Ajax

A Form of Cruising...

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Beginning July 4th, I'll be setting out for 2 weeks of cruising the Chesapeake Bay.  It ain't the Turks and Caicos but it'll have to do.

The weather this year has been very fickle and I genuinely have no idea what destinations the weather will support. I do not want to motor against the elements in order to reach pre-chosen destinations.  I want to sail wherever the wind takes me...if there is any wind to be had...and sail, I shall. I have an asymmetric cruising chute, a symmetric chute, a whisker pole and good white sails for light or heavy air.

As much as it irks me to do so, I'll pack the Cruise-Air if the temperature forecast demands it. (mid 90's with humidity in the 90%'s with lows only in the high 70's or low 80's are not uncommon) It's more to give my spouse a respite so that she doesn't stab me in my sleep for torturing her.  All systems are "GO" except for the water heater but with the water temperature being 82F degrees, we wouldn't really use it anyway.

I'll be dragging a hard dinghy. It rows very nicely and I can stow it on the foredeck if required. I have a lovely new set of spruce oars with leather chafes and bronze, closed oar locks. I'm hoping to explore some new-to-me coves and holes. When we're not near towns, we play board games for entertainment, especially if the weather is foul.

Although I'm sure we'll hit a restaurant or two, I'd really like to cook onboard as much as possible. It's not that I'm cheap, I really enjoy cooking and trying to be creative. It's very satisfying to watch my spouse's eyes widen and hear that "mmmhmmm" when I get a meal done right.  So, I'll need to provision intelligently.  Although I have a A-B freezer, I know we'll need a lot of ice.

This isn't the best time of year to cruise the Chesapeake but this is what my work load allowed. The good news is, I'm planning another cruise in the early fall when the temperatures hopefully moderate and maybe a predictable wind pattern arrives. Hopefully there is some wind to push us somewhere...

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I am *so* looking forward to the end of school schedule tyranny and being able to do long fall cruises. I would be tempted to save your vacation for post Labor Day. When our son was about 2 we did a long cruise from the middle of September to the first week of October and it was Chesapeake Heaven X10000. Among other things, you meet a lot of full time cruisers in the anchorages instead of the locals, which is fun.

BTW - there is nothing more or less "cruise-ish" about sailing around the Turks and Caicos vs. going up and down the Severn River. You sail, anchor, eat, swim ,and so on both places.

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I hope you have a great trip, Ajax.

It may not be the Caribbean ... but still, you are holidaying in a style which a century would have been available only to the super-rich.  And they had no aircon.

Going where the wind takes you is my kind of sailing.  It's about the journey, not the destination.

I hate engines, so my idea of heavenly sailing is where the iron topsail is never used at any point in the day. With a fractional rig you have no excuse for not sailing on and off anchor.

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@kent_island_sailor  If I put off vacation any longer, some gov't employee is going to get knee-capped. Fortunately, I have enough vacation save up for a fall cruise as well, and I will definitely take it!

I'm originally from Florida anyway. I like the heat. I do wish the nettles would stay away so that I could enjoy more swims.

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No nettles yet here. I just got back from a cruise with extended family. The boat was packed to the rafters with musical instruments and video games and everything else kids drag on. They loved it :D, but I think I need a bigger boat!

The wx has been frustrating. We got hot, cold,north wind, south wind, east wind, west wind, rain, cloulds, clear skies, and everything else all in a few days. No settled pattern at all and no consistent wind for more than an hour.

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I was gonna ask about the nettles this year...all the rain you guys have had lately should keep the northern end of the bay (Annapolis and north?) pretty clear of them...

Given the frustrating wx, and general lightness in the summer, I might have something of a backup iteniary in mind so you don't spend the entrire 2 weeks camped out in the same place...though I'm a fan of go where the wind takes you as well.

Keeping the Admiral happy is always good seamanship, so nothing negative in my mind about bringing the cruise-air

Have fun!

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You hitting anyplace on the Eastern Shore, Ajax?   Lots of fun rivers to explore, Choptank, Tred Avon, Fishing Bay, Honga River (not much on shore up there).  Haven't been to Hooper's Island in 20 years, but Deal Island, Smith Island, and Tangier all have something to offer.  Hope you have a ball and catch a mess of crabs every morning you want to! 

 

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I have not seen a nettle here. Being at a marina sans air-conditioning can really be nasty. It seems about 20 degrees hotter than being anchored 1/4 mile away with the boat aimed into whatever wind there is. I have resorted to anchoring out at bedtime and coming back in the morning. There is a 12,000 BTU air conditioner used on sale for $250 at our local consignment shop. My wife is hinting it might be a nice thing to have. That $250 is a starting point though, lots of ducts and hoses to buy......... 

EDIT - Haven Harbor in Rock Hall has a deal for $20/day to use their dinghy dock, pool, and showers. My wife really likes that :)

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1 minute ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

You hitting anyplace on the Eastern Shore, Ajax?   Lots of fun rivers to explore, Choptank, Tred Avon, Fishing Bay, Honga River (not much on shore up there).  Haven't been to Hooper's Island in 20 years, but Deal Island, Smith Island, and Tangier all have something to offer.  Hope you have a ball and catch a mess of crabs every morning you want to! 

