It came to pass that our dear friend Erle could join us for the entire voyage so we were glad to have him come out.
We were also notified that Lauren Saalmuller from Sail Magazine wanted to join us for the first leg.
That was way cool! .. and a bit spooky … I mean, the Assistant Editor for a major sailing publication wants to come aboard and crew with a couple of inexperienced sailors on a new boat? What could possibly go wrong?? But, we were glad to have her aboard and she turned out to be a wonderful crew member and lots of fun to visit with. Can’t wait to see how the article reads! (Look for it in August, I’d guess).
We crossed the start line in great fashion, appearing for all the world to know exactly what we were doing and we headed out into the Chesapeake Bay.
A great treat was had when we passed several “Tall Ships” heading north on the bay the next morning (Monday 6/9).
There had been a festival of some sort in the Norfolk area and a collection of these majestic wooden schooners were now proceeding back to their respective home ports. Since we were just motoring along, we varied off course a bit to go see them as closely as we could without being a nuisance. We got to exchange waves with a few crew members and took a lot of pictures. It was very cool to see these replicas moving slowly northward, using the wind that we had been fighting all night.
Fortunately it would not be for a long time (only during the dark hours), but it was still a tough watch schedule. I, however, am so very glad that we exercised that option.
The Canal, while nicely marked and well lit, is still a very dangerous place because of the large shipping traffic. During these watches, we came very close to very large ships a couple of times. Having someone on the spotlight and on the radio was critical to finding and avoiding these guys; they use most of the channel. We motored through the Canal, out into the channel entrance to the Chesapeake and cleared the Bay Bridge all the while trying to spot and identify each and every marker and range light. It was still quite dark at 0430 when we arrived at the shipping anchorage area near the Annapolis Harbor entrance. I opted to slow down and travel outside the harbor until we at least had some kind of daylight to work with. By 0545 we were headed into the harbor and shortly thereafter docked up on the Annapolis Landing Marina fuel dock (which we’d been kicked off of nearly a week earlier).
Mission accomplished … Nap time!