maybe I could make a temporary fix to allow us to continue sailing, but it wasn't working out too well and it was too large of a tear. I also figured with the small craft advisory due to be sailing back on Sunday in, the patch probably wouldn't hold in those conditions. I threw the sail down in the cabin.

We motored the rest of the way to the creek, getting there just after sunset.
Looking aft of us down Eastern Bay:
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Rounded the point and now heading into Tilghman Creek.
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We rafted up with Dave and enjoyed the evening. An exciting thunderstorm come rolling through which was a bit unexpected, but was entertaining.

Sunday morning went exploring in Dave's dinghy. Here's our raft up.
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Our boats anchored in the distance:
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A blue heron I managed to snap a photo of as it took flight:
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The Chesapeake Bay Cruising Guide mentioned that there are a bunch of derelict fishing boats up the creek. Sure enough, here is what we found:
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Charred sunken remains:
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After exploring all of the creek, we headed back to our boats and packed up. Dave was going to wait for Daren to sail over and planned to either stay there another night or find another anchorage. We got under way to head home. It turned out to be very calm all day and that small craft advisory definitely did not happen. Since I didn't have a useable genoa, we just motored the entire way home. We didn't miss much of any sailing. It only took four hours to get back to my creek.

We met up with Daren on his C-25 out on the Rhode River:
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Turns out Dave decided to head back and Daren just went for a day sail into the South River and back. Daren took this photo of us making our way home into Cadle Creek:
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We packed up the boat and met up with Daren at his marina. Dave was running late having some minor engine problems that would not get his boat up to cruising speed, but he was okay. We then went over to The Stein down the road for some good German beer and food.

My sail is currently being inspected by North Sails Direct, where originally purchased 2.5 years ago. It appears they had a bad batch of thread that deteriorated in the sun. The Dacron was just fine and it was the leach trim edge that just came completely free. Stay tuned for the results; I hope they take care of it. The thread on my 26 year main isn't showing this kind of wear as this newer genoa is.

This trip made for an excellent final raft up trip of the season; we had a great time. With all the motoring we did, I got a good idea of my gas usage. It was about 20 miles each way, we motored 4.5-5 knots, took 4 hours, and a total of about 4 gallons. Therefore, 1/2 gallon per hour going 4-5 nm. Not too bad I think. Hopefully I'll get my sail back soon and get a few more sails in before it gets too cold!

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St. Michaels Cruise
10/13/2008

We had an awesome three day St. Michaels cruise. Brian, Ginny and I on my boat, Dave single handed his, Daren on his, and Glenn and Lana on his Hunter 30. Here are some photos summarizing the trip.
Making our way into Eastern Bay and being overtaken by a nice spinnaker flying sailboat:
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Brian being way too energetic:
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Perfect weather:
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A nice skipjack near St. Michaels.
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Sun getting lower as we make our way to Leeds Creek for Saturday night:
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Waking up to this view Sunday morning. My photo was Photo of the Day on Webshots Travel section.
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Brian:
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Heading over to St. Michaels, reliving our first little adventure we had on January 29, 2006, only this time not having any problems. This was our first time back to St. Michaels since I relocated my Sapphire Breeze going on 3 years ago.
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Brian and Ginny:
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That's Dave weighing his anchor after we initially thought we would anchor in the small harbor near the museum. It was a bit too crowded, so we anchored just outside the channel entering the St. Michaels harbor.
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Beautiful sailboat I'd love to have someday:
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Dave and I rafted up:
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Some cool ultra-lights flying around:
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We motored into town on Dave's dinghy, meeting up with Glenn and Lana in their rented slip. We then walked around and explored a bit.
Glenn and Lana:
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Nice classic schooner:
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Dinner at Foxy's at the dock:
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Poker in Glenn's cabin:
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Daren's boat when I woke up Monday morning:
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Ginny exploring:
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Beautiful weather sailing back on Monday:
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Brian enjoying the ride:
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Winds lightened up when we got into Eastern Bay. Here is Daren and Glenn on intersecting tacks:
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Dave enjoying a ride on his bow while his auto-tiller does the work:
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Glenn's Hunter 30:
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Daren was having major engine problems and Glenn towed him home:
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Ginny burying herself in the v-berth:
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Season Summary thus far
09/30/2008

Well, I haven' updated my site in months. I've been very busy with work (awesome job I started last spring), sailing, and everything else. I'll just go through my collection of photos and post some here to give a summary of the season so far. Hard to believe it's almost over!

