WWe've had a blast participating in races in May and last weekend. Now we're off for holiday. We'll meet up with the Chesss (Chesapeake Bay Shorthanded Sailors Squadron) group in St Michael's on Saturday evening. Then on to Rock Hall to meet up with the Onancock Sailing squadron folks for ten days of exploring the northern Bay.
We motor sailed most of the way today. The winds were everything but what Predict Wind and Acuweather said they would be. We are anchored in a secure spot in Hooper's Island. One small problem today. The anchor windlass didn't work. So we had to use our old-fashioned method of dropping anchor. Mike is hanging out in the anchor locker trying to fix the corroded wires. Hopefully tomorrow morning we won't have to hand crank the 60 ft of chain we've set. We're so happy to back out on the water. We've had a great day. I know we'll have a great time visiting beautiful places and hanging out with beautiful people. Thanks for following us and keeping us in your thoughts. Send us comment. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. I'm still learning editing and will hopefully post some new videos this trip. We appreciate your interest in sailing.
We knew we had to sail into the wind and that we would probably have to motor most of the way. We started with a decent sail but then had to motor if we going to make it to Annapolis in time to have a good rest before tomorrow's race. We ran two hour watches because the wind and the cold and the sea spray was relentless. It was about 20-25 knots on the nose and at one point 4-6 ft waves. We're here alongside other boats planning to race tomorrow. It's always great to meet new people who love to do crazy things like racing old sailboats. I'll be running the GoPro for part of the race tomorrow to try get some good downwind footage. We ran the third reefing line in case we need to use it. The winds will be messy at the south end of the Bay as we close at the race Saturday afternoon. We are going to sleep really well tonight. Keep watching our spot tracker to know where are. Thanks as always for following us and keeping us in your thoughts.
Here are a few pictures of Wednesday to Thursday.
In order to race we have to have a rating for our boat. We decided to go with the PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet). After the application Mike received our rating with a handicap base rating of 210. Today we spent about 8 hours putting our race numbers on both sides of our main sail and our jib. Thank goodness our church has a fellowship hall large enough to lay out our sails. It was a lot of work sitting all day on the floor. We're definitely not as young as we would like to be. Lol. Now to hank them back on and get sailing.
We are thrilled to have our adventures on the Chesapeake Bay again in 2023.
Last year we joined the Onancock Sailing Squadron (OSS). We've had a lot of fun with them. They've scheduled weekend sails to different coves along the eastern and western shore. This year there is a trip planned for 2 weeks along the Eastern Shore. We look forward to traveling with the Squadron.
We've also joined the Broad Bay Sailing Association (BBSA) to get experience racing sailboats. They meet and race boats out of Little Creek and Willougby Bay on Wednesdays and Thursdays. They have short distance and long-distance racing on the Bay. We're excited about these extra opportunities. We have never raced before so we're in a new learning curve. We love it! One other thing we did was sign up for the Down the Bay race in May as double handers. In order to sail that way, we had to join another club called Chesapeake Shorthanded Sailing Society (CHESSS). We are going sailing this year like never before!
After 23 years with Neverland, we're getting serious testing her against other boats. We're stoked. :)
We'll do our best to post blogs and video blogs this season of 2023.
We had a fantastic sail back to our home port Davis Wharf today. Winds steady at 15 knots close hauled down the bay. Great crew. Great shakedown. Our chart plotter quit working, and we went back to our old-fashioned charts. Not happy with Sytex brand. We'll get the chart plotter looked at again. But ultimately, we realize that we should stick with Raymarine on all our products onboard. Looking forward to weekly sails.
We want to thank Onancock Wharf and town council for a fabulous stay and the warm welcome during the winter. We had a great place to do work on the boat. We loved the floating docks and protection from the storms. We had lots of friendly visits and drive by waves from locals and visitors alike. Choose Onancock town as a spot of your Eastern Shore sailing. Remember, transients only.
Well, we finally left the dock for more than a day or a weekend. We're on our 11-day cruise of the middle Chesapeake Bay. We haven't sailed without a set destination or passage-making agenda in more than 11 years.
