Friday, November 09, 2007

Chestertown '07

Early(ish) the morning of November 2nd OutrĂ© Mer left her slip on Back Creek to begin our annual trip to Chestertown on the eastern shore for the Schooner Sultana “Downrigging” weekend festivities. We have been making the trip with Ben and Jen for the past three years now, and it gives us a reason to anticipate the end of our sailing season here. As is the rule with sailing on a schedule, the wind was blowing directly from the direction in which we wanted to head, and strong. Wind speeds of 25 -30 knots warranted reduced sail and sent some Bay water splashing across the deck, and occasionally all the way back into the cockpit. We tacked (zig-zagged) our way up the Bay and under the Bay Bridge until we could make the turn into the Chester River and begin traveling more with the wind, rather than against it. The waves subsided as we entered the protected water of the river, but soon we were turned into the wind again and forced to motor to make continued progress upstream. One of the things we love most about this trip is the long, windy, and mostly uninhabited shores of the beautiful Chester River, especially in the fall. On arriving in town just before sunset, we dropped the girls and the now cross-legged dogs off to tend to business, while Ben and I anchored the boat. After launching and retrieving the landing party with the dinghy, Chris and Dave, dock neighbors at the home marina, also making the trip aboard their own boat, joined us brining appetizers and a wonderful hearty stew for dinner.
Although still seasonal, this year was much warmer than last year’s trip, and the cabin heater was working much better, so the cabin was quite cozy all night, even out at anchor in the river. Saturday Ben treated us to a wonderful hot breakfast after everyone was awake. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the town on shore, with dinner (complete with live music) at Andy’s, the local hot spot.
Sunday’s trip back was less windy, but we were able to sail a bit. This was good as the heater (also diesel powered) had used a lot of fuel and left very little in the tank, leaving us to ponder what “E” really meant, and if we would have to sail into the slip when we reached Annapolis. Everyone bundled up and combined with a warm chili from Shannon we kept warm and nourished all the way back, and we didn’t run out of fuel. A wonderful trip to remember through the cold sail-less months ahead, until we can launch our boat again in the spring ~M

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