Archive for September, 2010

Back in the Cockpit, with Sadness

September 26, 2010

Fall has definitely arrived. The trees on the Bay have not yet started to change as they have in Pennsylvania, but driving into Rock Hall on Saturday and seeing the crowd enjoying the Rock Hall Fall Festival was a smack-in-the-face reminder that summer is over. The nights are cool but still comfortable enough to sleep with the hatches open. There are definitely fewer boats on the water. For some reason a lot of people use Labor Day as the last boating weekend. They miss out on the spectacular changes that the Bay undergoes this time of year. The light is different, the contrast appearing sharper.

I would be more than happy if the rest of the winter stayed at this temperature. Neither John nor I do cold very well and I tend to whine about it every chance I get.

The good news is that we’re sailing again. The bad news is that the season is almost over. Our marina pulled a miracle out of the air and found the almost impossible to find part for the engine and machined a few others to get us up and running. We fully intend to squeeze as much sailing as we can out of the next month.

Yesterday we had a fantastic (but short) sail that was the appetizer for our upcoming week-long vacation. We left a little late in the afternoon. The wind was steady and out of the south so our sail south to reach the end of Swan Point was a bit rough, but worth it. After turning at Green Can 1 and heading due west, we enjoyed almost perfect sailing conditions. We could probably have continued on almost a beam reach the entire width of the Bay. John actually started pouting when we had to turn around a few hours later (and refused to lower the main when we got to that point). On the return trip the wind kept us moving at a good clip until we reached Green Can 1 and turned north towards our marina. We again saw bald eagles. Sea nettles were in the water due to the lack of rain that normally keeps the salt line towards the southern end of the Bay.

Friday we sail to the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore to meet up with some members of one of the sail clubs we belong to. This time (knock hard on wood) we hope that nothing will break, fall off or otherwise prevent us from leaving the marina. It is not a long trip, but it will be our first true overnight trip on Halcyon.

The week will be bittersweet. We say goodbye to our slip neighbors as they prepare their boats for the winter and goodbye to the sailing season. We made good friends this summer and plan to sail together next season. I will probably pout myself for a few weeks before I start gathering up charts, guidebooks, boating magazines and crossing chores off of lists in preparation for the spring. Perhaps winter is a time for regrouping and preparing for the future rather than lamenting the past. I still feel obligated to whine.

Fall Sail