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June 2010

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06/25/2010: "Thursday and Friday"

Thursday June 24th:
We took on fuel and left Deltaville. The weather had not improved, it was still forecast to be in the upper 90's, actually hotter then it was on Wednesday, but it felt better out on the water. We didn't have as far to go this day so we did a lot more sailing rather then worry about when we would get there and feel rushed. The last thing you need on a sailboat is to feel rushed. Usually only problems happen fast on a sailboat. Like going aground when leaving a strange harbor. Believe it or not I was thankful for that power boat that sent me that big wake since it was the little extra bounce that got me off the sandbar and back into the deeper water of the channel. Everything else takes time, sometimes lot's of time. The wind was still from the southwest so instead of trying to sail down wind we chose to make a couple of long tacks. Long they were, there is a lot of open water in this section of the Bay. We sailed east for about six miles and then tacked to the northwest taking up in one long tack to the entrance of the Great Wiccomico River. They have strange names for things around here. Our destination was Reedville but talking with some locals and reading up and studying the chart we chose instead to anchor for the night in Mill Creek, just south of Reedville. The biggest thing happening in Reedville is the Menhaden processing plant. Menhaden is an oily fish used for protein in feed products and fish oil. The process is very odoriferous (smells bad) and if the wind is right it makes for an unpleasant night. We opted for Mill Creek and it was the right choice. It was a nice secluded anchorage with a few homes along the bank but mostly trees blocking your view of some farmland. Very quiet and restful. The temperatures dropped a bit when a major storm passed through the area but all we got was about five minutes of unexpected wind and a light show from the lightning as the storm passed up by. I guess it caused problems in a big area north and east of us as it passed through. As the sun set we treated ourselves to another shower on deck then sat out enjoying the breeze and watched the moon rise.

Friday June 25th:
We got up early, for me. And readied the boat to make our next stop, the Solomon Islands. I know the Solomons are somewhere in the Pacific, therefor we needed to get an early start. Actually the Solomon's Island is a small town with lots of boats and lots of marinas just north of where the Potomac River feeds into the Bay. Due to the front that went through the area the night before the temperature dropped into the middle 80's and was actually pleasant. The wind cause a problem due to the direction it was coming from and the velocity. The forecast (best guess) was for 5-10 knots from the northwest or the north. We decided we would do like we did the previous day and make some long tacks to work our way up the bay. Instead of being from the northwest it was from the northeast, still workable, and the velocity was 15-20 knots. Not a comfortable ride beating into it all day. We started out with a full head-sail, one reef in the main and a full mizzen and were riding it well enough with the rail close to the water. We should have set two reef in the main making it even smaller. We sailed on an eastern tack well across the Bay at a screaming 6.5 knots but when we had to tack back we could not get a good angle on the wind or build up any speed. We were just going to be tacking back and forth all day not getting anywhere. We decided to bite the bullet and since we had a nice full tank of diesel we would motor sail until the wind dropped or it shifted directions. In the late morning it dropped down to around 12 knots or less but the only shift was to move right on the nose. So much for a fun sail up the bay but motoring will let you go in a straight line. We planned to anchor for the next two nights and studied the charts and the guides to give us a chance at a good spot to drop the anchor, we do not want to travel from marina to marina. That is far too expensive and you miss some of the prettiest anchorages.. When we arrived we started looking it all over and everything was closer and smaller then I am used to. I am used to having a lot of room between boats. Something I am going to have to work on. The guide mentioned that one marina had a small mooring field and as I looked at how close everyone was anchored being hooked to a mooring ball looked real good. We may be close but I know I wont be bumping into anyone during the night. Sometimes it is worth it to get a good nights sleep. For the price of the mooring we get the use of the dinghy dock to go ashore, the swimming pool, the showers, and free use of their bicycles, and the dinghy dock is so close we don't need the outboard. We used the bikes to check out the town and go to West Marine to check on a part we ordered to have delivered here. Then it was back to the boat for a change of clothes and go ashore for showers, real ones with hot water and lots of it. The reason for the clean up is that Cori's Mom and Dad are in the area and are going visit while we are here so we met up with them for dinner then back to the boat for a good nights rest since the temperature is in the mid 70's for the night. One disadvantage of not being in a marina is no air conditioning.