I’ve now done 2 overnight races on Old Shoes. The first was the Annapolis to Solomons race.
We boarded the boat at the dock in the Rhode river. Then had a 2 or 3 hour motor up to Annapolis. Thomas Point lighthouse is on the way. Look out smooth that water is. Not really what you want for a sailboat race.
Thomas Point Lighthouse
Then we stopped at an Annapolis dock for a planned halyard fix(halyard is the rope that takes the sail up to the top of the mast). While doing that a small drone flew over with what looked like a GoPro on it. If you find a video on YouTube of the start of race let me know. After that it was mill around the starting line waiting for our start.
Waiting for the race to start.
The race started just outside Annapolis in the evening with light winds. The sun was going down and after crossing the starting line we first needed to sail west out of the Severn river and into the Chesapeake. There was a beautiful sunset behind us as we left.
Once we turned south, the sunset lingered for what seemed like hours, although this picture is only 20 minutes later than the other one. Kind of odd, since the sun seems higher – but timestamps don’t lie. I guess that’s just a reflection and the sun has already set?
In the Chesapeake, there are always large obstacles like this to steer around. These block the wind pretty good. (That’s bad – stay away)
Wind dead zones
The wind stiffened a bit and we sailed under a steady breeze and full moon all the way to Solomons. It was very nice. Sorry, didn’t get any good pictures in the dark. Once the sun came up however, there was not enough breeze to ruffle your hair. Here is where we left the Chesapeake and turned up into the Patuxent River.
Mouth of the Patuxent River
Shane got to drive.
Rehab Jr. got to drive.
Rehab Jr. driving
Do you see a picture of CapnRehab driving? Nope. But there is nothing quite like a cold beer in the morning after an all night sail!
We limped across the finish line with a bunch of other boats. It was a fun time.
In between the weekend races we did a regular Wednesday race where I took this of an Osprey near the starting line.
The other race I did was the Governor’s Cup Annapolis to St. Mary’s College. It started with the same sail up to Annapolis. I won’t bore you with another picture of St. Thomas lighthouse. One pin of the starting line was the “Pride of Baltimore”. With the light wind and strong current, some skippers misjudged their course and we saw at least two of them drift into the bowsprit. Wow, that has to make you feel pretty bad. I wouldn’t want to have done it. Sorry for the bad picture quality. Can’t really see the screen to know what the phone is going to produce in the sunlight.
Pride of Baltimore
No shortages of sunset pictures with all night races that start in the evening. Look at this pretty new sail!
Yet another sunset
This is pretty, but seems to indicate there is moisture in the air. Could be trouble ahead.
Moisture in the air.
Moisture indeed! The forecast was for moderate to light winds (5 – 8 mph) all night. There is an old adage that goes “Sail the weather, not the forecast”. Once the sun went down, the wind picked up, (up to 18 mph or so) the rain came down, and we bashed through the waves all night. I was running the mainsail.
There was a lot of excitement (not all good). At one point the boat dropped into a wave trough suddenly and I came up in the air off the seat a couple of feet – just like on a roller coaster! The new halyard that was put up at the last race snapped WHILE we were smashing along, dropping the jib sail and leaving us two short halyards. It’s an interesting thing to watch as someone goes on deck to change sails while it’s heaving up and down. I’m glad we had an experienced crewman along to take care of it (Thanks B.!). I learned that I have a LOT to learn. The rest is an interesting story to be shared over a couple of beers out of earshot of Mrs. CapnRehab!
We also go to watch the skipper give his lunch to Neptune. I’ve seen a few people lose the contents of their stomach due to seasickness, but that was the most interesting sounding one! Shane was a bit green around the gills already, and I was sure it would make him toss his salad, but he held on grimly. I’m happy to report I never had an issue.
No pretty morning pictures. We were rained on all night, it was incredibly cold for August 1, and by the time we dropped anchor everybody had been shivering for hours. This race was my most exciting time ever on the water.
Sad to say, the skipper has decided not to race with crew anymore. His reasons are sound, but it’s disappointing. I’m very appreciative of the chances I got to sail on “Old Shoes”, and will miss her and most of all her crew. I’ve joined the laser program at the boat club, but have yet to take part in a Friday race. Summer is running out, but I don’t think I’ll make the next two either. Let’s hope I’ll have some One Design racing to report soon. Till next time, be safe out there and have fun sailing!