 

I've already been to Dun Cove, and the Choptank this year but not Oxford yet. I love the Eastern Shore. We are contemplating Smith and/or Tangier Island but we'll have to enter via the eastern side as the western side of the Big Thoroughfare is still shoaled in. There is a plan to dredge it but it's not complete, so far as I know. Honga River looks interesting.

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4 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I've already been to Dun Cove, and the Choptank this year but not Oxford yet. I love the Eastern Shore. We are contemplating Smith and/or Tangier Island but we'll have to enter via the eastern side as the western side of the Big Thoroughfare is still shoaled in. There is a plan to dredge it but it's not complete, so far as I know. Honga River looks interesting.

Honga River/Fishing Bay are where I grew up (Wingate) - went back for a drive last summer, and was really dismayed at the decay - not much is left down there, but, there's nice scenery, and plenty of space away from where everyone else wants to be.   The CBF owns Tangier Light - if the resident keepers are there, they'll give you a tour. 

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The lower Shore is not a place I want to be in bug season. There is a reason civilization ends at Cambridge ;) :P

If you go up the Choptank, you can go to the back door of Saint Mike's B)

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As for the towns... the crabs are ridiculously good this year.  Wouldn't avoid towns entirely...

 

 

 

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@kent_island_sailor Already been to San Domingo this year. :) (but I would go again if that's where the wind leads me) Hmm...bugs. Good point.  I'm ordering screen covers for the sliding hatch and deck hatches. I'll make sure we pack the DEET. Thanks be to God that the boat has 8 screened, opening ports for cross-ventilation.

@Lex Teredo I agree. The spousal unit is a crab-o-holic. I'm sure we'll hit some kind of crab-serving civilization.

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Have a great cruise Ajax.  I'm envious as ours got canned for the year.  Enjoy!!

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4 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

I am now a real fan of towing dinghies around

 

a nice dinghy looks good, tows nicely, rows beautifully and sails well.

 

It makes anchoring out much more of a pleasure.

 

D

Mine is fiberglass but it looks better, rows better and tows better than an inflatable. We're just going to have to adapt to the reduced stability that a hard dinghy has.  I bought an amidships boarding ladder to make boarding and debarking safer.

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Maybe rig a breast line for the dink to take straight up to the rail for stability while boarding?

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As I understand it, cruisers who are visiting from other sailing venues, are obliged to consume crab at least once a day. I'm not sure if this applies to the locals, though. 

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2 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

Maybe rig a breast line for the dink to take straight up to the rail for stability while boarding?

I can try it but I don't think it'll do much.

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More effective to flip the dink getting in or out, really focusses the mind on stepping in the right place.

maybe rig a ladder over the side before you use it Ajax..

that way it won’t flip.

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16 hours ago, dylan winter said:

I am now a real fan of towing dinghies around

 

a nice dinghy looks good, tows nicely, rows beautifully and sails well.

 

It makes anchoring out much more of a pleasure.

 

D

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXCaHUYpCzM

 

 

We've tested ours to 40 knots, DDW, several times. When it begins to attack, I tie a dock line onto the painter, let it go, and leave her to deal with it. Like a cork, she's unsinkable. 

I sail it with my camera, often. Unlike rowing, working the camera as well as the rudder and sheet, is a challenge. Settled in aft of the middle thwart (like you), camera in one hand, I can usually get a knee against the weather helm of the tiller and sort of operate the sheet - wrapped around the thwart for some friction hold - with my free hand. 

I also built a rotating drink holder under a thwart to allow shooting when the sun is past the yard arm. The low angle on the water is nice.

 

Sailing into the docks in my harbor last weekend: 

 

12:25 

12-25-jpg.152505

12:27 I sailed within 30 feet of this catboat. Just like clueless bathing seals, this man was never aware that I sailed silently next to him. 

12-27-jpg.152506

12:30 

12-30-jpg.152507

12:33

12-33-09-jpg.152508

Landing gently in the lee. 

12-33-42-jpg.152509

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21 hours ago, Ajax said:

Beginning July 4th, I'll be setting out for 2 weeks of cruising the Chesapeake Bay.  It ain't the Turks and Caicos but it'll have to do.

The weather this year has been very fickle and I genuinely have no idea what destinations the weather will support. I do not want to motor against the elements in order to reach pre-chosen destinations.  I want to sail wherever the wind takes me...if there is any wind to be had...and sail, I shall. I have an asymmetric cruising chute, a symmetric chute, a whisker pole and good white sails for light or heavy air.

 

 

That is our preferred way to spend a couple weeks. I plan more for the amount of time we want to be under sail, than the miles to cover. As we pack a lot of ice blocks for several days of sailing, we don't need to run the engine and can enjoy sailing in and out of anchorages and on and off the anchor when we can. To enjoy this type of slow sailing, you need time.

Although the wind is lightest around here in the morning, I love getting sailing early in the day, spend a few hours under sail, and tuck into a nice anchorage mid afternoon or so. Luckily, our sailing grounds, like yours,  fit that model. 

