2017 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

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ASA104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising Course


 May 12-16, 2017


 S/V Scholarship, IP32


Ken Didion, Wayne Neely, Chris Zhang


Frank Mummert

Friday, May 12, 2017
The winds were out of the east at 10 knots, gusting to 15, when Ken, Wayne, Chris and Captain Frank left Lankford Bay Marina.  After a morning of boat familiarization and provisioning, the crew was ready to get going.  We set sails after we cleared Lawyers Cove and headed south, full main and genoa.  We headed down the Chester River, shifting from a beam reach to a close reach as we cleared "the Notch."  The clouds were getting thicker and the sky promised rain as we made the opening to Queenstown Creek and dropped the sails.  As we motored in, we noticed that the green buoys that normally marked the left side of the channel were missing, so it was "eagle eyes" on the depth meter as we used a set of marks to get us in the narrow channel.  As we arrived, we found that Acadame - our sister ship and also on a 104 class - had beaten us to the anchorage, so we snugged up near the shore, well out of their swing range and dropped two anchors on a forked moor, anticipating a northerly wind shift during the night.

May 13
Day two found us up and about early on.  The winds were now out of the Northwest and running 15 to 20 knots, putting the wind on the nose.  We sailed up to Love Point Light, tacking back and forth and battling the waves coming in from the Bay.  Around Love Point and headed down toward the Bay Bridge gave us a wind on our starboard quarter for an exhilarating broad reach with the main sail prevented to port and the headsail reefed down to a jib.  Once we made the Naval Anchorage, we dropped the sails and headed in for a mooring ball.  After settling up with the harbormaster, it was a call to the water taxi and the crew went ashore for showers and a well-deserved dinner.

May 14
For day three, the sun finally made an appearance.  The wind had shifted once again, coming now from the southwest at a mild 5 knots.  We motorsailed away from Annapolis and down the Chesapeake Bay, practicing collision avoidance with a huge cargo carrier and using the Thomas Point Light and Bloody Point Light for navigation practice.  After ghosting into the Eastern Bay, we ran a high temperature alarm drill on the engine, securing it and sailing up to Tilghman Point.  Rounding Tilghman Point, the land blanketed our wind, so once again it was douse the headsail and start the engine.  Motor sailing on the main, we traveled into Saint Michaels, stopping at the fuel dock to pump out our holding tank.  Once clear, we moved to a slip at the marina and took on shore power.  

May 15
Winds were back into the northwest as we left Saint Michaels on the morning of day four.  They had also increased in strength, now running 15 to 20 steadily, with gusts to 25 and higher.  Our course for the day was generally northward, so we ran long north-northeast tacks, followed by short westerly tacks to move us off the lee shore.  By lunch time, we were approaching the Kent Narrows Bridge.  Down came the sails, on came the engine and we waited for the 1300 bridge opening.  Powering through with the current on our nose, we traveled back into the Chester River and reset the sails.  We headed upriver, passing S/V Navigator - our big sister - heading south to Annapolis.  We continued tacking up the river, aiming for Comegys Bay, just north of the Corsica River.  Anchoring for the night, we anticipated the change in tidal current from upriver to down by setting out two anchors in a Bahamian moor.  As the sunset and the stars came out, peace settled on the water and the wind died to nothing.

May 16
The next morning found us up late and enjoying our last morning on board.  Heading down to the junction of the Chester River and Lankford Creek, we spent the rest of the morning playing "what-if" scenarios and executing emergency drills.  Winds were light and variable, so the diesel stayed on as we practiced various maneuvers with sails set.  Finally, just before lunch the wind made a reappearance out of the south, so the genoa and main were set, wing-and-wing, and we sailed back to the marina, with the diesel quiet and the boat once again ghosting along.  A fine end to a great class.

Captain Frank Mummert
On board S/V Scholarship
Rock Hall, Maryland, May 16, 2017


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