July 19th:
Brought out my friend JD for some sailing for the first time:
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July 26th:
Dave's daughter Becca joined me for a day of sailing and kayaking.
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Living aboard the weekend:
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July 27th:
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A little storm appeared out of no where, along with the USCG urging all boaters to seek shelter immediately:
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August 1st:
Racing in the Governor's Cup on Trevor's Merit 25. It's a popular overnight race from Annapolis down to St. Mary's College, about 80 miles. We were the smallest boat in the race of ~120 sailboats. Unfortunately we had a mechanical failure (traveler rip apart) as a storm approached around 8 am and we had to motor home to his slip on the St. Mary's River. This was after sailing very well overnight and passing several boats. Trevor later heard from a fellow racer that we were around 5th place or so in our class of 15-20 boats early that morning before things broke. It was quite the experience. The Merit is a fast and excellent sailing boat. It isn't comfortable for overnighting though! Here are some photos of the adventure:

We met up with Daren on our way up to the starting line and he took this photo:
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Coming up to the starting line with about 120 sailboats all sailing in that condensed area:
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I was the bowman and camera man, John being railmeat, Trevor at the tiller, and Dave managing the sheets.
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Making our way south:
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This is just the beginning:
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The following morning:
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A warning to all Merit 25 owners... The traveler was installed at the factory without any backing plates, not even fender washers!! It popped right out of the fiberglass during a controlled jibe, although one of the traveler lines came loose allowing the car to slam across the track which forced the energy to go somewhere breaking the traveler. You might want to check your installation. Fortunately it never ripped out during mast raising when Trevor used his boom and mainsheet as a gin pole.
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Sailing downwind under headsail alone, but not for much longer due to the storm approaching. Trevor decided to put the motor back on and start motoring home to ride out the storm.
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Dave was awesome, not taking any sleeping breaks. He was also the only one with foul weather gear and volunteered to steer us through the storm while the three of us went down in the cabin. I thought about bringing my foul weather gear, but it was forecasted to be hot, so I figured a little rain would be refreshing. Turns out it got a bit chilly out there during the storm, but then got blazing hot after the storm passed.
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Trevor having a good time:
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August 16th:
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Rafting up with Dave and Daren:
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Daren with his fresh fish he caught in the bay:
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Spent the following dead calm day in the marina working on the boat. Washed the top sides so she's looking great as always:
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August 31st:

My brother Brian finally made it out for the first time this year! We had a great time spending Labor Day weekend out there.
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Found a good spot away from the crowd on the other side of the island. Swing keels are convenient.
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Leaving the anchorage in the morning:
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Brian at the tiller:
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September 20th:

I went out for a day sail single handling along with Dave with his C-250.
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Around 4:30pm, I brought out a couple friends and originally we were just going to go for a short sail then head down to Annapolis to see their friends band play. The band lost the gig, so we ended up heading down to Pirate's Cove Marina on the West River for dinner. I've heard about the place for years, but never got around to checking it out. So, we got there just after dark and having a GPS sure is helpful!

Interesting how the sun was reflecting off that section of clouds:
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Well, that sums up most of my season thus far. There were a few trips missing from here, but oh well. I was hoping to go on a ~4 day sail this year, but it hasn't happened yet. I still hope to make it happen, but September has been calmer than normal which doesn't make for good extended sailing trips. I guess we'll see how October goes. The sailboat show is coming up next week!

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Who: Justin
Port: Mayo, MD
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