Spring on the Chesapeake
29 April 2013
What a gorgeous weekend. Temps both days in the mid to upper 60s during the day 49 at night.
Saturday we did a few maintenance items and decided to leave up the 120 for one more weekend as they were calling for heavy winds on Sunday. I repaired the lifeline gate for about the 5th time since I have owned the boat and swaged a new fitting as well as pelican hook. We motored out into the river and it was like Lake Chesapeake. Winds for Sunday were predicted to be out of the south at 15-20 with gusts so we headed that way.
Its funny how sailors in different areas determine where they go if they are out for just the weekend. The Chesapeake has virtually no tide or current for most of its length so most of us determine our direction by which way the wind will be on Sunday especially coming back to port. Even then the direction to go is seasonal as in the cool Spring/ late Fall its advantageous to have a winds somewhat from the beam back so its not cold, however in the summer it may be better to have a close reach/ beam forward wind to cool off the boat and prevent the bugs from hovering .
We motor sailed down to Annapolis, cruised through the harbor where they had the Spring Boat Show which was pretty rinky dink and headed to Whitehall Bay and its three major creeks. We opted for Whitehall Creek the least crowded of the three. ( Mill Creek has Cantlers, a popular crab house). We wound our way almost to the creeks headwaters as it carried depth very far up past the Hinkley dealer and marina.
We anchored in 9 ft of water in a very nice cover with million dollar houses and long docks around us and a huge what looked like an eagles next in the trees.
It was such an exhausting day ( sic) we took 11/2 hour naps in the cockpit in the warm sun and very gentle breeze. What a good life
We awoke, had a dinner at sunset of grilled swordfish steaks with lime butter and a salad and forgot the salad dressing. I made a quick one with mayo, red pinot noir wine, cumin, garlic and lime juice,
Sunday we awoke with a breeze in the spreaders. Breakfast was our usual. Lox and bagels with Kona coffee. I had some turkey sausage and bacon also as Donna has gotten me hooked on that about 3 years ago. While relaxing with coffee we saw the inhabitant of the nest...an American Bald Eagle as he swooped beside us and soared around for a period of time. I forgot to take a picture to include.grrrrr
We weighed anchor, put the main up immediately and wound our way out of the narrow Creek to Whitehall bay where the wind was already building at 11 AM.
We still have our 120 on the nose so we tracked out into the Bay and headed up to the Bay Bridge at 4 knots in 10 knots of breeze. After the bridge the wind increased dramatically and we were pulling 7+ knots flying up the bay. Nice easy broad reach with whitecaps behind us. Still not many boaters out yet.
We docked buttoned up the boat. What a beautiful weekend.'
Eagles Nest Horse Farm- Magothy River
17 April 2013
Had a great sail last weekend down the Bay to the Magothy River again. The Magothy has so many nice anchorages and places to gunkhole all by itself. Winds gusting to 30 out of the west gave us the perfect beam reach. Temps low 60 so we were buttoned up with wind pants, layers and layers. I enjoy sailing when its cool.
Donna heated up a nice bowl of homemade chili for lunch on the way down and we turned for a run so we could eat it in relative freedom from healing. It almost looked like a fall day in spring. We cruised into the Magothy and decided to go to Eagles Nest, up through Sillary Bay, Magothy Narrows and anchor off of the horse farm. A riding stable farm with a plantataion style house and 15 acres on the water ( someone has money) close to Gibson Island. Winds were supposed to lighten for the evening ( they didn't till 2 AM )
Hal and Cindy our friends with their new to them Tartan 3700 joined us and we rafted off our Rocna safely. We enjoy getting together with them, it usually happens either at the beginning or end of the sailing season as both our "dance cards" get filled with commitment. Hopefully one day they will take the trip up to the LI Sound and New England with us as we like hanging out with them.
