Our honeymoon cruise was very relaxing. We spent more time at anchor than under sail, and enjoyed more meals off the boat than on board. Most of the trip consisted of calm weather with light winds, with a few isolated storms. We only sailed 190 miles and stopped in Harness Creek, Annapolis, Deale, and Oxford.
Our relaxed pace was the polar opposite to our previous years cruise. We traveled 190 miles, as opposed to 751 miles, and we stayed in protected anchorages for a much longer amount of time.
On our 2015 cruise, we would sail from dawn to dusk, everyday and all day. We spent very little time relaxing as one of us had to be steering the boat at all times as we worked our way to windward. We anchored out in the middle of the bay, where the winds and tides would toss us all night long and make for a very rough anchor recovery in the morning. We suffered through this because our main goal was to reach the Atlantic Ocean and spend a few days out there beyond sight of land.
For our 2016 cruise, we had much smaller goals: sail to Oxford to visit my grandmother. We had a week and a half to get there, so we took our time and enjoyed the trip. We spent our first night in the marina waiting for better weather, then made our way to Harness Creek. We stayed in the protected creek for a few days as we relaxed and took it easy. When the weather was favorable, we set sail and made our way to Deale, where we pulled into Herring Bay and enjoyed a delicious dinner ashore. Once in Oxford, we relaxed on the boat and did day trips by car to other nearby towns. Wisdom stayed anchored in the same spot for several days before we decided to make our way home. The return trip was equally as relaxed; we slept in, we sailed to the nearest protected harbor, we ate ashore, and slept well.
Our slow pace did greatly reduce the distance we would be able to cover in a set amount of time, but a combination of the two will yield a very pleasant pace for our future voyages.
The goal of the 2015 trip was to give us a taste of sailing in the ocean and to make sure that Maddie wouldn't go stir crazy when land was not in sight for some time. Our next big trip is going to take us far out into the ocean, so we need to have some practice before we go. This trip to Oxford was simply a relaxing continuation of our honeymoon, and not a trip to test anything out (even though we did experience a wonderful opportunity to test out sail combinations for heaving to). We were simply going cruising for a week and a half and going to enjoy every moment of it.
Sailing South in the bay is a tedious process, the prevailing winds blow from the South meaning the entire trip is spent beating to windward. We will stop at convenient anchorages along the way and enjoy nice shore side meals while we are still close to land, but there will still be some nights when we anchor in unprotected waters in the interest of making it South as fast as possible.
Once we are out in the ocean, we won't need to find protected anchorages because we heave to at night. This means that the windvane can steer us all day long and we will be able to relax around the boat while underway (in between sail changes and storms), until we heave to for the night and go to sleep again.
The only reason we feel any rush when sailing, and the reason we don't sail everywhere with this relaxed pace, is because we do have a fixed amount of time to sail. I take time away from my dental practice and Maddie takes time away from painting and teaching to go on these trips. Without these time constraints, the only logical method to travel would be at the slowest and most relaxed pace. In our case, we need to work a bit at getting there first, then we can relax and meander our way back. The longer we take off for these trips, the more relaxed we can travel through the water.