Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spending-Time in Maryland

Impulse at anchor in Cape May the day I arrived.
    Again I sit, somewhat contented and lulled into a feeling of false security by the whirling, self-absorbed world that is the internet.
    I could write paragraphs on just how crudely mundane the internet feels after being away from it for some time. Memes, and rants, and all the things you were doing wrong but never knew. But that's not what my blog is about. If, perhaps, after a longer break from the inter-webs I feel more strongly I will go into that myriad of feelings and opinions, but not today.
    Today I'm here to tell you about Maryland. Hmm... Maryland... Well, we can start with facts. As of today I've been in Maryland as long as I was in New Jersey. I've spent more money on food and sancks in all of Maryland than I did the month before. And I've felt largely less hurried in leaving than I did New Jersey. Of course, with the cold we've had the past few days, I'm beginning to think I should pick my heels up a bit more.
    Last night it was 33°, today the high was 40°.I bought a propane heater to keep the chill off at night, but it'll eat through a bottle of propane in six hours if I let it run, so it's not a permanent solution. I've taken what towels and blankets and foam I have to block off non-living areas and stop up drafts. This has been relatively successful. In fact, it was almost enough that just burning a large candle and my oil lamp all night would keep me from shivering in my sleeping bag on a 40° night. Almost; hence the addition of the heater.
    Let's see, I suppose you'll want to know where I am. Since I last posted I managed to sail down to Annapolis where I stopped in at Bacon Sails and picked up a few things I've been needing at discount prices. Bacon is a marine consignment store, and someday I'd like to run one. So many do-dads and gizmos for cheap. Marine cheap anyway. Nothing quite excites the creative juices like a rack of bins full of rigging hardware. Bought three pounds of fudge, because, I don't know why. It was quite good though. I also picked up a new pair of sneakers since my old ones were falling apart on my eight mile a day walks to various shopping centers. I need to get an alternate mode of land transport, my feet are still killing me. I have a small kick scooter, but it's almost useless. Thinking of modding it with a longer handlebar and bigger wheels, but we'll see, it's not as urgent as getting somewhere warm again.
    After Annapolis I set off for Solomons where I was to get a package from home. About three hours out, after having gone nowhere fast, the wind began to pipe up, and even though it wasn't bad, I decided to throw a reef in. Just as I tied the last lashing on the main the wind gusted up and heeled us over a little more than 15 degrees, and held us there. So, the jib came down and just as it was packed away the wind blew harder. I tried to sail towards the windward coast to get behind the cliffs where the wind couldn't build up a chop and I could keep on to Solomons. This was not to happen though. I was too far out already and in what seemed like minutes the waves were no longer small, and getting bigger. I couldn't make Solomons before dark anyway, and I decided my best bet was to run with the wind and waves until I could duck behind a point on the opposite side of the bay and hide in some anchorage. So on we went, skidding downwind under a reefed main at an average of 5.5knots. If I remember correctly Cassie has a theoretical hull speed of 6.4 knots. There were times we were doing all of that, surfing down waves we hit as much as 7.5kts. It was a physically demanding and mentally intensive experience, one where I didn't have time to be afraid, I had to be steering, watching for the next big wave, seeing where the wind might shift. At times I did look back at think, "wow... those are big waves... I hope they don't get worse." From the time I took in my reef to the time I anchored, cold, exhausted, and not a little happy to be safe, was probably four hours, the last hour of which was spent tacking against the 25mph wind between attempts to start my outboard so I could motor into my anchorage. I hid there two days waiting for the wind to die down, and when it finally did I motored the remaining 30 miles to Solomons. And here I sit still. I had to wait for my package since I got in on Saturday and the post office was closed through Monday for Veterans Day. The wind has picked back up again, blowing a steady 10-15kts and gusting higher last night. Thursday looks like the next day I can get out onto the water again, and maybe, maybe Make it to Virgina.
I never did meet back up with SomeDay. They decided to do an overnighter and passed me while I was in Annapolis. I suspect I'll see them again though.


Matilda's Walzes said...

I really enjoy reading your posts Brian. Thank you so much for writing them.

Matilda's Walzes said...
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