Ajax

Fall Cruising on the Chesapeake

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Summer is more or less over and autumn usually presents some of the best sailing on the Chesapeake.  ...if the sun comes out. According to my solar output graphs, we've had 11 straight days of rain and heavily overcast conditions, but I digress.

Better breezes fill in, temperatures moderate and humidity levels fall. Recreational powerboat traffic usually drops off quite a bit but the watermen are still at work. The osprey have left on their fall migration but the heron, ducks and geese still provide plenty of entertainment. Bald eagles as well.  Most of us don't have heating stoves onboard so we burrow deeply into sleeping bags or wool blankets at night and we really welcome that hot cup of coffee in the morning to shake off the chill.

There are still plenty of races and sailing events to attend- the Baltimore Harbor Cup, the Wooden Boat Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the Annapolis Sailboat Show.  Every fall,  I join a group of friends for a weekend of gentle pillaging. No oilskins or cutlasses. The sharpest thing we own, is a set of darts for playing cricket at one of the local bars. The group ranges from 10-15 guys and we encourage as many boats to sail as possible. The wives stay home, they have no desire to join this mess.

Sailing among the changing trees is a joy. The anchorages become quiet and uncrowded. Eventually, the cold drives us off the water. Usually around late December.

I can't wait to get started.

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Sounds idyllic, @Ajax .

But ... plenty of photos, please :) 

Now that you have painted such a glorious picture, it would be cruel not to share the beauty

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28 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

Sounds idyllic, @Ajax .

But ... plenty of photos, please :) 

Now that you have painted such a glorious picture, it would be cruel not to share the beauty

Once the leaves start turning, I'll get some footage.  I'm no @dylan winter though.

I will soon have a Dyer Dhow sailing dinghy, with sailing rig so I'll be able to do a little Dylan-style sailing and filming in my local river where I can get up close to the islands, flora and fauna.

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I hope Webb Chiles gets to enjoy some of that in the next few days, but I suspect he prefers being offshore where he is now.

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Fall cruising is absolute heaven here. Some years the water stays warm enough for swimming most of October, bugs are mostly gone, still plenty of warm days, nights cool enough for good sleeping, usually more breeze, less humidity, crowds gone, etc. etc,

Before our son was in school we cruised the last two weeks of September and shared anchorages with the southbound cruising sailors that fill the anchorages until the boat show and then head for the islands or Florida. Everyone we met assumed we lived aboard. This is a nice change from Rodney The Loudest Stereo Guy on the boat that won the prize for Noisiest Generator Ever :angry:

* this got me thinking and the only months we have NEVER cruised ever are December, January, and March. We got a free slip for the weekend one cold winter when we showed up in Rock Hall the last weekend in February about 3 days after the ice cleared. They were so amazed to have a customer they said no charge B) Also remember coming home from a cruise on a cold November night with air temps below freezing and almost getting run over by a powerboat. We had to be the only two boats moving within 50 miles :rolleyes:

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On ‎9‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 11:38 AM, Ajax said:

Once the leaves start turning, I'll get some footage.  I'm no @dylan winter though.

I will soon have a Dyer Dhow sailing dinghy, with sailing rig so I'll be able to do a little Dylan-style sailing and filming in my local river where I can get up close to the islands, flora and fauna.

Be warned - if you capsize the Dyer, it is NOT self-rescuing.

Not that I did that more than once.............

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2 hours ago, TheDragon said:

I hope Webb Chiles gets to enjoy some of that in the next few days, but I suspect he prefers being offshore where he is now.

Yes, I'm sure the Chesapeake will seem like a picturesque mud puddle to Chiles. FWIW, as much as I love the Chesapeake, I really, really want to do more ocean sailing. I'm planning on sailing to New England in summer 2019.

I hope to take 30 days vacation, sail to the Statue of Liberty, through NY to Connecticut, Rhode Island, Block Island, maybe Nantucket or Buzzard's Bay.

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21 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Yes, I'm sure the Chesapeake will seem like a picturesque mud puddle to Chiles. FWIW, as much as I love the Chesapeake, I really, really want to do more ocean sailing. I'm planning on sailing to New England in summer 2019.

