Summer Cruise Day 25

Today was the last day of our summer trip. We set sail in the early morning to make it back to Baltimore at a reasonable hour. The winds were predicted to be light and variable, so I wanted to give us plenty of time.

We slowly made our way out of the river, mostly thanks to the current from the leaving tide. Once out in the bay, the winds were just as predicted: light. We set the drifter and set ourselves on a broad reach. 

As we rounded Thomas Point Lighthouse, I saw something rather interesting off in the distance. The epitome of speed sailing, a maxi yacht, motoring along. with all of its sails covered and put away. 

We figured that if anyone were to be sailing on a day like this, he would be the one, but instead they were moving along very slowly under power. I would have loved to see this yacht under full sail!

We continued our way North towards Baltimore, but as we were passing Gibson Island, the winds died. We sat for quite some time and I offered the idea of anchoring for the night and returning to port tomorrow morning. Maddie had her heart set on being home today and wanted to keep sailing until we made it home!

We pushed on, watching the sun set over the trees of the western shore. Around 11pm, we finally entered the Patapsco River. It was pitch black around us with the glow of the city off in the distance. Four drones came down and buzzed by our boat, then disappeared into the darkness of the night. Another boat passed by us with no navigation lights on, we couldn't see him, but we could hear his engine noise. We were concerned because his noise kept moving around very erratically. Luckily he also disappeared into the distance. 

While we were away, a fatal boating accident occurred when a power boat slammed into the pilings of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, killing several of the passengers and wounding the rest. Because of this tragedy, more navigational lights were installed on the bridge and in the river. 

All the new lights severely disoriented me. I used to sail the river by night and know exactly where I was and where I was heading without the need for my chart plotter. I knew where the buoys were and where the unlit buoys were! With the new lights and the buoys flashing at different rates from before, I was completely lost! I turned to my chart plotter to find my position and found that I was so far off course, I was going into Curtis Bay thinking that I was on course for the Inner Harbor!

I resigned myself to following the chart plotter and compass for navigational aid as I made my way up the river. I was finally able to locate the range amongst all the new lights to lead me up the river and into the Inner Harbor. 

We pulled into our slip at 12:30am, dead exhausted and ready to sleep. We were also starving and decided to tie up the boat, and then go out into town to find someplace open to get a good land cooked meal! Luckily, our favorite place was still open. Off to Koopers for a delicious burger! 

We made it back, our trip was a success, and we got engaged! It's a wonderful introduction into our cruising life!