We got anchored about 3 and had time for a quick 1 hour nap in the sun, behind the dodger with spectacular blue sky and scenery. This anchorage can have as many as 50 boats in the summer, but we were the only ones there. Hal and Cindy arrived around 5 and we had a great Happy hour or two together. Separated for dinner and got back together for dessert on their boat. The newer Tartans have a lot of room in the aft ends now and was quite spacious. I have always admired their quality and use of woods below, I got a call from Kurt and Chris , old MYC members who had also anchored in the cove, telling us about a solar flare and the possibility of Aurora Borealis later that night at 2 AM. Unfortunately once the wind died at 2, the fog was to heavy to see.
Sunday AM Cindy and Hal took off after breakfast at 9 AM. We hung out with Kona Coffee for an hour admiring the scenery and ventured back out to the Bay to tack home into 15-20 knot breeze directly on the bow. Was a great sail home. The winds lightened as we came into the river so we got back about 4.
Pulled the boat back together and had a nice relaxing dinner at the Club with Jessie and Illyse who have a Bavaria 36. Great relaxing weekend with friends and good quality time with Donna. Haleakula has shaken off her winter doldrums now. She needs a diver to wipe her bottom, and is calling for her 155, but we have had four good wind days the 110 has sufficed so far.
Picture of the horse farm attached
First anchorage of the season
10 April 2013
So we put the small 120 on the furler and headed out of the slip Saturday for our first anchorage of the season. Air temps were 54 degrees, water temp 48 degrees and winds light at 10-12. Was a 3 hot chocolate day with peppermint schnapps. Beautiful shakedown sail out the Patapsco down the Chesapeake to the Magothy River where we sailed about bundled up. Went the length past Ferry Point to see our friend Chuck/ Mary new to them Irwin 38. Was in great condition and we caught him tinkering on the deck as we glided by. It was late so we headed for a protected cove as the winds were to pipe up to 20 that night.
We found a really cool place to tuck into at Ross Cove which offered 280 degree protection except from the north. We anchored in mud in 7 feet of water with an Osprey nest ( the bird squawked for an hour) and some private docks around us.
We scrambled below and fire up the portable propane heater and relaxed. Dinner was a tri tip steak grilled with portabella mushrooms and a nice butter lettuce salad with heirloom tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, English cucumbers and a nice Titus California Old Vines Red Zinfandel. Food tastes so much better after being out sailing.
We hung out, watched the DVD film Lincoln on our flat screen. and just talked the night away.
Sunday after lox and bagels and Kona coffee we started back home earlier than normal as the forecast was for building winds and possible gale warnings.. As we turned out into the Magothy we were in the teeth of a 20-30 knot day with gusts to 35.
We tacked our way out of the River into the Bay and were swept north by the 3-5 short choppy waves and the 120 all alone at over 6.5 knots.
When we got to our slip the normally quite placid lagoon had a 20 knot tailwind driving us into the slip. This is the worst possible direction for wind. Donna was able to catch our blue spring line which get put over the mid sip cleat on the jib track and acts as a preventer from being driven into the dock and dock box in front of us at the head of the slip. Others have targets painted on their boxes. We tied up uneventfully and enjoyed lunch in the club.
I forgot to mention we only saw two boats on Saturday and one was the pride of Baltimore making her way up the Bay to the Inner harbor.
OK what the hell happened to spring
25 March 2013
So Saturday we really start our boating season. Head down to the MYC where Haleakula has rested quietly in the water all winter for our first overnight of the season, though in the slip. We are cleaning and putting things back in the boat we took home in the late fall. Stocking water, wiping down surfaces, checking bulbs and stuff in drawers. Detailing the inside. Donna has been working on the new cushions for 5 months. We have 26 seperate cushions all different sizes and angles and to make each is a painstakingly slow process. She has to pull apart the old cushion and label each panel to use as a template as they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. In addition the "dots" on the new fabric have to line up. Then I cut the new foam and she sews away on the Sailrite LZ-1. She has 17 of them finished and the inside of the boat is strikingly different now. I have to take pictures. She is very exact and they look wonderful. We will " button" them over the summer as we are down on the boat.
