Friday, October 25, 2013

Retired or really tired?

Rolling out of the v-berth before sunrise just seems wrong for a person who has supposedly retired. But this was the day to take on the Potomac River and an early cast-off was part of the deal. The weather forecast wasn't that much better than yesterday's; NW winds 10 to 15 with guests to 20, waves 3 feet, and a small craft advisory. But the sky was blue and our hearts restless. Besides, a friend had suggested that we watch to see if the professional fishing types stayed in and, if they did, to stay in as well. Otherwise it should be good to go. Three different fishing boats passed as Kintala collected her dock lines so going seemed like a good choice.

After we were on our way it occurred to me that pilots used to do something similar. When the night freight drivers stayed on the ground, staying on the ground was a good choice. But if they blasted off and you decided to blast off as well, well, you were betting the farm on having an airplane at least as capable as theirs and (more important) deciding that you were every bit as good as they. (And that wasn't very damned likely.)

Rounding the corner from the creek to the river were those same fishing boats, all gathered together, lines cast, and not even going out on the bay. Oops. On the plus side about half a dozen other cruising sailboats were following Kintala; if it had been a foolish choice to go we were not the only fools afloat this morning.

Instead we were Royalty; flying along deep downwind flying just the working jib, touching 9 knots at times, rocking in the 3 foot rollers, dancing through whitecaps … retirement indeed! Then, for the very first time, we dropped the Cape Horn Wind Vane rudder into the water, fiddled with the lines for a few minutes, then sat back and watched the magic. There is still much to learn but we spent a good part of the day with “Henry” (the best pilot I ever knew so our name for the Cape Horn System) driving the bus.

More then ten hours after leaving Solomon Island the anchor tipped off the bow in a protected bit of water known as Fishing Bay, just south of a little town called Deltaville, MD. Cold, tired, and hungry we put more than 60 miles in our wake this day, almost all of them south of where we started. Hopefully, soon, those southerly miles will start resulting in slightly warmer temperatures. For now though, it is good to be clicking them off.


Matt Mc. said...

Gotta say - this is a blast watching your progress! Glad to hear "Henry" is doing his job too.

S/V Veranda said...

Awesome day, well done, well deserved