Last nights thunderstorms poured rain down onto us all night long as we slept soundly in the marina slip with our air conditioning and secure dock lines holding us in place. I awoke early in the morning and unplugged the shore power and untied the dock lines just as the sun was coming over the buildings in the distance. The winds were almost non-existent, allowing us to easily walk the boat out of the slip and silently power out of the marina with our electric engine.
Once outside of the marina, the motor was turned off and the sails were raised, awaiting the wind that should soon begin. Once the wind came, we began ghosting along under reefed main and staysail. I was flying reefed sails even though the winds were light because there was a small craft warning in effect and I was sailing alone since Maddie was still sleeping. I would rather sit with reefed sails waiting for the storm than scurry along trying to tuck in a reef during a storm!
As we moved out of the protection of the harbor, the wind began to build and any thoughts of shaking out the reefs vanished. In the distance, a front was approaching and we were anticipating much stronger weather. We sailed along as we saw the front coming towards us with its ominous shelf cloud, warning all sailors that strong winds will be coming soon.
The wind slowly began to build to 15 knots as white caps started to crop up around us. I was glad that I had the reefs in, as the wind was starting to build with the approaching storm. Then out of nowhere, the storm began to push back and retreat; the winds once again died down and the skies cleared up. Our dance at the edge of the storm front ended and the skies became clear and blue with no wind on the bay.
We shook out the reefs and raised all the sails as we made our way South towards South River, near Annapolis, MD. The storm might have left with all of its wind, but the local winds seemed to be blowing in the opposite direction. The prevailing winds on the Chesapeake Bay blow from the South, this means you have to tack South but get to run North. Today, we got to run in light airs, making it to our destination in no time and in no tacks! All of this sun also meant that plenty of power was available for our solar panels to collect. This kept our battery banks topped off while we sailed in light airs.
I love looking up at the bridges that cross the bay. Many people drive across this bridge everyday, focused on the road ahead of them and the cars around them, taking for granted the marvel of engineering required to build this massive bridge. I find that when I sail under this bridge, I'm either full sail in light airs or heavily reefed down in heavy airs.
As we rounded Thomas Point Lighthouse, we turned onto a beam reach which carried us up the river all the way to Harness Creek. In my four years of sailing to Harness Creek from Fells Point, this had to be the easiest sail by far. Light steady winds kept us moving along with wind on our quarter allowing us to broad reach without fear of an accidental jibe. I am very glad Maddie wanted to leave today and not yesterday during the storm. We arrived in Harness Creek and dropped the hook in our favorite spot, ready to relax for the next few days. Morty enjoyed being taken to shore where he got to run around and stretch his legs before sunset.
We relaxed on the deck as we grilled our dinner and watched the sunset behind the trees. There is nothing more peaceful than arriving in a quiet creek with no plans and no set leave date.