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1 hour ago, olaf hart said:

More effective to flip the dink getting in or out, really focusses the mind on stepping in the right place.

maybe rig a ladder over the side before you use it Ajax..

that way it won’t flip.

Yes, I've bought a ladder for that purpose. I found a cool "fender ladder" from Plastimo.  It'll protect the mother ship from the dinghy as well. We tested it during Memorial Day weekend and it's great.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|2276155|2276169|2276172&id=2968372

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40 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

That is our preferred way to spend a couple weeks. I plan more for the amount of time we want to be under sail, than the miles to cover. As we pack a lot of ice blocks for several days of sailing, we don't need to run the engine and can enjoy sailing in and out of anchorages and on and off the anchor when we can. To enjoy this type of slow sailing, you need time.

Although the wind is lightest around here in the morning, I love getting sailing early in the day, spend a few hours under sail, and tuck into a nice anchorage mid afternoon or so. Luckily, our sailing grounds, like yours,  fit that model. 

We also need to sail in the morning and anchor by afternoon in order to be safe and stable when the afternoon thundershowers roll through.

I usually load two ice blocks as the foundation and then several bags of cubes to supplement the A-B Cold Machine. This, combined with the solar panel allows me to avoid running the engine for several days while still keeping the food cold.  The blocks don't melt but by day 4 or 5, we're buying more cubes. We also put the cubes in our drinks which is one reason why we run out.

I suspect I'm going to do a lot of grilling out on the rail and not much work in the galley during this trip. Iced coffee with a bagel or fruit for breakfast, and lots of salad with dinner...or for dinner.

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@Kris Cringle Lovely pics of you sailing your dinghy, BTW.

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When my wife managed to end up in the water in November the hard dinghy got traded for a RIB about "right f-ng now". Just sayin.........

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

When my wife managed to end up in the water in November the hard dinghy got traded for a RIB about "right f-ng now". Just sayin.........

It's definitely something at the forefront of my brain. The hard dinghy isn't self bailing and would be near impossible to re-board from in the water. I do keep an inflatable dinghy as well, if we think conditions will warrant greater stability but I don't carry them both at the same time.

I kind of doubt I'll ever own a RIB. Too large and too heavy.  If the weather is scary for a trip in the hard dinghy, then we just won't go ashore.  I would like a larger hard dinghy though...a Dyer 9 or a CLC Passagemaker would be ideal.

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22 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

The lower Shore is not a place I want to be in bug season. There is a reason civilization ends at Cambridge ;) :P

If you go up the Choptank, you can go to the back door of Saint Mike's B)

The mosquitoes know who's from off somewhere, and tend to eat them 1st.  Voracious little buggers, even w/the spray truck running down every road south of the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. 

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30 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

The mosquitoes know who's from off somewhere, and tend to eat them 1st.  Voracious little buggers, even w/the spray truck running down every road south of the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. 

The first time we visited Smith Island was mid or late September. I foolishly thought that stronger, more regular breezes would start filling in around then. Nope.  We had a blast-reach to the island and then the wind shut off. Was nearly eaten alive. I carried a can of Off! with me but I swear that they just lick the stuff off my skin and bite me!

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I have been to Tangier about 20-30 times in the fall and winter. ONCE in the summer and that was ENOUGH :o

BTW - here is summer ICW Off technique. You spray you, your pillow, the sheets, and pretty much everything else ;)

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4 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I have been to Tangier about 20-30 times in the fall and winter. ONCE in the summer and that was ENOUGH :o

BTW - here is summer ICW Off technique. You spray you, your pillow, the sheets, and pretty much everything else ;)

Sleeping aboard docked at Tangier last 4th of July nearly put my marriage on the rocks. :unsure: We'll go in nicer weather or sleep ashore, henceforth.

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4 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

BTW - here is summer ICW Off technique. You spray you, your pillow, the sheets, and pretty much everything else

thank you for reminding me why I prefer sailing in an Irish "summer".

Cold, rainy and windy so bugs don't stand a chance.  So we can outside in fleecy tops and waterproofs and enjoy the long evenings while we raise a glass in commiseration with you poor transpondians ;)

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18 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

That is our preferred way to spend a couple weeks. I plan more for the amount of time we want to be under sail, than the miles to cover. As we pack a lot of ice blocks for several days of sailing, we don't need to run the engine and can enjoy sailing in and out of anchorages and on and off the anchor when we can. To enjoy this type of slow sailing, you need time.

Although the wind is lightest around here in the morning, I love getting sailing early in the day, spend a few hours under sail, and tuck into a nice anchorage mid afternoon or so. Luckily, our sailing grounds, like yours,  fit that model.

Us too. We like to leave on the early morning breeze, usually because it is N or NE. That gets us down the river or out past whatever point so we can start traveling E or W.   We might bob around a bit waiting for the SW'er and have lunch, and I might have 2 or 3 harbors in mind depending upon progress made (or lack thereof).   

11109700823_950fbeb395_z.jpg

Have to get wherever you are going early enough to put the boat away and play a bit. 

19411033221_67f398bb70_z.jpg

 

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towing a small dink which is always ready to go has changed my relationship wit the shoreline.