So after cleaning all day, and a nap at 6 we went up for dinner at the Club and had the best one ever in 7 years there. Salmon Napoleon for her ( Layers of Salmon. smoked salmon, and pastry with a Champagne sauce. I got Beef Wellington and homemade Kugel ( an ethnic noodle pudding). Our clubs food is usually just norma restaurant food but the chef appears to have stepped up his game some. The club is a blue collar club and the oldest YC on the Chesapeake. No snoots or upturned noses allowed, jeans for dinner.
Our friends Hal and Cindy also satyed overnight. Hes got a beautiflul Tartan 3700 he got last year. We split a bottle of wine and lots of winter cathing up conversation with them till 12 midnight, then went back to Haleakula to sleep. Windy as hell ( 25 knotss) so Haleakula bounced around gently rocking in her 64X16 slip ( we are 35 ftX12 beam so we are a cork in the slip. We have this slip by seniority though and its a great one with the catwalk beside the boat the whole length of the 6 foot slip.
We both slept really well and late (9 AM) for us since we were just gonna keep cleaning Sunday. After our traditional Sunday Lox, Bagels and Kina coffee, the sun was barely out and no wind we decided to knock the slime off the underside of the boat and take her out for a motor shakedown run. main sail is on but the headsail isnt yet.
We pulled out of the slip and motored about 2 hours on the Patapsco. Was cold at 48 degrees, had some hot chocolate and brought her back in after taking her through her paces. Was nice to be out on the water again.
Left and came back home with the winter cover and the A frames and cross pieces for her storage.
And today------4 inches of heavt wet slushy snow...what gives.
Fired up the Iron Genny
12 March 2013 | MYC
De winterized, replaced the impeller on Haleakula partially and fired up the trusty Yanmar 30GMF on Sunday and she took immediately. Thanked g'd and then kissed Haleakula/ Always a ggod sign. Took down the cushions which Donna had redone over the winter and the new dark blue fabric looks great against the teak interior.
Turned on the new stereo and tested all the elctronics. Radar, Chartplotter, all the ST60s, Glomar Antannae, Flat Screen all worked flawlessly. Was going to pull the canvas cover off, but there is still a ice/ snow/ rain day in the furture so I thought the better of it.
Next Friday we will start our weekends on Haleakula as we are planning on staying on in the slip. We have some cleaning to do. I like to inventory all the cabinets, cubbyholes and spares. Saturday night is a St Patricks Days Party at the club so we can roll down the dock to our berths afterwards.
Sunday is our traditional Slip Pick Day/ Burning of the Socks Day/ First Sail fleet meeting. We usually see a lot of our friends from the club who have been hunkered down all winter.
This year we are lucky that one of our sailing friends Shawn (T37chef), Irene, and their two beautiful girls have joined MYC with their Tartan 37 Windgeist.. The room to rum around and the pool will be great for the kids and Irene and the commradiere will be good as we get along so well together. He being a chef and me a former one gives us things other than sailing to talk about. We are excited to have them there.
Our cruising plans include our annual trip from the Chesapeake down the Delaware River to Cape May, up the Jersey Coast visiting Barnegat, Atlantic Highlands. Then into the Long Island Sound with stops this year at Port Jefferson, Mattituk, Greenport, Block Island, Stonington, Mystic and Northport before headed south again to home. We really look forward to these 3 weeks every year.
Our Sailnet friends Bryan and Sharon on Spindrift will be going as far as NYC with us this year. Should be fun as we love rafting with them during the summer. They may be cruising south before we are as they have some big exciting plans
This year we have vowed to take a week and go south on the Chesapeake in the fall when the leaves are turning. Looks like anopther 3,000 NM year for us.
