2018 Chesapeake Bay Cruise
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
Winds are SE at
5 knots and weather is mostly sunny, with a small chance of storms
overnight. We plot a course for Queenstown Creek to anchor and set
us up for the next day's voyage either to St. Michaels or across the bay
to Baltimore or Annapolis. We departed Langford Creek around 1400.
The crew's teamwork was very good as we navigated the very narrow channel
into Queenstown creek using the range formed by a tall tree and the water
tank. We saw no less than 6 feet on the way in, and dropped anchor
around 1730. Only one other boat was anchored behind the sand spit,
and they departed about an hour after we arrived, so we had this beautiful
anchorage to ourselves for the night. Luis prepared an excellent
chicken stir fry for dinner, and we plotted a course to the Kent Narrows
entrance and Love Point for the next day before enjoying a beautiful
sunset and turning in.
approached Love Point, we began to see numerous logs and other floating
debris. The USCG has been broadcasting Securite messages that the
Conowingo Dam floodgates had opened a few days ago and that mariners
should watch for floating debris that was making its way down the bay.
We were surprised by the vast amount of debris. Luis stood as
lookout and was constantly relaying directions back to the helm as we
weaved our way between the sticks, large logs and other flotsam. At
one point, we passed between two floating "islands" of debris
that were 50+ yards wide and 10+ yards across.
In spite of the
obstacles in the water, Kara navigates us under the Bay Bridge and into
Annapolis harbor. Our timing is perfect to pass through the Spa
Creek bascule bridge and pick up a mooring ball. It is hot and
steamy, so we opt to move to a slip at City Dock where we can have shore
power and air conditioning. On the way, Kara notices that our engine
is sounding different and that our raw water flow is reduced.
However, the temperature alarms are not yet sounding. We choose to
continue back through the bridge, and we expeditiously find a slip at city
dock around 1330. The debris in market slip in Annapolis is
astounding. City work crews are pulling it out and hauling it away
by the truckfull. After a brief rest, we review navigation
techniques: DR plots, two and three LOP fixes, time, speed and distance
calculations, ETE and ETA and determining course to steer.
Now it's time
to investigate the raw water flow problem. The strainer had some
debris, but was not fully clogged. The impeller was checked and
looked fine. During the process, a
local TV news crew was reporting on the debris from the dam and
interviewed the students - they and Acadame had a few seconds of fame! We
then started disconnecting hoses from the strainer to the impeller and the
seacock to the strainer. When blowing through the hose from the
strainer back toward the seacock, we met resistance. The hose was
clear, but an elbow fitting in the line was clogged with sticks and
seagrass, greatly reducing the water flow. We improvised with a bent
coat hanger to clear the elbow, which improved flow a bit. We also
tightened the raw water pump belt. Voila - problem solved!
Time for a shower and a cold beverage before a dinner out on the town.
our course back up the Chester River and into the Corsica River where we
plan to anchor for the night. We set a double reefed main and 2/3
jib in challenging conditions. Everyone gets some helm time as the
wind and waves keep building on our way up the Chester. Time for a
surprise MOB drill! Back underway and all is going well until we
cannot locate a buoy along the planned route and are uncertain of our
position. After a bit of confusion, we heave to and get a two-LOP
fix and determine the course to steer is 080 to the next navigation mark.
It turns out that the buoy we were trying to find appears on the chart,
but is missing. We sail all the way through the narrow entrance to
the Corsica River and drop sails once inside. After rounding an
"S" bend, we anchor using a forked moor in a cozy little cove.
After a brief review of anchoring techniques using two anchors, the crew
decides to haul up our anchors and return to Langford Creek where the
luxuries of shore power, air conditioning and showers can be found.
After arriving at 1830, captain Andy makes a delicious pasta dinner and we
review a bit for the ASA104 written test.
May 15, 2018