 

It also allows me to go for a sail when Jill has had enough and would rather be at anchor with a book.

 

Rowing it is  great  pleasure so I am now much fitter than before.

A dink diligently working its own physics on the end of a 50 foot painter - double the waterline length of the mothership - is also a pleasure.  On my 26 footer it was costing me around a quarter or a knot in speed - so who cares?

the downside.....

at night when it is wind against tide through an anchorge. Then  the little fekker keeps coming back to affectionately tap and bump against the mother ship.

I now favour a dinghy with no bouyancy but well garlanded with fenders.   These protect the mother ship, act as a spalsh skit when under way and keep the interior or the dinghy clear.

The dink does a lot of miles on the roof of the car. I can unload it single handed (as long as I don't care about the occasional additional ding on the old clonker). Loading it requires the help of two passing stout men or three passing stout women. They always turn up and everyone is happy to help an old sailor.

Damn life is good.

D

 

 

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4 hours ago, Elegua said:

Us too. We like to leave on the early morning breeze, usually because it is N or NE. That gets us down the river or out past whatever point so we can start traveling E or W.   We might bob around a bit waiting for the SW'er and have lunch, and I might have 2 or 3 harbors in mind depending upon progress made (or lack thereof).   

11109700823_950fbeb395_z.jpg

Have to get wherever you are going early enough to put the boat away and play a bit. 

19411033221_67f398bb70_z.jpg

 

I also find that East, Northeast morning wind helpful. Always light, if at all, but it can carry you several miles on a still morning on the coast of Maine. Your son enjoys sailing, I can see it in that photo. Great dinghy. What is it? Did you build it? 

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4 hours ago, dylan winter said:

towing a small dink which is always ready to go has changed my relationship wit the shoreline.

 

It also allows me to go for a sail when Jill has had enough and would rather be at anchor with a book.

 

Rowing it is  great  pleasure so I am now much fitter than before.

A dink diligently working its own physics on the end of a 50 foot painter - double the waterline length of the mothership - is also a pleasure.  On my 26 footer it was costing me around a quarter or a knot in speed - so who cares?

the downside.....

at night when it is wind against tide through an anchorge. Then  the little fekker keeps coming back to affectionately tap and bump against the mother ship.

I now favour a dinghy with no bouyancy but well garlanded with fenders.   These protect the mother ship, act as a spalsh skit when under way and keep the interior or the dinghy clear.

The dink does a lot of miles on the roof of the car. I can unload it single handed (as long as I don't care about the occasional additional ding on the old clonker). Loading it requires the help of two passing stout men or three passing stout women. They always turn up and everyone is happy to help an old sailor.

Damn life is good.

D

 

 

We enjoyed that sail on the Deben, Dylan. The sounds in that piece are mesmerizing. Like spare writing, the sounds you left out of that footage are what make it unique. 

 

 I look forward to the quiet that descends on the water at the end - and beginning, of the day, that you captured. You see and you hear a different world. 

 

At dawn, the hour or two of quiet is a tonic for me. When it is suddenly ripped apart by the sound of a loud man made noise, you full appreciate the natural sounds of dawn. Then it is over until the day is done. That's ok, there's another dawn to look forward to. 

One of the loudest sounds on the water is my Jack Russell(s-2), when you come roaring up to our boat in an inflatable.  Row up to the boat,... he is silent. I swear it.  :)

Here he is standing guard, scanning the horizon, for fekkin' invaders. 

41155193860_498f89b9f7_b.jpg

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6 hours ago, dylan winter said:

towing a small dink which is always ready to go has changed my relationship wit the shoreline.

 

It also allows me to go for a sail when Jill has had enough and would rather be at anchor with a book.

 

Rowing it is  great  pleasure so I am now much fitter than before.

A dink diligently working its own physics on the end of a 50 foot painter - double the waterline length of the mothership - is also a pleasure.  On my 26 footer it was costing me around a quarter or a knot in speed - so who cares?

the downside.....

at night when it is wind against tide through an anchorge. Then  the little fekker keeps coming back to affectionately tap and bump against the mother ship.

I now favour a dinghy with no bouyancy but well garlanded with fenders.   These protect the mother ship, act as a spalsh skit when under way and keep the interior or the dinghy clear.

The dink does a lot of miles on the roof of the car. I can unload it single handed (as long as I don't care about the occasional additional ding on the old clonker). Loading it requires the help of two passing stout men or three passing stout women. They always turn up and everyone is happy to help an old sailor.

Damn life is good.

D

 

 

I saw you towing your mothership by rowing when I watched this video!  You are pretty tough!

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

We enjoyed that sail on the Deben, Dylan. The sounds in that piece are mesmerizing. Like spare writing, the sounds you left out of that footage are what make it unique. 

 

 I look forward to the quiet that descends on the water at the end - and beginning, of the day, that you captured. You see and you hear a different world. 

 

At dawn, the hour or two of quiet is a tonic for me. When it is suddenly ripped apart by the sound of a loud man made noise, you full appreciate the natural sounds of dawn. Then it is over until the day is done. That's ok, there's another dawn to look forward to. 