I hope to take 30 days vacation, sail to the Statue of Liberty, through NY to Connecticut, Rhode Island, Block Island, maybe Nantucket or Buzzard's Bay.

It is a fun trip. If you go in summer, skip LIS and head Cape May > Block Island (or Newport). Long Island Sound is Chesapeake North in the summer, light air and lots of flies. 

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2 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

It is a fun trip. If you go in summer, skip LIS and head Cape May > Block Island (or Newport). Long Island Sound is Chesapeake North in the summer, light air and lots of flies. 

I was trying to decide if I should do LIS on the way up or skip it and sail it on the way home.  Sounds like I should do it on the return...if at all.

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27 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I was trying to decide if I should do LIS on the way up or skip it and sail it on the way home.  Sounds like I should do it on the return...if at all.

Outside of the Thimble Islands at the north-east end and New York at the other end, it seems a lot like home in the summer. Going Cape May to Block Island is a nice "starter" ocean passage and Block Island is not like anything we have here and from there Newport, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Cuttyhunk are all nearby and the Westport River just a bit farther.

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55 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:
1 hour ago, Ajax said:

I was trying to decide if I should do LIS on the way up or skip it and sail it on the way home.  Sounds like I should do it on the return...if at all.

Outside of the Thimble Islands at the north-east end and New York at the other end, it seems a lot like home in the summer. Going Cape May to Block Island is a nice "starter" ocean passage and Block Island is not like anything we have here and from there Newport, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Cuttyhunk are all nearby and the Westport River just a bit farther.

Good question on "if at all" .  LIS is crowded, expensive and, as KIS says, the sailing is a lot like the Chesapeake with deeper, "bluer" water.  Certainly, there is an attraction to visiting Manhattan by sailboat and I'd bet there are folks here who can offer you use of a mooring at City Island.  

Newport and the environs are beautiful with reliable winds but a lot different than the Chesapeake. Forget about private coves and dinghies and think crowded mooring fields and commercial launch services, especially in Newport proper.  I just texted you a pic of Newport harbor about 3 weeks ago.  We were near the edge of the mooring field and you can see the sheer number of boats that fill the harbor.  Anchoring is not impossible, just not very realistic.  You call "Old Port Marine" to reserve and obtain a mooring assignment ($50/night which is a LOT less than a Newport Hotel in the summer) and waiting until the end of the day during the season  is not a good idea.   It's not bad at all and Newport is a great destination.  It's just a lot different than cruising the Chesapeake Eastern Shore.   When you get ready to go, I'm sure you'll get lots of local knowledge recommendations for places to visit.  

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On 9/19/2018 at 10:19 AM, Ajax said:

Summer is more or less over and autumn usually presents some of the best sailing on the Chesapeake.  ...if the sun comes out. According to my solar output graphs, we've had 11 straight days of rain and heavily overcast conditions, but I digress.

Better breezes fill in, temperatures moderate and humidity levels fall. Recreational powerboat traffic usually drops off quite a bit but the watermen are still at work. The osprey have left on their fall migration but the heron, ducks and geese still provide plenty of entertainment. Bald eagles as well.  Most of us don't have heating stoves onboard so we burrow deeply into sleeping bags or wool blankets at night and we really welcome that hot cup of coffee in the morning to shake off the chill.

There are still plenty of races and sailing events to attend- the Baltimore Harbor Cup, the Wooden Boat Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the Annapolis Sailboat Show.  Every fall,  I join a group of friends for a weekend of gentle pillaging. No oilskins or cutlasses. The sharpest thing we own, is a set of darts for playing cricket at one of the local bars. The group ranges from 10-15 guys and we encourage as many boats to sail as possible. The wives stay home, they have no desire to join this mess.

Sailing among the changing trees is a joy. The anchorages become quiet and uncrowded. Eventually, the cold drives us off the water. Usually around late December.

I can't wait to get started.

Can I come? :P

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7 hours ago, NaptimeAgain said:

It tends to get foggy around November.

Fog is fine - no need to get lost anymore because we all have GPS - stay in the shallow bits so the big stuff can't run you down. Fog always clears.