Donnas experience is growing each year, so when it comes time to retire and cruise down the ICW to Florida and the Bahamas she will be ready. her confidence grows every year in handling the boat.
Winter comming to and end
01 March 2013 | Rock Creek, MD
Our first entry. We have been meaning to start a blog to keep track and share our adventures for a few years. Winter is drawing to an end. Virtually no snow and Haleakula sits snug in her slip at the Maryland Yacht Club awaiting the Ides of March and the removal of her winter blanket. Had very little ice in the creek this winter.
Over the last few years we have accomplshed major projects on Haleakula. 2012 was the complete renovation of her electrical systems, with the removal of her original C&C panels and new Blue Sea AC/DC panels put in.
She was sidestruck by lightning moored in Back Creek , Annapolis ( another story) which resulted in her having a major replacement of electrontics. So she has a new Mastervolt 3 stage battery charger, Victron battery monitor and Blue Sea ACR/ Combiner for the 6-6 volt AGM Lifelines and the blue topped Odessey starting battery. Her Raymarine C-80 chartplotter which I installed in 2008 has been replaced by a Raymarine C-90w chartplotter, and all three ST60 instruments are now ST60+. Her X-5 autopilot control head was replaced as was her analog radar to a digital 48 miles one. She sports a new Glomar amplified TV antannae replacing a Shakespeare. This was almost like a heart transplant.
Part of the 2012 project was to replace lights with LEDs and also buy an Alpenglow Salon light which has been a great improvment in the cabin.
Also Haleakula has a new cutlass bearing, Accumet prop shaft, PSY drippless gland.
2011 projects included a new Quantum full battened main sail with Tides Strong Tack, and anchor washdown as well as kellet setup for anchoring when we go to the LI Sound. New Magma Grill with a second propane tank and a hhokup to run the grill from the 10 lb tank eliminating the need to carry the one lb "bomb" iI fins worrisome.
2010 projects included the installation of a Garhauer radar pole and detachable engine lift. Also the old Promarinier charger gave up the ghost which I replaced with a Xantex True Charge 2. The 3 group 31 wet cells were replaced with 6-6 volt lifeline AGM and an Odessey Blue top stbattery. This increased our house bank from 200 ah to 660 ah and was a dramatic improvement as we no longer had to watch and conserve. So we also bought a flatscreen 26" HD Sansui flatscreen with DVD and installed that on a swing arm.
2009 projects included a new Walker Bay Odessey dinghy, Tahatsu 4 hp with extrernal tank and Garhauer 11/2 inch davits. Donna completely replaced the dodger, bimini, connector and side panels making the cockpit a very friendly place in bad weather. We went from a racing dodger which afforded little protection for the helmsman and required stooping when exiting the salon steps, to a nice "room" with a great view.
This years projects are replacing the 30 year old Scaeffer rope clutches with Garhauer ones we got at the Annapolis boat show. Donna is working harc on redoing the 26 inside cushions with a rich looking dark blue fabric with red flecks we got for a steal at Franklin fabrics. The "boat tailor" wanted $5000 and it looks like we will be bale to do it for about $1800. Donnais an excellant seamstress with her Sailrite LZ-1 Redoing the sole may be put off till next year.
Our vaction sail from mid August thru Labor Day will be the Long Island Sound. We head there 4 years out of 5 with the fifth year returning to maui where we got married on the beach near Mekenna in the shadow of Haleakula ( the volcano the vessel is named after). Two years ago we rode horses down into the crater and back for 7 hours, Was very spectacular.
This years stops on vacation are return visits to Cape May. Barnegat Light, Atlantic Highlands, Port Jefferson, Mattituck, Greenport, Block Island, Stonington, Mystic, Port Washington/ Northport.
Our sailing normally for the season is about 3000 miles. We start early, finish late and spend almost every Friday through sunday at Haleakula from March thru December.
Enough for now as we await our sock burning and anxiously await our return to our home away from home.
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