One of the loudest sounds on the water is my Jack Russell(s-2), when you come roaring up to our boat in an inflatable.  Row up to the boat,... he is silent. I swear it.  :)

Here he is standing guard, scanning the horizon, for fekkin' invaders. 

41155193860_498f89b9f7_b.jpg

Damn my eyes, that is a lovely view.  Maine simply must be in the cards for me.

I've done some calculations this year and I think I need at least 45 days to get up there, visit properly and work my way home.  Either that or sail a hard delivery with crew and send my spouse up by train or plane and return home the same way.  I can definitely get 60 days of earned vacation and file for a leave of absence but my spouse can't be away that long.

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7 hours ago, dylan winter said:

Loading it requires the help of two passing stout men

1753180352_ArthurGuinnessstamp.thumb.jpg.f22494589bced75831d71ef0a43a0832.jpgTwo stout men?!?!?

Pah.  There's only one stout man that matters ;)

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

Damn my eyes, that is a lovely view.  Maine simply must be in the cards for me.

I've done some calculations this year and I think I need at least 45 days to get up there, visit properly and work my way home.  Either that or sail a hard delivery with crew and send my spouse up by train or plane and return home the same way.  I can definitely get 60 days of earned vacation and file for a leave of absence but my spouse can't be away that long.

Maine is incredible. We are going back in August. Best thing is getting the morning paper in a wool sweater and reading about a heat wave in DC :D

* I have never sailed all the way there. We drive up.  It does not fit into a 2 week vacation and even 3 is tight. Plenty of boats up there are owned by people out of state that drive up for their summer vacation. Maine is a great place to buy a used boat - many of them are unrigged and stored in a shed except for the summer vacation sail. Essentially 1 year Florida use = probably 15 years of Maine use.

Funny thing - we had a Boston Whaler one year up there with a nasty loud outboard. We saw an anchored boat from Kent Island and said hi, we are from there too. They contemplated the Whaler and asked how long it took us to get to Bar Harbor. I cracked up and said I would be deaf if I took this noisy thing all the way up the coast and pointed at the Maine registration :lol:

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On 6/21/2018 at 9:12 AM, Ajax said:

Beginning July 4th, I'll be setting out for 2 weeks of cruising the Chesapeake Bay.  It ain't the Turks and Caicos but it'll have to do.

The weather this year has been very fickle and I genuinely have no idea what destinations the weather will support. I do not want to motor against the elements in order to reach pre-chosen destinations.  I want to sail wherever the wind takes me...if there is any wind to be had...and sail, I shall. I have an asymmetric cruising chute, a symmetric chute, a whisker pole and good white sails for light or heavy air.

As much as it irks me to do so, I'll pack the Cruise-Air if the temperature forecast demands it. (mid 90's with humidity in the 90%'s with lows only in the high 70's or low 80's are not uncommon) It's more to give my spouse a respite so that she doesn't stab me in my sleep for torturing her.  All systems are "GO" except for the water heater but with the water temperature being 82F degrees, we wouldn't really use it anyway.

I'll be dragging a hard dinghy. It rows very nicely and I can stow it on the foredeck if required. I have a lovely new set of spruce oars with leather chafes and bronze, closed oar locks. I'm hoping to explore some new-to-me coves and holes. When we're not near towns, we play board games for entertainment, especially if the weather is foul.

Although I'm sure we'll hit a restaurant or two, I'd really like to cook onboard as much as possible. It's not that I'm cheap, I really enjoy cooking and trying to be creative. It's very satisfying to watch my spouse's eyes widen and hear that "mmmhmmm" when I get a meal done right.  So, I'll need to provision intelligently.  Although I have a A-B freezer, I know we'll need a lot of ice.

This isn't the best time of year to cruise the Chesapeake but this is what my work load allowed. The good news is, I'm planning another cruise in the early fall when the temperatures hopefully moderate and maybe a predictable wind pattern arrives. Hopefully there is some wind to push us somewhere...

Ajax you should try some night passages if the weather is right. 

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It would certainly be cooler. 

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16 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

I also find that East, Northeast morning wind helpful. Always light, if at all, but it can carry you several miles on a still morning on the coast of Maine. Your son enjoys sailing, I can see it in that photo. Great dinghy. What is it? Did you build it? 

In my mind it's the most peaceful sailing you can find. 

My son is my partner in crime when cruising - rain or shine, he's a good shipmate. He's in college now, so it's just me and the missus this Summer. It will be fun, but different. 

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The dinghy is a PT11 built from a kit. I don't have the skillz to do a good job, so I had it built by a small boat-builder near Boothbay. Winters can be quiet. 

 

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13 hours ago, Ajax said:

It would certainly be cooler. 

We do that sometimes. The only thing that makes it suck is when you are going north and the wind is 6 knots form the south and you end up traveling with 0 apparent wind in a cloud of exhaust. OTOH if you get a breeze it is a delight :D

 

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Ajax, I wish you warm days and cool nights.

B.C.

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4 hours ago, Bull City said:

Ajax, I wish you warm days and cool nights.

B.C.

come to england - we are half way there. All the nights are cool.

some of the days are warm....