As a cameraman I always appreciate the wonderful things to the light as it clears away

 

D

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1 hour ago, dylan winter said:

Fog is fine - no need to get lost anymore because we all have GPS - stay in the shallow bits so the big stuff can't run you down. Fog always clears.

As a cameraman I always appreciate the wonderful things to the light as it clears away

 

D

Agree it can be pretty. In a cat you can stay in the shallows. I'm not concerned about being lost, more that some moron will hit me. Have been out on days where the Craighill range front mark itself was invisible until I got 2 boat lengths from it. It's like a huge telephone pole. A slow cruise for sure. Wished I'd had radar that day. 

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If you *really* want different, go all the way to the eastern end of Maine. We just got back from there and recreational boats are not common at all. It seemed in any given harbor 90% of the boats were commercial boats of some kind and we never saw anything resembling a marina  It wasn't even that obvious where to buy gas in half the ports.

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17 hours ago, Slick470 said:

Yeah, can I come too?

Wanna help with the delivery? ;)

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6 hours ago, dylan winter said:

Fog is fine - no need to get lost anymore because we all have GPS - stay in the shallow bits so the big stuff can't run you down. Fog always clears.

As a cameraman I always appreciate the wonderful things to the light as it clears away

 

D

It's not a question of getting lost, it's a question of getting run down by something very big that might not be squawking their AIS.

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13 minutes ago, Ajax said:

It's not a question of getting lost, it's a question of getting run down by something very big that might not be squawking their AIS.

this is where a 13 inch draft comes in handy

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10 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

this is where a 13 inch draft comes in handy

Oh, inshore you mean.  I worry about getting caught in coastal fog while on approach into shore where the shipping lanes are. I mean, I know the shipping lanes are marked on the charts but radar would still be helpful.

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Great thread Ajax!

Love sailing in the Fall, regattas are great as well, we had a blast this past weekend on Buccaneers in Solomons!

Lasers at Fishing Bay mid October and then a late October cruise to Oxford as well. With some day sails mixed in.

AFA fog and shipping lanes, yea stay out of them like you said plus I am pretty sure anything staying in the shipping lanes are going to be broadcasting AIS. It's the "smaller" charter fishing boat types that are more of a concern as they probably will be out of the channel as well and might not have AIS or have it on. And in Annapolis they run over sailboats in broad daylight!

 

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Keep an eye out for Chiles today, it would be interesting for someone there to meet up with him. He should make it in today with south breeze, before a northerly tomorrow.

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3 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Keep an eye out for Chiles today, it would be interesting for someone there to meet up with him. He should make it in today with south breeze, before a northerly tomorrow.

There is this interfering thing called "work."  I'm seeing the first sunshine in days and it's killing me.

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You may want to rethink summer if you can, but not for the reason we do here. New England Memorial Day to Labor Day is CROWDED. The ratio of nice places to go vs. number of boats going there is inverted compared to here. We might sail from Annapolis (crowded in summer) to Saint Michaels (crowded in summer). If we don't like crowds, there are literally about 20 different places to anchor that are hardly occupied around St. Mikes. In New England there are rocks between Annapolis and Saint Michaels. It was an adjustment when we got there for sure. So I would think some about being up there past Labor Day if possible. If you can't, do some google-fu on where to anchor or moor in your various destinations. Something that I have read about since we last sailed up there is people putting moorings in the various places they go and thus you find crowded anchorages even more crowded.

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Not trying to scare you off, but it is an adjustment. When we were in Newport Harbor for 4th of July 1976 my father about had a heart attack with people dropping their anchors right next to us. It was more a giant almost-raft-up vs. Chessie spaced out anchoring.

* that was my first ocean passage and we had a compass AND a knotmeter! We were living large! Of course coming into Newport in thick fog in the dark via DR'ing to bell buoys sucked, but we didn't know any other way back then.

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Finally, an improvement in the weather and a free weekend.

I'll clean the mold and mildew on the boat this afternoon and spend the weekend away from "civilization."

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16 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

How was the water on teh Bay this weekend?  I was up in Philly this weekend, and the Shenandoah, Potomac, & Susquehanna rivers were running high and boiling. 

