2014 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

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ASA104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising Course


September 30-October 4, 2014




Rebecca Yeoman, Renny Rice, Jonathan Welsh


Andy Barton

Day 1: After introductions, we began work on the provisioning list, launching and preparing the dinghy, and getting Acadame ready for her voyage.  All preparations were finished around mid-day.  The afternoon brought SE winds at 5–8 knots and we practiced sailing skills on our way to anchor in Lucy Cove on Grays Inn Creek for the night.  While preparing dinner, we spotted a pair of bald eagles circling and swooping in for their dinner as well … how beautiful!

Day 2: After breakfast, we laid a course down the Chester River and through Kent Narrows drawbridge to St. Michaels on the Miles River.  Everyone had a chance to helm and navigate on our way to the Narrows.   Jonathan had recently been to the optometrist and was spotting marks nearly a mile away without binoculars, earning him the nickname “Hawkeye.”  Rebecca navigated us through the drawbridge with a light following current pushing us along.  Renny then took the helm through Prospect Bay avoiding the large shoal we dubbed as the “Bermuda Triangle” at the entrance to the Miles River.  Jonathan brought us into the slip in St. Michaels.  All enjoyed walking the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum before dinner.  Then a perfect ending to the day …  ice cream from Justine’s!

Day 3: Forecast is clear weather and NE winds 8–10 kts. A course was laid from St. Michaels around Bloody Point and up the bay to Annapolis, MD. Winds were light at first, so we motor sailed out the Miles River. Several towed barges and a freighter carrying new cars presented a challenge as we tacked our way to Thomas Point Light.  The predicted 0.5 knot flood current did not develop and instead we had a 0.5 knot ebb against us, so we motored the last few miles into Annapolis to pick up a mooring for the evening. We hailed the water taxi for a ride into town for dinner and (of course) ice cream at Annapolis Ice Cream Factory!

Day 4: Small craft advisory in effect today with forecast of SE winds 15–20 knots, gusting to 25; waves 2–3 feet.  Rebecca, Renny and Jonathan are excited to get out and practice their sailing skills.  We review crew overboard recovery, heaving-to and reefing on our way to the Bay Bridge.  The weather forecast is deteriorating with predictions of S 25–30 knots tonight, so we decide to head back to Annapolis for the night.  After a brief time for review, it’s testing time!  We celebrate with a “Dark & Stormy” … appropriate for tonight’s weather!

Day 5: We had a rolly night with strong winds, making it difficult to sleep, but are rewarded with a fantastic sailing day for our trip back to Davis Creek today.  A small craft advisory is in effect again with a forecast of NE 15–20 knots gusting to 25; waves 3 feet.  A reef is set in the mainsail before departing, and a reefed jib is set.  After passing under the Bay Bridge and rounding Love Point, winds continue to build and a second reef was put in the main. Terrific teamwork is evident as we make 6+ knots under double reefed main and reefed jib on our way up the Chester River, tacking our way past Piney Point, then a fast close reach home to Davis Creek.  Couldn’t ask for a better sail to end the cruise! Congrats!

Captain Andy Barton
Aboard S/V ACADAME, IP32

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