..ish

D

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Hint - get a piece of canvas about 4 feet by 6 or 8 feet with grommets. I got one at Bacon's and use it for a foredeck shade.

Sunny day - level with the lifelines. Keeps the sun out of the forward hatch.

Hot day - same except lower the aft end to make a sort-of wind scoop and shade.

Hot and rainy day - lower the forward end. Allows the hatch to be open and keeps water out.

Storm - gives me a lot of exercise because the wind hits it from the side and yanks the anchor out sometimes :rolleyes:

Really, for a cheap piece of cloth the comfort improvement is HUGE.

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That's a good idea. I'll cruise by Bacon's after work today.

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On 6/24/2018 at 12:21 AM, Elegua said:

In my mind it's the most peaceful sailing you can find. 

My son is my partner in crime when cruising - rain or shine, he's a good shipmate. He's in college now, so it's just me and the missus this Summer. It will be fun, but different. 

22199827172_d92ccd6638_z.jpg

The dinghy is a PT11 built from a kit. I don't have the skillz to do a good job, so I had it built by a small boat-builder near Boothbay. Winters can be quiet. 

 

Your son is a handsome young man. Great photo. 

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Yeah, Eleuga's lucky to have a son that enjoys sailing and the water as much as he does.

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When I was going through a tough divorce, and I was working in Asia and everyone else was 12 timezones away in the US, it was the one place where we could connect without outside interference.  That's what cruising is....

 

Ajax, you and the power ranger will have a great time, no matter the weather.  I do something similar to K-I-S with the tarp and I add PVC pipes to give it rigidity. With the weather cloths it makes the cockpit a reasonably private area.  

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I don't have a bimini but my boat came with this thing that I was told is called a "captain's awning."  It connects to the dodger and has a hole in the center for the mainsheet. The aft/trailing edge has a sleeve sewn into it where you slide a length of PVC and two slits where you trap the split backstay with the PVC. That holds the whole thing up.  That provides decent shade for the cockpit at anchor or at the dock or I guess you could also use it if you were motoring.

While digging around on the boat yesterday, I discovered a sunshade thing that will do for the foredeck exactly what K_I_S suggested. Quite a timely find!

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Ajax, My wife and I will be poking around the eastern shore from the 1st to the 7th. We will have our Trinka 8 in tow. If you see us please say hello. 

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18 minutes ago, camchain said:

Ajax, My wife and I will be poking around the eastern shore from the 1st to the 7th. We will have our Trinka 8 in tow. If you see us please say hello. 

IMG_1409.JPG

Now that is what I call a lovely arse end.

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We have had some hotter summers here on the coast of Maine, and more to come. The sun, which have a lot of here, can be brutal in a sailboat cockpit. Our awning is great until the sun starts to go low. We need something to block one side from about 3 pm or so, until it finally dips below the (thankfully) high coastline in most of our harbors and anchorages. 

I'll sometimes drape the lightweight mizzen staysail over the awning on the sun side. We've found the dinghy sail can come to the rescue. All the breeze still comes over the house and decks but you can tie it exactly where it's needed.  

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The best sun awning would have side flaps, full house and cockpit cover, and be easy to deploy (meaning it doesn't exist)

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Maine does have sun, obviously, but you all know nothing of "hot". Imagine being anchored in *water* well over 80 degrees, near 100% humidity, and not a breeze to ripple the water. The eastern sky gets lighter, the sun clears the horizon, and by 15 minutes after sunrise it is hitting you like a blowtorch. We know it is going to be a crappy day when it is already too hot by 0600.

* this is why we go to Maine in August ;)

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Ajax - more advice.

You will likely be out long enough for one front to come through. Do not waste it. No matter what you thought you were up to, when you have low humidity and 15+ knots, take off downwind and sail ALL DAY B) We were on the hot weather cruise from hell and one morning the humidity was 30% instead of 99.9%, 15-20 out of the NW, and clear blue sky. We broad reached down the Bay from breakfast to after dinner and it made up for all the heat that came before :D

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27 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Maine does have sun, obviously, but you all know nothing of "hot". Imagine being anchored in *water* well over 80 degrees, near 100% humidity, and not a breeze to ripple the water. The eastern sky gets lighter, the sun clears the horizon, and by 15 minutes after sunrise it is hitting you like a blowtorch. We know it is going to be a crappy day when it is already too hot by 0600.

* this is why we go to Maine in August ;)

I can only imagine. I was thinking sun as compared to Dylan's UK conditions. The only thing whiter than a Mainer, is a UK'er. :)

 

We don't suffer the intolerable heat and humidity of southern US coastal summers but we're finding we need shelter from the sun which seems to be more corrosive these days. I've luckily got some Mediterranean or something in my blood. Having spent more time outdoors than most I'm lucky not to have skin problems (cancerous) associated with sun exposure. On the other hand my wife who is mostly Celtic blood absolutley wilts in anything above mid 70's. She's intolerable in the heat. I need to block the sun more for her. 

 

The gulf of Maine is the second fastest warming ocean body of water on the planet. Weather in Maine has become something of a spectator sport: What's it going to do this season? 

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12 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Ajax - more advice.