To answer your question, it was fairly idyllic. Sunny, low humidity, a high of 81F, a low of 66F, gentle breezes. Took me a while to gybe my way up to Annapolis.

Two negatives-  As you pointed out, the Susquehanna is boiling and there was quite a bit of large debris in the water. Logs, whole trees, large sections of power line poles. I saw a large, rough hewn, square piece of wood that was probably dunnage in a boat yard.  Second, the weather is so nice that the power boats and PWCs haven't got off the water yet so the bay was a boiling, churning mess.

Annapolis really wasn't a good place to go, but it's a nearby destination for an overnight. We took the water taxi in for brunch. I saw 3 bald eagles on my way out of the Rhode River. This weekend, I'll be headed to the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum...hopefully with a Dyer dinghy in tow.  St. Michael's should be considerably calmer than Annapolis.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

 Two negatives-  As you pointed out, the Susquehanna is boiling and there was quite a bit of large debris in the water. Logs, whole trees, large sections of power line poles. I saw a large, rough hewn, square piece of wood that was probably dunnage in a boat yard.  Second, the weather is so nice that the power boats and PWCs haven't got off the water yet so the bay was a boiling, churning mess.

 

With the rain (nearly twice annual average, already, in many areas) the Bay has been awful with debris this year.  The humidity has also been pretty deadly.  So we didn't take our usual couple of overnight trips.  For the most part all we've done is raced, which is okay but sort of a bummer, missing the family time.  Even when the water has been fairly clean, it's been sort of awful - we've bumped a few submerged logs out racing and have had to gybe or tack past some really big ones.  The night racing has been... interesting.  Still I'm glad you are getting out and enjoying it now the temps have moderated. 

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21 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

How was the water on teh Bay this weekend?  I was up in Philly this weekend, and the Shenandoah, Potomac, & Susquehanna rivers were running high and boiling. 

We did a fishing trip run from Solomons down to Tangier Island and back on Sunday. Absolutely beautiful day on the water, well for fishing that is, barely any wind. Water clarity was outstanding the entire run and we covered ~105NM.

AFA boats, let's see... A handful fishing Cedar point on the way out. Maybe 5 around Crisfield. Saw the GF parents out for a sail, stopped and chatted with them for a few. Saw one more boat out sailing on the troll down to Tangier cut. Passed 3 fishing boats going through Tangier. Then did not see a single boat from Tangier until Cedar Pt., about a 40NM run. Half a dozen or so boats fishing at Cedar and that was about it back into Solomons.

Maybe I missed a boat or two but that was about it for all day on the water.

Yep Solomons is only 50NM from Annapolis but it's a different world down here!

Oh fishing report, lots of undersize Spanish Mackerel and Rockfish. But had 6 really nice size Blues in the cooler and a beautiful 20" Spanish, not bad at all!

 

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Yep, I usually head south to get out of the congestion when I have enough time.

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Friday evening we went out for a sunset sail.  Passed one other boat at Point Patience but otherwise had the river to ourselves off the Solomons boardwalk.  Not much wind at all, just enough to sail.  Got passed by the Tennyson out for a cruise and did our duty as the "sailboat silhouetted against the sunset" for the tourists.  We did get a text from some friends who were in Solomons for dinner.  "Is that you out sailing?"  

Some debris in the river but not too much.   

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18 minutes ago, Hobie Dog said:

 

Oh fishing report, lots of undersize Spanish Mackerel and Rockfish. But had 6 really nice size Blues in the cooler and a beautiful 20" Spanish, not bad at all!

 

I'm picking up 8" Spanish mackerels  jigging  for live bait and bait for the lobster traps. Never seen them up here before.  Do the rockfish eat 'em?

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13 minutes ago, Nettles said:

I'm picking up 8" Spanish mackerels  jigging  for live bait and bait for the lobster traps. Never seen them up here before.  Do the rockfish eat 'em?

When I went out for a rockfish charter in June, the guys were cutting up alewives for bait.  Unfortuanately, I can't answer your question.

