Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ad Hoc Night Sailing Venture to Tilghman Creek

Randomly invited my old sailing buddy Greg for a trip across the Bay at night. This was the only time I could get away to go sailing -- departing the marina at 8:00pm, crossing the Bay, then arriving at our anchorage at Tilghman Creek at 1:30am. It was so fucking fun. This is the kind of shit I live for.

This is a picture of me looking at the chart with a red headlight -- what most of the sail across looked like (I haven't used my GPS in years). In fact, we had only time for two pictures during our Bay crossing because it was 12-13 knots, gusting to 16 with weird waves pushing us around and making my tiller feel like an oar. And as usual, I had up slightly too much sail so the boat was hard to manage at times.

Here's the only picture of Greg from the trip across:

Damn, we roared across that Bay and of course it always feels faster when you're sailing at night for some reason. I suppose it's because the waves seem to be going by faster when it's dark.

Sailing at night hones your skills and attention like no other -- especially sans GPS like I do. You're constantly making sure you're heading for the correct red or green blinking light, and not actually heading toward some land-based beacon, running aground, hitting some object, or falling overboard (that reminds me: I need to get life jacket strobes).

Getting across the Bay was relatively easy on a beam reach -- except for managing the waves -- but when we headed up Eastern Bay we were close-hauled and pounding into the spray for hours. It was also one of those sails where you're constantly straddling running into too shallow water, or heading up too far that your sails start to luff and you lose momentum -- yet you want to avoid tacking because it'll put you into the anchorage too late.

After anchoring, we enjoyed a metal cup each of Green Label. Man, whiskey never tasted so good at 1:30am under the glow of oil lamps:

Neither of us could finish it, because we were so dog-tired from the athletic sail across so we just passed out (of course, after I caught up on on my internet -- love that Verizon Wireless card):

I had caught some crabs at the dock before leaving and they kept jumping out and grabbing shit onboard, like Greg's shoe (I cooked 'em up next day for lunch on the way back -- the crabs, not the shoes):

Next day, I made coffee and bacon and enjoyed a Marlboro, too. I love that my boat has a pop-top (yes, you can see I don't care about my tan):

The view from our anchorage (the crabbers were up at dawn):

Sadly, we had to motor most of the way back because the wind had died -- classic Chesapeake. Here's a nice view from my new Fujinon binoculars with built-in compass (and red light). These were great on setting the course to the entrance to Tilghman Creek at night:

Geez- we were on Tilghman Island last wednesday. When were you guys there?
Sept 10-11. Actually, Tilghman Creek is kinda far by water from Tilghman Island.,-95.677068&sspn=36.094886,78.046875&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Tilghman+Creek&ll=38.841045,-76.266403&spn=0.034696,0.076218&t=h&z=14
that's a very small crab...
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