You will likely be out long enough for one front to come through. Do not waste it. No matter what you thought you were up to, when you have low humidity and 15+ knots, take off downwind and sail ALL DAY B) We were on the hot weather cruise from hell and one morning the humidity was 30% instead of 99.9%, 15-20 out of the NW, and clear blue sky. We broad reached down the Bay from breakfast to after dinner and it made up for all the heat that came before :D

Yep. Wherever the wind blows, we'll go.

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45 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Yeah, yeah. I know it's warming up. I believe that the 100's will be in the pavement jungle. Weather Underground is predicting high 80's for the first few days of our trip.  We'll make use of the pool at Spring Cove Marina and run the A/C for a night.

Definitely planning a fall cruise in late September or October.

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15 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

The gulf of Maine is the second fastest warming ocean body of water on the planet. Weather in Maine has become something of a spectator sport: What's it going to do this season? 

All sorts of weird stuff happening - we' re seeing lots more east in the breeze this year on the Sheepscott than in years past.  The river is a reach most days, rather than a beat outbound.  

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 1:32 PM, Ajax said:

Yeah, yeah. I know it's warming up. I believe that the 100's will be in the pavement jungle. Weather Underground is predicting high 80's for the first few days of our trip.  We'll make use of the pool at Spring Cove Marina and run the A/C for a night.

Definitely planning a fall cruise in late September or October.

+1 on Spring Cove. 

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On 6/24/2018 at 8:18 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

We do that sometimes. The only thing that makes it suck is when you are going north and the wind is 6 knots form the south and you end up traveling with 0 apparent wind in a cloud of exhaust. OTOH if you get a breeze it is a delight :D

 

That's when you tack under motor.

FB........ Doug

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On Saturday night, we made our first move.  We sailed the boat down south to "The Land of Bystanders and Bitches" where two of our resident Anarchists live. Innocent Bystander wrangled me a spot on his neighbor's dock which allowed us to stage the boat closer to some of our desired destinations. Our vacation officially starts July 4th. The boat is fully provisioned except for perishables, which we'll bring down on the 4th.

Per Illegal Smile's suggestion, I told my wife that we should sail down at night. The wind forecast supported this nicely- less than 5 knots during the day but 10-ish knots at night. We set off at 4:30pm in about 8 knots of breeze in 93F degree temperatures, directly on the nose. Still plenty of daylight and heat at this time of day, during this time of year, but I knew that things would be cooling down soon enough.

We sailed two long tacks against the breeze in nice, flat waters and then the wind drooped to about 4 knots as the sun went down. We knew there would be a brief pause at this time, so we motored for an hour. As expected, the wind resumed but with the unexpected bonus of a shift to the west. We shut the engine off and sailed close hauled the rest of the way to our destination at speeds ranging from 4.5-6.0 knots in a gentle breeze and flat water on a level boat.

The temperature grew more and more pleasant, we ate chilled sub sandwiches and local peaches for dinner. Around 11pm a blood red moon rose out of the east and lit our way. We dodged 5 large, commercial vessels and one cabin cruiser running with zero lighting. Not even interior cabin lighting...not even the glow of instrument lighting.  I used the autopilot at times, but the noise was irritating in the beautiful peace of the evening so we shut it off and took turns steering.

My wife and I married at a well known lighthouse on the Chesapeake which is now privately owned but still active, putting out a bright, welcoming flash. We always crack a smile when we sail past it at night.  We anchored quietly and without incident at our destination at around 2am. The temperature was 73F and a perfect breeze was flowing through the v-berth hatch as we fell asleep.

Coming in to work today after such a great weekend was a real bitch.

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On 6/22/2018 at 6:33 AM, Kris Cringle said:

We've tested ours to 40 knots, DDW, several times. When it begins to attack, I tie a dock line onto the painter, let it go, and leave her to deal with it. Like a cork, she's unsinkable. 

I sail it with my camera, often. Unlike rowing, working the camera as well as the rudder and sheet, is a challenge. Settled in aft of the middle thwart (like you), camera in one hand, I can usually get a knee against the weather helm of the tiller and sort of operate the sheet - wrapped around the thwart for some friction hold - with my free hand. 

I also built a rotating drink holder under a thwart to allow shooting when the sun is past the yard arm. The low angle on the water is nice.

Perfect.  Selma wanted a farm, so we bought one last December.  Her sales pitch to me was:  you can build a boat shop!  I find myself in the odd position of looking forward to the end of the season so I can build a good sailing dinghy.

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I just got done cruising in Maine for a week and a half, sorting out the new (to us) boat and going to the shindig for Steve White at Brooklin. We were about to go out one day when a guy pulled up and invited us to sail an Eggemoggin 47 day sailer for a few hours.  That's a fun wheel!

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On 6/26/2018 at 5:55 AM, Ajax said:

I don't have a bimini but my boat came with this thing that I was told is called a "captain's awning."  It connects to the dodger and has a hole in the center for the mainsheet. The aft/trailing edge has a sleeve sewn into it where you slide a length of PVC and two slits where you trap the split backstay with the PVC. That holds the whole thing up.  That provides decent shade for the cockpit at anchor or at the dock or I guess you could also use it if you were motoring.