Speaking of Nettles, we haven't seen a single one all year, due to the low salinity from the endless rains. That's about the only good thing about this much rain.

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1 minute ago, Nettles said:

Did you get any?

 

Anything big?

Yeah,  we took our limit.  Decent sizes. 

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What are the limits? up here they have to be 28", and you can only keep one.

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Well, I took possession of my Dyer Dhow sailing dinghy. At 9 feet it's only one foot longer than my other dinghy but weighs twice as much. It does seem considerably stronger though, has foam floatation under the thwarts and the spars were lovingly varnished. The sail and rudder are in very good condition.

I'm looking forward to trying it out in St. Michael's this weekend. I'll try to get some footage of the place, the other traditional small craft and of the Dyer.

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41 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Well, I took possession of my Dyer Dhow sailing dinghy. At 9 feet it's only one foot longer than my other dinghy but weighs twice as much. It does seem considerably stronger though, has foam floatation under the thwarts and the spars were lovingly varnished. The sail and rudder are in very good condition.

I'm looking forward to trying it out in St. Michael's this weekend. I'll try to get some footage of the place, the other traditional small craft and of the Dyer.

I hope y'all have a blast.  A gig saturday afternoon has me not making it back over there 'til the oyster fest.  If you see any Handy Billys, or local "recreational recreations" of workboats, I'd enjoy seeing some pics.   Might be a fun thing to start a thread and see how many other anarchists are planning to be there this weekend. 

 

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The 9 foot Dyer is MUCH nicer than the midget. Not sure why an extra 14" helps so much, but it does. I will repeat this warning - the Dyer won't sink, but it won't self rescue either. If you capsize, you will need help to get going.

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31 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

The 9 foot Dyer is MUCH nicer than the midget. Not sure why an extra 14" helps so much, but it does. I will repeat this warning - the Dyer won't sink, but it won't self rescue either. If you capsize, you will need help to get going.

Roger that.

My 8' Howmar Hauler dinghy won't self rescue and it WILL sink. At least the Dyer has some floatation foam!  The Dyer also seems wider and a little flatter than my HH dinghy. My impression is that it has high initial stability but once you take it past that one chine or hull curve, you're done.

Breeze is forecast to be very gentle this weekend. A light breeze in protected Fog Cove is probably an ideal place to try it out.

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The Dyer can handle a lot of wind if you know what you are doing, it isn't tender (for a 9 foot dinghy). Once the rail goes under though - game over.

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4 hours ago, Ajax said:

Roger that.

My 8' Howmar Hauler dinghy won't self rescue and it WILL sink. At least the Dyer has some floatation foam!  The Dyer also seems wider and a little flatter than my HH dinghy. My impression is that it has high initial stability but once you take it past that one chine or hull curve, you're done.

Breeze is forecast to be very gentle this weekend. A light breeze in protected Fog Cove is probably an ideal place to try it out.

To be honest I really don't know much about classic sailing dinghies, a Laser is as classic as I get. LOL

But yes in general you are correct with flat bottom boats with a chine. I have two kayaks one is hard chined and one rounded. The rounded one is much more "tippy" but I can roll her quite a bit and she will stay up. The hard chine one feels much more stable but if you go to far you are swimming.

 

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On ‎10‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 12:19 PM, Nettles said:

I'm picking up 8" Spanish mackerels  jigging  for live bait and bait for the lobster traps. Never seen them up here before.  Do the rockfish eat 'em?

Wait you are catching Spanish Mackerel jigging for lobster trap bait?! Where are you in NE?

To answer your question.

Not an 8" Spanish that is for sure! They are way too fast, and an aggressive fish even at that size. Rock are no way going to target them at that size as they would never catch them anyways. Now smaller fish that just spawned sure and vise versa. BUT... Rock spawn in Chesapeake and North. Spanish spawn in GA/FL and South so they really only come in contact with each other once they are much larger fish so they really would not target each other for food.

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Having never sailed tiny dinghy before, I was eager to try it out. Conditions seemed ideal, 10kts or less and the flat water of my cove. The breeze didn't last long but I did get a chance to understand how it sails before the water turned completely slick.

