Today was amazing! Monday morning came and I was excited to be out of bed! I put the fiddle blocks in the table and prepared the boat to go sailing. We raised anchor in the calm waters of Harness Creek and ghosted out into the river.
We were working to windward the whole day so I tightened the backstay and tied a sheepshank in the adjuster to take up the slack. Tightening the backstay actually tightens the headstay which greatly improves windward performance. When the headstay is tighter, the luff of the jib is held in place and doesn't fall as far to leeward. This holds the jib in a more ideal airfoil shape which improves its windward performance. Adjusting halyard tension also helps position the draft of the headsail just forward of the middle to help power the sail more while we work to windward. All of these adjustments were made at the beginning of our first tack as we set out into the bay, holding true throughout the rest of the day.
At various times, I would go forward and sight the mast and sails to see how the tuning is holding up, but it didn't need much adjustment as the day moved on. We worked our way South, beating against the prevailing winds until the sun started to get low on the horizon. This was our clue to find a nice anchorage for the night.
After being spoiled by the perfectly calm waters in Harness Creek for the past few nights, the last thing we wanted was a rough and bumpy anchorage in the middle of the bay. I began looking at the chart to find where we could pull in that would shield us from the swell and from the wind, but not be too far out of the way. Herring Harbor was our destination of choice, just outside of Herrington Harbor South Marina. Overnight slip fees there are $2 per foot, and at 45 feet, would cost us around $90 for the night. We decided that we would rather take that money and spend it on a wonderful dinner ashore, and we did just that by anchoring in the harbor and rowing in to the restaurant!
Herrington Harbor has a wonderful restaurant next to it called Mango's on the Bay. Maddie looked at their menu on her phone and we both fell in love with the fillet covered with lump crab meat! As Maddie was reading the menu, my mouth started to water and all my thoughts switched to having that meal melt in my mouth. The winds were steady and carried us right into the harbor where we dropped the hook and rowed to shore.
Herring Bay is very shallow, so the closest we could get was a half mile from shore. With the dreams of this delicious meal in mind, Maddie and I rowed our hearts out to get there as fast as we could!
Dinner that night was so special, we celebrated our 2 year anniversary (for dating) with a delicious meal, a cocktail for Maddie and a neat scotch for me! The sun had set by the time we finished our meal, making the horizon a dark abyss. We were very glad that we left our anchor light on, even though it was light out when we left, because we would never be able to find our boat without it guiding us home.
While I do feel that masthead anchor lights are dumb since they are frequently confused for stars, they do serve to alert others to your existence from a distance. When you are closer though, a masthead anchor light is not easily visible, and accessory white lights should be present to alert closer boats of your existence.
As we approached the anchor light, the LED deck lights guided us directly to our boat. I personally feel that it is very important to have lights marking the length of your boat in addition to the masthead anchor light. If a boat were approaching and confused the anchor light for a star, the deck lights would alert them to our size and position and hopefully avoid a collision.
Once back on board, we went to sleep with full bellies and an anchorage with protection from the southerly winds and waves.