While digging around on the boat yesterday, I discovered a sunshade thing that will do for the foredeck exactly what K_I_S suggested. Quite a timely find!

@Ajax can you post a photo of the "captain's awning".  We have a dodger we use when we cruise and I've been trying to think of options other than a boom tent for when we are not underway but want some sun/rain protection.  Maybe the boom tent is still the best option but what you have there sounds interesting.

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When I get back to the boat,  I will. 

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Ajax - how are you doing?

We had better than expected weather for the 4th in Annapolis with actually decent sleeping weather (for July) and today had a real nice sail home with dolphins leaping around the boat B):D

Front coming tomorrow, so set that anchor good and this weekend should be fantastic!

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All is well!

Hooked up with Innocent Bystander and spent the fireworks show on his boat. A very relaxing sail and evening.  There  was some shenannigans afterwards but we avoided contact.

Today, we departed The Land of Bystanders and Bitches and beat our way to Point Lookout in 8 building to 15kts. We rounded Point Lookout and had a swift reach to the St. Mary's River, then DDW to Horseshoe Bend.

We anchored under sail, never even started the engine. I backed us down with the mainsail.

No nettles! We immediately jumped in the water for a swim...the 90F degree water. Holy shit. I climbed out to let the breeze cool me down.

We just ate a dinner of cold chicken wraps and chilled fruit. I'm putting up the captain's awning and will take photos in the morning.

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Pictures of the awning:

First, ordinary dodger, right? There's a zipper on the trailing edge for a biminni/dodger connector, as is common.

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This photo is of the trailing edge of the awning. See the sleeves? The gray, PVC conduit slips into the sleeves. The notches are cut for the split backstay. The conduit traps the backstays keeping the awning suspended.

I cut the conduit into 2 pieces for stowability. You shove the end of one piece into the socket of the other piece. 

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Here's the whole thing set up:

As you see, you can't sail with it because it traps the mainsheet in the hole in the center, but you could motor with it on a brutal, windless day when you have to get somewhere.

Not as nice as a bimini but stows quickly, requires no permanent architecture and would be simple and cheap to sew. The boat came with it.

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Cheap and cheerful, as the Brits like to say.

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I think it's great, Ajax.

Better than a bimini, 'cos it avoids the hideous cotb frame

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3 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Ajax - please report in. We need to know if you died from cognitive dissonance while hunting for warm blankets.

LOL...beautiful weather for the middle of July, right?

Let's see... on Thursday, we sailed from Solomon's to Horseshoe Bend. We anchored under sail without even starting the engine. My wife is an alum so we had access to the SMCM facilities. She took me on a tour of the campus, we watched a bit of a riverside concert. The water was so clear that I replaced my zinc. 

We spent a day waiting out the blusterly northerly that passed through. I have a buddy who lives nearby and owns a sistership so he joined us on... Saturday, I think. We were also joined by Illegal Smile for a night.

Sunday, we decamped and sailed back to his house at Piney Pt. in St. George's creek and discharged a couple of passengers. We also rigged my lazy jacks and I took on fresh water. We (sistership included) departed at 4pm. Since the breeze was from the NE and light, we anchored in Cornfield Harbor off Pt. Lookout for the night. 

This morning, we set off for Solomon's at 7am and sailed most of the way before running out of wind.  I am now docked at SMSA for the night, watching the kids learn how to sail Opti's. Amusing, precious and hopeful all at the same time.

The unseasonably cool air has been a blessing.

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Oh- a couple of photos.

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Oh- yes, we saw dolphins today, finally. They were headed south as we headed north, near Point No Point.

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Howdy all-

We spent an extra day in Solomons due to excessive heat and zero wind. I gritted my teeth about it but just couldn't bring myself to motor over 30 miles just to adhere to an arbitrary schedule. We fired up the A/C, swam in the marina pool, enjoyed libations, real showers, etc.

When we did get underway, it was into 12kts from due north, so there was lots of tacking and chop. Like Governor's Cup, in reverse. We made it to Oxford just in time for cold showers and dinner in town. I love Oxford, quiet, quaint and lots of history.

Today, we sailed to La Trappe creek in the Choptank River. As we arrived at the entrance marks, we were hit by a small, intense storm cell. Ice cold, driving rain, visibility ending at the bow pulpit made even worse by my decsicion to wear glasses instead of contact lenses. It didn't last long.  This place is beautiful. We puttered to the head of the creek and sailed back down, Huckleberry Finn style. Grilled pork loin for dinner with grilled veggies from our garden.

Again, someone is taking pity on us and cool, dry air is moving in. Temp tomorrow morning will be 64F.

PS-  I'm almost out of clean underwear.

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40 minutes ago, Ajax said:

PS-  I'm almost out of clean underwear.

TMI !

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1 minute ago, TwoLegged said:
43 minutes ago, Ajax said:

PS-  I'm almost out of clean underwear.

TMI !

TMI = Three Mile Island.   

Must be radioactive.

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34 minutes ago, monsoon said:

Underwear? On a boat?

I presumed he had been wearing it on his own torso.

I hadn't even considered the possibility that he was tucking his rudder into y-fronts

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