Monday, May 18, 2015

First Sail of the Season: 39 Nautical Miles logged

The Bucentaure saw her first sail of the season with a trip from her wintering spot in Annapolis to St Michaels where she is moored during the summer months.  The trip was made even more eventful as it was the first sail of the season with my son who has recently completed his second year of college and returned home for the summer a few days prior.

On the way out of Annapolis harbor, we passed an Osprey nest on top of a channel marker.  The weather for the trip was just about perfect - 10-12 knot steady winds, relatively calm seas and temps in the low 70's.  The only downer was the direction of the wind - it was blowing south to North and we needed to go south which meant a lot of tacking (zig-zagging for you land lubbers) and turned a 29 nautical mile trip into a 39 nautical mile one.  It took us 7 hours to make the passage.
Finally under sail.  You may notice that the jib's still furled.  When we first unfurled it, we saw that it wasn't installed properly.  While we could have attempted to fix it underway, it's not the safest thing to try to do in a pitching boat so we elected to furl it back up and repair the mounting at dock.  It cost us 2 knots of speed but it was such a nice day we really weren't in a rush.
 Tacking across the Bay meant play tag with freighters heading up to the harbor in Baltimore and it was a busy, busy day for commercial shipping.
When you're in a sailboat, Freighter can move pretty quick - here's ones a good bit away, but
 Seven minutes later....
 Another giant speed demon
A big 'ole container ship
 The bloody point light house - about the halfway point of the trip and makes the transition for the Chesapeake Bay proper and the less trafficked East Bay.  Given the wind direction, the East Bay transit was a straight shot.  About half way through the East Bay we elected to practice some "Man Over-Board" drills which entail one of the crew pretending to fall overboard (we throw a flotation cushion into the water) and the remaining crew member needs to handle the boat alone to turn and retrieve the "crew member cushion".  It's a pretty basic but really important maneuver to practice often as when the real thing happens one needs to be able to overcome the natural emotions of fear to pilot the boat to get the crewman.  We each did the drill three times.  Sean's all went well but my first one was a bit of a mess (I ran over the cushion!).  The drill is performed without using the boat's motor.

After transmitting the East Bay we entered the Miles River and sailed into St Michaels.  Once the boat was moored in her slip we spent about an hour fixing the jib sail rigging and cleaning up the boat.  After that my wife came over and we had dinner at the Marina.

There was a wedding reception at the Marina but no wedding party.  About halfway through our dinner we swath arrive via boat - only on the Eastern Shore.

All-in-all it was a good but long day on the bay and the Bucentaure has logged her first 39 Nautical miles of 2015.


Solo wargaming-on a budget! said...

What a fantastic adventure! I had no idea that you were an accomplished sailor! Well done and thank you for sharing this.

Paul O'G said...

Very nice indeed Miles!

Its been a sailing madhouse around here for the last week with the Volvo Yacht race in town!

jmilesr said...

I'm not really all that accomplished of a sailor - most of my regatta results involve me sailing with a view of the sterns of most of the other racers!

I do manage to keep the boat on top of the water - which is a good thing!

Peter Douglas said...

Keeping a boat and getting use of it is an accomplishment in itself. Looks like a great day on the water.
Cheers, PD

Thomas Richter said...

Oh boy, I envy you! :-)

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

5.2 knots under just main (in the picture) so she was moving nicely!

DeanM said...

What a great way to spend quality time with your family. The lighthouse looks like a great terrain piece too :)