The launch was probably hilarious to watch. The water was too shallow to attach the rudder (it doesn't kick up). I put the dinghy head-to-wind and climbed in. The bow fell off and the boat took off from the beach. The swimming area is bound by large pilings used to attach nettle nets in the summer and I was out of control, shooting right towards one. I couldn't get the rudder attached.  I yanked on the mainsheet which changed my course just enough to scoot by. The boat rounded up and I got the rudder mounted.

I totally understand where Dylan is coming from. Sailing this little boat was a delight. 10 minutes to rig and I'm on the water. Simple.

Dyer3.jpg

Dyer4.jpg

Ponder1.jpg

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I was in St. Michaels for a wedding this past weekend and saw a weird race going on. I only caught the end, but cruising boats were coming into the harbor under sail, towing a dinghy. they would throw an anchor over, not waiting for it to set, load someone in the dinghy who would row to a dock by the maritime museum. It looked like that was how you finished, and two of the boats came down to a rowing race. It looked like fun!

Glad to see Chesapeake folks still going strong this time of year.

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The Elf Classic race. 

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On 10/3/2018 at 3:24 PM, Hobie Dog said:

Wait you are catching Spanish Mackerel jigging for lobster trap bait?! Where are you in NE?

 

Marblehead.  The mackerel fishing has been a little spotty this year but about three weeks ago it took off. Getting a 5 gallon bucket in about a half hour.  I started noticing some oddballs and on closer inspection, yup - Spanish Mackerel, complete with teeth.  For some reason they are not cutting the sabiki line.  Maybe because the teeth are long and pointy  like a barracuda as opposed to short and razorlike like a bluefish.  They do OK for lobster bait though.

 

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21 hours ago, Nettles said:

Marblehead.  The mackerel fishing has been a little spotty this year but about three weeks ago it took off. Getting a 5 gallon bucket in about a half hour.  I started noticing some oddballs and on closer inspection, yup - Spanish Mackerel, complete with teeth.  For some reason they are not cutting the sabiki line.  Maybe because the teeth are long and pointy  like a barracuda as opposed to short and razorlike like a bluefish.  They do OK for lobster bait though.

 

That is crazy! What size are you catching? They are very fine eating! My buddy and I caught 3 more this past Wednesday (17-20-21"). Yea they have some teeth alright! Never have seen them this late in our part of the Chesapeake. Them and the Blues were chewing up the sardines.

 

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This place is nuts.  Messing about in small boats:

20181006_130143.jpg

20181006_125839.jpg

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Webb Chiles' Gannett.

20181006_104750.jpg

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Fall cruising? 85F degrees today and balmy.  Shorts and polo shirts,  drifted in the small craft festival race like it was a July day. 

Crabs for dinner,  finishing off the evening with a rum and ginger beer. 

20181007_185859.jpg

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Ok, I'm back after 4.5 days of cruising.  As K_I_S says, summer is lingering. The trees are all still a solid, lush, green and temperatures are in the mid-80's...but on Thursday, the switch will flip. Temperatures will drop 20F degrees down into the mid/low 60's during the day and mid/low 50's through the night.

The Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival was fascinating and I'm glad I attended. The Dyer dinghy I bought is a treat to row and sail. It's very stable to enter and exit and rows very well.

The MASCF race was a bust with zero wind but a lovely breeze came in on Sunday morning so we all piled into @Illegal Smile's Welsford Pathfinder and had a wonderful sail up and down the Miles River. Definitely @dylan winter's cup of tea. Now I have a little experience sailing something with a gaff and a mizzen. It was very enjoyable and I clearly see the allure of shallow water, camping type sailing journeys. I would have taken some video of the sail but all I have is a Faux Pro camera with a 180 degree lens that would make the whole thing seem very boring. Smile ran his real GoPro for a little while, so maybe he'll post some footage.  Drones were not allowed at the festival and I forgot to pack mine anyway. <_<

Attendees trailered their small craft from near and far to attend the festival. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum hosted the event and allowed all the attendees to camp on the museum grounds so there was a bit of a hobo camp vibe to the whole thing, which was fun.  The sheer variety of small craft was amazing. Skin on frame kayaks, wooden kayaks, sailing canoes, CLC Pocket Yachts, Pathfinders, Voyagers, one-off's, you name it with nearly every kind of rig you could imagine.

