Friday, August 14, 2015

Day One - Rock Creek to St. Michaels

Love Point on the Horizon
I spent the morning getting the boat loaded and provisioned and when Janet finished working we headed down to the boat. After getting settled in and everything ready, we got underway around 13:15. On the way out of the marina, we stopped at the pump-out to make sure our sewage tank was empty. We could not get anything to come out, so I assumed that the tank was empty. More on that in a future post.

Looking at the forecast, the weather guessers were telling me there would be very light SE winds, which meant we would be a motorboat today.

As we approached Kent Narrows, we fell in line with a steady stream of boats all heading in the same direction - through the narrows. We found a few shallow spots on the North side - favoring the green side seemed to help with the depth but I had to leave room for boats coming in the opposite direction. Arrived in the Narrows at 17:05, just missing the bridge opening which is every half hour. Since we had the dogs aboard, a decision was made to stop for fuel and dog walks at Piney Narrows Marina. The dock hand there was great and got me fueled up quickly. Since the fuel dock wasn't crowded, we were allowed to wait there until about 17:25 when it was time to get over to the draw bridge.

Catchin' Rays on Eastern Bay
After clearing the bridge, the sailboat ahead of me was moving kind of slow and started drifting off to the right. Thinking they were heading to a marina, I throttled up and began to pass them. I had to move left to stay in the channel. The usual rule is "red right returning", meaning that when "returning", or heading into a body of water, you keep the red buoys or markers on your right, and the green on your left. The unique thing about Kent Narrows is that it is open on both ends. Chester River to the north, and Prospect Bay to the south. Once you pass through the draw bridge, the red and green switch sides. Since you are now leaving the narrows for a larger body of water, you need to keep green on the right. By this time it was clear to me that the sailboat I had passed was not heading to a dock, but was in fact about to pass the green on the wrong side. The water in this area goes from about 20 feet deep to 3 feet. As I passed them, they looked over and waved as is customary when boaters cross paths. I waved back, but it was more of a frantic "You need to be over here" wave. Fortunately they realized the mistake before it was too late and they fell in line behind me. So today I made a deposit in my Karma account.

Sundowners at Dinner
The light winds continued as we passed through Prospect Bay and down into Eastern Bay. We kept on motoring, and finally made our approach to St. Michaels harbor at around 17:00. We squeezed into the inside anchorage and dropped the hook. Quickly got the dinghy rigged and shuttled the dogs ashore for another walk.

When we returned to the boat, we could see that the wind had shifted and we were dangerously close to being aground. With the tide falling, we decided to move to the outside anchorage where there is deeper water and a better breeze for night time ventilation.

Then it was off to a late dinner at the Town Dock Restaurant. I had a crab cake and Janet had the Grilled Mahi. Excellent meal with live musical entertainment and a view of the water.

By the time we got back to the boat, grabbed the dogs for one more walk, and hit the sack, it was nearly 23:00 - well past "cruiser's midnight".

Total distance covered: 36 miles

No comments:

Post a Comment