Perhaps that's why this trip has been so great. We are rediscovering the very waters we fell in love with in the '90s. The best way to do that is one creek at a time, taking our time.
Using our new equipment has made sailing and being on board almost seem too easy. Our new blackboard has kept the daily calendar for us.
We've been to Antipoison creek, the beach at Fleets Bay, Reedville on the Great Wicomico River, St Mary's River gunkhole, St Mary's City, and today we're at Tippity Wichity Island. Because of the forecast we're sticking here until we can return to the Great Wicomico. It sure is different traveling only a few miles a day. We've only gone a total of 95 nautical miles. The sailing is great. Catching a good southwesterly wind of 15-18 knots as we're making our way has given us some good runs at 6-7 knot speed.
The Bay is full of adventure from one creek to the next. Even though the coastline is populated with fancy houses there are still small coves without the looming stare of shore folks. The Bay is home. Grab a boat and go exploring. You'll discover the beauty in our own waters. Enjoy the gallery of photos. Follow us on the spot tracker. Click like and share your comments with us.
The Chesapeake Bay Adventure is well underway.
Well, that is if you understand that adventures begin long before the dock lines are dropped. This year's adventure will take on several different approaches to sailing.
This double handed crew has always worked together. Each has had specialized skills onboard. But when Mike had a health scare this April (2021) while in Inagua, Bahamas, we had to revisit how we share responsibilities onboard.
It takes a lot to admit the things you do not know.
There are a lot of things I do not know.
I've learned a lot over the years about facing the very things we are afraid of. Many of my deep-seated fears have been erased when I actually participated in opportunities to be face to face with the very things that terrified me. There is a reason why we learn and read. There is a reason why we perform skills repeatedly. There is a reason why we have drills and practice. Because when the unexpected comes the response is so natural as if it has been done for years. The skills are so deeply driven that when the storms hit it is second nature to respond with confidence.
Being home on the Bay will give us many opportunities to experience year round sailing.
December 7, 2021 We had Neverland hauled and dismasted for the winter project of refitting her for 'old people' sailing. We also need to repair and refresh all the hard knocks she's endured over the last 15 years. In 15 years she had a trip to Maine and back and shipping to France, trips to Malta, Croatia, Greece, Crete, Spain, Morocco, Canaries, Caribbean, Aruba, Bahamas, Florida, and finally back home again in the Chesapeake Bay. I must say she has been a faithful vessel through all kinds of weather, circumstances, and owner decisions.
We are thrilled to be at Davis Wharf where we have enjoyed a quiet marina amid the watermen of the Chesapeake Bay. To be among folks who work hard for a living to bring fresh seafood to the tables of many Eastern Shore residents is a gift. The staff at the wharf are friendly and willing to assist us in all of our needs.
The view while in our slip is stunning as we watch the sun set.
But now to tell you our exciting plans for dry storage in winter. It is not a time to be idle.
We will be replacing the rigging. It is over fifteen years old and has 10,000 miles of wear and tear. We chose to use the Rigging Company in Annapolis. They were the most helpful with our wild ideas of what we wanted to do with the boom and the roller furling.
We will be working to bring all of our reefing lines and the main halyard to the cockpit. No more getting up on deck in 30 knot winds to reef to the third reefing line. Woohoo.
We have new gauges too. A real-life wind gauge. No more holding a tube in the air going, "Gee, I think it's 20 knots what do you think?" Also, a new depth meter and speedometer. We're also upgrading our electrical panel and getting it away from behind the steps and over to the nav station. We're getting new cushions for the V-berth. There are several upgrades that are minor but take time and we are glad that Neverland is home in Virginia where we can work through the winter without having to go further than 20 minutes to be with her.
We really appreciate all of your interest in our travels. This summer will be focused on the Chesapeake Bay. The key this summer is to get Monica docking and driving Neverland more than ever. Once she's in the water we'll share the mishaps and adventures. Until then we'll keep you posted with all of our winter dry storage work.
Mike & Monica
We plan to write some notes here about our sail trip and the preparations for it