There were exhibitions on traditional rigging and splicing, steam bending wood into mast hoops, shanty singing, artwork and other stuff. The weekend was more or less wrapped up with Webb Chiles' presentation.  He was not at all what I expected. I thought he would be a bit crazy, long haired and somewhat feral. Instead, he was cool, articulate and well kept...and a bit mad. ;)   How in the hell he subsists on .375 gallons of water per day without getting kidney stones is beyond my comprehension. He does supplement that with fruit juice, coffee (a diuretic) and a beer each day but still...   When you talk to him you can tell that he is simply happiest when he is at sea and that he suffers dirt surfaces as merely an occasional inconvenience.

As for me, my spousal unit and I blasted across the Chesapeake to the festival at 7 knots in 19 knots of breeze on the only cool, gray day of the trip, Friday.  We anchored in Fog Cove, St. Michael's at 5pm and made a meal of pasta, sausage and crusty bread. We baked cookies for dessert. The next morning, I made a fry-up of bacon, scrambled eggs and English muffins for breakfast with good, strong coffee. That was the last of our cooking. Once the heat set in, we ate fruit for breakfast with cold brew coffee, skipped lunches entirely and ate steamed crabs in town for dinner.

The solar panel kept the fridge and anchor light running for almost 5 days before the house battery finally ran flat but by then it was time to get underway. We motored home in 0.000000 knots of breeze on a glassy bay which recharged the house battery.  I have more photos of the festival, which I'll try to post tonight.

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

   How in the hell he subsists on .375 gallons of water per day without getting kidney stones is beyond my comprehension.

DaFuq????????

I would be lying dead in the cockpit on a hot day.

BTW - Been to a bunch of the small craft festivals in the past. They were really fun. Haven't been back to any of the festivals since they banned dogs, our dog will have a fit if we leave her locked up on the boat.

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Made an attempt to sail yesterday, but there was almost no wind, and then it completely died.   Went back to the slip and watched Ajax and his color coordinated navy steam by (his new dinghy and mothership are a similar dark green color - looks good together).

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Color coordinated navy... that's a good one that I'll have to remember.

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38 minutes ago, slap said:

Made an attempt to sail yesterday, but there was almost no wind, and then it completely died.   Went back to the slip and watched Ajax and his color coordinated navy steam by (his new dinghy and mothership are a similar dark green color - looks good together).

That's "Commodore" Ajax to you, pal. 

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Spent much of my youth sailing a Dyer. As soon as we dropped anchor, the dinghy was rigged and off we went. My brother and I liked sailing past anchored powerboats in reverse for some reason that escapes me now. We also made a Dyer spinnaker out of the windscoop B)

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5 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

DaFuq????????

I would be lying dead in the cockpit on a hot day.

BTW - Been to a bunch of the small craft festivals in the past. They were really fun. Haven't been back to any of the festivals since they banned dogs, our dog will have a fit if we leave her locked up on the boat.

I should also mention that Webb says "I don't cook, I boil water."

He almost exclusively eats freeze-dried meal packs which are typically high in sodium and other things that encourage kidney stones if you're on a liquid-deprived diet. Whatever, I'm not criticizing the guy. He's been doing it for 50 years and nary a stone has passed. I'm just amazed, that's all.

Food is an interesting topic in relation to sailing-

For some people, food is a morale builder, something to look forward to, and sometimes a distraction from social isolation or other stresses of long, solo sailing. Christian Williams enjoys his pasta and his libations, for example.

For other people, food is nothing more than fuel, a time consuming annoyance to prepare and consume.  Evans Starzinger told me that he's a "grazer" rather than a meal preparer so he consumed lots of protein bars, snacks and instant foods similar to Webb, throughout his wakeful periods. Evans was minimalist but not to the same extreme as Webb. Hawk had no refrigeration or water maker but did have ample storage space for a wider variety of food and ample tankage for water so he and his wife didn't deprive themselves.

I fall somewhere in the middle (which is often the case). While actively sailing, food has some morale building value to me and I enjoy a decent pre-prepared, home cooked meal that only requires heating, if I can manage it. While at anchor, I do enjoy getting clever in the galley and making tasty meals. However, I can survive on MRE's, nuts and CLIF bars or Spaghetti-O's without getting grumpy when the situation calls for it.

Water is my drink of choice and I like plenty of it.  That could be a hindrance if I'm not careful.

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On 9/22/2018 at 7:02 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

If you *really* want different, go all the way to the eastern end of Maine. We just got back from there and recreational boats are not common at all. It seemed in any given harbor 90% of the boats were commercial boats of some kind and we never saw anything resembling a marina  It wasn't even that obvious where to buy gas in half the ports.

Jump across to Nova Scotia, thread the Bras d'Or and make the turn up to the Magdaelene Islands of Quebec in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, and go into Grand Entree at the North end.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Îles-de-la-Madeleine,_Quebec#Grande-Entrée

only place I have ever been where I was the only Sailboat in the harbor, and ALL of the rest were Breton/Basque commercial fishermen. 

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I’m sure @Ajax will post more photos but here’s one taken by his bride of us crossing the finish line in the “race.”

All in all a terrific weekend. 

1B39FE3C-F0B5-47CF-B419-A71175D3DEAD.jpeg

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The leaves are finally changing color here.

This weekend was my annual cruise with a small circle of friends. Fewer boats but still about a dozen people. I often singlehand but had 3 close friends onboard this time. Luckily, the boat is big enough that everyone had a decent sized bunk to themselves and plenty of space for gear. It's a weekend of obscene amounts of incredible food, quality alcohol, cigars and lots of stories. I think I put on 5 lbs.

On Friday, the other boats sailed to my dock for the evening where I greeted arrivals with volleys from my potato cannon. After post-arrival rums, we adjourned to the local German pub and restaurant. Upon our return, we had a solid inch of rain overnight but Saturday morning was crystal clear and blowing 20kts over our shoulders, and building. By 11am Thomas Point indicated gusts to 30 kts. Our top SOG was 9.4 kts. Even on a close reach against the tide we made 7 kts. Not bad for a tubby cruiser with a dirty bottom and a freezer full of Maryland crab soup and 1.5 gallons of gumbo.

We returned home today, another flawless, crystal day on a fading breeze. We started off with the asymm for while but we sailed too deep for it and the wind fell flat. We motored the rest of the way, the for of us lounging on the foredeck while Jack in the Box handled the steering chores. A bald eagle soared overhead.

Weekends like this do a lot to un-fuck my malfunctioning disposition.

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The weekend before (27th-28th) was great too! Despite the rain Saturday, it was the best sail of the year for me despite the horrible Willa hurricane remnant forecast. We had a very good breeze on the stern headed south showing up to 10 knots over the bottom :D:D The next day going home the wind came around and for once in my life, despite the S turn course I need to steer to get home, it was DDW to close reach the whole way, not one tack and 7 knots against the full tide. New sails were fantastic, life is good B)

 

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Yep, that's a good day's sailing. Congrats on your new sails. I'm reaaaaaaaaaaaalllly hoping to get a new mainsail made this winter.

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Fun day is when the tug behind you on AIS doesn't need to work out a crossing because they can't catch up B)

(ever think to yourself while closing in on 10 that THIS is why I scrape barnacles and paint and sand and varnish and change oil and clean bird shit off the dodger etc. etc.)

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On 10/9/2018 at 7:44 AM, Ajax said:

The Dyer dinghy I bought is a treat to row and sail. It's very stable to enter and exit and rows very well.

Ajax, what model Dyer did you buy? I sailed a Dyer Dhow for the first time this weekend. It was fun!

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14 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

Ajax, what model Dyer did you buy? I sailed a Dyer Dhow for the first time this weekend. It was fun!

Same as you, the Dhow. the 9 foot model. Yeah, they're great. Fun to sail, super-quick to rig, rows like a champ. Stable, easy to board and exit from the mother ship.

If I had a single complaint, it's that it's a bit heavy but nothing that turns me off.

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